Forums

Is MacHeist fair to the developers?

MacHeist Forums » The Front » Is MacHeist fair to the developers?

gravitas

Urchin

3 posts

I just read Gus Mueller's blog post: http://www.gusmueller.com/blog/archives … loper.html that was linked form TUAW.  Will the directorate divulge the numbers to set the record straight?

EDIT:

For clarification:  I am a big supporter of MacHeist.  Gus Meuller has made some allegations that implies that the Directorate keeps most of the money from the sale of the bundle.  Is this true?  This does cause one to question the motives of the MacHeist team.

If you are interested in supporting independent Mac software development should you buy the bundle? 

My answer would be yes.  I hope that the Directorate will address the allegations made by Gus Mueller.  I would hate to see such a clever and enjoyable promotion be tarnished in the end.

Bicycle touring travelogues and photos: http://www.cycletrek.com

December 12, 2006 12:51 pm
matthew.gallagher

matthew.gallagher

Gearhead

from Florida
65 posts

gravitas wrote:

I just read Gus Mueller's blog post: http://www.gusmueller.com/blog/archives … loper.html that was linked form TUAW.  Will the directorate divulge the numbers to set the record straight?

Will you be divulging your tax returns for last year? Because that is essentially what you are asking here. This is a proprietary business initiative and asking private corporations to divulge, what is essentially trade secrets, is a bit ridiculous.

I have no tie to this organization, other than being a participant, but this is too much. I have seen people on the board whine about free apps, donations to charity, etc. No one is forcing anyone to participate here; neither the members nor the developers.

Demanding information from anyone on the board is beyond civil discussion. If you have problems with things here PM/Email the appropriate party…or don't participate.

I wholly respect the right of individuals to disagree with this whole experiment from the directorate. I read the article and it has some good points as well as some bad ones. But in the end this, and the other items of concern (MacZot, MyDreamApp, etc.) require voluntary participation. End of story. If you developers or we consumers, do not like the  activity then walk away.

</endRant> smile

Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves…Abraham Lincoln

December 12, 2006 1:11 pm
BenRose3d

BenRose3d

Automaton Tech

from Charleston, SC
291 posts

aren't everyone's taxes available to the public?

December 12, 2006 1:11 pm
Bob Nahasapeemapetilon

Bob Nahasapeemapetilon

Sky Pirate

1,889 posts

I think it was a bit idiotic.
The developers who are participating are not being forced to do so. Some already have great reputations based on their work and their products. Probably some are angry for being left out of the party. Some people who were not aware of these programs will now check other apps by these developers.

I do agree with some of the comments posted below the original article. Even those from Gus.
One problem in many discussions comes from the assumptions people make, which are not based on real information. As the saying goes, when you assume you make an ‘ass‘ of ‘u‘ and ‘me.‘

I will say that it is odd to have an app like Disco in the same bundle as DevonThink. They’re in a totally different league.
Perhaps some developers will have more to gain from this exposure. Devon is already a well established and respected company, offering superb products. Unsanity has also been around for a long time. I’ve had great experiences with iClip and Boinx, etc.

It was interesting to read this. Perhaps some developers will have comments once this is over.

Look Ma, no teeth!

December 12, 2006 1:25 pm
matthew.gallagher

matthew.gallagher

Gearhead

from Florida
65 posts

BenRose3d wrote:

aren't everyone's taxes available to the public?

No…if you run for certain public offices (here in America) then they are. Private citizens and corporations tax records are private information.

Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves…Abraham Lincoln

December 12, 2006 1:33 pm
monopolist

monopolist

Automaton Tech

from Sweden
181 posts

matthew.gallagher wrote:
gravitas wrote:

I just read Gus Mueller's blog post: http://www.gusmueller.com/blog/archives … loper.html that was linked form TUAW.  Will the directorate divulge the numbers to set the record straight?

Will you be divulging your tax returns for last year? Because that is essentially what you are asking here. This is a proprietary business initiative and asking private corporations to divulge, what is essentially trade secrets, is a bit ridiculous.

I have no tie to this organization, other than being a participant, but this is too much. I have seen people on the board whine about free apps, donations to charity, etc. No one is forcing anyone to participate here; neither the members nor the developers.

Demanding information from anyone on the board is beyond civil discussion. If you have problems with things here PM/Email the appropriate party…or don't participate.

I wholly respect the right of individuals to disagree with this whole experiment from the directorate. I read the article and it has some good points as well as some bad ones. But in the end this, and the other items of concern (MacZot, MyDreamApp, etc.) require voluntary participation. End of story. If you developers or we consumers, do not like the  activity then walk away.

</endRant> smile

I have always hated this opinion - "If you don´t like it, walk away".
Is that what The world should have done during world war II?
(Sorry for that extreme comparison, I just want you to understand my point)

And I really don´t understand why you are making this reply.
You don´t think anyone should complain, and yet you "respect the right of individuals to disagree"? I mean come on.

December 12, 2006 2:33 pm
iNik

iNik

Tinkerer

23 posts

I think this is actually a very good opportunity for the developers, provided they manage things right before and after appearing in MacHeist.

The problem with discounting, is that you can diminish the perceived value of your product. If someone gets accustomed to buying on a sale, they'll stop paying full retail.

MacHeist, while giving the apps away for free, makes it clear that this is a very special one time promotional offer. The fact that the apps aren't upgradeable, etc., further reinforces this idea.

As a result, the dev can (relatively) safely get a bunch of new people using (and hopefully mentioning and blogging about) their program, without setting an expectation that the program is worthless.

