Fred Wilson had a post a couple of days ago, in which he described his favorite business model:

Give your service away for free, possibly ad supported but maybe not,
acquire a lot of customers very efficiently through word of mouth,
referral networks, organic search marketing, etc, then offer premium
priced value added services or an enhanced version of your service to
your customer base.

After pointing out a few examples (Skype, Flickr, Trillian, Newsgator, and Webroot, and to which, I would add Craig’s List, LinkedIn, and The Ladders), he asked for help in naming this model.

One of the suggestions he got was Freemium.

I am a big fan of the model Fred describes.  I also like the name freemium. I the interest of spreading the meme, I wanted to blog it, too.

UPDATE: After including The Ladders in the freemium category, I see that Marc Cenedella, its CEO, disagrees. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Freemium

  1. The only thing on every web 2.0 startup mind these days is to get a nice funding like FON did couple of weeks ago.
    To get the desired funding, they have to evolve and to evolve quickly the only wat is to use the freemium strategy. Also Fabrice Grinda ( has nice quotes on freemium.
    Nice posts btw…


  2. There’s nothing like the feeling of paying for something, knowing that you’re doing your part in lubricating the wheels of commerce, helping someone earn a decent living, and/or ensuring that some random family you’ve never heard of will sleep with full bellies tonight.


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