News:

NOTICE: This forum is mostly an archive, though new posts are allowed. Registration may require manual admin activation. After registering visit https://bitsum.com/contact/ to request account activation.

Main Menu

Comments on licensing changes of v3.50+

Started by Jeremy Collake, March 08, 2009, 02:45:42 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

Jeremy Collake

Software Engineer. Bitsum LLC.

Ruhe

Dear Jeremy,

I understand and support your steps, I'm a home and hobby coder myself.
It's our software, we are those who spend a lot of time in developing
and many things are just our decision - especially the license system.
Therefore, it was nice to explain your point of view but there was no
necessity to do it.

Please keep on the good work.

QuotePeople say that it is not free if there is a nag

Do they have to pay for using it? No, so it's free.


Regards from Germany,
Ruhe - Process Lasso Pro user

Jeremy Collake

#2
Thank you ;). You're quite right, I am under no obligation to defend the licensing practices. However, I feel like I should because I want people to understand that I also want Process Lasso to be as free as possible. I certainly am not trying to get rich, I am simply trying to make enough money to survive another day.

Sadly, I fear this change may actually backfire and reduce revenue generation. Of course, I do not know for sure what effect it will have. I'm trying to think optimistically ;)

Software Engineer. Bitsum LLC.

RDMTECH

The people that complain about nag screens and 'Pro' features will never go away.  Unless every feature is free the complaining will continue.  In fact, if you made every feature free the complaining would still persist, just in a different way.  It's human nature.

Please take solace in the fact that your product is unique in the market.  It is an extremely valuable addition to any server/PC.  When people don't pay for PL they do so out of ignorance.  For whatever reason, they don't understand or don't see the value.  Can marketing fix the issue?  Possibly, but a solid grassroots/word of mouth campaign is already underway.  It will take longer, but you will build a solid foundation of core users that will support and defend PL.  I know it’s hard, but your patience will pay off in the end.

I am here to provide assistance in any way I can to make PL into the best application it can be.  It’s no secret my development interests are with the enterprise segment.  However, I do realize that home users shouldn’t be left out of the equation.  How do you keep them happy?  I believe there is enough overlap between the enterprise/pro/home markets to support all three.  Some of the enterprise features will be of no use to the home users, but many will.  It’s time to move focus to the enterprise.  It’s the best way to generate revenue and fund development.  That fact alone benefits home users.

Thanks for a great product and please let me know if there is anything I can do to help.



Galdere

#4
Quote from: RDMTECH on March 09, 2009, 11:28:17 AM
When people don't pay for PL they do so out of ignorance.

I think you'll find it's mostly because they can't afford to.

If you make your software nagware then people aren't as likely to try it. Even those who might buy are less inclined to, if it seems you are desperate to take money. Cut down version users and media sources aren't as likely to recommend it. There are many types of programs that are popular and successful, because they offer a genuinely free and no nag version of a useful app, that drives the commercial success of the full version.

If the purpose of your software is for you to earn enough income then good luck to you. If the purpose of your software is to make it as successful as possible, and as a consequence more likely more profitable, then may I suggest a business model of the likes of ZoneAlarm, AVG Antivirus etc.

When you stop updating PL as often, the latest enabled Pro version will be on BitTorrent sites and P2P networks. Avoid losing those potential customers by keeping them coming to your site and recognising why it is worth paying for - because it makes sense to get the free version here, it won't complain to you for not upgrading, and it lets the user decide it is worth paying for because you don't need to beg for it.

RDMTECH

QuoteI'll think you'll find it's mostly because they can't afford to.

I don't subscribe to that line of thinking.  Mainly because they can afford a computer, the electricity to run it and the ISP to put them on the internet.  They just haven't seen the value in the software.  They don't understand that by supporting the developer they help continue PL's development.  For goodness sake the application is only $10, $20 for a lifetime subscription.

QuoteIf you make your software nagware then people aren't as likely to try it.

