Need your ideas about how Comodo can generate revenue from free products! :-)

Hi Everyone

As you know we are committed to provide free desktop security to everyone today, tomorrow and forever!

How can we come up with ideas so that we can get our users to generate revenue for us? (not charging for the desktop security! So don’t even go there… its free forever). For example: we can sell Identity Theft protection service, or maybe people can download the google toolbar with our products so that all the searches they make will get us Pay Per Click engine commision. So we are looking for ideas. the idea is that we would like to spend even more money developing these free products, so if we can come up with a way of free products generating revenue (somehow) we can increase our investment in these free products and everyone benefits as we will deliver even more free products faster :-).

ideas please!!!

CWY CNY CLY

Melih

We can create a payment system like Paypal and call it “Comodollar” :slight_smile:

Melih

r maybe people can download the google toolbar with our products so that all the searches they make will get us Pay Per Click engine commision.

No, skip this idea, I don’t want to see this product turn into an adware like what happen to CCleaner when they added the option “install yahoo toolbar” to their installer (but there is an option that gives us a choice if we wanted to install yahoo toolbar or not; so kudos for that). No mistake, I love CCleaner, I use it’s powerful cleaning tool everyday. ;D

If you guys want to make some quick cash, you can try asking people switching from IE to firefox, if you guys want. Here the link for more details:

http://explorerdestroyer.com/

How about merchandise? I’d certainly consider supporting Comodo by buying a coffee mug / tee shirt / coaster / keychain… It’s also another way to promote brand awareness. Ooh - I just had an idea… Could you custom-brand a Swiss Army style pocket knife? Computer techies love 'em… I’d definitely buy one! It nicely fits the company’s multi-role image.

Another idea, used by Pegasus Mail, is to keep the software free but offer a bound user’s manual for a small fee.

You could also put the software onto a CD and sell this on for those who may want a CD version of your products.

Melih,

We’ve been discussing this at work and the general consensus seems to be that ZA have got the model right with their ZA Freeware and ZA Pro.

Offer the products, as they are, as freeware, but offer heavier versions as commercial products. I don’t mean cripple what we’ve got now, but any super-duper enhancements in the pipeline could be offered as a paid product that added to the existing products.

If multiple enhancements were offered and the benefits over the base product were clearly outlined, then customers could build their Comodo products to suit their environment and their wallet.

What do you think?
Ewen :slight_smile:
(WCF3)

Hi,

I like dooplex’s merchandise idea. Limited edition T-shirts with cool designs maybe. That’s not high cost and it would also be advertisement. You could gather designs from everyone and pick out the best design by user voting or something.
The paypal kind service would be cool, too.

I think you are close!
We would like to have an enterprise version for central management and charge for that component. So enterprises can still use the firewall for free but to manage them all etc, they need to buy the central management module.

What would you suggest that we add to make it super duper extra spiffy model? I want to give our users the best possible for free so I don’t know what I could add to make it extra feature (as far as firewall is concerned) to get peopel want to buy the extra version.

Melih

Can u expand on this idea pls Dooplex.

thanks
Melih

Sure…

Pegasus Mail is an excellent email client (written by a fellow New Zealander) that is free, both for personal and commercial use. It comes with online help, which is perfectly adequate… But for those users or organisations that prefer a manual, there is an electronic version available for $US29.95. I love and respect well-written software documentation, and think this is a very clever revenue model for a freeware-based software company. I see it as a shrewd alternative to the PayPal / Donate idea, as it gives the benefactor something “concrete” for their dollars/euro/yen :slight_smile: I’m sure, on the other hand, that some benefactors treat it purely as a donation to support great software.

The idea must work to some degree, as Pegasus Mail’s author has been in operation since 1990. I’ll see if I can gather some info from the author as to how successful the manual sales have been. I’ll post any reply here.

In terms of creating the documentation, I’m sure you will find many willing contributors here (myself included!)

Have a look here and here for more information.

G’day,

I just checked the Pegasus site and the paid version of the manual isn’t a bound manual - its a PDF download. I think users would be more willing to part with $$'s for a printed manual, rather than an e-book. Just my opinion, but a good idea though.

ewen :slight_smile:
(WCF3)

I truly do not like the idea of having a “free” and a “pro” version of Comodo software. It seems to be directly opposed to Comodo’s commitment to top-notch free desktop security, as outlined in various posts by Melih. I think that if Comodo went down this track, it may very well damage the trust it is so carefully trying to nurture. Additionally, it tends to reduce Comodo to the same level as many other players out there (ZoneLabs, Sunbelt, Agnitum, Look’n’Stop), eliminating a very obvious point of difference.

