Business models for Thunderbird

Mark Rousell mark.rousell at
Thu Oct 22 14:43:22 UTC 2015

On 22/10/2015 15:14, Mark Rousell wrote:
> Your thoughtful suggestion raises another key question to my mind:
> What or who are the users of Thunderbird? Who really uses Thunderbird
> and who could use it? Is it possible to target a set of users who are
> able and willing to pay for certain types of value added services?

Apologies, I see that Phillip actually asked similar questions in his

On 22/10/2015 14:24, Phillip Hallam-Baker wrote:
> Now the capital cost of tooling up to support all those well is
> significant. And there are customer support costs which are going to
> be non-negligible per user. But $50/yr for the above package would
> leave a significant chunk for an affiliate fee.
> As you all know, I work for Comodo which provides that bundle of
> services today. But we mostly do that through a network of affiliates.
> I don't want to get into a conflict with my channel which is generally
> thought of as being a domain name registrar but their primary function
> is actually customer service. Nor do I want to end up building out my
> customer support. that is the job of the channel.
> What we could do though is to develop a standardized package and sign
> up resellers to provide it. TB would then advertise them as potential
> service providers. Most of the service providers are specialized to a
> region and/or language. TB can prioritize accordingly.
> I think that with appropriate tweakage, this could be a win-win-win.

Apologies for asking a silly question but who would be paying who in
this model? If I understand correctly it would go like this:
1) TB advertises a bundled set of value added services. (As an aside,
$50/year seems a little cheap to me for that particular bundle).
2) TB users can choose from a number of resellers based upon
3) Resellers sell bundled service purchased from... whom? TB or back end
service provider?
4) TB either gets affiliate fee for signing up a reseller to the back
end service provider or is rewarded in some other way? Do resellers pay
to be listed by TB?
5) First line customer support is provided by the reseller?
6) Presumably resellers are not white label. Or do you envisage this to
be a brandable service?

Mark Rousell

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