I would hesitate to call PL nagware.  That's a bit harsh, especially due to the recent changes Jeremy has made.  As time goes on and as people such as yourself weigh in on the matter, Jeremy can make a better informed decision.  Personally I would be doing exactly what he is doing now.  PL is a great application and if a couple of short lived nag screens prevent you from using the application, then so be it. 

Let's look at what Jeremy has stated on his blog:

QuoteUnfortunately, I simply can't seem to profit enough from Process Lasso home sales, so I plan to focus more on the Enterprise. That will take considerable development time though. In the interim, I must continue to feed my family, therefore I must keep getting more aggressive with pestering users to purchase the Pro version.

Jeremy is a professional programmer.  He is using the income generated from PL to feed his family.  I will try to do more than wish him luck.  I will support him via word of mouth and license purchases as should every person who uses his application and does so for 30 days or more.  That is only fair. 

QuoteUnfortunately, the customer to user ratio is 1:1000, or greater. Yes, that high! To be clear, that means that for each 1,000 long-time users of Process Lasso, there is only one person who purchases it.

Ouch!  That is just sad.


Galdere

RDMTECH, you don't subscribe to the kind of thinking that not everyone has the financial capacity to pay $20 for every little piece of software they might consider useful? Many people can invest in a computer and the required services, yet not afford lots of extras. These sort of people probably don't live very far away from you. You should get real tbh.

Jeremy refers to them as "nags" in his blog. It is now nagware. It's not freeware or time limited shareware etc.

If it has negative changes fewer people will try the free version, therefore fewer people will pay for the pro version, it's as simple as that. Although 1000:1 seems high it is all about the total numbers. Jeremy has a good program, but he needs more people to know that, not fewer people moaned at.

RDMTECH

QuoteRDMTECH, you don't subscribe to the kind of thinking that not everyone has the financial capacity to pay $20 for every little piece of software they might consider useful? Many people can invest in a computer and the required services, yet not afford lots of extras.

I never said everyone.  Also for the record it's $9.98 for one year of updates.  It's $19.95 for a lifetime update license that comes with an additional one year license you can give to a friend in need.  Sounds reasonable to me.

QuoteI think you'll find it's mostly because they can't afford to.

What I don't agree with is the 'mostly' part.  I'll concede some and maybe even 'many' as you have newly stated.  I think it's mostly because they don't see the value in the software and don't care to support it's development.

QuoteIf it has negative changes fewer people will try the free version, therefore fewer people will pay for the pro version, it's as simple as that

So is it safe to say that you view the recent license changes Jeremy made as negative?

I view those changes as extremely generous.

Galdere

I know the pricing thanks, stating it is like regularly insisting people know you can upgrade to the pro version, unnecessary and unwanted.

People see value in it by using it, either the free or paid for version. As for "don't care", sounds like you're referring to some sort of personal thing, as paying or not doing does not necessarily imply supporting it's development or not, just that they may benefit from it. Why would anyone be against the development of a quality app?

You may feel your $20 entitles you to take an elitist attitude, but they guy is just trying to sell as many as possible, whilst allowing as many as possible to take advantage from it in some way.

You think making it nagware is generous? Compared to previously it only shows how he feels unable to be as generous, as stated in his blog. It's a shame he feels the need to make such a change, instead of making his app more widely known, making pro more distinctive (without taking away from the bait of the free version), offering a referal scheme, signing up to the "get this software free if..." advertising things, putting advertising on his own site......

If it were me I'd be targeting gamers. I'd be pushing it on every appropriate website, magazine and podcast maker etc as the way to make sure background progs don't interfere at that crucial moment. They always want something like that to add value as a recommendation of what will help even the slightest bit. It probably won't be as much use to them as others, but it's a quicker way to get the app better known, get more website hits and feedback.

He's probably tried some of that, but I'm finishing off by saying that this app deserves better, and I hope Jeremy is able to work with it's potential, rather than limiting it because he feels constrained.

RDMTECH

QuoteYou may feel your $20 entitles you to take an elitist attitude, but they guy is just trying to sell as many as possible, whilst allowing as many as possible to take advantage from it in some way.

Enough said.  Thank you.

