I was surprised today by the reception that greeted Textpander’s re-emergence as TextExpander, in particular by the response to the app’s new USD 29.95 price tag.
One even implied that Peter had “let down” the whole Mac community by selling Textpander on.
Two things about this were surprising. First, the idea that Textpander was ever “freeware” in the first place. A request for donations is prominently displayed on the web pages of all Peter’s apps. And rightly so.
Probably like three other developers I have spoken to, only 1-2% of the people who downloaded his stuff actually donated. 98% were happy to take the software and run.
Ironically, people who equate donation-ware with freeware may well be a key factor in Textpander’s sale. When SmileOnMyMac turned up, Peter may finally have seen the adequate return for his time and energy which the Mac user community by and large refused him.
Secondly, I am surprised that people find the new price too high.
I donâ€™t think that the price is too steep for something that offers such productivity gains.
Say that it helps me work 5% faster when I am writing. I only have to earn USD 600 for it to have paid its way, and after that I am reaping the benefits in perpetuity.
Mail.app is beautiful straight “out of the box”. But the existence of fabulous plugins makes it even more beautiful, more powerful and more useful.
It’s worth remembering that developers make these plugins. They do not fall like manna from heaven out of the sky. Real people make them and maintain them with time stolen from their families and jobs and other projects and passions.
So, pay up. Pay up in acknowledgment of the work that goes into donation-ware. Pay up to make sure that someone will create the plugins of the future. Pay up just to remind yourself how lucky you are to have this software on your Mac at all.
Here endeth the sermon :)
UPDATE: Peter himself also has something to say on the subject.
- Textpander 1.2.1: On-the-fly typing accelerator
- TextExpander: Textpander makes good
- Talking Mail.app: Peter Maurer
- Service Scrubber 1.0
- Textpander your sigs in Mail.app for speed and reach
Tags: Apple Mail, developers, donation-ware, freeware, labourers deserve their wages, mail.app, Productivity, textexpander, Textpander