Do I think Enigmo is a crappy game because I got it in the bundle? No. I count myself LUCKY that I got it, since I know that sales on Pangea software only come when the program's really really old.

However, if a program shows up regularly below retail price (i.e. it's on MacHeist, then MacZot, then a MacUpdate discount, then there's a special off of some blog or other, etc.), that will start building up that expectation.

I mean really, who'll pay ANYTHING for AppZapper at this point?

iNik.net: Your best place for weird Mac geekery and crappy software!

December 12, 2006 2:35 pm

HalBSure

Urchin

6 posts

I really do hope this, and the other concurrent "shareware awareness" sites, have a positive impact on everyone involved. It's a risk for everyone involved, but I'm glad it has been taken.

And to the shareware developers I say this; thanks for taking a chance. In the past I've bought a decent amount shareware and I've noticed that I've often bought more than one product from a developer. Once I have become happy with a developer, I give added weight to any other programs of theirs that I am considering when I am trying to find something new.

A semi-recent example: I was considering two different apps, one from a developer I had bought from before, one from someone I didn't know. Both seemed like they would work for me, so I went with the app from the developer I knew. Even though it was 2-3 dollars more. I considered the extra money my insurance policy since I knew for sure that the developer, um, didn't suck.

I gladly sign up for the email lists of developers I have bought from and as long as I am not bombarded with email messages, I'll click on links in the email to see what's new. By the way, bombarded equals roughly more than 2 emails a month for no legit reason.

I look forward to trying apps and updates from the developers involved.

Look, I have a sig!

December 12, 2006 2:59 pm
justG

justG

Sky Pirate

from LI, NY, US
1,639 posts

iNik wrote:

I mean really, who'll pay ANYTHING for AppZapper at this point?

Actually, I read about it, tried it, missed the promotion(s), and bought a family pack.

December 12, 2006 4:17 pm
matthew.gallagher

matthew.gallagher

Gearhead

from Florida
65 posts

monopolist wrote:
matthew.gallagher wrote:
gravitas wrote:

I just read Gus Mueller's blog post: http://www.gusmueller.com/blog/archives … loper.html that was linked form TUAW.  Will the directorate divulge the numbers to set the record straight?

Will you be divulging your tax returns for last year? Because that is essentially what you are asking here. This is a proprietary business initiative and asking private corporations to divulge, what is essentially trade secrets, is a bit ridiculous.

I have no tie to this organization, other than being a participant, but this is too much. I have seen people on the board whine about free apps, donations to charity, etc. No one is forcing anyone to participate here; neither the members nor the developers.

Demanding information from anyone on the board is beyond civil discussion. If you have problems with things here PM/Email the appropriate party…or don't participate.

I wholly respect the right of individuals to disagree with this whole experiment from the directorate. I read the article and it has some good points as well as some bad ones. But in the end this, and the other items of concern (MacZot, MyDreamApp, etc.) require voluntary participation. End of story. If you developers or we consumers, do not like the  activity then walk away.

</endRant> smile

I have always hated this opinion - "If you don´t like it, walk away".
Is that what The world should have done during world war II?
(Sorry for that extreme comparison, I just want you to understand my point)

And I really don´t understand why you are making this reply.
You don´t think anyone should complain, and yet you "respect the right of individuals to disagree"? I mean come on.

Sorry for that. It was directed at the link and the responses there. Not to you specifically. Don't you think the tone of the article was overly harsh and not entirely objective? And really, no one is being forced to participate. If someone has issues then don't participate. Why is that such a problem?

Also, comparing some trivial viral marketing experiment to the horrors of war is a bit of stretch, don't you think? hmm

Again, my apologies to you for thinking I was directing my comments at you rather than at the whining from the article.

Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves…Abraham Lincoln

December 12, 2006 5:14 pm
onerythym

onerythym

Big Game Hunter

from SF
994 posts

The big thing for developers, I would think is upgrades.

Even if they dont make $$$ on this,

It brings in new customers, which have to pay for new versions or other products by the same developer.

MacHiest, is really just very clever, very effective marketing.

Developers who put thier apps on MH should know that they are basically GIVING their product away  or at much less value, to pay for the "marketing scheme" and legwork by the team.

I feel bad that people feel cheated.  But they should have kept selling thier wares independently. 

I feel like MH did a lot of work, and in many cases, people are buying just to support MH, they allready have the bundle or arent interested in it.

The moral of the story...

People everywhere bitch about everything.

Green Team 4Lyfe

December 12, 2006 5:34 pm
phillryu

phillryu

Administrator

1,569 posts

I think it's extremely important to note that none of the bundle developers feel screwed. They agreed to do this after carefully weighing the pros and cons of involvement, and the ones I have talked to and shown Gus's post to have dismissed it as a totally over the top post that seems driven by false assumptions and perhaps even a bit of frustration, or a sense of feeling threatened.

Whatever the case, rest assured the devs on board are happy with how things are going. And we're happy with how things are going. And hopefully you guys are happy as well. So I suppose we're all happy, except Gus Mueller and a few of his friends. Awwwww. sad

Co-Creator of MacHeist, Clear, Partner at tap tap tap | follow me on twitter

December 12, 2006 5:42 pm

sgruby

Urchin

2 posts

As a user, I'm pleased to have been able to get some free apps and purchase the bundle. While I didn't need anything in the bundle, some of the stuff may come in handy. As a developer, I have very mixed feelings. The developers that participated knew upfront what they were getting, so I don't feel sorry for them. What I do have a problem with (not with MacHeist, but with shareware in general) is that people completely undervalue software. Cheap, crappy programs have hurt everyone. I'm selling a program http://www.receiptwallet.com/ for $29.95; some people say that this costs too much. This is a commercial quality program, that simply doesn't come in a box. When the bundle costs $39 (or $49), people will say, "I bought 6 apps for just a little more than your program. You should charge less.". I understand promotions and such and am perfectly fine with it. I really don't need customers that don't value my software, but it sure makes it hard to sell software when the price has been driven down so much by a flooded market.

