Back in February, I wrote about the internal culture of Atlassian, one of the leading lights in web-based collaboration software.
Beginning today, the company is offering the “Atlassian Stimulus Package,” almost giving away its flagship products — JIRA & Confluence — for just $5 per year, including support. These starter editions are fully functional, but are limited to five users and so suited to freelancers and smaller businesses.
As the company’s Laura Khalil explained, the promotion’s goals are to sell 5,000 licenses and donate the proceeds to children’s education charity Room to Read. The promotion runs for five days only. At the end of the year, you’ll be able to renew for the same price, with that money also being donated to charity.
JIRA is very powerful bug-tracking software, while Confluence is an excellent wiki-based collaboration tool used by many businesses worldwide. However, the cost of these products may have put off many freelancers and small companies. By lowering barriers of entry for small groups and startups, Atlassian may well be enabling an entire generation of freelancers to quickly integrate powerful support and collaboration mechanisms into their businesses.
This “stimulus package” is an interesting marketing tactic. It should expand its user base and address customer needs simultaneously. It’s easy to picture this as a cynical maneuver, but it’s a shame more companies aren’t thinking creatively about how to navigate the recession. Imagine what a similar “stimulus package on” Microsoft Office (s msft) or Adobe CS4 (s adbe) could do for small companies and startups!
What do you think of Atlassian’s offer?