I’ve gotten a number of emails about my “four pillars of unfundability” post, and just wanted to clarify that we certainly don’t intend to support ourselves solely on foundation funding. We are looking for start-up funding, but our plan to be self-sufficient in the long run through charging a minimal subscription fee – somewhere in the $40/year realm. Not right away, but when we have a solid base of content that is clearly worth paying for.
There’s a lot of power in a model like this. The subscription concept has gotten a bad rap from all the subscription vaporware from the dot-com bubble, but there are a lot of examples of successful subscription email and online content resources, especially in the business-to-business world. And we won’t need hundreds of thousands of subscribers. If only 800 people subscribe – the number expected to pay $300- $600 for the NTEN conference – and each pay $40/year, that’s $32,000 per year. Not nearly our whole operating budget, but a lot more than pocket change.
To my mind, Idealware doesn't deserve to exist if it can't provide information that people feel is worth paying $40/year for. So it’s our job in the short run to prove that we can.