Cynthia Typaldos embodies the intersect between great products, great business mentality, and a passion for the company. She has extensive experience in both hardware and software companies in Silicon Valley, and has worked from the engineering side and the business side. Her experience also includes several start-ups, with products envisioned and designed by Cynthia and her team. Her current service, Kachingle, is a usage based micropayment service initially targeted toward content providers, but now, at the request of the new client base, serving application developers and vendors.
Cynthia speaks knowledgeably about the mobile application market, and the challenge the actual vendors have of converting their ‘freemium’ users to ‘premium’ usage with additional features. Both the ‘penny gap’ challenge, which describes how difficult it is to secure the first penny from a customer, and how relatively easy it is to earn more money once the penny transaction is secured, and the ‘cloud squatting’ phenomena, which describes how consumers optimize free options, sometimes hobbled together and sometimes ‘bought’ in sequence, for the maximum no-cost value, contribute to the challenge that free-app providers face: getting enough of the volumes of their customers to actually ‘pay’ for usage. Kachingle’s ability to bundle apps from multiple vendors, chosen by individual users provides that win-win: 1) it allows vendors to increase their conversion rates from freemium to premium, 2) it allows usage subscribers to customize which bundles of apps they are looking for, 3) it makes the micro-payment collection process simple for all users involved, 4) it allows each vendor to connect with other vendors and cross-market their apps at their option, 5) it serves a range of user markets, particularly small business owners who may not have that IT support to integrate apps, and 6) it helps create a community of vendors (see http://www.meetup.com/freemium).
In the end, Kachingle (www.kachinglepremium.com) leverages the best of the hottest areas around cloud computing, mobile apps, aggregated services and micropayments. Its early success following the recent shift to a new market foretells some grand successes to come.
Please join me in thanking Cynthia for taking the time to share her company and her story with us. Her advice to us about work-life balance is to do what you are passionate about, don’t settle for what others say you should do, and don’t go through the motions if you’re not driven by the cause.
- Free: How Today’s Smartest Businesses Profit by Giving Something for Nothing by Chris Anderson examines the shift from an economy based on scarcity to one of abundance and how it breaks old markets while creating new ones.
- Freemium & the Penny Gap – Bloomberg video: Bob’s Buzzword of the Day: `Freemium’ – YouTube
- Blog post by Josh Kopelman at First Round Capital: The Penny Gap