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MacRumors
Nov 28, 2012, 10:48 AM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/11/28/realmac-goes-deep-into-its-clear-for-mac-pricing-strategy/)


Realmac's decision to price the Mac version of its popular todo app Clear at $15 raised some eyebrows (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/10/31/popular-to-do-app-clear-coming-to-mac-with-icloud-syncing/), with the company choosing to launch (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/11/08/clear-for-mac-launches-with-lower-price-for-one-day-only/) at a much lower price point and raising the price later.

In a blog post today, Realmac's Rob Jarman (https://twitter.com/curlyrobert) laid out the company's pricing philosophy (http://realmacsoftware.com/blog/app-pricing-and-the-freemium-trend), as well as some thoughts on app pricing in general:
Like most of us, when it comes to parting with my hard-earned money I'm an advocate for being prudent. To help decide on the value of something, I tend to use a "beer strategy". While trying to decide if I really wanted something I would work out how many pints I could get with the same money, then by missing 1 night out I'd make a guilt and hangover free purchase. By applying this strategy to our latest release of Clear for Mac (http://realmacsoftware.com/redirects/clear-mac/buy) for example, £6.99 could just about get you 2 pints. So for a piece of software that will increase my productivity, that I'll use every day skipping those two pints is an easy decision.http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2012/11/NewImage35.pngNow how about those Hiut Jeans (http://hiutdenim.co.uk/blogs/story/4800102-do-one-thing-well) I've been thinking about for a while? 40 pints. That's a few nights out, so I best start saving! I've chosen both our app Clear and Hiut Jeans for a reason. Both have a story, have had many months of development, and been built by people with a passion for what they do.

[...]

There are other todo list apps available which are cheaper, free even. There are apps which have way more features, and those that cost much, much more. So how does that change our perception of value? In our opinion, it doesn't. You won't find the same user experience with any other apps. The use of gestures is unique, and the simple approach to task management is unparalleled. The care we put into making sure the user experience is the best it can be is evident in every element of the app.

Now lets apply that thought process to the Hiut Jeans, why would I spend £130 on a pair of Jeans when I can pick up a pair for £20 on the high street? Because of the fit and finish. Because they were made by a "Grand Master" seamstress, using a sewing machine in Cardigan Bay, Wales. Because of the story. Because of the way they would make me feel. Because of sustainability. Just because software is a less tangible product, doesn't mean that the making behind the scenes differs in any way.

Article Link: Realmac Goes Deep Into Its 'Clear for Mac' Pricing Strategy (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/11/28/realmac-goes-deep-into-its-clear-for-mac-pricing-strategy/)



jake0112
Nov 28, 2012, 10:51 AM
I used the same strategy in college on whether or not to eat that week

Ryan.Tanner
Nov 28, 2012, 10:51 AM
Hah. Just keeping fishing for logic there. $15 for this app is too much. People would rather have an app that works nearly as well for $2 or $5.

DJAKO
Nov 28, 2012, 10:54 AM
I'd rather give up 1 pint instead of 2.

rnizlek
Nov 28, 2012, 10:54 AM
Hah. Just keeping fishing for logic there. $15 for this app is too much. People would rather have an app that works nearly as well for $2 or $5.

I don't think they ever actually charged for $15 for this app. The current price is $9.99, which is what it has been at ever since they charged $6.99 during a 48 hour promotional launch period.

thejadedmonkey
Nov 28, 2012, 11:03 AM
I use notepad or textedit, depending on which system I'm on. I don't get the need for a $15 app like this.

mabhatter
Nov 28, 2012, 11:04 AM
Hah. Just keeping fishing for logic there. $15 for this app is too much. People would rather have an app that works nearly as well for $2 or $5.

Things is $49 and nobody complains... It's also the benchmark for GTD apps.

I'd add a modification of "Joel on Software" (I think) of software as the development cost plus an opportunity cost to keep the developer in business so you get updates.

When a piece of software is new, it can be very cheap... But there is little guarantee your developer is going to support a $2 app for very long... YOU only paid $2 so you can't really complain. So to build base, they start at a low price... Early adopters absorb the risk of the app not being around long, or beta versions. Now that "early adopter dues" are paid, and the product has rave reviews, they can raise the price as there is less risk to people purchasing now.

RealMac tends to turn over their software a little more than I'd like personally... But the award for paid version turnover has to go to Bento right now... They got no happy users.

baleensavage
Nov 28, 2012, 11:04 AM
In other words, if you drink lots of beer and can't remember what you're supposed to do, you can use the Clear to do app so you'll be able to make enough money to buy some designer jeans...

mrgraff
Nov 28, 2012, 11:06 AM
I'm sure those jeans are as awesome as your high opinion of your own software, but sorry, I won't be helping you buy those jeans.

Mike Oxard
Nov 28, 2012, 11:08 AM
So the real reason they priced it so high is so he can buy some Hiut jeans?

Reason077
Nov 28, 2012, 11:09 AM
Hah. Just keeping fishing for logic there. $15 for this app is too much. People would rather have an app that works nearly as well for $2 or $5.

A few years ago, $15 for an Mac app of this caliber would have been considered a bargain. It's interesting how "app store economics" have changed people's expectations.

Neuro
Nov 28, 2012, 11:14 AM
Hmm, I think his blog post is a little patronising.

I'll be the judge of whether I find something expensive or not, thanks!

i-John
Nov 28, 2012, 11:16 AM
The app isn't that good. There are plenty of apps like it for much less. So their beer analogy will fall flat. Should I give up beers, or go with another similar app where I won't have to give any beers for... and be just as productive.

AJClayton
Nov 28, 2012, 11:16 AM
The response to this is going to be fairly predictable. Those who write apps will feel some sympathy with RealMac Software. Those who buy apps will say that it's too expensive. Probably.

