The Cost of Free
How often do you seek out a free app, template or some other freebies in your online travels? Free is great, but sometimes there is a large cost of free.
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“When you get something for nothing, you just haven’t been billed for it yet.”
– Franklin P. Jones (Philadelphia reporter)
One time, I worked on a large customer service survey with a company. We designed the survey, printed the advertising cards sending customers to an online survey. We created the online survey using a free service that had worked well for us in the past.
Survey day came. We had people distributing the cards to customers. Everything was going well until… the online survey crashed.
We contacted the survey website for support. Nothing came back until the next day. The website wasn’t ready for the traffic that came to the site. But how could we complain about the crash? We paid nothing for the service.
We recovered the botched survey efforts in a few hours by setting up our survey with a premium paid service that worked flawlessly (what we should’ve done in the first place).
When is the cost of free appropriate?
If something is critical to your mission and goals, you will be well served by making an investment into the process through a paid product or service.
If you’re looking for a simple phone app or game, using a free or try before you buy app might just be the ticket for you.
Points to 5 Minute Clarity
1. Name a current project you are working on:
2. What is the desired project outcome?
3. What services or tools do you require?
4. Are you using free or paid services?
5. What is your back up plan if the product or service fails?