Why does Authorea charge for privacy?

What’s the deal about public vs. private articles? You can write public articles for free, but you have to pay to write private articles? That’s like saying you can go to the beach for free, but you have to pay to wear a swimsuit.
True! But after all, they're not giving away swimsuits for free at Macy's :)

We, at Authorea, are a small company with a big vision. We're all recovering researchers (mostly Ph.D.s in physics and computer science) and are on a mission to make research better. We built Authorea because we were annoyed by the slowness and inefficiencies of writing research in collaboration and publishing it, in scholarly journals. We believe that we built a product (you are looking at it) that is both useful (it makes collaborative writing faster, more seamless, and a bit less painful) and also visionary in its nature (we deconstructed LaTeX's old fashioned ways and allowed dynamic, interactive figures and data to be part of scholarly articles). We are one of the few projects that is truly rethinking scholarly writing.

We also think that if a product is good enough, researchers and universities should be willing to pay for it. The problem is: what do we charge for? Since we are passionate about Open Science, Open Access and Open Data, we figured that we would charge for privacy so that on the one hand, we have a sustainable business (which is important and great!) and on the other, we are encouraging scientists to write in the open (our mission: equally great and important!). That is in a nutshell, why we are charging for privacy, i.e., "why you are paying for the swimsuit".

We have been, from day one, open to suggestions. So I ask you: do you have ideas for alternative business models?

[Someone else is editing this]