Being a developer myself I fall into the former category. I'm going through a similar thought process for an iPad app I'm just wrapping up development on. It's taken many hours to create and I've spent a huge amount of time carefully putting it together. I had to bring in an expert for the subject matter I'm working on and she also invested lots of her time in the project. We will split any profit between us.

Similar to RealMac software selling my app for less than a fiver just won't do it justice, however I know that if I charge much more than £1.99 for it, it probably won't sell - however good it is.

When I first started developing apps for the iPhone, before the iPad was in the frame, I remember telling a friend about a project I'd been working on with some colleagues. I'd written the code, one other guy had created the graphics and the other had developed the concept and tested. We'd decided to charge just 99p for it, even though - with 3 of us involved - it would take forever to earn anything close to the money needed to pay for our time. This is before iAd or the move into freemium app models but he couldn't understand why we weren't giving it away for free. And this guy runs his own business. :eek: Scary.

The bottom line here is that people want a bargain and don't want to pay a reasonable rate for other people's hard work. They shop in cheap supermarkets and don't understand why their food tastes horrible and buy cheap clothes that in 2 washes are falling to pieces.

I will be flamed to within an inch of my life here, I realise that, but however much I don't like it - that's the way it is. :(

dearfriendx
Nov 28, 2012, 11:19 AM
I don't see his logic. 2 pints of beer...or $300 USD skinny designer jeans from a denim mill in Japan? Okay guy!

haincha
Nov 28, 2012, 11:19 AM
If it were not a simple copy and paste app from iOS, I would buy it for a reasonable price.

But, people making me pay for the same app doesn't happen. I refuse to buy those apps. I won't support devs who milk me for money without any additional features.

dukebound85
Nov 28, 2012, 11:20 AM
The app isn't that good. There are plenty of apps like it for much less. So their beer analogy will fall flat. Should I give up beers, or go with another similar app where I won't have to give any beers for... and be just as productive.

Exactly

I don't care how much a developer works on his app, if it sucks then it is not worth it. The problem with apps on the app store is you can't try them out before you buy it so yea, taking a gamble

Doesn't help when there are usually better cheaper if not free apps

----------

I don't see his logic. 2 pints of beer...or $300 USD skinny designer jeans from a denim mill in Japan? Okay guy!

I like how he compares himself to expert seamstress jean makers

Jessica Lares
Nov 28, 2012, 11:31 AM
What puzzles me is that their other app Courier (which I love) is more complex, but only $9.99 too. It looks premium, it works like a premium product, and it's very, very good. How is Clear more worthy of being priced higher? Especially when it's not even near the quality of Analog.

komodrone
Nov 28, 2012, 11:34 AM
I bought Tweetbot for $20, but not this. Why Realmac?

superfula
Nov 28, 2012, 11:37 AM
He said in 100+ words what he could have said in two: money grab

iRCL
Nov 28, 2012, 11:49 AM
Who the hell cares about the "story" behind software. Here's a story - a bunch of sweaty neckbeards sit in a disgusting lab area eating doritos and drinking mountain dew and farting, and out comes the Unreal engine. It's awesome. And basically nobody cares about the 'story' leading to it.

In software (and really, anything else), the only tangible is the end product. Sorry

----------

A few years ago, $15 for an Mac app of this caliber would have been considered a bargain. It's interesting how "app store economics" have changed people's expectations.

And now, people actually buy them, instead of 5:1 people pirating it, so it all works out for everybody if he prices it around $3 which is fairly standard

jsgreen
Nov 28, 2012, 11:54 AM
It can be interesting to hear the thought process behind pricing an app - but in this case the reasoning is leaving a lot to be desired. I thought we'd hear more about some real analysis of apps and pricing strategy, not a comparison to a pint.

I was happy to invest in OmniFocus (Mac, iPad and iPhone versions), to me there is a high value on a system that I can trust to make me more productive (imagine Things users feel the same way). Clear has not established that level of value, in my opinion, so I didn't but it.

Simplicated
Nov 28, 2012, 11:56 AM
Reminders does the same job. Comes free with every Mac and iOS device.

lewisd25
Nov 28, 2012, 11:59 AM
I'd like to hear his reasoning for not adding support for 10.7 Lion. He could buy a hell of a lot of jeans if he didn't abandon customers with older macs.

Keebler
Nov 28, 2012, 12:12 PM
The response to this is going to be fairly predictable. Those who write apps will feel some sympathy with RealMac Software. Those who buy apps will say that it's too expensive. Probably.

Being a developer myself I fall into the former category. I'm going through a similar thought process for an iPad app I'm just wrapping up development on. It's taken many hours to create and I've spent a huge amount of time carefully putting it together. I had to bring in an expert for the subject matter I'm working on and she also invested lots of her time in the project. We will split any profit between us.

Similar to RealMac software selling my app for less than a fiver just won't do it justice, however I know that if I charge much more than £1.99 for it, it probably won't sell - however good it is.

When I first started developing apps for the iPhone, before the iPad was in the frame, I remember telling a friend about a project I'd been working on with some colleagues. I'd written the code, one other guy had created the graphics and the other had developed the concept and tested. We'd decided to charge just 99p for it, even though - with 3 of us involved - it would take forever to earn anything close to the money needed to pay for our time. This is before iAd or the move into freemium app models but he couldn't understand why we weren't giving it away for free. And this guy runs his own business. :eek: Scary.

The bottom line here is that people want a bargain and don't want to pay a reasonable rate for other people's hard work. They shop in cheap supermarkets and don't understand why their food tastes horrible and buy cheap clothes that in 2 washes are falling to pieces.

I will be flamed to within an inch of my life here, I realise that, but however much I don't like it - that's the way it is. :(

AJ, you raise some good points.

I'm not a developer, but I do run my own little business and people focus way too much on PRICE these days. I'm not sure if it's just a down economic time or the fast paced technological world we know live in where people simply don't have patience or a combination of both.

But regardless, people focus too much on price without worrying/caring about the time gone into a product or how much they'll use it.

