somehow free vs paid arguments always tend to revolve around content like books and music but it relates to other stuff too - online software, for instance.
Diclosure: I work for project management tool called Remindo that is free to use for anyone that gives us feedback and bug reports. We have to constantly balance out free users (valuable in terms of intellectual input) and paid users (valuable in terms of paying our bills!). This is a flavor of freemium and definitely not give away and pray!
Err.. the comment above is from me.. accidentally signed out
And yeah, on the subject 'free' is not a business model but it can serve different purposes. From my own experience; In our free project management tool (Remindo.com) - 'free' has helped us get an initial set of users who helped us build the product and now when we launch our paid services, we intend to keep them free for this lot.
Almost all folk artists in India performed for free in public gatherings and when their popularity built up, they got paid for performing in private for the rich. See? Free service for the masses and a premium service for those who want to pay!
Techdirt has not posted any stories submitted by prateekdubey.