Just my opinion.

December 12, 2006 5:56 pm

mstultz

Tinkerer

11 posts

Do we really have to poke at Gus?

December 12, 2006 6:02 pm
onerythym

onerythym

Big Game Hunter

from SF
994 posts

mstultz wrote:

Do we really have to poke at Gus?

er... isnt he the one that wrote the blog?

Green Team 4Lyfe

December 12, 2006 6:07 pm
Madsnail

Madsnail

Tinkerer

from France
22 posts

mstultz wrote:

Do we really have to poke at Gus?

Certainly not. I sincerely hope we're not going in that direction.
I actually respect his opinion, but man was I shocked by his offensive and aggressive language...

December 12, 2006 6:10 pm
onerythym

onerythym

Big Game Hunter

from SF
994 posts

also reading the blog, this guy is terribly uninformed, with math is incredibly flawed.

He is just a disgruntled dev who chose not to be a part of MH, now he is pissed off, because MH is HUGE.

He has no idea how MH is bieng run, for example they are adding up the fact that the bundle goes on sale for $49, which we all know is not the avg cost.

Green Team 4Lyfe

December 12, 2006 6:14 pm
Warbrain

Warbrain

Banned

from Not here.
6,979 posts

onerythym wrote:

also reading the blog, this guy is terribly uninformed, with math is incredibly flawed.

He is just a disgruntled dev who chose not to be a part of MH, now he is pissed off, because MH is HUGE.

He has no idea how MH is bieng run, for example they are adding up the fact that the bundle goes on sale for $49, which we all know is not the avg cost.

I bet that there are a lot of disgruntled developers who didn't get in on this like they would've wanted to...

Website | Twitter

December 12, 2006 6:16 pm

mstultz

Tinkerer

11 posts

Not to give Wil a bigger head, but I feel that if Wil is satisifed with the bundle, then that certainly says something.  I don't agree with his (Gus) blog at all, but I think that the MH guys can act like the bigger man in the situation.

Every man is entitled to his own opinion, but I don't think we need to fuel the flames on indie Mac drama.  I get enough drama in the office from the PC developers, I don't need to be on the defensive towards other Mac developers smile

Mark

December 12, 2006 6:16 pm
Madsnail

Madsnail

Tinkerer

from France
22 posts

Completely right Mark, let's not make too much of a big deal out of this. To each his own opinion...

December 12, 2006 6:30 pm
macmuse

macmuse

Big Game Hunter

from Pittsburgh-ish
580 posts

I'm a long-time Mac "addict" (suffice it to say I started with a 512Ke and THEN bought a 128 too, so tag me at 1985 for my Mac start - I will not reveal actual age, woman's perogative) and have been on board with shareware for as long as I can remember. The thing is, I'm getting a great deal right before the holiday so I can gift a bundle. I'm also getting two addt'l licenses for myself so I can have the apps on my desktop machine and AlBook (not just one or the other, which is what I can usually afford -- thanks MacHeist!). I generally do upgrades for apps I make good use of, so some developers will benefit there -- well after heisting is done.

But I've also just gone off and bought 3 more apps that I didn't know about until I saw either (1) the developer's wares here or (2) saw rave references to it in the forums. I'm considering 2 more (including yours sgruby). MacHeist isn't getting a cent from those if I buy -- the developers are, directly. You know that "halo" effect that pundits are fond of tagging the iPod with? Hard to calculate.

Business expenses are a judgement call. If developers chose not to participate -- judgement call -- I'd have definitely called this a business advertising expense. If they didn't know about it? Sheesh, how many people could they include before it became so unwieldy they wouldn't have been able to manage it?

Bargain hunting folk (and many, many of us do it, for various reasons) cause some bottom line pain in many retail endeavors from time to time. I do fine craft work (historical reproduction handwork).  Folks are downright rude when they look at something that took me 5, 10, 20 hours or more to produce and have no concept of hourly/living wage, business expenses, etc. and say "well, I can buy [insert item here] for $5 at [Wal-Mart, Pier 1, eBay etc]". It's not just quality software undervalued these days. (-:

@ onerythm "People everywhere bitch about everything."  or anything -- Ain't it the truth. They are also quick to whip out an opinion about something they don't have all the data for. Gus/vocal opponents are missing it on a variety of points as are ultra-rabid supporters.

teh Blog / teh Twitter / Try Dropbox

December 12, 2006 6:38 pm
NightOne

NightOne

Gearhead

82 posts

Disclaimer: The following scenarios are all my own.

I'm guessing that the way that this went down is that each developer gets a percentage adjusted based on the normal price of their program. Now, while the per unit price may be low, having 10-20K dumped in your lap (especially at Christmas time) would probably be very appealing . This would be especially true for the smallest development teams. (1-2 people)

Here are some numbers I slapped in a spreadsheet. Some people are buying at $39, some at $49, and some at other price points so I used and average price of $44.

At 4500 units, 8 developers split the pot.