They've also forgotten about another key element - VALUE! If there's no value to you, then don't buy it. If there's value and you think it's worth it to you, then buy whatever it is you're hedging on.

There are a number of apps I use all the time and VALUE more than others. If an app out there would do what I want, then I'm all in. The price would be justified to me. Might be worth it to others, might not.

Also, there's something to be said for this company keeping their price as is so they can somewhat control their user group. ie. if they care about their product and want to improve it, I would then think the feedback coming from a user who valued the product at $15 would be someone who actually uses it often and has a vested interest in its future.

Versus joe blow who paid $0.99 for it, hardly uses it and b*tches about it to the company on feedback forms, emails or calls.

I'm like that with my business. My prices are based on my costs, time and the value I provide. If someone comes to me and says, well, joe blow does it for x amount less than you, then I say go to them then. Do i lose some business? For sure.

But I also lose most of the headache clients who don't see nor understand the value. In the past, I did bow down to price pressure, but since I stopped doing that, I'm alot less stressed trying to gain business by working for those who want the work done.

As I told a client just 2 days ago (whom I've done work for in the past), I'd rather go to a movie or have a nap than work for minimum wage on a project that is worth more - especially when he didn't see the value. lol

Cheers,
keebler

Stella
Nov 28, 2012, 12:16 PM
The lower price was an introductory price? Now that promotion is over its gone up to the standard price?

Nothing to see here... a very standard practice.

akatsuki
Nov 28, 2012, 12:16 PM
Developers can cry all they want, but they should learn a little bit of business:

Peter Drucker called it a deadly business sin:

"The third deadly sin is cost-driven pricing. The only thing that works is price-driven costing. Most American and practically all European companies arrive at their prices by adding up costs and then putting a profit margin on top. And then, as soon as they have introduced the product, they have to start cutting the price, have to redesign the product at enormous expense, have to take losses -- and, often, have to drop a perfectly good product because it is priced incorrectly. Their argument? "We have to recover our costs and make a profit."

This is true but irrelevant: Customers do not see it as their job to ensure manufacturers a profit. The only sound way to price is to start out with what the market is willing to pay -- and thus, it must be assumed, what the competition will charge and design to that price specification."

When you talk about the labor you put into an app, that is all very nice, but the consumer doesn't care... All that matters is what people are willing to pay. So maybe when you think about developing an app - decide on the price it will sell at and then focus on putting the effort into it that gets you there and no more.

ctdonath
Nov 28, 2012, 12:17 PM
Who the hell cares about the "story" behind software. Here's a story - a bunch of sweaty neckbeards sit in a disgusting lab area eating doritos and drinking mountain dew and farting, and out comes the Unreal engine. It's awesome. And basically nobody cares about the 'story' leading to it.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51jZGrnagjL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_.jpg (http://www.amazon.com/Masters-Doom-Created-Transformed-Culture/dp/0812972155)

OK, so it's about the Doom engine instead of Unreal, but it's still a fascinating story about the creation of awesome software.

aloshka
Nov 28, 2012, 12:24 PM
That's ridiculous. People pay almost 2k for an average apple computer. 500 for an ipad, 200 for an iPhone. But 14 bucks... Oooo that's way to expensive

If it's too expensive, don't buy. People thought apple was too expensive, and yet everyone is throwing as much money as they can at them.

If you want quality, then pay for it. Otherwise there are hundreds of todo apps on the AppStore. But since they all suck--thus the complaining, why would a great app be priced the same as an app that took 5 minutes to develop?

All those awful apps that were created by unskilled developers created unrealistic expectations about pricing.

And if your argument is "there are great apps that cost 1-2$" then go use them just like you tell people who can't afford Apple computers to go buy a Dell instead.

moxxey
Nov 28, 2012, 12:29 PM
That's ridiculous. People pay almost 2k for an average apple computer. 500 for an ipad, 200 for an iPhone. But 14 bucks... Oooo that's way to expensive

There's a simple explanation.

People only have a finite amount of money and they'd rather save it for the next hardware release :)

I remember an Italian friend proudly showing me all his kit a few years ago. He's spent thousands of Euros on Apple kit. His home was full of it. I asked him what software he owned and he equally proudly told me he'd never bought any software. He pirated everything, including the applications he used for business. He was incredibly surprised I'd even asked the question. Hardware was everything, software was nothing.

knemonic
Nov 28, 2012, 12:31 PM
So you're telling me this company prices their software based on the multiples of pints they drink?

Wow, sounds like they have a great strategy going there.

ucmj22
Nov 28, 2012, 12:33 PM
What a bunch of Whiners! And Im not talking about Realmac! If its useful to you, and you think $15 is reasonable, buy it. If its not useful to you, who cares. If its useful to you but you think $15 is too much then find a corner and cry all over your wallet with a sphincter tighter than a size small shirt on Michael Moore.

If I want to bottle my own farts in a mason jar and sell them for $1500 bucks a pop, what the hell do you care? If you don't want my Jar-O-Farts, don't buy it, but then don't sit around and whine about how you totally would have bought my fart for $100 but $1500 is just crazy for a fart that you don't even really care for the smell of because it lacks that woody undertone. I know how much time and effort went in to making that fart "just so" and it is worth every bit of $1500.... where was I going with this...... Oh yeah, quit whining!

aloshka
Nov 28, 2012, 12:36 PM
There's a simple explanation.

People only have a finite amount of money and they'd rather save it for the next hardware release :)

I remember an Italian friend proudly showing me all his kit a few years ago. He's spent thousands of Euros on Apple kit. His home was full of it. I asked him what software he owned and he equally proudly told me he'd never bought any software. He pirated everything, including the applications he used for business. He was incredibly surprised I'd even asked the question. Hardware was everything, software was nothing.

That's an awful story about a guy who lived beyond his means and had to steal just to have the latest greatest to show off. Mac hardware is worthless without the software. The hardware uses all the same components that PC's do.