Jeremy Collake

#10
Thanks for the comments guys, and thanks for defending me RDMTECH :) I am in a rush this morning to go do some technician type work for a local business (sigh), so will comment more later.

One thing I do regret is even calling these changes nags, as I've certainly seen software a heck of a lot more naggy. It is a shame that some people would call it nagware. I mean, we're talking about a single untimed message box displayed once at start-up after 60 days of use, and a system tray balloon that just shows up and quietly disappears on its own.

And, yes, with more marketing I could probably generate more sales even without having any sort of nags. My deficiency is marketing is a big issue.

I've been trying ZoneAlarm style Pro licensing for some time, and perhaps adding more features to the Pro version would help. Of course, then it would inevitably be labeled crippleware.

I also believe that surely to goodness most people can afford $9.98. If they can't, I am happy to give them a free license if they'll email me. I believe its a simply matter of people not paying because they don't have the impetus to do so.. hence the 'nag' is just a little encouragement.

I'm sure that Process Lasso is now getting blasted in the comments of every download site out there. Not because any user has actually been bothered by the new 'nags', but because I made such a public fuss about this reluctant addition. My tendency towards openness and honesty seems to be a liability ;(

I just don't know. In the court of public opinion, I think I lose. Now that I've made this change though, and suffered the consequences of negative comments, I might as well just leave it as it is.

I'm sorry I'm in a rush, I will come back and be more thorough.

Thanks!
Software Engineer. Bitsum LLC.

Jeremy Collake

Yes, the more I think about this, the more I believe that:


  • I am being overly sensitive about the continued 'commercialization' of the software. I may love to have my software used, but this is a capitalist world we live in, and I must 'play the game'.
  • My goal will be in making sure my software is good enough to be worth paying for, and better than any competing products. In that way, I contribute to society without having to give things away.
  • I probably will never achieve success without partnering with an entity with marketing capabilities.

Due to certain pressures here I won't get into (I whine too much anyway, lol), I need to make Bitsum a success this year *OR* find an alternative way to earn a living. Towards that end, I must do whatever I have to, though I will of course not compromise my ethics. However, my values no longer include having to give everything away for free just to be a 'good guy'. I can be a good guy and still charge for my work ;).

I should really note, again, that there ARE many people in the world who have willingly donated to this project before it had a hint of commercialization. These people are very refreshing. Even if tough economic times, they gave what they could because they believed in the project. Whew, I suddenly feel a sense of great responsibility ;o.

Software Engineer. Bitsum LLC.

Hotrod

#12
I must say that while I agree with Jeremy's choices, I also would like to defend the FREE users. I think the only thing setting this back was the timing of it. The economic downturn came at a bad time and was what held me back. If Jeremy had made his choice 6 months earlier, I would have had my check in the mail at once. I would gladly have paid twice as much if my job hadn't started laying off people and my budget shrunk to the point of excessive strain. I still intend on (over)compensating Jeremy when/if this trend ever turns around. But remember this, many people just like me never paid alot for their PC's in the first place(mine were scavenged together from the bits and pieces of friends PC's who had upgraded and gave their old machines away). Their internet was already in place when the economy went south, and their older machines are the ones that NEED PL the most. Also those of us who can't pay still support in the only way we know how...through forum support and encouragement...and most of all through word of mouth advertisement. I know that I tell anyone who will listen to visit bitsum.com and try it out. This is an awesome product Jeremy and I am sure that it will make you $ if you just keep at it. It can't help but succeed.

Jeremy Collake

Thanks HotRod. Yes, you are right, the economy has not helped things. I'll never know how sales would have been if it weren't for these economic troubles, but I think it is safe to assume that sales would have done better.

I can give measure to the economy's effect on PECompact sales though. They dropped off a cliff in November, and still haven't picked back up. Up until that point, PECompact license sales had been fairly consistent.

Anyway, I am always looking for ways to make Process Lasso more affordable, and am open to other programs such as the "spread the word, and get a free license" idea. I am not sure on the implementation details of such a program, but will keep brainstorming on it.
Software Engineer. Bitsum LLC.