I created Command Center three years ago. Originally I created it solely for myself and later I mentioned it to a few friends and set them up. About two years ago I did a major overhaul and opened it up to the public. Since then it’s grown substantially in terms of what it features and in the amount of people who’ve found it. I’m extremely pleased with the growth as its mostly been word of mouth.
One thing I’ve routinely put thought into is the value of Command Center, and I do mean that monetarily. Right now it’s completely free, as you’re all well aware. However, every month I pay to have this site hosted and that comes out of my pocket. The more Command Center grows the more I find myself needing increasingly larger web hosting packages to accommodate the growth, and in turn more of my money.
Then there’s my time spent programming the site. I enjoy programming (otherwise this wouldn’t exist!), but of course it’s my own free time I’m committing to the site and I’d like to think I’m producing something of value to the community.
Which brings around the point of this article. What do you see the value of Command Center as? To explain my thoughts in regards to that question. I want to continue offering Command Center for free but what I’ve considered is offering memberships for extra features. For example, having free accounts able to create up to 2 or 3 rosters for free where paying members get unlimited rosters; plus whatever premium features I can devise to make the paid membership appealing.
I think you get the idea. Free accounts would have limited access where paying members would have free rein. Now, I’m thinking something that’s pretty insubstantial in terms of cost; something you wouldn’t think twice about paying if you enjoyed the program.
Now, I’m not throwing numbers out here because this is where I’d really appreciate feedback. I’m not a business, I’m a guy who enjoys 40K and created a program for use by anyone. I’m not looking to get rich either. What I am looking for is the ability for Command Center to pay for itself (web hosting, my time programming, etc.), and retain the recent popularity its been gaining.
Would you be willing to pay for something like what I’ve mentioned? Is there enough value here to justify asking for recompense? Would a simple structure like that with an insubstantial cost scare you off?
Finally, at this stage it’s just ideas and me thinking out loud. I mean, if everyone clearly said they love the program but would not pay for it then there’s no point in me charging for a membership. If people aren’t completely against the concept then I’ll put more thought to it and see what you all think as I get more concrete ideas. I very much want this process to involve you all, the community, instead of me taking a this is how it is approach.