Author page: Eric Massengill

The Future May Revolve Around “Freemium” Products

In one of Jeff’s previous articles he expressed antipathy about the company LogMeIn (NASDAQ: LOGM), because the vast majority of its users opted only for the free service. At face value, it seems like he’s right: 10% monetization doesn’t look like a large number, not when physical products have numbers like 100%.

The thing is, that 10% is out of 70,000,000. Even if they only charged a dollar, that would net them $7,000,000. Not too shabby, assuming that the 10% of 70 million is an accurate number. (This is only an example. I’ve seen a stock chart that puts the price/earnings ratio of LogMeIn in the negatives, which isn’t a good sign. I’ve also seen charts that put it in the positive, which is a good sign. I’m not saying you should go and buy up their stock.) The point I’m making is, you can’t just jump at a number. Even in online industries people are slow to come to grips with the new business models that are coming out.

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Microsoft’s XBox 360 Indie Games Has Huge Potential

Most of you probably haven’t heard of it, but there was a huge moment at the last E3, a moment that everyone seems to have forgotten. It could potentially alter the game industry. The problem is, it’s being run by Microsoft. Those of you who payed attention to the last E3 know that I’m talking about Xbox360 Community Games, recently renamed Xbox360 Indie Games. Maybe I’m being a little unfair to Microsoft, but as someone who uses C# and the XNA development library, I have a bit invested in seeing this whole idea of community development get off the ground.

Microsoft has actually done some good things. There was more in the whole project when it was first announced than I would have expected, and that got me really excited – like: users rating and passing games, not some moderator; plenty of free tools; plenty of tutorials and help on the forums; etc. The problem is, beyond that, they haven’t done much. After the initial announcement, publicity for it sort of died down, and Microsoft has done nothing to advertise it. I was surprised that they didn’t have any major announcements regarding Indie Games this E3. Just from a marketing standpoint, I was betting that they would try and save up some big announcement for E3 to give the service a boost, but the best we got was a name change. Not exactly what I had in mind.

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Will Newspapers Be Able To Survive The Economic Downturn?

One of the common topics these days, especially across political blogs, is whether or not the newspaper industry will survive its current troubles (and whether or not it deserves to). I think everyone has heard a thousand times since last year how much the news industry is struggling, how no-one reads anymore, and how the internet is making everyone ADD. But what’s actually going on inside the industry?

Truth be told, things are fairly bad on average, but the spread of the troubles is very stilted. Even with how much papers like the New York Times are fretting, they still stand a good chance to weather the recession well. The trouble is with smaller news papers, as illustrated by this helpful graphic from the New York Times in early March (the article was free to access by the way, irony?).

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