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What's your experience with feature gating?

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We're toying with the concept of feature-gating - that is requiring people to take an action to "unlock" a certain feature. Pretty standard in games, but curious if others have done it with non-games and what your experience has been as far as effectiveness? I do understand "it depends" on what your require people to do, so I'm asking what has and hasn't worked.

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Marshall Eisenberg
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Marshall Eisenberg Entrepreneur
Product Strategy Manager at Netformx
Lucas, In our experience, it's difficult to give people a taste and then take it away. It's not been an effective way to get people to buy into your overall strategy. I found its better to show them a complete solution for a duration of time and then take it all away completely. If they buy into your value proposition, they will buy into your product. Imagine you test drive a car that can only make a limited number of right turns. How would you feel about the vendor offering you the trial? Sent from my iPhone
George Calvert
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George Calvert Entrepreneur
Senior Exec
Beyond games, I've seen this applied effectively when the feature is a discount for merchandise on an ecommerce site and the gate is some level of word-of-mouth promotion.

Personally, I see that freemium (or, more generally, any tiered pricing scheme) is a form of feature-gating. What makes best sense really does come down to the perceived value/benefit of the addtional features, the cost/trade for them and the profile of your typical customer.
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