What separates Mac is the way everything works together (ie software)

BrockC
Nov 28, 2012, 12:38 PM
It's a fact I lost brain cells whilst reading that article. It doesn't matter how you put it, that's an overpriced app that really isn't that innovative.

aloshka
Nov 28, 2012, 12:40 PM
Overpriced? So is the Mac hardware you are writing this comment on, yet you still bought it

Builddesign
Nov 28, 2012, 12:40 PM
:mad:... Ill take my refund for clear please. All looks.

nutmac
Nov 28, 2012, 12:53 PM
Realmac is certainly entitled to price their apps at whatever they want, but the simple fact is, people compare. Realmac is equating Clear as a premium designer jean, and they are certainly entitled to lofty self promotion.

But from what I can tell, Clear lacks too many features that I consider critical to justify even its discounted $9.99 launch price. At the very least, I need due date, notes, and Reminders integration (so that I can share certain lists with my family and for Siri).

I realize that Clear is aiming to be as minimal as possible (much like Due), but it can't charge premium for such limited feature set.

aloshka
Nov 28, 2012, 12:56 PM
Realmac is certainly entitled to price their apps at whatever they want, but the simple fact is, people compare. Realmac is equating Clear as a premium designer jean, and they are certainly entitled to lofty self promotion.

But from what I can tell, Clear lacks too many features that I consider critical to justify even its discounted $9.99 launch price. At the very least, I need due date, notes, and Reminders integration (so that I can share certain lists with my family and for Siri).

I realize that Clear is aiming to be as minimal as possible (much like Due), but it can't charge premium for such limited feature set.

I'm thinking they are focusing on a different audience then, say Pocket Informant which has over 500 features (due dates, reminders, you name it).

I for one love the simplicity and really hope they don't add reminders, etc, to become like all the other $2 apps.

HMI
Nov 28, 2012, 01:15 PM
I don't see his logic. 2 pints of beer...or $300 USD skinny designer jeans from a denim mill in Japan? Okay guy!

If he was really that concerned about sustainability, then he would make his own jeans at home, rather than pay $300 for some oil drunk cargo ship to bring it to him.

Surklyn
Nov 28, 2012, 01:16 PM
Am I missing something? Just checked the App Store and its priced at $1.99

Edit: I can't read... Mac not ios

ucmj22
Nov 28, 2012, 01:18 PM
If he was really that concerned about sustainability, then he would make his own jeans at home, rather than pay $300 for some oil drunk cargo ship to bring it to him.

when did they say they were concerned about sustainability?

IJ Reilly
Nov 28, 2012, 01:18 PM
Jarman is really just explaining the basic concept of "economic value." Funny but my Econ 101 professor eons ago used almost the exact same analogy describe it. He called it the "six pack" theory, as in, how many six packs of beer would be a fair exchange for any other given item is a way of explaining its worth to you. All of this is apart from whether this app is worth what the developer thinks it is worth. It's up to individual customers to decide how many pints they would give up to own it.

Mactendo
Nov 28, 2012, 01:19 PM
The response to this is going to be fairly predictable. Those who write apps will feel some sympathy with RealMac Software. Those who buy apps will say that it's too expensive. Probably.

Being a developer myself I fall into the former category. I'm going through a similar thought process for an iPad app I'm just wrapping up development on. It's taken many hours to create and I've spent a huge amount of time carefully putting it together. I had to bring in an expert for the subject matter I'm working on and she also invested lots of her time in the project. We will split any profit between us.

Similar to RealMac software selling my app for less than a fiver just won't do it justice, however I know that if I charge much more than £1.99 for it, it probably won't sell - however good it is.

When I first started developing apps for the iPhone, before the iPad was in the frame, I remember telling a friend about a project I'd been working on with some colleagues. I'd written the code, one other guy had created the graphics and the other had developed the concept and tested. We'd decided to charge just 99p for it, even though - with 3 of us involved - it would take forever to earn anything close to the money needed to pay for our time. This is before iAd or the move into freemium app models but he couldn't understand why we weren't giving it away for free. And this guy runs his own business. :eek: Scary.

The bottom line here is that people want a bargain and don't want to pay a reasonable rate for other people's hard work. They shop in cheap supermarkets and don't understand why their food tastes horrible and buy cheap clothes that in 2 washes are falling to pieces.

I will be flamed to within an inch of my life here, I realise that, but however much I don't like it - that's the way it is. :(

Listen to this man, guys. He's an App Store developer and still use the 1st gen Mac Pro. 95-99% of developers are not rich at all. Just because some angry pigs and other titles (mostly games) grabs millions it doesn't mean that all others are doing well or even close to that.
Said that I believe Clear app should be priced at $9,95 it would be a fair price. But not $1 or $2 or $4.

baryon
Nov 28, 2012, 01:19 PM
This is why I don't drink! It's too damn expensive.

Apps, on the other hand, last you forever, and not just 10 minutes. But the thing is today we're bombarded with crap apps, and it makes sense to sell them for next to nothing as it allows everyone to buy everything without regret. But we don't need the crap apps, it would be a lot better if 90% of the apps out there would get banned and we could make easier choices from the quality ones out there. It would also mean people would trust that they can spend more on a good app, and they'd have more money to spend too.

It's this crazy consumerism that's killing everything, but I don't think we can really do anything just now. It will solve itself, at some point, when it all collapses!

aloshka
Nov 28, 2012, 01:35 PM
This is why I don't drink! It's too damn expensive.

Apps, on the other hand, last you forever, and not just 10 minutes. But the thing is today we're bombarded with crap apps, and it makes sense to sell them for next to nothing as it allows everyone to buy everything without regret. But we don't need the crap apps, it would be a lot better if 90% of the apps out there would get banned and we could make easier choices from the quality ones out there. It would also mean people would trust that they can spend more on a good app, and they'd have more money to spend too.


