Sure, and of course the internet economy is undergoing a big, long-awaited, feel-good, reallocation towards SaaS/subscription business models. It’s a healthy transition to provide the ecosystem with some more dynamism. However, if you, Jon, really want to help people and businesses evaluate the strategic opportunity of such a revenue option, you need to inject some more balance into this story. Give people the counterfactuals and the null hypothesis so they can make an educated decision. I don’t think you maliciously intended to oversimplify this, but you have a loyal audience, and with that trust comes the responsibility to disclaim your advice, as appropriate.
From the first, your title (“Why Startups & Agencies Need to Use Subscription Pricing”) promises an unequivocable silver bullet. Furthermore, you distill the choice down to this facile straw man:
“The argument stems from whether or not it’s better to own your products or services or — essentially — to rent them from a company that can choose whether or not you have access… When you look at the world before and after this came into effect, it feels so alien that we ever purchased software licenses, and then purchased them all over again a short time period later, but that’s exactly what we used to do.”
Beyond this comparison between owning vs renting, there’s not a single word of balance. You’ve reduced the argument to: ‘Do you want to pay as you go or continually make big down payments?’ How about the competitive dynamics, as one example, which are a crucial factor for some businesses like software applications? For a lot of such entrepreneurs, it’s not always a choice between MRR and licensing, because were competitors to leverage freemium or ad-supported tactics, that’s often enough to bury a paid/subscription business.
Anyway, I’m just here to advise caution. Do with it what you will…
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