App Cubby Blog – The Sparrow Problem: “The gold rush is well and truly over.”
(Via. app cubby)
I’ve been feeling that this was the case for a while now, but it’s good to see other indie devs acknowledging it. We did this to ourselves; by racing to drop our prices down to basically nothing, we’ve trained an entire generation of users to value our products at next to nothing. And then we act surprised when they complain about having to pay for anything. It happened with the web, and now it’s happened to the App Store.
I’ve long told people that as successful as Angry Birds was, if they had charged $2 instead of $1, it would have made almost twice as much money. People wouldn’t have balked at paying $2 for such an amazingly well thought out and executed game. But instead, the rest of the world saw that $1 price tag and assumed that the price was the cause of the success.
If more developers had been willing to take a stand on pricing, charge a fair price for a better experience, we may have stood a better chance of educating the public on this. Heck, $10 and $20 apps were still way cheaper than anything they had seen before on mobile, let alone the desktop. $10 would have looked extremely cheap in 2008. Now it’s way overpriced in the average consumer’s mind.
You know why lawyers get to charge $300 an hour? Because they’re lawyers. And that’s what lawyers cost. That’s what lawyers insist on charging. And no one questions it. They have a skill you don’t have, and they know what it’s worth.
Why should a developer feel any differently?
But now that everyone has 99-cents in his or her head, it’s going to be a lot harder. We have to fight an uphill battle, rather than a downward one. We have to counteract several years of poor training. And we have to do it while the scam artists and crapware vendors are still around polluting the store with nonsense.
Still, to be honest, I’m partially glad that devs are finally starting to realize that 99-cents is unsustainable. Hopefully, this will chase the get-rich-quick folks out of the Store and leave it to the rest of us who just want to bang out a decent living and are in it for the long haul. And maybe fewer people in bars will try to tell me their great idea for the next “million-dollar” app.
And maybe, must maybe, we can finally all start charging slightly higher prices. Sure, we’ll lose the cheapskates, but we don’t need them, anyway. They’re only going to give us support headaches and 1-star reviews, anyway.