    Price    %    Cut    Cut - 25%    4500 Units       
DL    $40.00    13.85%    $6.09    $4.57    $20,567.87       
FM    $79.00    27.35%    $12.04    $9.03    $40,621.54       
SS    $20.00    6.93%    $3.05    $2.29    $10,283.93       
DTP    $39.95    13.83%    $6.09    $4.56    $20,542.16       
DIS    $14.95    5.18%    $2.28    $1.71    $7,687.24       
RW    $39.95    13.83%    $6.09    $4.56    $20,542.16       
IC    $29.95    10.37%    $4.56    $3.42    $15,400.19       
PAN    $25.00    8.66%    $3.81    $2.86    $12,854.92       
                           
    $288.80    100.00%    $44.00    $33.00    $148,500.00       

At 5000-9999 units, 9 developers split the pot. I've ran the numbers at 5000,7500, and 9000 units.
                            
    Price    %    Cut    Cut - 25%    5000 Units    7500 Units    9000 Units
DL    $40.00    13.00%    $5.72    $4.29    $21,443.19    $32,164.79    $38,597.75
FM    $79.00    25.67%    $11.29    $8.47    $42,350.30    $63,525.46    $76,230.55
SS    $20.00    6.50%    $2.86    $2.14    $10,721.60    $16,082.39    $19,298.87
DTP    $39.95    12.98%    $5.71    $4.28    $21,416.39    $32,124.58    $38,549.50
DIS    $14.95    4.86%    $2.14    $1.60    $8,014.39    $12,021.59    $14,425.91
RW    $39.95    12.98%    $5.71    $4.28    $21,416.39    $32,124.58    $38,549.50
IC    $29.95    9.73%    $4.28    $3.21    $16,055.59    $24,083.38    $28,900.06
PAN    $25.00    8.12%    $3.57    $2.68    $13,401.99    $20,102.99    $24,123.59
NF    $18.99    6.17%    $2.71    $2.04    $10,180.16    $15,270.23    $18,324.28
                           
    $307.79    100.00%    $44.00    $33.00    $165,000.00    $247,500.00    $297,000.00


At 10000+ units, 10 developers split the pot.

PGM    Price    %    Cut    Cut - 25%    10000 Units       
DL    $40.00    11.21%    $4.93    $3.70    $36,996.55       
FM    $79.00    22.14%    $9.74    $7.31    $73,068.19       
SS    $20.00    5.61%    $2.47    $1.85    $18,498.28       
DTP    $39.95    11.20%    $4.93    $3.70    $36,950.31       
DIS    $14.95    4.19%    $1.84    $1.38    $13,827.46   
RW    $39.95    11.20%    $4.93    $3.70    $36,950.31   
IC    $29.95    8.39%    $3.69    $2.77    $27,701.17   
PAN    $25.00    7.01%    $3.08    $2.31    $23,122.85   
NF    $18.99    5.32%    $2.34    $1.76    $17,564.11   
TM    $49.00    13.73%    $6.04    $4.53    $45,320.78   

    $356.79    100.00%    $44.00    $33.00    $330,000.00   

So looking at these numbers it would appear that the developers of Newsfire wanted at be guaranteed least $10K in revenue to be included and the developers of TextMate wanted $45K (or $50K)

All of this also assumes no cut to Phill and Co. which is probably not accurate. My guess would be they are taking a cut off the top. (maybe as low as 5-10% or as high as 15-20%)

In any event, it would like the developers will make out fine and the buyers are happy so I agree with Phill's statement that it is a win-win situtation.

(\__/)
(='.'=)   This is Bunny. Copy and paste bunny into your
(")_(")   signature to help him gain world domination.

December 12, 2006 9:21 pm

mufflon

Tinkerer

10 posts

tbh the macheist team has done a great job and should really get  a good cut out of this - I believe the enrolled developers has done this mainly as a publicity stunt - one which they earn some money for - I for one is very conservative with what I buy on the internet, I don't think any of these companies except pangea has registered on my "radar", it might be small mindedness, but as long as it works, eh? smile

December 12, 2006 10:26 pm

hoice

Urchin

5 posts

Phil, what reaction do you expect from developers who aren't involved or turned you down? seriously?

Think about it, here's you guys offering free software and then a killer bundle. At the same time Gus, Rory or whoever else is still trying to sell their software at what he thinks it's worth. From a business POV they have every right to slate you cause you're undercutting them big time.

All the developers who participated will get what they deserve, whether that is good or bad. I don't think they are being screwed because they had no gun to their head. So that argument doesn't hold up to me.

The big danger of all of this is that people will no longer be willing to pay full price for software, they'll be so many maczot and macheist clones that they'll just wait until it comes with a bundle or discount or whatever. $49 for 10 apps, that $39.95 single peice of software from [whoever] doesn't look such a good deal in comparison

The mac shareware scene was rocking long before MacHeist & MacZot and I don't think for one second that MacHeist is good in the long term for mac software. It just devalues it.

I'd much rather see another MDA than another MacHeist. It's far more productive in every sense.

December 12, 2006 11:02 pm
chwebb1

chwebb1

Big Game Hunter

657 posts

hoice wrote:

Phil, what reaction do you expect from developers who aren't involved or turned you down? seriously?

Think about it, here's you guys offering free software and then a killer bundle. At the same time Gus, Rory or whoever else is still trying to sell his software at what he thinks it's worth. From a business POV they have every write to slate you cause you're undercutting them big time.

All the developers who participated will get what they deserve, whatever that is good or bad. I don't think they are being screwed because they had no gun to their head. So that argument doesn't hold up to me.

The big danger of all of this is that people will no longer be willing to pay full price for software, they'll be so many maczot and macheist clones that they'll just wait until it comes with a bundle or discount or whatever. $49 for 10 apps, that $39.95 single peice of software from [whoever] doesn't look such a good deal in comparison

The mac shareware scene was rocking long before MacHeist & MacZot and I don't think for one second that MacHeist is good in the long term for mac software. It just devalues it.

