I agreed with Gruber’s take on the first MacHeist: it seemed like a terrible deal for developers, and the promoters did themselves no favors by going on MacBreakWeekly without numbers to back up their argument.
I also agreed with his later comment that after the exposure that MacHeist received the first year, if the developers who participate in it get screwed, it’s a “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me” scenario.
I suspect a whole lot of “MacHeist is bad for developers!” rants in 2009 get written because a) Gruber said it first so I’ll say it again and b) it will generate page views.
Personally, I think Christina has pretty much nailed it, from a purchaser of Mac software. My favorite part is her link to MacHeist uses her bundle ID.
I know there’s a similar group of overly-tight-panty brigade who chafe at affiliate links (get over yourself, it’s not costing you anything) so it just made the whole thing a little sweeter to poke them in the same post.(via funsizebytes)
So Marco wrote this post kvetching MacHeist (yeah, that’s my bundle ID link) and how horrible it is for software developers. You know, for developers, some of his arguments might be true. In fact, depending on the circumstances, I can see how it might not be in a developer’s best interest to participate. But I take exception at this:
Call it what it is: You’re willingly accepting a license that will result in the developer earning almost no money.
Therefore, you’re not really supporting these developers: you’re telling them that you don’t value their work enough to pay full price, but you’re going to use their software anyway.
Their compliance with the MacHeist deal is irrelevant.
Most software is an incredibly good deal, especially the applications that you use every day or as part of your business. For example, given that I make all of my living by using TextMate, and it was developed entirely by Allan Odgaard over (probably) thousands of hours, it would be ridiculous for me to haggle its €39 price. Why seek discounts on something that you want to support and that you believe is already a great value?
I refuse to purchase MacHeist for the same reason I respectfully decline license discounts or App Store freebie coupon-codes from other developers (that I occasionally receive because of my roles in Tumblr and Instapaper):
I believe in supporting software developers by paying full price for their applications.
MacHeist supports MacHeist’s staff extremely well, but it’s not a way to support its applications’ developers.
I buy a LOT of Mac software. A metric shitload. Almost always at full price. People assume that because I write for TUAW, I’m getting tons of stuff for free. That’s just not true. We go out of our way not to accept full licenses of stuff unless we can either give it away afterwards or it is a NFR and we need it to test all the features. Almost everything we review (for OS X apps anyway, it’s more complicated with iPhone apps since there are now promo codes), we buy.
So as someone who buys lots and lots of software, I don’t really appreciate the guilt-trip that because a developer or software company decides to take part in a bundle, me buying that bundle somehow means I don’t support developers.
I won’t lie; there are plenty of apps that I get with bundles that I either never use, ever, or won’t pay to upgrade to the next version. But there are plenty I’ll pay for — even if they don’t offer upgrade pricing. 1Password, for instance, which I got from MacHeist or MacUpdate last year, will totally get the entire amount of money from me whenever the time comes. It’s just too valuable to me. The same goes for CSSEdit, RapidWeaver, and any other number of apps I find myself using day in and day out.
At this point, especially with MacHeist, developers know what they are getting into. If they choose to offer a product through MH, they have their reasons. If Realmac, a company and a community I have lots of respect for (and Nik Fletcher is like my brother, seriously), don’t want my business if I happen to get something of theirs through a bundle, I trust they won’t offer it in a bundle to begin with.
Panic, who makes some of my favorite Mac software, doesn’t do bundles. I did, however, save $10 when I bought Coda because I also bought Transmit. I saved 10% on TextMate because I bought it as a student. Should I not have taken advantage of those discounts? Does that make me unethical or unsupportive of software developers? Of course not!
So why does buying something in a bundle make me a bad person? I respect Macro’s unyielding support for developers, but I prefer to live in a world where I’m less pious and don’t have to walk around with a stick up my ass.