Explain concept:



Running services costs money. Maybe people sponsor the service donating time and knowledge, maybe organizations sponsor running services with free hardware and network capacity. But reality shows that money is an innovator and required to get longer term maintenance to services.

Financial benefits

When you run a service, you want your users to implement optimizations. Although you offer flexibility in your interface, you MAY want to use a pricing mechanism to stimulate users to spend effort in optimizing their access to you. For instance:

  • you prefer bulk activity to take place at night,
  • stimulate clients into batch processing, bundling requests,
  • appreciate when clients use your preferred compression method,

Bluntly put: clients have a tendency to be lazy (coding is hard enough as it is), and the manager of the developers of the client code must get a financial benefit when spending more development time on optimizing the client-service interaction.

Reducing abuse

Small (even very small) payments are useful to fight bulk abuse of services.

If each server which receives an email charges the sender with a dollar-cent, normal people would not pay more than a few dollar per year for their mails. Spammers and bulk-mailers, however, have to pay serious money. This reduces the amount of spam, which reduces the size of the anti-spam protections for ISPs, which makes ISPs cheaper to run, which should lead to cheaper internet access. The open character of SMTP, where all transport is free, actually leads to higher costs.

Should I charge money for my service?

The best answer is: yes, always. When the service is a success, you need to have money to expand hardware, and maintenance and development resources. Even fully sponsored services should have (micro-)payments in their (business)plan.

mark@overmeer.net      Web-pages generated on 2023-12-19