I'd much rather see another MDA than another MacHeist. It's far more productive in every sense.

Right... because they gave away software for voting?
-Chris

December 12, 2006 11:05 pm

hoice

Urchin

5 posts

chwebb1 wrote:
hoice wrote:

I'd much rather see another MDA than another MacHeist. It's far more productive in every sense.

Right... because they gave away software for voting?
-Chris

er, I must have forgotten about that part, either that or I didn't vote and get any free software or the software just wasn't worth downloading. I can't remember.

I never recall visiting MDA for anything other then checking out the apps/ideas though.  I'm sure if MDA2 had no free software it would still get the same level of interest.

December 12, 2006 11:10 pm
phillryu

phillryu

Administrator

1,569 posts

hoice wrote:

Phil, what reaction do you expect from developers who aren't involved or turned you down? seriously?

Think about it, here's you guys offering free software and then a killer bundle. At the same time Gus, Rory or whoever else is still trying to sell their software at what he thinks it's worth. From a business POV they have every write to slate you cause you're undercutting them big time.

All the developers who participated will get what they deserve, whether that is good or bad. I don't think they are being screwed because they had no gun to their head. So that argument doesn't hold up to me.

The big danger of all of this is that people will no longer be willing to pay full price for software, they'll be so many maczot and macheist clones that they'll just wait until it comes with a bundle or discount or whatever. $49 for 10 apps, that $39.95 single peice of software from [whoever] doesn't look such a good deal in comparison

The mac shareware scene was rocking long before MacHeist & MacZot and I don't think for one second that MacHeist is good in the long term for mac software. It just devalues it.

I'd much rather see another MDA than another MacHeist. It's far more productive in every sense.

Unlike some other people, I won't try to tell you here that you're wrong. Because you're not necessarily. This is all relatively unproven territory, and undoubtedly the devs involved made their decisions to be involved (say with freebies) with some risk attached. And there is a chance that this may "hurt shareware" in the longterm.

But let me bring up some points.

About freebies. Ever heard of NetNewsWire? It's undoubtedly one of the huge success stories in the Mac shareware world, and its success was in no small part due to an accompanying, totally free, lite version.

The reason? It got people hooked. And then, these people bought the full app. Sure, it caused extra support. Undoubtedly much more during the app's lifespan than a single outing on MacAppADay or MacHeist with a "freebie" build would ever generate. And the same for extra dev time. Brent Simmons had to maintain two builds of his app with each version update. But was it a bad business decision? Hardly. It cemented NetNewsWire as the most popular RSS aggregator app on the Mac, and while arguably better competitors exist, it's been tough for anyone to make a dent in marketshare.

With the freebies developers have been giving out on MacAppADay, MacHeist and MDA, it's like a much more scaled down, toe in the water version of NNW lite. One build. One day of downloads. A terrible business decision? I beg to differ. Yes, I know this isn't a perfect analogy, but it's close enough to make a point I think. (At least, better than groundless number crunching.)

And about "devaluing shareware". I do think what we're doing is creating more MacZot fans, etc. who will be looking for deals. But I'd argue against it hurting shareware overall, for two reasons. First, it's most definitely bringing new customers into the market, who have never purchased shareware before in their lives. Especially Windows switchers, who come from a world where shareware is a dirty word. (I know this, because I've gotten literally dozens of emails about this over the course of this event.) And this is a good thing. Everyone benefits.

Second, is it hurting developers as a whole, or perhaps just redistributing the wealth a bit? People who have been weighing in, including Gus Mueller of VoodooPad and Paul Kafasis of Rogue Amoeba, are sitting at the peak of the mountain, and are seeing potential customers springing for cheaper competitors looking for a better deal. I think people are buying more apps, and spending more on shareware, with a slight difference: they might be starting to buy more smaller apps, from lesser known developers on sites like MacZot, vs. paying in full for more "popular", well-known apps that don't require a zot for sales. In other words, things seem to be balancing out a little bit to me, and I don't see that as a negative thing. And of course, hell, if Gus and Paul are seeing their sales skyrocket, all the better.

One thing I do want to emphasize, however, is that undoubtedly this is good for the smaller developers climbing up the mountain, who are fighting for exposure.

It's tough getting exposure when you're new. Seriously. If you have a great product on your hands, don't sit back, waiting for an award, or word of mouth to spontanously explode. Because it's probably not going to happen. (It could, it's just unlikely.) The next step is getting the word out, and for smaller developers without a huge advertising budget, sites like MacZot are a great place to start.

I mean, hey, I totally see why Paul or Gus might raise a fuss about it. Because, probably, in their place, I would too. Remember, I would probably call myself a marketer, and what they're doing is great marketing. By putting themselves on a pedestal and pointing their fingers at us as the fall of Mac shareware, they're getting press coverage, seeing sales spikes, and best of all, totally for free, riding on MacHeist's success. Call me cynical, but that's how I see it.

But the thing is, I don't know for sure what's going to happen. And so far, there's been a lot of finger pointing without hard facts. But the only hard facts I know, are that we ARE bringing in new people into the market, and we ARE getting existing customers excited about shareware again. So hey, that's something.

Co-Creator of MacHeist, Clear, Partner at tap tap tap | follow me on twitter

December 12, 2006 11:22 pm

alej744

Sky Pirate

from Miami
1,813 posts

The developers choose to do this, and we get free stuff. what's the matter?

