Paying for Softwares

30 September 2013

Florian Kugler about mobile apps in Worth Less than a Cup of Coffee:

[People] might say otherwise when asked about, but their actions speak pretty clearly: A cup of coffee is worth more than almost every app on the store.

That's a hard pill to swallow, but we should let it sink in. We pour all our creativity, time, and passion into creating basically worthless products.

Recent events and the backlash against Realmac with Clear for iOS 7 are sad.

People don't understand that creating softwares — truly good softwares that sweat every detail — takes a lot of time and money. Ironically, even a lot of developers who work in big companies don't want to pay for softwares.

The mobile apps markets have made this situation worse.

I'm currently thinking back about the mobile market, especially for games. At a time, I thought that going mobile-only was the best shot today, but the more I think about it, the more I'm realizing that a platform like Steam (which also drives the prices to the bottom, alas) is more sustainable for a developer/company.

Marco Arment said in its latest blog post: "Paid-up-front iOS apps had a great run, but it’s over. Time to make other plans.".

So what does that leave? Freemium? Unfortunately, freemium almost always goes with bad apps or games that trick users to pay for more.

N.B.: To be clear, as a user, I'm happy to pay less. For almost everybody, a software or a game at 50-100$ is way too high, and that's fine. What I don't like is that we are now in a situation where even one buck for an app you use daily is too much. One buck per app cannot sustain a one-person business.