“Necessity is the mother of invention” is probably the best way to start a business. If your product is new to people, you need to make a sense of need for it. I believe in that sentence, however, I believe when we say need, we shouldn’t only think about the need for product.
People have different needs. For example, many people like to be famous, many people like to be rich, many people want political power, etc.
I always loved Apple’s way of marketing. I really hate that their products are very expensive and they cost way more than what they should but how they managed to sell these products with this prices is amazing.
Apple did not focus on what their product do. They did but what they did more than that is that they focused on how their products can satisfy people’s needs for another things.
For example, many people buy iPhone because they feel special when they use Apple products. This is what I’m talking about. How using a product makes you feel special. Now let’s talk about free software.
Free software products are amazing but not all popular software are libre. For example, Microsoft Windows OS is the most popular operating system in the world and it’s not libre. With all specialty that free software has, why people don’t use them?
The answer to that is most free software products don’t make people feel special. A lot of free software products are way better than the proprietary models. For example, GNU/Linux operating system does a wonderful job and it’s way better than macOS and Windows but the feeling that macOS (Apple) gives its users is so special.
Users of Apple products feel they’re different. They feel this power inside themselves that they can’t be compared to others as they’re “better” than others. Most of them know that they can use a better device or product that costs less but they still pay for Apple.
I believe what we, the free culture/software community, should do is that we should focus less on how proprietary software is bad and focus more on how special free software is.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that we should stop criticizing proprietary software, what I mean is that we should focus on people’s needs for other things too. We should study and research about how we can make people want free software and how free software can make them more special.
All people are special and that’s why they should use free software. Free software respects users and gives them power to do everything but they don’t know about that. We should make them understand this.