Suppose that your product is going into beta, with potential for 1,000s of beta testers. But being a small company, you would like to try to get a little money now to ease development costs for the next few months. You don't expect your beta to last long (2-3 months), and you don't think you'll have trouble finding users for it.
What is the best way to monetize your beta?
One of the scenarios I thought of was selling discounted copies (presales) of the release version when it comes out (v1.0). This way, you get some money, the customer gets a discount and possibly a "trial" period. Also, it lets you know that your beta testers have a vested interest in your beta.
A complication or interesting point is you could make the beta private/paid only. But what if you wanted the beta to be public and still have paid users for presales? Would the discount be enough to not anger customers over the fact that some have (essentially) paid to use it and others haven't?
What do you think about this scenario? What are some other possibilities?
-Thanks in advance,