Great way to kill an interesting-looking piece of software.
I am not as anti-subscription as most, it just depends on the pace of development and the feature set. I do like the old model from the 80s and 90s, but in this marketplace I don’t think it is in the cards to have that model dominate. As has been mentioned on this forum a lot, the Agenda model is nice (it basically models the 80s and 90s model). But I have no problem spending a $30-40/y on a critical piece of software - and to support the developer.
I understand your position. But I am tired of all the subscriptions and developers trying to maximise their profit in any way possible. Unless you are not providing a continuous service (with connected costs), a subscription is not justified (in my opinion). Unless I absolutely need an app, a subscription is a deal breaker for me. I want to buy an app and not rent it. If the developer wants my money, he can make a new version with good new features and I will buy it. That being said, I like the compromise Agenda has (as you mentioned). Hopefully, that will be the way to go.
Agreed. It’s a simple decision. If the feature set is significant and the necessity for the pricing model is logical, good buy. Otherwise, not worth it. The discussion here about MindNode moving to a subscription is a great example - not worth it on my end.
On an economic note, perhaps it’s my optimistic attitude, but I don’t generally think that a developer moving to a subscription is to just take in more cash. In many respects this is the price of venture capitalism and its demands for ever increasing profits and dividends. In other words, what is wrong with a product that is sustainable and doesn’t grow - in this system it is dead in the water - but why?? At some level it seems subscriptions satisfy investors more than the product needs. Obviously though it depends on the developer.
For most companies with non-trivial apps it’s a matter of survival these days. I think the MindNode people did a good job of explaining the advantages of a subscription.
Apps that don’t have subscriptions also have higher support costs to handle users of previous, buggier versions as well as the latest ones. And those support costs take away people and money from developing the app. More, non-subscription app developers have to ‘bank’ new features and frameworks and interfaces and bugfixes as incentive to convince people to upgrade. This results in chaotic and unnatural development cycles, and devs dependent ever more on getting people to upgrade.
Apps cannot be supported without cashflow attached to them, since the first flush of registrations of a new app cannot carry over indefinitely. A decade ago apps cost several times as much as they do now, and they were sometimes locked down to a specific machine. Today things have changed dramatically. With things like App Stores there’s no such thing as an upgrade, apps can be installed on as many computers as desired (attached to the App Store login of the purchaser), and on iOS most iPhone apps also run on iPads.
I generally do not like subscriptions, unless there is on going content … Netflix,patronage, extra data, etc… When I see any subscription I look at the total cost of ownership for the services received.
I am not looking at the cost of coffee/ day. I do not drink coffee or tea on a regular basis, because costs add up. I think most subscriptions are charged at a yearly basis, so unless I can rent software for only a few days when and if I need it, the coffe/day analogy breaks down.
I prefer a different model. I use Tibderbox. It offers a unique set of tools. The upgrade pricing for Tinderbox is not cheap. But, if I do not want an upgrade, I can keep using the tool as long as I want. The upgrade applies to several version- I upgraded from Tinderbox 2 (OS 9) to Tinderbox 7. The developer has taken great care to include features and not bloat.
Would I never get software on subscription? I guess it depends on the price and the value obtained. One could argue that Tinderbox has a yearly “subscription” for updates. But, I get a choice.
As I mentioned in my earlier post I am totally fine with subscriptions.
In many respects it is a near necessity in the Macro-economic context (as I mentioned above). I absolutely agree in the stability that subscription services offer as you clearly outlined.
One great benefit that few discuss in regards to subscriptions is the ability to try the full featured software for a low entry price. For example, I gazed at Things 3 for nearly a year, but because of the higher price I didn’t want to pull the trigger.
I am a customer and I don’t care about the economic realities of a given developer. I simply avoid subscriptions without any continuous service attached. But I have no problem with the way Agenda went.
I understand the struggle to develop a good “Apple” app these days and I wish the developers to be successful, but that is not my problem. Even though “personal touch’ is a common PR strategy in case of most smaller apps, I don’t like renting stuff.