GPL programmers are not thinking…
I think what most programmers are forgetting is… “Economies of Scale”.
I use the principle of it is easier to sell 1000 – $1 programs than 1 – $1000 program. Plus the amount of support doesn’t really change, because if you are having a problem, more than likely, everyone will have the same problem. You have to TEST your software AND provide “system requirements” which I have rarely seen on WordPress plugin sites. And DON’T let your end users be your beta testers… if you do, then your support costs will go up astronomically.
Most programmers are spanking the end user… 179.00 a year for one plugin that does only one tiny thing on one site. Really? And they wonder why people buy it for $10 somewhere else. If they had it where they charged $12 for one site per year, and have it of you want support with that, add another $20 they would put all the “resellers” out of business. That way site developers who have a clue and don’t need support aren’t paying an arm and a leg for the software. And DYIer’s are paying for support cause most have no clue. (Even though they think they do.) That is what I used to do with my software. Charge less, make more money.
I know they think that their stuff is the greatest thing since sliced bread. And they spent days, weeks, months writing / testing it… (Been there, done that.) But they need to pull their heads out of their butts like I had to do. And realize that charging an arm and leg for it will get you way less money. One reason… Some people are scared, they have been burned by buying software with a lifetime subscription, only to have the company go out of business or hear the… “Well the lifetime was for version whatever now we are moving to version whatever.” story. (Been there, done that, too.) Second reason… If it is too expensive, it is more likely to get stolen. That is why criminals steal expensive cars and not rust buckets.
As far as development costs, you may think you are the sharpest tool in the shed, but there are programmers that can dance circles around you or have an easier and faster way of doing it. For example, I was having a problem with a section of my programming. I paid a programmer to help me figure it out. He had it done in one day, after I spent a week monkey farting around trying to get it to work the way I wanted it to. And he didn’t use any of my original coding and it was smaller and faster. And in another example, when I had money to burn, I had 4 programmers and a db admin working for me, and after the lovely Dot Com crash, I had to let them go and take over all the programming myself. I quickly realized that by programming by myself, I was able to actually get more done than the 5 of them and the coding was more consistent. At the time, I was doing technical marketing and sales for the program to one of the top 3 search engines, so as long as it worked, I didn’t look at what they were doing in detail. Big mistake… had to rewrite about 50 percent of what they had done. It was a massive bloatware mess. Functions and crap all over the place. So look at what you are doing and hire a good programmer on a per job basis and don’t rely on your “gurus” or keep an eye on them. There is that old saying, one programmer one month, 2 programmers 2 months, etc. etc. It is true… VERY true.
What I do now is search for the companies that aren’t raping the end user and buy their stuff. However, I’m tempted to join these “clubs” when I see 179.00 a year pricing on plugins that only do one tiny thing. (For that price I should get kissed first and a reach around at least.)
On my non gpl stuff, I encode it and to keep the crackers from stealing it, it has to have a license to connect to my servers to work. In addition, part of the core software is on the servers. So they can’t bypass the licensing and still have it work. And I pay for multiple servers in different locations to make sure the “core” is available 24/7. It costs a lot for the redundancy, encoding and licensing software, and even then, I wasn’t spanking my end users.