Jason Fried, speaking at Startup School regarding the launch of Basecamp:
We immediately put a price on it because that’s the only way I know how to sell things. How do you sell stuff for free? Anyone know how to sell anything for free? You can’t. You can only sell things for money.
I think it’s about time I heed this advice. I make a little bit of coffee money from my sites, but I would like them to make a lot more. 🙂 Jason recommended charging money as a way to get feedback from your customers about what they really want (and what they are willing to pay for).
Now, much is made of the Chris Anderson Free vs. 37Signals Charge, and both were presented at StartupSchool. Anderson acknowledged though that it’s not that everything should be free, but that products should be offered on a continuum of cost. 37Signals knows this quite well, as in Getting Real (which you can read for free online), they specifically call out always offering free samples of your product.