Code by Kevin, Programming, code, business, and other pursuits
Kevin Walzer, software developer.
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As part of the new releases of all my software, I've raised their price: from $20 to $24.95. This might raise a few eyebrows, especially since these are all point updates (for example, from 2.0 to 2.1), and the improvements are refinements of existing features and bug fixes, not a laundry list of new whizbang features. Most price hikes tend to come when a program is bumped from 2.4 to 3.0, and when the software vendor can point to "300 new features!"
I believe the price hikes are justified, however. There is value in continuous refinement and improvement, just as there is value in substantial new functionality.
The changes I've made to my products make them first-class citizens on Leopard, for instance. Shiny new 512-pixel application icons, toggling toolbars, full integration with Leopard's new floating "help" window, no more crashes when saving files, and more. And they retain backward compatibility with Tiger, to boot. These changes represent a lot of work over the past few months. Prior to that, my programs underwent a similar course of evolution: not a lot of new features, but dramatic refinements and simplifications in the user interface, as well as improvements and additions to the user documentation, so that they became more intuitive and pleasant to use. And most of these releases were made as point updates, not entirely new versions.
Over the course of a year, this represents a substantial amount of development work in each program--and substantial improvement. When I was testing the software update feature in each of my programs, I unarchived and used versions that were about 18 months old. They had pretty much the same functionality as the new versions, but they were almost painful to use--it's a wonder I sold any licenses at all, at any price.
So the price increase today is a reflection of the increased value of my software. Relative to competing products, my programs are worth the price I'm charging. Their feature set, elegance, and documentation surpass the free competition, and offers a better value than higher-priced competitors.