Tag Archives: free

Deal with it: software can’t be free forever

In just few days I’ve came across three examples of how “software for free” model hardly works, at least for developers. One of them is tr.im, the service to shorten long URLs. According to their blog, they’ve unsuccessfully tried to find an investor for their service. Of course, without proper funding, why would they spend any more time on it? And moreover, who will pay for hosting and other administrative fees? Second example is a project management / source control service codespaces.com. They recently decided to cease free plan and started charging $3 for it.

Another popular example is a great instant messaging client Digsby. They are trying to find a sustainable reason to continue developing it, and, as it seems, they plan to do that by displaying advertisements. In my opinion it’s a wrong method. So called “adware” model was popular about 10 years ago and it failed miserably. What happened now is that part of the community is actually angry on Digsby management. Can you believe it?

Related joke

One man was giving a $100 bill to a beggar every single day. After some time, those 100 bucks gradually became 50, 40, 30, and finally one day he gave him only $10.

B: Excuse me, sir. Can I ask you something?
M: Sure!
B: How come you always gave me $100 and now it’s only $10?
M: Well, you know, in the meantime I got married and we got a kid, our expenses are much higher now, we are building a new house…
B: A house? You are building a house? With MY money???

There simply must be a way of paying those developer-days/months/years or the whole project is doomed. Just browse some of Open Source repositories and check how many software sits abandoned. Alas, developers must eat too. 🙂 Some businesses succeeded to persuade Venture Capitalist to initially invest money for the development, but sooner or later this VC will stop throwing funds away and expect the return of this investment. It’s simply how economy works, like it or not. As some have predicted before, this whole “software should be free” bubble will burst, and it’s now becoming evident for those who didn’t believe it.

Before someone says “electrons are free so software should be too”, here’s few considerations to think about:

  1. Developer’s time is not free
  2. Your time is not free
  3. Knowledge (education) is not free
  4. Equipment (computers) is not free
  5. Electrons are not actually free either (you still must pay for web hosting)
  6. Nobody works for free unless someone else pays their bills (parents, for example)

So there’s really no point arguing on this. Lawyers don’t charge just for cost of a peace of paper, taxi drivers don’t charge just for a gas, professional football players don’t play for free, cars are not priced just on value of raw materials – the list can go on and on. So why then some people think that developers should charge just for a CD?

Of course, some free-to-use software will always exist, but in a long term, it must pay off in one way or another. Being it through  consulting and support (applicable for enterprise markets), advertisements, information access (various Google products), offering a premium version, or whatever works in a specific case.

So, people, you have no right to assume to get something for nothing – at least not forever…

4 ways to buy Agenda At Once PIM for $0

Agenda At Once screenshotHere’s an opportunity to get a Agenda At Once PIM software license for free. We don’t ask much – probably anyone can accomplish at least three of these requirements with minimal effort; some are so trivial that we’ll need to withdraw them at some point…

1. Write and publish a mini review on your (or someone else’s) blog, website or productivity forum.

2. Comment and submit a (honest!) rating at some of popular download websites (download.com, softpedia.com, fileforum.betanews.com, snapfiles.com, …).

3. Send us at least 10 suggestions or bugs. Everything counts, regardless of importance or severity. And this includes website and help (user manual) errors, obscure parts or wording improvements.

4. Finish one of presented TrialPay offers (subscribe to a service, join a network, buy different product, etc). Feel free to browse a list and find something that you like.

And of course, if your trial is over before you had chance to review it properly, just ask and we will send you trial extension key.

Free or cheap: CD Label Designer

CD Label Designer infoCD label makers are used by wide range of people: hobbyists and professionals, students and business people, musicians and developers, teens, parents and grandparents. Everyone must make a CD or DVD at least once in a lifetime. Still, it’s quite understandable that not everybody has same pocket depth. And what’s more important, not everybody earns money by making CDs.

That’s why we have decided to, at least for a while, offer number of options so you can get your own copy of CD Label Designer for free or with a significant discount. It’s totally legal and supported by officials, of course. 🙂

In return, we need a small favor from you. Lot of time has been spent to create this software, and giving it away just like that wouldn’t be so smart (regardless what some people tend to think). Instead, you can make a small effort and give us something in return.

Currently available options:

  1. Free: TrialPay
  2. Free: Blog or a website review
  3. 50% off: Forum post
  4. 50% off: Download.com comment
  5. 10%-50% off: Tell a friend
  6. 30% off: Competitive upgrade

See details for these offers

If you have another idea, we will be glad to hear it. Feel free to contact us with a suggestion.