Don’t give access to your beta for free, SWAP IT!

By on February 13th, 2014

When you start building something new, you should try to find out if it’s valuable as fast as possible. Therefore, we decided to check if our users were ready to make an effort to get access to our product, even though we’re in beta.

We could have asked for money. Some other startups came up with this clever idea to make the access of their beta not as easy as filling an email input. for example recently stopped giving access to their beta for free and decided to ask for a fixed price (29$). Their experiment is pretty clever and they  share the results in an interesting blog post.

But we’ve thought about a whole new way… We wanted to find something cool and creative. Something that would separate motivated users from those who may not feel the pain of managing their group addresses. Something fun and team spirit, like us 😉

And then one sunny day we came up with the “swap concept“.

The idea is straightforward yet pure fun: we would provide direct access to any user ready to offer us something.

And we got some really, really cool stuff.


Beers! Deskbeers is a cool “startup friendly” service which “delivers local beers every friday to your office”. Like Front, Deskbeers is a definitely a productivity-boosting tool. No need to say that Matthieu, our only teammate working in London, immediately accepted this swap. (He is also Belgian and rumors say that there’s no blood flowing in his veins but beer).


Lumio has created an amazing modern lamp that unfolds from a book. We had one delivered for our new office and it’s our favorite equipment! ‘Wow’ effect guaranteed.



In case you don’t know, I’m a lego freak. I went out of control when the nice team of Eighty (a promising phone app) suggested to swap an access to Front for 2 free tickets to Legoland.

Cooking utensils

The perfect swap from The Tops (a cool ecommerce website) just before christmas. We cannot reveal his identity but one of Front team members took these nice cooking utensils and offered them as a christmas present to his girlfriend. He is now single.

We have received so much cool swaps and so much enthusiasm from our users that we just started a Pinterest page with all of them.


To finish on a more serious note here is why this “swap” campaign is an interesting experiment:

  • Giving your product for free undermines its value.

  • Asking for a swap is an efficient and collaborative way to see our real motivated users.

  • Users who swapped something are now more active on Front
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5 responses to “Don’t give access to your beta for free, SWAP IT!”

  1. Olivier says:

    great idea! Love it!

  2. This is called “barter” and your accountant and attorney will have to work harder than if you were doing actual business selling a product or service to qualified prospects.

  3. Liam Gooding says:

    Love it!!!

    There’s the cool advantage that it makes the whole process less “transactional” and builds the relationship in a much stronger way. We’ve been trying to send out gifts unnanounced to users who did pay into our Beta to make the whole process a bit deeper, but this barter method is just way more awesome!

  4. Switchrus says:

    That is a very cool idea! Thanks for sharing.

    Josh @ Switchrus
    Free Ad Space.

  5. Vanessa Lee says:

    Cool! A fun and interactive way to encourage users and stand out from the crowd.

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