100% Agreed! This has been a discussion among developers for a very long time. Most think that a trial for all apps would fix this, but Apple will never go for that because they rake in 30% even for the crap. Having trials means most people will not buy the crappy apps. And most people don't bother to try to get a refund for $1, so Apple wins either way.

That's why Android purchases for apps are so low. They mostly have trials and people don't bother buying the crap. I don't think Apple consumers necessarily buy more apps, I just think there is no easy way to say this app sucks and I want my money back. That causes this fake notion that Apple users pay more and buy more often causing more developers to support the iOS platform. When in reality the only winner in this is Apple. Consumers hate the crappy apps and very difficult to get refunds and developers don't make money and can't raise prices because of crappy app competition (why would anyone notice your app, if there are a thousand more in your category, all $1 or free).

Kudos to Apple for having such an incredible business strategy.

HMI
Nov 28, 2012, 01:40 PM
when did they say they were concerned about sustainability?

In the article:

"Now lets apply that thought process to the Hiut Jeans, why would I spend £130 on a pair of Jeans when I can pick up a pair for £20 on the high street? Because of the fit and finish. Because they were made by a "Grand Master" seamstress, using a sewing machine in Cardigan Bay, Wales. Because of the story. Because of the way they would make me feel. Because of sustainability. Just because software is a less tangible product, doesn't mean that the making behind the scenes differs in any way."

Gemütlichkeit
Nov 28, 2012, 02:01 PM
It all comes down to what the customers are willing to pay for a "to do" app.

There's no way in hell I'd drop $15 on that silly app lol

ucmj22
Nov 28, 2012, 02:03 PM
In the article:

"Now lets apply that thought process to the Hiut Jeans, why would I spend £130 on a pair of Jeans when I can pick up a pair for £20 on the high street? Because of the fit and finish. Because they were made by a "Grand Master" seamstress, using a sewing machine in Cardigan Bay, Wales. Because of the story. Because of the way they would make me feel. Because of sustainability. Just because software is a less tangible product, doesn't mean that the making behind the scenes differs in any way."

missed that... but why would an oil drunk cargo ship have to bring it to him, if he lives in the UK, and the jeans are made in Wales?

JoshRoche
Nov 28, 2012, 03:01 PM
I bought this app, I have also bought "Things". Clear was around £6 when I bought it and thought that was a good price for what it does, sadly with app development you cant take into account how much time it took to get an overall price, there are so many apps with very similar functionality.

japasneezemonk
Nov 28, 2012, 03:23 PM
#1- I have to agree that Peter Drucker is a genius.

#2- I feel no sympathy for this Developer or his pricing strategy. If he feels he needs to defend his decision by comparing it to buying beer he has bigger problems. If there truly is value in his product then smart consumers will look past this whole charade and buy.

#3- Clear is part of a commoditized market and charging premium prices is going to be very difficult. Jeans are also a commodity. However, the HUIT jeans he refers to are made of selvedge denim, from Japanese Denim Mills. Japanese Denim is famously expensive($200-$400USD). Many if not all of these mills still use old-school methods and machinery to make denim as it was made a century ago. The funny thing about Japanese denim is that it's hard to find and while expensive, sells fast.

jacek83
Nov 28, 2012, 03:27 PM
When you talk about the labor you put into an app, that is all very nice, but the consumer doesn't care... All that matters is what people are willing to pay. So maybe when you think about developing an app - decide on the price it will sell at and then focus on putting the effort into it that gets you there and no more.

Spot on, this seems like completely amateurish way of creating a pricing strategy. What's more - simplicity and minimalism of Clear works great on an iPhone, but doesn't translate so good to a Mac (yes, I've bought both versions). And, on top of that, iCloud sync - which should be a killer feature here - trully sucks.

macpeach55
Nov 28, 2012, 03:34 PM
There's a simple explanation.

People only have a finite amount of money and they'd rather save it for the next hardware release :)

I remember an Italian friend proudly showing me all his kit a few years ago. He's spent thousands of Euros on Apple kit. His home was full of it. I asked him what software he owned and he equally proudly told me he'd never bought any software. He pirated everything, including the applications he used for business. He was incredibly surprised I'd even asked the question. Hardware was everything, software was nothing.

Your statement that people only have a finite amount of money is, in your example, ridiculous - someone who spends thousands on hardware can afford software. This guy is just being cheap - if he could get a stolen mac product he probably "proudly" would
And he probably doesn't pay taxes either, and the Country second most in deep ****** is???
The mindset of the people is what makes a country.

drewyboy
Nov 28, 2012, 03:46 PM
WTH? $208 jeans? I'm sorry, but no flip'n jeans are "that good". I think I'll rather get x10 jeans at Old Navy for that price. I guarantee my 10 pairs will outlast your 1. I may not be "hipster" but who the frick cares. They're JEANS. Next thing you know there's going to be $150 pair of boxers that are individually hand crafted, fair trade, organic material, natural organic dies, blah blah blah. No one but my lady is going to be see'n them and I know she doesn't care how "stylish" my boxers are.

Point being, this sheds light on the value he thinks his app is worth. Overpriced.

E.Lizardo
Nov 28, 2012, 03:49 PM
That's ridiculous. People pay almost 2k for an average apple computer. 500 for an ipad, 200 for an iPhone. But 14 bucks... Oooo that's way to expensive

If it's too expensive, don't buy. People thought apple was too expensive, and yet everyone is throwing as much money as they can at them.

If you want quality, then pay for it. Otherwise there are hundreds of todo apps on the AppStore. But since they all suck--thus the complaining, why would a great app be priced the same as an app that took 5 minutes to develop?

All those awful apps that were created by unskilled developers created unrealistic expectations about pricing.

And if your argument is "there are great apps that cost 1-2$" then go use them just like you tell people who can't afford Apple computers to go buy a Dell instead.