An alternative I find much more appealing is the “free client, commercial server” model. Provide the client software for free, but charge for the server software (either as commercial payware, or alternatively as shareware). Email is an interesting example; there are lots of excellent free email clients out there, but considerably fewer email servers (at least on the Windows platform). Another arena I would like to see this model operate is VPN connectivity - provide a robust, standards-compliant VPN server at a reasonable cost, and provide the corresponding client for free.

What might this model look like for Comodo? “Free Client, Commercial Centralised Management”. For example,

Personal Firewall: the client is provided for free, but offer a separate software package to run on a network server that could:

  • create, manage and distribute standardised firewall client policies
  • provide a central location for storing and distributing updates
  • provide remote logging facilities for all firewall clients (like syslogd)
  • be remotely accessible (e.g. via http or MMC)
  • (plus other ideas that our community can come up with!)

AntiVirus: the client is provided for free, but offer a separate software package to run on a network server that could:

  • create, manage and distribute standardised AV client policies
  • act as a centralised quarantine area for all clients
  • automatically forward suspicious files to Comodo
  • provide a central location for storing and distributing updates
  • provide remote logging facilities for all AV clients (like syslogd)
  • be remotely accessible (e.g. via http or MMC)
  • (plus other ideas that our community can come up with!)

Of course, it should be possible to run both the client and the server software on the same PC. Ideally, the server software would reside on a Windows server (e.g. in a corporate environment).

Lastly, I would stress the importance of releasing the management software as a completely separate offering, and maintaining Comodo’s image of providing outstanding end-user security software free of charge.

(Wow, that was a long post!)

Hi, Ewen -

Yes, you’re right - it’s electronic-only. I’m fairly sure they used to offer a printed & bound manual; perhaps that became untenable. Mind you, Microsoft used to provide treeware documentation also… Remember Office 4.3 & 95? The manuals accounted for about 95% of the weight of the product! Oh, great days… :slight_smile:

I do agree with Dooplex! Also ZA’s business model has been done already by ZA themselves. We are looking for a new business model. I think selling Central Management software and giving firewall for free is the way forward.

Melih

Hi Melih.
I agree with this model of central management. Maybe you could expand it also for CAV.

ps. Have you thought of making a version of the CPF and CAV based in java? Something like the bittorrent client “azureus”. By this it will be OS independent and will have an excellent impact on the sales over the large companies that use more than one operating system. What do you think about it?

You’ve raised very good points (and presented them very convincingly,too :wink: ).

Did you happen to notice how many common elements there were in your two lists?

Why not just make a single centralised control module for all Comodo applications? This module could dynamically adapt to however many Comodo apps are installed on the server (providing they have paid a license fee for each of the installed app control modules, of course).

I’d love to see the centralised control module “dumbed down” for small home networks, even if it was just for update downloads and distribution for say, up to 6 PCs. This would deliver corporate-level consistency to home networks.

cheers,
ewen :slight_smile:
(WCF3)

Oh, yeah!

Why not just make a single centralised control module for all Comodo applications? This module could dynamically adapt to however many Comodo apps are installed on the server (providing they have paid a license fee for each of the installed app control modules, of course).

Yes, it makes sense to manage each individual Comodo application via the one interface. Conceptually similar to the LaunchPad idea.

I don’t know how you’d “dynamically adapt” the management interface in the situation where it was installed on a server with none of the client applications, though… It might just have to be done on an installed licence basis.

I'd love to see the centralised control module "dumbed down" for small home networks, even if it was just for update downloads and distribution for say, up to 6 PCs. This would deliver corporate-level consistency to home networks.

This would be an absolutely fabulous, possibly unprecedented move! (at least in the firewall/antivirus markets) I think that 6 free stations is possibly a little high; Comodo would miss out on a lot of small business revenue if they set the level there. Perhaps free for up to 3 stations? We’re talking about computers actually running Comodo client apps, which may not include the server itself.

What about the management interface itself - would it be possible to do it via MMC? That would make remote management very easy, and it would make the learning curve pretty painless also…

Ok love the idea!
who can help create the sample GUI so that it will be to everyone’s liking?
I would love to implement it and give it for free for upto 3 machines free, and sell higher to enterprises. But we need help design it! Can you help? We need the GUI flow and samples etc pls.

much appreciate it.

thanks
Melih

Well, to get the power you have to go deep into bare metal, so not sure what Java could bring you apart from the GUI bit of the product working on all platforms. So I am not sure as to we would make a java version to be honest.

Melih