Thousands of people benefit from AwayFind alerts every day—to disconnect from the insanity of their inboxes, and to stay connected to the people who are most important to them. As I turn 30 this month, having an impact on so many people through AwayFind is the accomplishment I’m most proud of. And I mention that because any changes to our product are not little things for me. I’d like to talk to you about why we’ve made the changes to our plans that we recently announced.
To date, we’ve charged people based on which features they use rather than the value they get out of AwayFind. One way to think of it: right now we charge people for the meatballs on top of the pasta, but the pasta is free.
Let me give an example: we’ve been charging a subscription for sending SMS outside of the United States but offering unlimited push notifications for iPhone users. The underlying technology is the same, the benefits of AwayFind are the same, but we’d been charging for the SMS notification and not the iPhone one.
So I have to ask: why should someone in India with a less-expensive phone pay to receive one SMS while someone with a $650 phone receive 50 alerts per day for free?
The inherent inbalance here bugs me, but it’s not just about who gets access to AwayFind. It’s about the benefit they receive. International SMS does cost us more than iPhone push notifications, but, well, just because the meatballs cost more money doesn’t mean the pasta should be free.
That’s neither a sustainable business model (9 people’s wages far exceed our SMS bill) nor is it correlating our price with the value of our product, which is that that we help you to spend less time in your email while being more responsive to the people who matter.
So our new plans now track how many alerts one sends, not whether those alerts are sent over SMS. IM, iPhone, Android, Voice–they all count as one alert credit.
And we’ve set the threshold for free accounts relative to how much value you’re getting out of AwayFind–if we’re helping you to escape your inbox more than ten times in a month, then the cost is $5 per month or $50 per year. This is part of a new plan and price (at one third the cost of our previous plans), which we’ve introduced for those who are notified 10-100 times per month.
If AwayFind saves you a few hours and opens up a couple business opportunities each month–then I trust that time is worth well more than $5.
But if AwayFind isn’t a big part of your workflow and you get just a few notifications per month, now AwayFind won’t discriminate on your location or phone–you now can receive SMS anywhere in the world and even use AwayFind with your Exchange account…for up to ten notifications.
With these announcements, we’ve also announced additional features for businesses (like our Google Apps Marketplace product) and business users (like INSTANT alerts), and we’ve upgraded all of our existing Monthly Starter users to our new Monthly Pro plan, at no additional charge.
I hope all these changes make AwayFind that much more useful to you. There are still tens of millions of people who spend more than half their days staring at their inbox. We want to reach them, and we hope this is one more step in that direction.You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.