The early seemingly overnight success stories have, I think, created a skewed perception of how easy it is and should be to make money in the App Store. That being said, I think there is some merit to the argument that the low prices and large number of free applications that dominate the app store have created a sense of entitlement and have fostered an environment where people feel like they are owed free upgrades in perpetuity.
This can be evidenced by this blog posting that takes Loren Brichter to task because he's releasing the next version of Tweetie for the iPhone as a new app with no upgrade path. This blog post has such gems as
A slew of new features and functionality does not, to me, make it a different app.Right, and when Adobe releases a new version of Photoshop or Microsoft releases a new version of Word with "a slew of new features and functionality", those are, of course, free, right?
Of course not.
It takes time and money and hard work to create that slew, and that has to be paid for somehow. When you get your oil changed in your car, you don't expect it to be free the next time bring your car in, because it's the same task they're performing, do you? Because you paid for a newspaper to be delivered today, doesn't mean you expect to get it free tomorrow and forever, does it? Of course not. No business can run without revenue. If Loren continued to spend all of his time developing Tweetie and never got more money from his existing customers for the new features, he would eventually go bankrupt and starve. Or more likely, he'd stop developing Tweetie before that happened, and we'd never get any cool new features again.
I don't know Loren personally, but I use Tweetie as my iPhone client (along with Twitteriffic which is also excellent) and I try to keep abreast of what's going on in the iPhone development world. Many of the people I follow on Twitter are beta testers for Tweetie 2, and I can tell you from the chatter I've seen that an awful lot of hard work has gone into the next version of Tweetie over quite a long period of time.
Loren has decided to ask a very reasonable fee for the new iPhone version of Tweetie, which should be showing up on the App Store in the next week or so. The $2.99 he's asking is less than most of us spend per day on coffee. If the author of the blog post above is making minimum wage, then he made more money from penning that whiny rant that it would cost to buy the new Tweetie. Get a fucking sense of perspective. The world owes you nothing. Loren owes you nothing. You paid for Tweetie 1, and you got Tweetie 1. Nowhere in that transaction did anyone promise to deliver to you new versions on a silver platter in perpetuity.
The old version will still be available to those who have purchased it. You won't be made to stop using it, or forced to upgrade, you just won't get the cool new features that Loren's been busting his ass to write over the last six months. You won't stop getting the benefit of what you've paid for.
Even though I occasionally offend people with my opinions, I rarely do it intentionally. But in this case, I think certain people, like the author of the blog linked above, along with all the people echoing similar sentiments on Twitter deserve a little verbal slapping around. This kind of immature sense of entitlement should not be coddled or put up with. People whining about the cost of the upgrade should be told in no uncertain terms that they are acting like fucking toddlers. Worse, because toddlers are, well… toddlers. These people are presumably adults and should know better.
If the new features aren't worth $2.99 to you, fine, don't buy it. There are plenty of other Twitter clients available, several of which are free. So shut your pie hole and go find another client rather than whining about how you are entitled to the end-product of Loren's hard work for the last half year simply because you paid about the price of a bottle of soda about a year ago.
If you really like Tweetie… if it's your favorite twitter client, then for fuck's sake, it's only three bucks to help ensure that we keep getting new features! If you don't, then why would you want the new version anyway. Just on principle?
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