Reading Seth Godin’s post entitled, “Pay for Stuff”, triggered a peeve of mine I’ve put off writing about: people trying to get something for nothing. Don’t get me wrong, being frugal and seeking a good deal for your business is smart and I’m a proud supporter of the open-source school of thought and whole-heartedly believe in testing before I purchase. There are some, though, that think purely of what they can grab for free, with little if any thought on the cost, time and effort put into the making of such things.
So, here’s a thought: If you want people to continue to make the sweet apps you enjoy downloading for free, make a donation once in awhile. If you really love the way a free version of a web app is helping you invoice clients more easily, consider upgrading to the paid-version that suits your means. Two things happen when you do this: you encourage the developers to continue bringing these fun, useful tools into the game, and (2)you make a financial commitment in your business that says, “Yes, I’m worth it and I’m giving back.”
Remember: The guy that’s always looking for a free ride is not only the guy we stay away from, it’s the guy that leaves the rest of us holding the bill at the end of the night. Don’t be that guy. Contribute when and where you can, ’cause giving is very attractive on many levels.