Thoughts on MacHeist & Co.

A lot has been written about MacHeist in the last couple of days, serious criticism and defense. And as we participated in various promotion events recently, I want to say a few words to this controversy and about our engagement with MacHeist, MacZOT, and MacAppADay. To make it short, Oliver Breidenbach from Boinx Software and Roustem Karimov from have said it all. I totally agree with them.

All these events are adventurous attempts to find new ways to sell and to promote Mac software. They offer us as Mac software vendors new platforms to advertise our products and to offer their users e.g. discounts or freebies. Taking part in these promotion events gives us the opportunity to reach new customers who would elsewise never have heard of us because they’re not passing along the places on the Internet where we are usually advertising or announcing our products.

Now, some are claiming that either these web sites are ripping us off or bringing only customers interested in anything free. They are not ripping us off, we have either mutually agreed on a share or fee, or they’re offering their marketing services for free and make their money through advertising. That’s just fair. They offer a service to the community, users get discounts or free software, and we get the opportunity to sell our products to them, or upgrades. We may give our software for a significant discount, like at MacZOT’s and MacHeist’s, but we also sell so many more copies that it’s still a win-win-win for all of us, users, promotors, and us.

Kudos to the crews of MacHeist, MacZOT, and MacAppADay for creating these new platforms. And to quote Oliver Breidenbach: “If they succeed, it may well be that this becomes a good revenue stream for Mac developers. Because if they succeed, the next time, the amount of money that we will demand will increase dramatically. And if it turns out that it was all not worth our while, we simply will have to mark it down as another way not to get rich.”

10 Responses to “Thoughts on MacHeist & Co.”

  1. James says:

    I have to agree with this 100%. As a busy student in a non-computer technical field (medicine) I consider myself pretty ignorant to much of the independent software development goign on for the Mac. I frequent because I like to read about the possibilities of new and exciting Apple products and it’s only because of this that I saw the MacHeist software bundle offer. I checked it out, thought some of the different apps that were being offered looked pretty cool and were being offered at a substantial discount and said “what the heck.” Now I gotten the chance to play around with DEVONthink, a program that could prove itself incredibly useful considering the ridiculous amounts of reading material and online research I find myself having to perform on a daily basis. I’ve gotten to check out Delicious Library and scanned in most of my textbooks which I can use to keep track of my growing collection and whom is borrowing what and when.

    I guess my main point is I don’t think I would have even found let alone tried some of these apps had it not been for the discount. Keep up the good work all you Mac developers and keep on finding new ways to reach people like me whom don’t have the time or the energy to go searching around the web for applications to make our lives more fun and more productive.

  2. Randy Wise says:

    Well I am new to the mac and linked to this site through machheist. I don’t think I would have found you otherwise


  3. Lerxst says:

    Most of the developers criticizing MacHeist are making the same error, they focus too much on the financial side of the thing. And this initiative is not really about money, is about marketing, about reaching out people, creating buzz.

    I for one NEVER spent any money buying this kind of software before. I come from a Linux background and during the last 18 months since my switch to a Mac I always went for the free apps. But the deal at MacHeist was just too sweet to let it pass, and you know what, I learned that it actually feels good to pay for good shareware software. So now I am more open about opening my wallet next time I find a nice, well designed $19 Mac app out there.

    Some people are treating this issue as if the MacHeist guys were playing with a billion-dollar market, but in reality it was just one of those “not much to lose” experiments, if it failed and the sales went down for a while for TextMate, Devon, Delicious Monster etc it probably would be so for just a few days, this is “internet-time” after all, things come and go so fast.

    Well, that’s it, it was a long rant 🙂 Looking forward to put my hands on my new MacBook that I ordered for xmas and then install all these sweet apps from the bundle in it!

  4. I was going to buy TextMate when I came across MacHeist. Now I am the proud owner of 10 great apps (including DEVONthink Personal) instead of only one.

    This is definitely a win-win situation for all of us!

  5. David Thole says:

    I’m really glad that you and other developers decided to go into this deal. In some ways I feel that it may not be the most fair to developers (considering the flat fee thing), but this is a good way for new people to use DevonThink. I’ve been a supporter of DT/DA for awhile now, but now I have 2 licenses. This affords the flexibility of trying to get one of my coworkers onto this product (which I’d really like to see). I just wanted to say thanks again for participating in this, I had licenses for a few of these (DT and TextMate), but I had a chance to try out software I never even heard of before.

    I do hope you guys got paid more than the 5-6k projected though 😉

  6. […] It seems that no matter where you turn these days, as a mac enthusiast, you’re inundated with arguments about whether or not MacHeist was good or bad for the mac shareware market. […]

  7. I agree. I would probably not have bought DEVONthink if I had not run into MacHeist. Now I have DEVONthink and have upgraded DEVONagent (that I got for free from MacAppADay)! I sure will upgrade to DEVONthink 3 whenever it comes!

  8. funkright says:

    I have to say that these shareware sites have shown me more quality software than any store did before I switched to the Mac. I’ve spent more money on shareware since switching to the Mac than I did in 15 years of windows usage. That says something. I absolutely love the community.

  9. Philippe says:

    If using sites like macHeist, MacSanta or others offer to developpers a larger audience and can help them -financially- to maintain their sharewares, I will promote them.
    The financial deal between macHeist and the developpers is a agreement the buyers have not to discuss.

  10. ron says:

    I avoided DEVONthink for awhile in favor of other freeware alternatives because money is tight at the moment, but most of them left me wanting. I convinced my wife to get the MacHeist bundle for christmas mainly for DEVONthink, since I had not heard of most of the others. Well, in a short week I have already upgraded to Professional because it has had that much of an impact on my daily routine. If it wasn’t for opportunities like this, I would still be on the periphery of such a great application. Well done!