Per user pricing models for learning just don’t work

If you want a bunch of cheaters then keep using that model

Ever since the first software released of anything manufacturers have tried to sell and enforce a per-user licensing model and since that time people have been cheating on this model. Why? Because it is a stupid way to make money on software.

I am currently pricing out learning management systems and I keep getting asked how many users do I expect to have using the product and I bristle every time I get the question. Here’s why:

  1. When you want to train your customers on software you want to train as many customers as possible! Not just a select few!
  2. If I knew how many people I was attempting to train, I would have included that number in my request.
  3. Success = Motivation — Friction (User licensing limits create friction)

I don’t know of a single software program that hasn’t had a level of cheating from user/seat licensing, but in the learning world, it just really doesn’t make sense. If a company is truly committed to the WHY of helping convey knowledge to others through their systems, then they would find a better way to price their programs.

Here are some ideas:

  • Number of courses allowed on site.
  • Amount of learners completing courses per month.
  • Throughput on site.
  • Simple subscription levels.

Keeping things simple while doing things better than others in the market will set you above and beyond. Why can’t the Learning Management Software world figure this out?


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