Perfect is the enemy of done.
Providing Value For Free
Can I provide a group of products and services that 1 person finds valuable enough to use for free?
Are my products and services useful enough that a person is willing to take the time to install (software), learn, and/or read them (articles)?
1st Barrier: Create Something Useful
I'm not interested in providing free useless junk. I want to provide useful / valuable free stuff.
2nd Barrier: Create Something Broadly Useful
If I can provide something that one person finds valuable, can I make it great enough that ten people find it valuable? 1,000? 1,000,000?
3rd Barrier: Perceived Value
If I am able to provide products and services that break through these first two barriers, would the people who use them feel motivated enough to donate $1 (or more)?
Can 1 Person Reach 1,000,000?
Is it possible for one person to provide products and services that 1,000,000 people (or more) find valuable enough to part with a $1 donation? Is that possible?
This experiment would attempt to answer quite a few questions:
1.) Are my products and services perceived as useful by a great number of people? If only 4 people download and use my products and services then I have not succeeded in the first step.
2.) Will people be motivated, not because they have to, but out of sheer gratitude to take the time and effort to donate $1 (or more)?
3.) Does gratitude exist? If 1,000,000 people download and use my products and services and I only have 11 donations, then maybe people only want things they never have to thank someone for. Maybe this would mean that everyone on the Web is selfish. :-)
4.) Does word-of-mouth marketing work?
I do not have the resources to market my products and services. Will the people who use them recommend them to others and keep the wheel spinning, until we reach over 1,000,000 users/readers?
Am I Talking About Perfect Products?
No. I'm talking about useful products. You may find bugs in my software, or errors in my grammar. But, you'll also find that my software does things for you that makes your life simpler. My articles make you think in new ways. They are able to do these things, simply because I've put a lot of work into them and I've completed them enough so you can get your hands on them.
Plus, I am continually updating them so they become better with time.
Original Intent of the Web
This is the original intent of the Web.
1.) Sharing - I give to you, you give back. However, we are all motivated to do so by inner principles, not from principles outside ourselves.
For example, I create the best software that I can, because I want to create great software (inner principle of hard work). You donate $1 (or more) because you find those products helpful and you want to complete the circle (inner principle of rewarding hard work).
I do not simply create software in order to get your money. You do not give me money because you are compelled by law (software license) to do so, but because you wish to do so.
2.) Iterative Development and Learning - Another intent of the Web is that you find articles, ideas, software that are still in a rough state and that is okay, because it fills a need at the time. Then, as time passes, the article, idea, or software gets better, because it is revised.
3.) Building Community
All of this works together to build community.
That is how we learn, how we grow and how we live. It is the best way.
Will You Check Out My Products And Start The Wheel Spinning?
You can see all of my products at my web site:
Read My Articles
You can read my articles at my blog sites:
100 Beginnings for Fiction Writers analysis of 100 novels and how we (as writers) learn from them.
The Writer's Invisible Mentor My writing project about writing and learning to write
Saber Slice: More on Creativity and Writing
Keep on learning, keep on writing.