As fieldmargin gains popularity around the world, a question that we are increasingly being asked is “Why are you free?”.
There are a three parts to my answer:
- We will always have a free level of fieldmargin. We want to help all farms; those that don’t need premium functionality won’t need to pay, ever.
- We needed as many people as possible to feedback on the early versions of our apps; by making people pay from the start we would have missed out on that valuable feedback. Farmers know what they need and we want to make that for them.
- We haven’t felt that we were delivering enough value. We’re still improving and deciding the best features; you shouldn’t need to pay for our learning time.
I have explained this to many customers one on one. The next question is normally “So how will you be making money?”.
We have investors, they are as excited as we are about making farming easier and more productive but they also want to have a company that repays their investment and can stand on its own two feet. We have three plans for becoming self sufficient:
- We go freemium; for ‘Power Users’, i.e. large farms, farms with many teammates, farms with lots of data sources (like Drone Deploy or John Deere) plugged in with live data, or farms with over 10,000 notes. In time, we will be experimenting with a Premium pricing plan. We anticipate cost of this being of the order of tens of dollars/pounds per month.
- As we start connecting up other connected services (many of which are paid for products) we will be looking to be paid by the service provider for recommending them to our customers; you will never be under any obligation to buy anything from our Partner Platform and we will only feature services that connect with fieldmargin.
- We have some other ideas; marketplaces for produce or machinery or job advertisements being a couple but these require some deeper thought and are not yet even on our horizon.
“Are you selling my Data?” the third and most serious question.
No, we are not. We believe that farmers should be in total control of who can see their data. We aren’t interested in that business model. In time we can envisage using anonymised data to help our farmers. For example, with enough data we might advise you on risks in your area, the best variants to use on your land, or using satellite data to spot outbreaks of disease. We have no intention of selling this data on to third parties, only improving our farmers’ experiences.