I don’t need every customer. I’m primarily in the business of selling a product for money. How much effort do I really want to devote to satisfying people who are unable or extremely unlikely to pay for anything?
I love this quote. Marco Arment is the developer of Instapaper, one of my favourite iPhone/iPad apps. He's talking about the consequence of removing the free version of Instapaper form the App Store. Turns out sales to the paid version went up. Plus, if he no longer has to develop and maintain the free version, he can devote that time to making the paid app better or even working on a new one. Going by how good and beautifully designed Instapaper is, a new app by Marco can only be great.
I think every developer should learn something form this quote. Free apps generally suck. They're either ad-supported, which truly sucks, or limited, which not only sucks, but as Marco mentions in his post, is what most people will think the app is. Most users will probably only download the free version and never know what they're missing. But most importantly, no business should even want customers that aren't prepared to pay for the product or service. If your app is good you will find an audience that not only will pay but will be proud to support the developers.