Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Back in the Office - Free and Attrition

I am now back in the office, albeit exhausted, from my paternity leave. They baby, Madeline Louise, is doing great. So is her mother. Here are pics:

http://picasaweb.google.com/mattbaehr/MadelineLouiseBaehr02

As I was in the photo place last night having some of these lovely pics printed to mail out to some less techie people, I overheard a conversation the sales guy was having regarding some class the store offers.

The store offers some sort of photography class(es). They used to be free and they would get a bunch of people to sign up. Half would show, and they would have spent way to much money on renting chairs, space, food, etc. Now, they charge $25, but you get a $25 gift card to the store when you finish the class. Now they only get 25 people, but they all (or most) show, and they make some money in the process.

We have done the same thing with many of our programs. Attrition was so high, we couldn't plan properly. For some programs, we actually get more people now that we charge.

Chris Anderson's new book is about free, and you could get a free copy of the issue in Wired that he talks about it: http://www.wired.com/techbiz/it/magazine/16-03/ff_free Free is powerful, and will probably be the future for a lot of things. But, there is still something to be said about charging something.

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