In response to the pricing and licensing changes to one of the shareware apps he was using, Zaine Ridling writes:
One-trick utilities should never cost more than $20-40 per version.
I certainly respect Zaine’s opinion as a customer but this is quite possibly the most absurd thing I’ve heard in quite a while. There is nothing more powerful than a customer being able to choose where to spend his or her money, but any business owner is free to price their product any way they choose. The market will eventually determine the fairness of the pricing model.
Zaine also states:
I support developers who want to make a living from their work, but there are very few one-trick-utility apps that one could do that with…
I’m sorry Zaine, but I think you’re just trying to justify your point of view and that you don’t really care if the developer can support themselves from their work. This is also a very uninformed statement to make, as can be seen by simply reading the microISV Profiles.
Most often developers build a variety of supporting, or different apps to make money rather than overcharge for their only app.
Ignoring the fact that you make a sweeping generalization that is not true, you propose a business model that is simply not maintainable by most shareware companies. Doing what you suggest would be doing even more of an injustice to the customer because the developer will not be able to provide adequate support due to time constraints, all the while making even less money because you want things so cheap.
Last year Six Apart showed us that communication is the key to deal with problems and to turn a negative into a positive. The best thing to do is to get the message you want out there immediately to set the tone from the very beginning. If you’re wrong, your customers will let you know and you can adjust accordingly. Most customers will respect that you’re willing to listen and adapt as necessary.
by way of Jason Calacanis