It will be interesting to see how many startups change direction and try to follow the tune of Whatsapp’s moneyless trail to the pot at the end of the rainbow. It can be easy to say to yourself, “hey, I can give away my service for a year too” and then watch all your opportunity evaporate before you can charge the first 99 cents.
Most technology innovations are out-paced, out-classed, and ou- performed so quickly that the only opportunity to make any money may be the first 99 cents charged the day you launch the business.
I would caution that for every free business that becomes successful, somehow, there seem to be more which reach at least short term success (3-5 years) by charging a fair price for providing a good service or product. If you can’t make the first 99 cents then maybe it just isn’t worth the time risk to see if you will make the last 99 cents either, for many reasons.