What it is: DaVinci Resolve is a professional video editing tool that either costs $995 for the professional version or free for a fully functional but limited version.
One of the most powerful video editing programs around is Apple’s Final Cut Pro or Adobe’s Premiere. However, one professional video editing program, called DaVinci Resolve, also offers a fully functional free version.
The idea behind offering a free, fully functional version of a professional video editing tool is simple. You give people a chance to try something out for an unlimited time and a certain number of those users will eventually buy the professional version. That’s the power of free.
At one time Apple used to charge money to buy the iWork suite that included Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. Now you can get all three programs absolutely free for both your Macintosh and iOS device such as an iPhone or iPad. The purpose of free software is to help encourage people to try the product and eventually spend money.
In the old days of MS-DOS, many companies made fortunes giving away free software such as PC-Write and ProComm. The idea was to give away the software for free but if you wanted technical support and a printed manual, you had to pay for it. Surprisingly, many people did pay for such shareware, which encouraged more people to release shareware.
Nowadays, Apple uses its various programs such as Pages, Keynote, Numbers, Photos, iMovie, and others for free to encourage people to buy a Macintosh or iPhone/iPad. After all, if you buy a standard Windows PC, you won’t get a free office suite. If you buy an Android smartphone or tablet, you won’t get a free office suite either.
Free is simply an enticing way to bring attention to a company’s product. The best approach is to give a product away for free with no strings attached. Now people will eagerly share this free product with others, acting as unpaid advertising forces. From a company perspective, free initially makes no sense, but if you have confidence in your product’s capabilities, then free can be a great way to get free advertising and word of mouth.
In the early days of the Macintosh, Apple gave away free copies of HyperCard to make the Macintosh more enticing. Then Apple executives got stupid and decided to charge for HyperCard. Not surprisingly, that decision helped spell the end of HyperCard’s popularity and also ushered in the dark days where the Macintosh and Apple barely survived.
If you’re in business of any kind, consider a way to give something away for free. You may be surprised at how effective this simple marketing strategy can work.