Um...That's pretty much what I and others are doing,and I'm sure Realmac's sales show it.You can berate and belittle me all you want,but Clear is not worth $15 to me despite the developer's obviously high opinion of his work.

A lot of work went into Angry Birds.What does it sell for again?How much money have they made?

There is a pricing sweet spot that maximizes sales AND profit.I expect $15 ain't it for Clear.Maybe I'm wrong.Time will tell.

stevemiller
Nov 28, 2012, 03:50 PM
Developer can charge whatever he wants. Of course premium things will sell if people see the value in them. Dunno why he's telling us that like we don't know it.

Fact is, if he correctly evaluated the value of his app and the market demand for it, then he should already be content with the income he is receiving as a result. The fact that he's putting out all these justifications suggests, however, that he probably guaged one of the two a little too optimistically.

Earendil
Nov 28, 2012, 03:52 PM
And now, people actually buy them, instead of 5:1 people pirating it, so it all works out for everybody if he prices it around $3 which is fairly standard

I see a lot of people commenting that don't have a clue what their talking about. I'll forgive people that don't understand what it means to develop software and make silly comments like "It's essentially a copy paste of the iPhone app". Though, it might be advisable to hold your tongue when it comes to sharp comments if you recognize you don't know anything about SE.

But when people say that "$3...is fairly standard" for a Macintosh Desktop Application, I have to wonder if they know wtf we're discussing, or if they're that out to lunch about the price of software?

Standard desktop software costs $50. Shareware software or utility apps put out by small or independent companies will often run around $20 give or take $10.

I'm fine with people not thinking the software is worth $10, that is for every individual to decide, and to discuss. But please hold your tongue if you think you're doing nothing but firehosing your ignorance :rolleyes:

E.Lizardo
Nov 28, 2012, 03:52 PM
What a bunch of Whiners! And Im not talking about Realmac! If its useful to you, and you think $15 is reasonable, buy it. If its not useful to you, who cares. If its useful to you but you think $15 is too much then find a corner and cry all over your wallet with a sphincter tighter than a size small shirt on Michael Moore.

If I want to bottle my own farts in a mason jar and sell them for $1500 bucks a pop, what the hell do you care? If you don't want my Jar-O-Farts, don't buy it, but then don't sit around and whine about how you totally would have bought my fart for $100 but $1500 is just crazy for a fart that you don't even really care for the smell of because it lacks that woody undertone. I know how much time and effort went in to making that fart "just so" and it is worth every bit of $1500.... where was I going with this...... Oh yeah, quit whining!

Cut both ways sparky!Don't like our comments?Quit whining and don't read 'em!

macpeach55
Nov 28, 2012, 03:54 PM
#1- I have to agree that Peter Drucker is a genius.

#2- I feel no sympathy for this Developer or his pricing strategy. If he feels he needs to defend his decision by comparing it to buying beer he has bigger problems. If there truly is value in his product then smart consumers will look past this whole charade and buy.

#3- Clear is part of a commoditized market and charging premium prices is going to be very difficult. Jeans are also a commodity. However, the HUIT jeans he refers to are made of selvedge denim, from Japanese Denim Mills. Japanese Denim is famously expensive($200-$400USD). Many if not all of these mills still use old-school methods and machinery to make denim as it was made a century ago. The funny thing about Japanese denim is that it's hard to find and while expensive, sells fast.

#1 I have to say that Peter Drucker is stating the obvious, so how does this quote prove him a genius?

#2 Comparison pricing is an old technique - comparing his product to a couple of pints is fine, he is just too long-winded about it

#3 HUIT jeans - who cares? He used a bad example there for sure. (Or maybe he now gets free jeans from them LOL!)

IJ Reilly
Nov 28, 2012, 04:03 PM
#2 Comparison pricing is an old technique - comparing his product to a couple of pints is fine, he is just too long-winded about it

It is not a technique, it is a bedrock concept in economics, known as "economic value."

http://www.ecosystemvaluation.org/1-01.htm

Maybe he wasn't long-winded enough...

aloshka
Nov 28, 2012, 04:04 PM
Um...That's pretty much what I and others are doing,and I'm sure Realmac's sales show it.You can berate and belittle me all you want,but Clear is not worth $15 to me despite the developer's obviously high opinion of his work.

A lot of work went into Angry Birds.What does it sell for again?How much money have they made?

There is a pricing sweet spot that maximizes sales AND profit.I expect $15 ain't it for Clear.Maybe I'm wrong.Time will tell.

I wasn't trying to belittle you. I was just trying to say there is a market for expensive apps just like expensive hardware both of which are hard to justify.

What I am annoyed by, is the argument itself. That's like going to a BMW dealer and yelling at them for pricing their cars too high compared to a civic. Afterall, it has wheels and and an engine. But there is a different market for that. It's designed to be clean and easy to use. If you dont agree, thats fine. A lot of people think BMW's are pieces of crap and their Ford truck has better capabilities. Again, different markets.

Angry Birds was strategically priced to sell hordes of the game to children, whom otherwise would not get approval from their parents or adults who don't want to spend on a simple game.

Different strategy that would not apply to an app like clear since the audience of a todo app is not everyone (especially kids)

MorphingDragon
Nov 28, 2012, 04:04 PM
Who the hell cares about the "story" behind software. Here's a story - a bunch of sweaty neckbeards sit in a disgusting lab area eating doritos and drinking mountain dew and farting, and out comes the Unreal engine. It's awesome. And basically nobody cares about the 'story' leading to it.


You're thinking of the people that play the games. Apart from the dictatorial management, game studios look like any other office for the most part.

macpeach55
Nov 28, 2012, 04:16 PM
It is not a technique, it is a bedrock concept in economics, known as "economic value."

http://www.ecosystemvaluation.org/1-01.htm

Maybe he wasn't long-winded enough...

