January 22, 2020

Why isn’t Tiimo free?

In a dream world, Tiimo would be free. We want everyone who could use Tiimo to be able to use it forever.

Why isn’t Tiimo free?

Here at Tiimo, we’re a small team of people who genuinely want to make the world a better, more inclusive place. We often get asked why Tiimo costs money, so we wanted to explain exactly why. We’re also experimenting with how to make Tiimo even more affordable. Read on to find out how!

A little bit on our history: our company was founded by Helene Nørlem and Melissa Azari, after they carried out research about how software could support children and adolescents with ADHD as part of their master’s research at the IT University in Copenhagen. Their research project ended by testing the first Tiimo prototype. At the end of the test a parent came up and asked ‘So when can we download the app?’. This was the moment when Melissa and Helene truly believed that there was an urgent need for something like Tiimo and decided to try to make its development their full-time job.

We're real people behind Tiimo

In a dream world, Tiimo would be free. We want everyone who could use Tiimo to be able to use it forever. The overarching goal of our work is creating more inclusive communities, which makes charging money for the product (and thus putting up an economic barrier) genuinely frustrating to all of us. But the reality is that seven of us (and probably a few more in the coming months!) work on Tiimo - the technical aspects, product improvement, customer support, and getting the word out there - full-time. So we need to make enough money to pay our salaries.

Zero tolerance for disruptive ads

Most free apps sustain their employees salaries and make money for growth by advertising. Given that Tiimo is meant to support focus, advertising (that is by nature distracting) within the app would come with some serious ethical problems. It would also just make the app less effective. So we will never advertise within the app itself - making the ability to sustain our business a bit more complicated than for some similar products.

Since advertising is out, we’ve spent the last few weeks researching alternative pricing models. Some cool ones that we’ve come across are:

  • pay what you can, where users decide how much they’re able to pay based on their economic ability,
  • a very inexpensive model, where we occasionally ask active-users for ‘tips’,
  • a model where we collaborate with a research institution (ones that are vetted for ethics, of course) and require users over eighteen to complete a short survey to unlock each month of Tiimo.

We think that all of these are super promising options, and over the next six months we’re going to be trying all of them out in order to see if one of them will be able to mean that first and foremost, more people are able to use Tiimo, and second, that we remain a financially sustainable company.

We want Tiimo to be around for years to come

As we’ve explained: developing an app is not free, and we’re not willing to fund our product and its development with disruptive advertisements. At the moment, Tiimo is largely being developed using funding from investors who, at some point in the future, expect Tiimo to be self-sustaining. Particularly since Tiimo is an app that people rely on for structure and guidance, the thought of Tiimo suddenly not being accessible when we run out of investor money is awful. We want Tiimo to be around as long as it helps people and we want people who take the time to integrate it into their routines to feel secure in the fact that it will be around for years to come. What this means is that we need to make, at the very least, enough money to sustain our business without relying on investors or external funding.

We want Tiimo to do much more

As you probably know, there is a huge gap in research around ADHD and autism support tools. We want to be a part of making this right. We want to further develop Tiimo into a medical application to improve the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of neurodivergent people, helping users and their support networks to improve their quality of life. In our dream product, you’ll be able to log your mood and habits and, in doing so, be able to better understand how your choices and environments affect you and your well-being. With your consent, your experiences would also be used for more generalized research on developing better diagnostic practices and support tools.

We’re going to be transparent along our whole product journey

Thanks for taking the time to read this! We’ve written this blog post because prices are going to be changing significantly over the next few months to help us find a way to make Tiimo both as accessible as possible and financially sustainable. We’re going to keep you posted throughout the journey because it’s actually you who knows what the best way forward is for Tiimo!

Do you have a brilliant idea about how we could make our app financially self-sufficient without using advertisements? Do you have thoughts on us monetizing through surveys? Or do you have questions about the app, our team or our product vision? Please reach out! We’d love to hear from you.

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