I am an incredibly cheap bastard frugal. I don't like to pay for things.

Yet I just paid for Flickr without hesitation or a moment of doubt. Odd.

Here's why, I think:

  • Cheap: $25/year is not a lot of money.
  • Excellent service. I've never had a problem with the service; they're always available and fast.
  • Nice, easy to use product.
  • Trust. I trust that Flickr won't do anything bad with my account, with my photos, with my credit card, or with anything else. I trust them because I believe they respect their customers:
  • They don't automatically charge renewals your account - you have to take an action each time you have to pay them, so you know they're not going behind your back to charge your credit card.
  • If you decide not to pay, they still provide a reasonable product (only your most recent 200 photos are available) instead of leaving you high and dry. If you decide to pay at a later time you get your full account back.
  • They provide full, easy access to all your data via a variety of APIs and tools at all times. They're not trying to tie you down by trapping your data.

I feel comfortable spending money on Flickr in the same way I feel comfortable spending at Costco - I feel they'll make things right for me without giving me a lot of trouble. So I spend.

This is the way to build a sustainable fremium business - make gaining your customer's trust your top priority.