Two weeks ago, Spark for Mac arrived on the Mac App Store and immediately charted as the #1 app. We received tons of feedback via email and social media within a day, and one question was raised again and again: “How is it possible that Spark is free?”.
@SparkMailApp my friend wants to know how you make money from Spark being free? Please don’t go broke.
— Russell Greenwood (@russell) December 1, 2016
@SparkMailApp How can you give this away for free? What is your business model and is my privacy protected?
— Ryan Sandridge (@dissolved) December 5, 2016
@SparkMailApp Why is the mac version free? Take my money!
— Pat Slüth (@patsluth) November 30, 2016
Frankly, these questions started coming in a long time ago. Immediately after the release of Spark for iOS, we started getting questions about Spark’s business model. Many people were worried about how we were going to sustain the product without charging for it. Some even said: “Please give me a way to pay you for Spark”.
Today, I would like to shed some light on how we are planning to make money with Spark. The short answer is “Teams and Organizations”. The long answer can be read below.
Email for Teams and Organizations.
From day one, we decided to a build an email client that would be irreplaceable for individual use, and at the same time it would become an essential part of how people work and communicate at organizations. Today, Spark has come a long way on its journey to become that product, but we are not done yet.
Ever since we started using Slack at Readdle, we saw how a properly-designed communication tool can impact how a team, or even an entire company, works. That’s when we started to think, “What would it be like if Slack was not a chat app, but rather an email app. How would that product work and look? Could Spark, as an email app, change the way people work within organizations in the same way that Slack has?”. These were very interesting questions.
And, to get answers to these questions, we started to design Spark 2.0. We looked for inspiration from many products, from Google Docs, to Facebook, to Dropbox. We iterated our designs and underling assumptions for more than a year and now, we are ready to bring what we’ve learned together into a real product.
With Spark 2.0, we want to close the gap between external and internal communications within a company. Email should be an easy, delightful, social experience that we all enjoy in cutting-edge products. That’s our goal with Spark.
As long as we are successful on our mission to change the way organizations and teams e-mail, Spark will be free to use for individuals, with paid-for options for teams and companies.
At least, that’s the plan 🙂
Alex Tyagulsky, Co-founder, Readdle