Bedrock concept it may be, but using it this way to try and convince people to buy your product is a "technique"

----------

You're thinking of the people that play the games. Apart from the dictatorial management, game studios look like any other office for the most part.

You miss the point - with really popular games, just like massively successful Movies like LOTR, there is a large fan base that love every "behind the scenes" item

Glassed Silver
Nov 28, 2012, 04:34 PM
A few years ago, $15 for an Mac app of this caliber would have been considered a bargain. It's interesting how "app store economics" have changed people's expectations.

A few years ago I didn't even try to have mostly legitimately licensed software.

Now, I know I've been a bad boy, but in reality, that's how it works.

So I guess it's more people buy at a cheaper price instead of a select few buy for a high price.


I myself can't see me spending that amount of money for a todo application, sorry, I just can't.

I'm super happy with the stock Reminders app for that.
Also, Evernote's doing an awesome job in conjunction with AwesomeNote.

Glassed Silver:mac

jclardy
Nov 28, 2012, 04:38 PM
Developers can cry all they want, but they should learn a little bit of business:

Peter Drucker called it a deadly business sin:



When you talk about the labor you put into an app, that is all very nice, but the consumer doesn't care... All that matters is what people are willing to pay. So maybe when you think about developing an app - decide on the price it will sell at and then focus on putting the effort into it that gets you there and no more.

There are plenty of people complaining about the price, but that doesn't mean it isn't selling enough. He could easily sell it for cheaper, say $5. But will he get 3X as many sales? Not necessarily. Maybe more on the short term, but in the long run it will probably even out. More likely though he will get way more support requests from people who didn't actually want his app in the first place.

Of course trial versions would help a lot of these "pricing issues" to go away before they even start.

Xano
Nov 28, 2012, 04:44 PM
Unfortunately that's an overpriced app that really isn't that innovative.
Exist better and free out there.

IJ Reilly
Nov 28, 2012, 04:49 PM
Bedrock concept it may be, but using it this way to try and convince people to buy your product is a "technique"

It was a little pedantic, but I didn't read it as a sales technique. I don't know what motivated him to try to explain his pricing policy, but what he said is essentially how pricing is done, whether it is explained to this level of detail or not.

ArtOfWarfare
Nov 28, 2012, 04:52 PM
Why of all things did he bring up jeans?

He is correct, pricing of those jeans strikes me the same way as the pricing of his app! Both are silly!

And for that matter, drinking is beyond silly and goes to retarded. You'll pay a lot of money for questionable value with definite repercussions? Shouldn't it be that you get paid to take such risks?

Anyways - the one thing he has right is that you need to determine the value of the app. His todo list isn't worth $15 - end of story.

Koolaid74
Nov 28, 2012, 05:39 PM
Putting it simply:

I paid $0.99 for iOS Clear.

I am not paying more than that for a desktop app that does the same thing that I can't use on the go.

japasneezemonk
Nov 28, 2012, 05:45 PM
#1 I have to say that Peter Drucker is stating the obvious, so how does this quote prove him a genius?

hindsight is 20/20;)

theSeb
Nov 28, 2012, 05:58 PM
Why is this getting free advertising?

akatsuki
Nov 28, 2012, 06:14 PM
hindsight is 20/20;)

If you read the rest of the article, you will see that people think that way all the time - he basically points out that is why there is no US consumer electronics industry, because they would build things, add a profit margin and call it a day.

And developers who state, "I spent 50 bajillion months on this, so I am going to charge $20 so it was worth my time and effort" are doing the same thing. Nobody cares.

The question to ask is, "how much additional value does my app create to an end user versus the next best solution?". For Clear, the competition is Reminders, and it is free.

CylonGlitch
Nov 28, 2012, 06:18 PM
Get I get a Promo Code please?

:D

(about the only way I'd buy it at this point).

Colpeas
Nov 28, 2012, 06:39 PM
I don't have a problem with paying $15 for an app, but it should be worth the money. What does Clear do that Reminders can't? Nothing, it just looks cool. That just can't justify the purchase in my eyes.

I respect the amount of time and finances put in developing this app, and the fact that its developers need to live of something, but I'm not going to buy it just from sympathy I might feel towards them. This ain't no charity.

Devs: If you're afraid that time and money you've invested in developing the app would't pay off if you sold it for a reasonable price, your app is probably needless and you shouldn't bother writing it.
And spending 15 buck on something which my computer already has built-in is crazy. Take into account, that if you charged $1.99, you might attract 8 times more customers.

So, I as a customer, don't give a damn about how tough was to be to program the app, so don't come up with such stuff. I have to decide whether the app is useful for me, and if yes, if it is useful enough to be worth its price. And the logical result is no, Clear is not superior to Reminders which I've got for free, so buying it would be irrational.

a0me
Nov 28, 2012, 07:24 PM
Developers can cry all they want, but they should learn a little bit of business:

Peter Drucker called it a deadly business sin:

When you talk about the labor you put into an app, that is all very nice, but the consumer doesn't care... All that matters is what people are willing to pay. So maybe when you think about developing an app - decide on the price it will sell at and then focus on putting the effort into it that gets you there and no more.
Thank you.

Apple is the poster-child for price-driven costing. I can understand how some users can't grasp this concept, but if you're running a business in the Apple ecosystem and you're still setting your prices based on your costs, you may want to reconsider your career choice.

petsounds
Nov 28, 2012, 07:32 PM
When you talk about the labor you put into an app, that is all very nice, but the consumer doesn't care... All that matters is what people are willing to pay. So maybe when you think about developing an app - decide on the price it will sell at and then focus on putting the effort into it that gets you there and no more.

If Steve Jobs had thought the way you do, there would be no Apple.

Akuratyde
Nov 28, 2012, 09:10 PM
Hmm, I think his blog post is a little patronising.

I'll be the judge of whether I find something expensive or not, thanks!

