A few months ago, we wanted to take our Axosoft Bug Tracker, a product that we normally sold for $70 Per User Per Month, and make it Free to all software development teams around the world.
After much internal debate, and concerns that we would open the floodgates to trolls and users who have no idea what they are signing up for, we decided to put a $1 per year price tag on it. This wasn’t $1 per user, but rather $1 for the entire team – even a team of 50 or 100 people (previously such teams would pay $3,500 or $7,000 per year).
We figured the $1 per year barrier, requiring a credit card, was just the right balance to deter the wrong people from signing up for a product that wasn’t meant for them. Additionally, based on expectations of having tens of thousands of signups per year, we decided to create the Axosoft Startup Grant program where we would take the money from the $1 signups and give them in $10,000 grants to software startups.
Boy were we wrong about the $1 barrier to entry. Instead of getting customers excited, customers were super skeptical – people questioned whether the deal was real or if we were trying to steal their credit card information. Sometimes, a good deal can be too good of a deal.
So in the past 6 months, we have had just short of 1,000 companies signing up for Axosoft Bug Tracker at $1 per year! That is an insanely low number! At this rate, we wouldn’t have enough for a $10,000 Startup Grant for nearly 5 years! So we decided to do away with the $1 Barrier. Axosoft Bug Tracker is now 100% Free! The skeptics can just signup and start enjoying the product.
Since we didn’t quite hit our signup goals to start giving away $10,000 grants, we decided to donate $1,000 to UNICEF (Paul Allen is currently matching donations to help stop the spread of Ebola).
Why are we making Axosoft Bug Tracker Free anyway?
Well, there are 2 reasons. As you might have guessed, the reasons are selfish: First, we want our products to be used by millions of developers (we’re in the hundreds of thousands right now). We know lots of dev teams are price sensitive, so we want to take away the financial barrier of choosing Axosoft. The second is that we want our brand to be better known to developers because we have other products (which cost money) that can help them ship great software, faster. That’s it.