Sunday, February 21, 2010

Upcoming Freemium Summit

Below is the details for a great event that is worth attending called the Freemium Summit. The organizer, Charles Hudson, has pulled together a solid list of speakers on this important topic. I will see you at the event!

At Hummer Winblad, we are very focused the freemium model as well as on other new models of B2B and enterprise software. Our name for this new model of software selling is the "high velocity business model" and we have a number of companies who are leveraging this model successfully including SlideRocket, VKernel, Five9 and some of our open source companies.

The High Velocity Business Model

- Leverage Consumer Internet Techniques on the Front End of Your Cycle. This means reaching your B2B customers by taking a consumer approach to marketing, lead gen, keywords, search marketing, etc. Take all the spend from traditional marketing (trade shows, PR agencies, etc) and put it into well run keyword campaigns.

- Use Only Inside Sales Teams. To make this work you will need a hands on VP of Sales who has run an inside sales team before. The team needs to be able to sell strategically over the phone and resist the temptation to go visit the customer.

- Nurture Prospects. Develop deep content on your site and reconnect with prospects often to keep this material in front of them. Let the prospects start the sales cycle with your content and then have them talk to a sales rep once they have identified themselves as a prospect. Use the new era of tools (MarketBright, Manticore, Marketo, ActON, etc) to automate this process.

- Develop Strong Metrics. The high velocity model is an endurance sport and you need to have your handle on every step of the process. Unlike traditional enterprise models with monthly and quarterly cycles, the high velocity model moves in weeks and months. I will follow up with a blog on these metrics in more detail.

- Make the Product Accessible. This is the core of the freemium and high velocity models. The customers need to be able to rapidly try the product - so you need to architect the product and provisioning system so that there is no friction to having a prospect get their hands on the product. Drive them to value quickly.

The high velocity business model requires a different approach to enterprise sales and marketing. In many cases it takes team members with different DNA and a commitment to continually improving the process. As we have seen with a number of our companies, once you make this commitment it can start to freewheel in a very impressive way.

Freemium Summit
Friday, March 26th, 2010
UCSF Mission Bay Conference Center
San Francisco, CA

The first Freemium Summit is a one day event focused on exploring what it takes to succeed under the freemium business model. Across all segments of the media landscape, entrepreneurs and executives are pioneering models that combine a free offering with a premium, paid offering. This hybrid business model is one of the most exciting areas of business model innovation impacting the world of media and the Freemium Summit will explore the most important topics on the minds of leading practitioners.
Confirmed Speakers
• Toni Schneider, Automattic (WordPress)
• Matt Brezina, Xobni
• Aaron Levie,
• Phil Libin, Evernote
• Tom Conrad, Pandora
• Drew Houston, Dropbox
• Ranjith Kumaran, YouSendIt
• Ben Chestnut, Mailchimp
• Lance Walley, Chargify
• Isaac Hall, Recurly
• Lincoln Murphy, Sixteen Ventures

Agenda for the Day
• 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM Registration
Join us for coffee and other assorted treats during registration. Bring your ticket confirmation and ID to help expedite registration.
• 9:30 AM Welcome to the Freemium Summit
Charles Hudson, Host, Freemium Summit
• 9:45 AM - 11:15 AM Freemium for Consumer Internet Businesses
Our consumer Internet content block features 20 minute talks from leading companies making the freemium business work in consumer Internet applications.
o Toni Schneider, Automattic
o Phil Libin, Evernote
o Tom Conrad, Pandora
o Drew Houston, Dropbox
• 11:15 AM - 11:40 AM The Abuse that Comes with Free
Switching to a freemium model isn't always easy. What can go wrong when switching to a freemium model? How do you handle the influx of new users? Hear one company's cautionary tale of what can happen when switching to a freemium model.
o Ben Chestnut, Mailchimp
• 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Freemium and the Enterprise
Curious about what it takes to make freemium succeed when developing enterprise or business applications? Our group of esteemed experts will share their thoughts on what it takes to succeed in this space.
o Aaron Levie,
o Matt Brezina, Xobni
o Ranjith Kumaran, YouSendIt
• 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM Making Freemium Work on Mobile Platforms
Mobile is a rapidly growing opportunity for people interested in the freemium model. What does it take to succeed using a freemium model in mobile? Our speakers will share their thoughts on this exciting topic.
• 3:00 - 3:30 PM Break
Take a moment to recharge your batteries and top up your tank with sugar or caffeine.
• 3:30 - 4:15 PM Freemium Games - Succeeding with Free-to-Play Games
Free-to-play games are revolutionizing the games space. Why is this working? What does it take to succeed? Our pair of speakers will share their thoughts on how to build a successful freemium games business.
• 4:15 PM - 5:00 PM Building a Freemium Business on Someone Else's Platform
Are you a developer looking to build a successful business on someone else's platform? How do you mitigate risks? Is this something that is in fact doable? Join us for a set of interesting talks on this critical topic.
• 5:00 - 5:45 PM Payments and Monetization for Freemium Businesses
We'll close the day talking about what it takes to succeed in generating revenue from your users. Should you build your own billing system? Should you support alternative payments? Our closing panel will shed some light on this important topic.
• 5:45 Closing
Within the major themes above, the Freemium Summit will focus on the most important specific topics facing entrepreneurs and executives today:
• Product segmentation for freemium success
• Analytics, metrics, and measurement best practices
• Customer acquisition and retention strategies for freemium businesses
• Success stories
• Lessons learned - the limits of the freemium model
• Businesses that looked at freemium and opted for another model (subscription, advertising, etc)
We will start announcing our first set of speakers in early January. To stay in touch with us, you canfollow us on Twitter, join our Facebook fan page, or subscribe to our mailing list

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