I agree, especially when he's comparing the app against a $300 pair of jeans, as if that's a normal price for jeans and we all lead a lifestyle that allows us to pay such an extravagant price for something as simple as jeans.

d0vr
Nov 28, 2012, 09:14 PM
By beer? I think if you calculate cost based on beer, you probably have enough money to survive. I go by time=money. How many working hours would x item cost me? Many things get expensive when you look at it that way.

Amazing Iceman
Nov 29, 2012, 12:17 AM
Well, in the vain world we all live in, a pair of great jeans and other expensive garments and accessories (iPhone 5 included) can help enhance a person's projected image...
Now, explain to me: How could a software app (particularly the app in question) do that?
What are people going to do... Wear their MacBooks with app running so everyone could see it? How about some nice and shiny bumper stickers?

----------

I agree, especially when he's comparing the app against a $300 pair of jeans, as if that's a normal price for jeans and we all lead a lifestyle that allows us to pay such an extravagant price for something as simple as jeans.

Without a doubt, if I was able to afford a $300 pair of jeans, I would definitely hire some else to handle my To-Do List.:D

japasneezemonk
Nov 29, 2012, 01:16 AM
If you read the rest of the article, you will see that people think that way all the time - he basically points out that is why there is no US consumer electronics industry, because they would build things, add a profit margin and call it a day.

And developers who state, "I spent 50 bajillion months on this, so I am going to charge $20 so it was worth my time and effort" are doing the same thing. Nobody cares.

The question to ask is, "how much additional value does my app create to an end user versus the next best solution?". For Clear, the competition is Reminders, and it is free.

I'm confused.

I was responding to macpeach55 and his comment where he said Drucker was just regurgitating the obvious. I was insinuating that Druckers' ideas all seem obvious to us today, because much of his theory has become convention.

D-a-a-n
Nov 29, 2012, 05:53 AM
A few years ago, $15 for an Mac app of this caliber would have been considered a bargain. It's interesting how "app store economics" have changed people's expectations.
Dude, no, just no, you always have to consider the context. These are the facts:
- mountain lion upgrade: 20$
- pages (or numbers, or keynote): 20$
- pixelmator: 15$
- Call of duty / GTA San andreas: somewhere around 15$
- etc

- Clear todo-app: ONLY 15$, for a ...wait for it...TODO-APP!? Omg bargaaaain!

Even 10$ is too much, I don't care how much that is in pints or hipster denim jeans. The profit they're making on this is huge. If you were to spend 10 or 15$ on a todo app (that indeed looks very slick and hip), but basically doensn't make you more productive than a simple todo app for 2$, how much would you spend on a car for example? I mean come on, only Apple can pull this high-margin con on people for their hardware etc because they have truy well designed machines/software unmatched by other companies. But an overly expensive todo-app with a zillion alternatives available?
This of course is al IMO :).

bjcskier
Nov 29, 2012, 06:52 AM
Clear for iOS is unreal. Simple and fun.

$10 still feels like too much for the app.

If I were him I'd start listening to consumers and stop justifying a high price with blog posts.

I MIGHT have bought it at $6.99 (which was a stretch, but hey - I loved the iOS version) - but $9.99 is about 99% out of the question.

To actually price the Mac version at $14.99 is nuts.

Reason077
Nov 29, 2012, 08:53 AM
Dude, no, just no, you always have to consider the context.

I wasn't suggesting that $15 isn't too much in 2012. I'm not planning to buy it :). But just a few years ago, $15 for this app wouldn't have seemed like a lot. Our perspectives have changed.

Just like how spending up to $5000 on a high-end laptop was pretty common in 2000. But that would be ridiculously expensive today.

- mountain lion upgrade: 20$
- pages (or numbers, or keynote): 20$
- pixelmator: 15$
- Call of duty / GTA San andreas: somewhere around 15$
- etc

You're proving my point here. Each of these items would have been a lot more expensive just a few years ago.

Carouser
Nov 29, 2012, 09:16 AM
I like how Jarman implies that people don't know how to value their money. If Clear for Mac sells (or doesn't), it's because they know how to spend their cash. The lecture (ahem, 'advice') isn't warranted.

If he thinks Clear is some kind of 'artisanal' 'curated' app, he could have compared it to whatever overpriced hipsterjunk Best Made Co is trying to sling these days.

akatsuki
Nov 29, 2012, 10:41 AM
If Steve Jobs had thought the way you do, there would be no Apple.

Exactly the opposite - he said "how do I create a product that adds a ton of value to the user and therefore will justify a premium over a commodity Windows box?"

IJ Reilly
Nov 29, 2012, 10:51 AM
By beer? I think if you calculate cost based on beer, you probably have enough money to survive. I go by time=money. How many working hours would x item cost me? Many things get expensive when you look at it that way.

The concept of economic value allows the use of any method of exchange to make relative value comparisons. As it was taught to me (and probably others), using a non-monitary method drives home the point that all economic transactions are exchanges of value.

Exactly the opposite - he said "how do I create a product that adds a ton of value to the user and therefore will justify a premium over a commodity Windows box?"

Exactly, except with a historical point of order: Windows did not exist when Apple created the Mac (if that is what you meant), so Mac vs. Windows was not the point of comparison at that time.

darkplanets
Nov 29, 2012, 01:30 PM
My brain does the same job. It's free, requires no software updates, and can't feasibly be broken without other serious life issues.

petsounds
Nov 29, 2012, 02:02 PM
Exactly the opposite - he said "how do I create a product that adds a ton of value to the user and therefore will justify a premium over a commodity Windows box?"

Perhaps I misunderstood. But in the previous post I responded to, you said, "[...] decide on the price it will sell at and then focus on putting the effort into it that gets you there and no more." That's not the kind of attitude Jobs had. Jobs designed a product around being 'insanely great', and then put a price on it. Price was irrelevant. Of course, there are people at Apple who care about price, but it wasn't Steve. Most companies do price-driven product design; what Apple does is product-driven product design.