A business model should be aligned with your values

A business model should be aligned with your values

Almost one year ago today, Timyo released our iOS version on Apple Store. It was a big moment for the entire team: we’d built our solution with the deep conviction that it would improve email communication, and now we were about to finally launch it out into the real world.

We knew it would just be the first step on a journey that we hoped would change email for good. But we needed to verify our assumption, we needed your feedback and product validation: Were people ready to change the way they think before sending an email? Were they ready to change anything at all about email, which for so many had become a completely routine (if frustrating!) experience? Were people ready to take that one step forward to help others to be more productive and stress-free?

Good news: your feedback showed us that they were and they are.

We are so grateful to the thousands of users who gave us their validation! From all over the world, we had the same feedback: Great idea—please keep going and tweak and polish your product, because we could really use it! We had a lot of disappointed users rating us in Apple store with one star only because we were only available on Gmail—and when people are upset that they cannot yet use your product across more platforms, that’s not a bad problem to have!

Our tech team has worked hard to simultaneously improve our current product while expanding release across all providers and platforms, and we are almost there! I think 2017 will be very exciting.

And because we value our users who took the time to try out an unfinished product and provided such invaluable insight and encouragement, who enabled us to raise a new round so we could accelerate our development, we want to say thank you… which is why for our current users, Timyo will be free for life.

Of course, this might not seem like such a great gift… after all, lots of apps are free. But as Andrew Lewis once famously said:

“if you are not paying for it, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold.”

If an app is “free”, that usually means that you are either being served up targeted ads or that your data is being mined and sold.  Would you like more ads in email? Probably no. Would you like your data in others’ hands? I guess even less.

Another way that a “free” app can make money is to use the money of your investors to bet on a quick exit, which means in many cases that the app will be shut down the following month.

Neither of those is the model at Timyo. A few months ago, I wrote here that “we are not a startup.” We aren’t interested in ruining email with ads or mining data or jumping ship at the first opportunity.

One of our main values is clarity. That’s why it’s so important for us to be crystal clear about our business model. Eventually, Timyo’s enterprise version will be fee-based, and that’s how we’ll keep the doors open. But for our personal users who have already joined Timyo, it will always be free. We feel like it’s the least we can do to say thanks to all of you for getting us to where we are today.

As the new year continues, we will be further expanding across platforms (including Android and an Outlook plugin) and we look forward to reaching as many as possible.

And on that note… we’ll keep Timyo free for life through the early part of the year… tell your friends and colleagues so that they (and you) can further enjoy the benefits of Timyo and email that matters, when it matters.



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