Last week, I was speaking with a fellow Entrepreneur after the monthly BootstrapDC meeting. We were talking about Open Source Software and my business model and I pointed out that I get a huge number of hits from people looking for dotProject help, modules, and information.
Disclaimer: This is partially due to the fact that I write about dotProject on a regular basis, I'm a core contributor, and I'm active in their forums.
He estimated that my hits are from people who are “obviously” cheap. I tend to disagree with this, but instead of simply going into this analysis, I approached the discussion from a completely different direction. I decided to describe some of my customers I have spoken with personally.
The vast majority of people who jump into a Project Management Tool don't do so because they're just looking for something to play with. PM Tools are not a game and they're not usually fun to use. A person who is looking for resources for Project Management are normally budding or future Project Managers who know they need help and are looking for it. They have probably evaluated or used Microsoft Project for quite a while and have discovered its weaknesses and are looking for alternatives to support their project's requirements.
Therefore, I believe that most of the people who hit this site a) are Project Managers or supporting Project Managers, b) looking for tools to fit their needs better than other tools, and c) are willing to try the software and give it a chance.
Now – the most important question is: are these people interested in having dotProject hosted for them? I believe so because these people want the tools and don't want the effort.