Here is a good article on what made the chat software Discord successful.
The author argues that Discord made a 10x better solution than alternatives like Skype.
One interesting idea is that Discord makes money by selling status on the site.
“Discord allows users to raise their status through a subscription called Nitro. It provides quality improvements (file size and video quality), special profile upgrades (more emojis, animated profile photos, custom tags), and most importantly, the ability to “boost” a server.”
I think this is an important insight.
“As communities continue to grow on Discord, the money Discord makes from those communities goes up as well. Flat rates and tiers limit this. Communities want to grow, Discord provides them with an easy and effective way to do that. Users want status, Discord gives them a shortcut. This aligns incentives better than advertising or paid memberships do.”
Business Idea: Can you give your core product away for free, but sell status? There are always people that will pay to stand out.