December 12, 2006 11:24 pm
amfr

amfr

Big Game Hunter

543 posts

I voted for MDA without knowing about the apps and I still think it was worth it (I still don't have the apps)

December 12, 2006 11:34 pm

zkiraly

Tinkerer

10 posts

I thought that MyDreamApp was a stroke of genius, and feel the same about MacHeist.  Whenever someone can think up and implement a completely original way to market a product, or a group of products, that is a rare moment indeed.  Not only that, but these sites have created a community of many thousands in one or two weeks.  All extraordinary achievements.   

I just hope that when Phil is making millions as founder and CEO of a company not yet in existance, he will still remember to think different.

My hat is off to you, Phil.

Zsolt

December 12, 2006 11:42 pm
shadownight

shadownight

Sky Pirate

from Montreal, Canada
1,567 posts

Frankly, I'm quite disappointed Rogue Amoeba has this view on the matter, because they make some good software. I think the biggest critics just don't really get it. But, who cares? We're having fun!

Back on my two feet

December 12, 2006 11:46 pm
nemesis256

nemesis256

Tinkerer

from Cambridge, MA
39 posts

hoice wrote:

I'm sure if MDA2 had no free software it would still get the same level of interest.

Ditto.  My first reaction after voting was "oh, I get a free app?  Interesting".  I also wasn't expecting an app for each round either.  I was expecting it to be a one time thing.

December 13, 2006 1:45 am
NightOne

NightOne

Gearhead

82 posts

Phill,

The more I read your posts, the more I read about you elsewhere, and the more I reflect on your actions, I just have to say...

You're brilliant. (Don't let that go to your head)

Are you sure you are really 18 years old as you seem wiser than your years would suggest? When I think about what you pulled off here, I kick myself in the ass and say "why didn't I think of something like this". One of the great things about being young is that you haven't had as many people tell you that "you can't do that" and you don't believe as many of them.

My hat is off to you.

The bashers don't realize it, but they are generating even more sales of the bundle.

(\__/)
(='.'=)   This is Bunny. Copy and paste bunny into your
(")_(")   signature to help him gain world domination.

December 13, 2006 1:46 am
NightOne

NightOne

Gearhead

82 posts

Regarding the financials, it is not important to me, but for the curious I will now state that my original thoughts were probably wrong. I don't think this was a % based deal, but rather a flat rate deal. Again, at Christmas time it sure doesn't hurt to get a big chunk of change handed to you.

Also, you have to consider the rate and amount of full price sales that would be generated during the entire month of December for these developers. I doubt some of them would have generated as much income as the one time flat payment from MacHeist.

Not to mention advertising. How much does it cost for a full page ad in a magazine? A lot! Online advertising costs plenty too.

What somebody like Gus should have been looking at when approached by MacHeist was the opportunity for an UPSALE (sp?) He could have sent the bundle purchaser to his site to pick up the code and offer him another app (or 2 or 3) at some small discount and thus drive additional revenue. He could have thought of the bundle app as his doorbuster.

just my 2 cents

(\__/)
(='.'=)   This is Bunny. Copy and paste bunny into your
(")_(")   signature to help him gain world domination.

December 13, 2006 1:53 am
Clay

Clay

Tinkerer

from San Jose
27 posts

hoice wrote:

The big danger of all of this is that people will no longer be willing to pay full price for software, they'll be so many maczot and macheist clones that they'll just wait until it comes with a bundle or discount or whatever.

I have to admit that I was WAY stupid about the whole Shareware Developer Community before MacHeist.  Now, after seeing all of this awesome stuff and getting to HAVE alot of it, I'm more encouraged to pay full price for stuff, because now I know it's actually worth it.  I emailed Brian from Pangea Games this morning to tell him that Enigmo 2 is my new crack, and that I'd been coming back for another fix shortly after the holidays.

Hell, I even went and looked at Gus' applications after reading and replying to his rant about the whole thing.  I like the looks of VoodooPad, although I'm not so sure I like his attitude as a developer... but if I decide that VoodooPad is something I need, I'll most surely pay full price for it.

MacHeist is a piece of Marketing Awesomeness, and I truly truly hope that it pans out for every single developer.  Gus' accusations of inferior products and hyped marketing... well, it MAY be true.  Look at the whole historical VHS vs BETAMAX debacle.  However, from what I've seen so far, none of these apps are craptastic.  Are they the best ones out there?  I have no way of knowing, but they're what I'm going to be basing my future purchases on... MacHeist is setting a bar that developers now have to live up to.  Is that such a bad thing?

I talk too much.

Clay

Clay
http://MoronLife.com

December 13, 2006 2:30 am
kurleycc

kurleycc

Gearhead

from Maryland
50 posts

Hello All,
This is my first post and I have avoided posting because I am not on the same level as many/most of you.  The only way I have made it through any of the challeges was help from this board. I stumbled on this on accident, I read something on Macappaday sometime ago - so I book marked it.  I started downloading and reading to posts on that site - One of them said that they thought there were clues to the next days software on MyAppleStuff - from there I learned about MacHeist.  I have loved it.  I have hit so many sites and learned so much about the developers in the past couple of weeks.

I am a normal user that loves my Mac.  I normally only buy software off of the shelf in the Apple Store so this has really introduced me to different side of software.  I think there are 2 reasons for this:

1)  I swiched from a PC - I learned my lesson from downloading anything!  When ever I would download a 3 party application there was a 90% chance that it was either spyware, virus, or a poorly written program that would crash my system.  Most of the small off named software that you can buy for $10-$20 dollars in the store (Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, etc.) is crap.  I am still very leery to what is really legit.

2)  I am not a pro at anything on the computer.  I love the iLife collection and because I have played around with them it has built my confidence which has lead me to want to try new programs.  None of the software programs are going to put food on my table - I'm just not that savvy. 

