Some software companies cultivate a drug dealer business model. The "first hit" is always free. First you reel in your users one-by-one with free or inexpensive offerings. Then you ramp up the prices once they need you.
I won't name examples here but I'm sure you can think of many. Companies have some token price you pay month after month. Then one morning you wake up with an email: your prices are going up. Sometimes they go up by a lot.
Traditionally, closed source databases were the infamous example. It's hard to move off of them once they trap your data. Only then is the True Cost known: what's the price of business downtime during a migration? What if something catastrophic goes wrong?
Then there's ChatGPT by OpenAI. It's been free for a while and its gotten a lot of hype. From tweet to interview, people sing its song of worker replacement. But many have wondered it's ultimate business model. They don't advertise like their competitors. Unlike their consumer offering, they are quiet on their paid API. They themselves claim to be losing a lot of money.
Is the ultimate goal to get everybody "hooked" on using ChatGPT?
What price do you pay for software that you absolutely 100% must need?
Will they even succeed?