This month’s Inc. cover story: Jason Fried on how to get good at making money.
I got FileMaker Pro (I paid for it with the stash I’d saved up selling stuff to my friends) and started messing around. After a few months, I had solved the problems I had with organizing my music. I knew what music I had, where it was, whom I had loaned it to, how much I paid for it. The solution was elegant and easy to use. I called it Audiofile…Before making it available to other AOL users, I added a limit in the program—people could file 25 CDs for free; after that, it would cost $20 to unlock Audiofile and remove the limit.
I remember my first customer. One day my parents gave me an envelope. It came from Germany and had those airmail stripes at the top. I opened it up, found a screenshot of Audiofile printed on a piece of paper—and a crisp $20 bill. More envelopes rolled in. Over the next few years, Audiofile probably generated $50,000—not bad for a kid in college in the early ‘90s.
The lesson: People are happy to pay for things that work well. Never be afraid to put a price on something. If you pour your heart into something and make it great, sell it. For real money. Even if there are free options, even if the market is flooded with free. People will pay for things they love.
Read the rest.