This has been wonderful for me because I am able to try some of these programs that would have never bought because I would have been scared that I had never heard of them before or I don't know what to do with them and I need to learn.  30 days trial just isn't enough time for me to figure a program out in my spare time. 

In the past couple of weeks.  I have gotten really excited about all of this.  I have told my friends (several that are thinking about buying a Mac after the holidays).  I am trying out software I would have never looked at.  I have hit websites and bookmarked them that I would have never found on my own.  Most of all I have learned to trust some of the small companies that I never heard of before.  The programs that I really fall in love with I will support their company with buying other programs that I love.

This has just been my personal feelings.  I do have a question, I have always assumed that some of the programs that we use everyday by the big name software companies were bought from small private developers.  (Not trying to be a smart a$$ - this really is what I always thought)  I always assumed that these small programs - the ones that were really wonderful became popular through word of mouth and hit the interest of the Large companies.  I would guess that this heist, macappaday, the other ones that I can't remember the names that let you buy discounted software would help get the word out to the families and users that aren't in the business making it a popular demand.  Again, this has just been my assumption.

For the game and learning alone I am sad it is over.

Thank You

GLTA!

December 13, 2006 2:40 am
Ænima

Ænima

Sky Pirate

from Michigan
1,304 posts

I thought I'd mention Phill's new thread. It's got FotoMagico's reaction to this whole thing, a very interesting read and I think blows most of the negative articles out of the water in many ways.

Check it out here. Directly from someone actually involved. I still don't know anyone that would pay $80 freakin' bucks for that app though but hey, whatever floats their boats.

"It has become appallingly clear that our technology has surpassed our humanity."
- Albert Einstein

December 13, 2006 3:10 am
macmuse

macmuse

Big Game Hunter

from Pittsburgh-ish
580 posts

I in fact do know of folks who will pay full price for it because it does for them what the free apps and other shareware did not and they use it extensively (nearly daily). Obviously, no app is for everyone -- at any price -- but some find it worth the price for the functionality. (-:

teh Blog / teh Twitter / Try Dropbox

December 13, 2006 4:25 am

Mattosx

Urchin

8 posts

I dont know why these developers in their right minds would do this 5k flat fee. This is effectively letting the owners of macheist make hundreds of thousands for a few months effort compared to the man-years it would take to develop all these apps.

I would cheer macheist on if they gave 80% to the developers which they should, but they are not. Interesting how they are using this charity metric to drive sales, yay for charity! It would not work so well if the goal was how much the macheist team pocketed...

I suppose the develoeprs are doing it for some reason, exposure and what not. I just wouldnt feel right to take so much money from some one else, undervalueing them. I guess I havnt been bit by the greed bug.

I initially wondered how this macheist thing was gonna make money. Now I know, pump up the pubilicity and then sell bundle deals.

Support the Mac developers, Buy from them direct!

December 13, 2006 1:56 pm
December 13, 2006 2:04 pm
nemesis256

nemesis256

Tinkerer

from Cambridge, MA
39 posts

Wow, that's a very interesting post on daringfireball.  I would love to have this flat fee thing confirmed.  Because if that's true, it's bad for the developers, and I would go as far as calling MacHeist a scam.  I hate to think this, because I had such high respect for you guys because of how well things have been done. 

I hope this flat amount deal has been changed.  He makes a good point about piracy.

*Braces for impact*

December 13, 2006 2:42 pm

Mattosx

Urchin

8 posts

We have two sources for the flat fee amount, VoodooPad developer and the Fotomagic guy who also referenced the said flat fee.

The heist is on naive developers.

December 13, 2006 2:47 pm
Bob Nahasapeemapetilon

Bob Nahasapeemapetilon

Sky Pirate

1,889 posts

It’s not a scam. The developers who participated did so willingly.
You could question the motives behind Macheist, or the fairness of the deal, but I would not classify this as a scam.
And again, the post, although interesting, is based on assumptions which may or may not be accurate. Chances are they aren’t.
Interesting read nonetheless.

Look Ma, no teeth!

December 13, 2006 2:50 pm

Mattosx

Urchin

8 posts

It's a bad sign when the macheist team will not comfirm the flat fee vs the percentage. The macheist team has put themselves as for the mac indie community, so why not dispell the flat fee rumor?

December 13, 2006 2:58 pm
cheerful

cheerful

Big Game Hunter

from Antarctica
500 posts

gravitas wrote:

Gus Mueller's blog post: http://www.gusmueller.com/blog/archives … loper.html that was linked form TUAW.  Will the directorate divulge the numbers to set the record straight?

my question(s)/comment(s) to Gus Mueller would be ... ... "Is Life Ever Fair?"  "Define Fair."

To me, fair means not tanned enough ... ...  But we penguins are lucky.  We are charred and we are so darn fair too.  Maybe Gus can start learning our way of live and fairness will come his/her way eventually.

Penguin in the ArcticZOT

December 13, 2006 3:04 pm
teflon

teflon

Automaton Tech

from The UK
186 posts

Ænima wrote:

I thought I'd mention Phill's new thread. It's got FotoMagico's reaction to this whole thing, a very interesting read and I think blows most of the negative articles out of the water in many ways.

Check it out here. Directly from someone actually involved. I still don't know anyone that would pay $80 freakin' bucks for that app though but hey, whatever floats their boats.

that reaction in the link actually has one of the most important points which I see, which most people forget.

Most people will only use 3 or 4 of the apps in the bundle on a regular basis... Of the 10 apps that I might have, I would only use Delicious Library (which i already own, and is one of those apps which I visit once every other week or so), Shapeshifter (only on the rare occasion that theres a new theme I want to try), Disco (which I got in the $5 zot anyway), iClip4 (may replace Shadowclipboard), and the Pangea game (for maybe a month).

