Charging For Your Service

NPR is running a three day series on “The Business of Free”.  When almost every web based business is giving away its service in the name of capturing market share, there is one that is charging for its service and making a profit.

In New York City, Squarespace CEO Dane Atkinson favors a more old-school approach. As Atkinson says of his company, “It’s a publishing platform on the Internet that thankfully charges all of its customers.”

That’s right. Squarespace is proud to charge businesses, bloggers and others for its publishing tools that can create Web sites — even though there are companies providing similar services for free.

Atkinson says that the privately held Squarespace is very successful. But, he adds, some so-called experts still prod them to offer a free service.

“And we know the reason we are succeeding is because we don’t,” Atkinson says. “So every time a book comes out or people expound on how free is the only way to go, it gets our hair standing up. There is another alternative; there is another way to run your business.”

Marketing is about segmentation and targeting. Squarespace recognized there exists a segment that values their services is willing to pay for it. While the Free experts that Mr.Atkinson refers to would say Squarespace will gain market share with free model and gain the most scarcest of commodity – attention, Squarespace, correctly decided, not to be a service for everybody and is decidedly targeting specific segments.

One way is to run your business based on the latest book or fad. There is  another way to run a successful business – based on data and analysis!