So, is it worth $6/month to organize your family?
Of course it is! But I'm slightly biased.
Two years ago when we started down the family calendar path, there weren't many options for organizing your family online. There was Yahoo! Calendar which was free, but a pain to get working for a non-geek spouse accustomed to Hotmail. Of course, Hotmail has their calendar but you have to subscribe to their premium account. There were other options but they tended to focus on the individual and socialization or they focused on business/corporate functionality. At one time I even tried to do things via Intranets.com but that didn't work so well. So, since we had been looking for something to flex our developer talents on, we opted to go down the online family calendar/organization route since we saw it as an untapped niche.
Of course, a lot has changed since we started. Early 2006 brought a lot of activity in the online calendar space (see my post, Year of the Calendar
) with Google Calendar, 30 Boxes, AirSet, HipCal, etc. We obviously can't compete with those guys, but again, we believe that we fill a different niche. We consider our direct competition to be Home Convenience, Fircle, Famundo, etc. Here's an article that lightly addressed that space: Go online to keep family's time in line
Is it worth $6/month? Ultimately, that is up to you to decide. However, we purposefully chose $6/mo as our price point because we really do want to make it affordable for a family to use. Most of our competition starts at $9.95/mo. One thing that we have noticed is that an online family calendar is something that is very need driven (our most active family has 8 kids!). When you realize that you need help organizing your family, MyHomePoint fits the requirements. Until you reach that point, you definitely do scratch your head and say, "The last thing the world needs is another calendar".
Regarding the comment about piecing together various open source/free options, you could do that, or you could fork over $6/mo and not have to deal with all the integration issues. If you go back to the original Gadgetopia article that was quoted above, there is a comment from someone frustrated after not being able to get Google Calendar to work for him and his ex-wife. We've got several people in that same situation.
One more parting thought: Think of that $6/mo as a donation to encourage us to continue and improve our efforts. Plus, by paying a subscription fee, we can keep the site free of ads and we don't have to resort to other methods to generate revenue from the site. We aren't some big company with a marketing department or tons of overhead, etc. Just a couple guys working on a site because they like to code outside of the constraints of the corporate environment. We make enough to cover our operational costs but not much more.
If your wall calendar in the kitchen isn't quite getting the job done anymore, please stop by and sign up for a 30 day trial account.
Thanks for talking about the site. I apologize for the length of the post but wanted to add a little more context.