NetZero: “Free internet!”
People: “oh cool I can just use Windows’ own dialer and bypass the ad”
This wasn’t as much of a problem for AOL since they had a paid thing, but I suspect the ability to dial in past the ads in the official client didn’t help.
Namezero: “Free domains!”
The problem is capitalism and the way it detaches people from value. Nobody cared about the company or the people there. And why would they? It was a profit-making venture on the other side of the continent. Not part of anyone’s community.
People pay me for my stuff even though most of it is free because they’re part of my communities. I don’t have a business model so much as I have a people model.