All the others will get used for a short period of time, and if they catch my imagination might get a semblance of regular use.

So that means that 4 or 5 developers got money out of me for something that I will probably never use. Or they will simply be taking the place of an app which I previously used.

In the case of a flat fee, then yes, its $6000 for possibly 6000+ licenses (i cant really see it breaking the 8000 barrier). But in terms of actual usage, Id cut that right down to perhaps 2000 tops. Delicious Library is great, but its a "once in a while" app, not every day usage. Same for FotoMagico, Shapeshifter, Pangea's game.

Of the others, they may get some of that "OMG! i use it every day!" market. But its also entirely possible that they get the opposite reaction, and people go back to what they used before. RapidWeaver, DEVONThink, Disco, iClip, and NewsFire all have major competitors, and I use them (or have no use for them) already. This is essentially just their opportunity to convert me to their market share.. In which case, they might make a buck from me in the future when it comes to upgrade time.

this entire thing is about marketing, and making a quick lump sum. Any way you look at it, the developer gets a relatively large amount of attention and publicity, and sales, and then has a certain amount of additional cash to bounce off and develop further.

Polytetrafluoroethylene to his friends...
most of whom reside here

December 13, 2006 3:27 pm
caldaean

caldaean

Gearhead

from Lund, Sweden
51 posts

It doesn't have to be either flat rate of percentage. Just as we have the level lock for NewsFire and TextMate, there might be levels in the fee the developers get. Remember, only Gus has said that there was a flat fee, FotoMagicos guy said that "IF there was a flat fee" and so on. He just used it to make a comparable argument. What if the developers get 5k if they sell under 2000 bundles, 10k from there until they sell 5000 and so on. We really don't know anything at all about the agreements, everybody is just speculating and trolling based on a number ONE developer (who additionally declined to participate) was presented with some time ago, before the final deal was sealed. Unless somebody with actual insight in the matter present factual numbers, it's all speculations and in my opinion, rather pointless arguing about.

Don't be afraid...of the dark...
There's a light...at the end of the tunnel...
And a pot of gold...at the end of the rainbow...

December 13, 2006 3:27 pm

rok

Urchin

6 posts

so what precisely is wrong with the flat fee? i'm not understanding. boinx has a good point that it's equally naive to think that every bundle is being bought with the intent to use their app regularly. we know the big names in this bundle that are driving it, and it's those that will have to absorb the most support overhead, which is why they are getting a hefty portion of the returns.

and am i the only person who likes the charity tie-in? anyone? anyone? (of course, naysayers will simply say it's a piece of deflective marketing... fine. consider 25% of my purchase price deflected into the coffers of at least one charity i have used int he past three years).

December 13, 2006 4:27 pm
nutsmuggler

nutsmuggler

Tinkerer

from Verona, Italy
31 posts

From a customer's point of view the heist is grand, but if the flat fee is confirmed it is, indeed, a heist to developers.
Indie stands for independent, a developer who codes and sells his stuff. Some fee to VISA, some to paypal, some for the shipping, but that's it.
With the MacHeist team acting  as a middleman, developers are not that independent, not this week, at least. The proof is the fact that they will get for their apps 2 or 3 bucks, depending on the volume sold, while they usually get between 18 and 50. This always happens when a middleman enters the scene. Just think about the risible amount of money that musicians get from their label for each copy sold.
Is this good for developers? It is, and it isn't. I would NEVER have bought FotoMagico, nor iClip, nor the Pangea game. So thy just got money out of the blue.
On the other hand, Will Shipley might have lost some 30€, for I was considering buying DL, and the same goes for ShapeShifter and NewsFire.
2 things for sure (and these are the thing Daring Fireball is nagging about):
1) Developers are selling through a middleman who eats up more than 30% of their profits. They are not Indie. Not this week. The whole rethoric of Week of Indie developer is b*****t. It's rethoric
2) The 'charity count' is bad taste. Counting the sold copies would have been more honest. This always happens with charity: we buy things we want and feel better people because 25% goes on charity. Now, are we counting the charity sum because we want relief for poor peoples and the sick or because we want NewsFire and TextMate? Shouldn't we face it and count the sold copies, instead?

Ah, there's a point 3
3) This is bloody good marketing. Like any marketing is filled with crap and lies.
The MacHeist crew is a bunch of genial people, whi found a way of making lots of money. Fair play to them. As long as they don't call themselves the missionaries of the Indie Developer Community.

Davide

PS: I am so looking forward to read WIll Shipley's take on this affair, the guy is pretty  outspoken and bloody funny :-)

December 13, 2006 4:36 pm

consumer_q

Tinkerer

20 posts

Re: John Gruber>

"My [unnamed] sources claim that..."
"I asked Phill Ryu via email..."

Any critique (in general) of Phill failing to provide monetary details is moot when compared to John's use of unnamed sources. The onus is on John to provide the names he sourced, in order for his argument to hold any water.

For all I know, his source is Ahmed Chalabi.

December 13, 2006 5:00 pm
MacHeist Forums » The Front » Is MacHeist fair to the developers?

Become an agent



Keep me posted on more free offers and deals on great Mac software (We'll never sell your email, spam is evil)


As a MacHeist agent you'll be privy to special missions like these, tons of awesome free software, and the best software deals around. What do you want to hear about?

 

Login to MacHeist



As a MacHeist agent you'll be privy to special missions like these, tons of awesome free software, and the best software deals around. What do you want to hear about?