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This is an argument that will rage on endlessly. I fear and think that the days of software upgrade pricing will be coming to an end.

We've seen this argument when OF1 was being sold. We saw it again when OF1 for iPhone and iPad was released. We're seeing it with the OF2 upgrade pricing being debated. We're seeing it again with the OF2 for iPhone being released.

In the link I posted previously, there is one idea I do support:

If you use it every day and it improves the quality of life, isn't twenty bucks such as a small investment that can yield bigger gains and rewards worth it?

It's like an expensive pair of shoes. If they are high quality and you use it a lot, isn't it worth it? I know I get the "Macs are too expensive" argument. If I only use a computer to check Facebook, read e-mail, and surf the web then it probably is too expensive.

But if I use my Mac to it full potential every day - designing brochures, laying out publications, managing various projects in my life - then I'd argue that my Mac wasn't expensive at all.

This is notion of rewarding loyal users with upgrade pricing is going to become a thing of the past. THat's what I feat that the world has come to. But that's alright. I got my twenty bucks worth out of OF2 for iPhone. If you felt that OF2 for iPhone was too expensive at $20 then perhaps it's not the right product for you?

The people who bought on week one was probably more than willing to pay the twenty bucks. These first week customers weren't looking for a reward. They bought in already.
 
Great job on OF2 for iphone, I was glad to spend $20 for the updated build. I am an omnifocus rookie and had invested in the original for iphone and ipad, thought they were really good as well..

Happy to support a quality company !!!!

Looking forward to OF2 for Mac....
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by omninutz View Post
I know it is only a difference of $10 but it still incredibly knocks my nerves that omni refused to offer a 50% discount in the first week or so.

They even had a comment on twitter that they considered it but this type of discount rewarded the wrong type of customer. Really felt offended by that. Really, the people who follow you and will buy week 1 are the wrong type of customers to reward?
I'm sorry I didn't explain that comment better on twitter! I assume you're referring to this tweet of mine:

Quote:
Considered that option, but it discounts for the wrong audienceói.e., for those who see and buy quickly, not those who invested.
There's an important distinction between your paraphrase and what I originally said: I said that a sale would discount for the wrong "audience", not "customer". We're always happy to provide discounts for our customers! But a time-based sale would reach a whole different audience than our customers, which would be disrespectful of the investment our customers have made in our products.

With a time-based sale, there's no doubt that some of the purchases would certainly come from our loyal customersówhich would be great! But we wouldn't reach most of our customers in time, since we don't have a good communication channel in place for reaching them.

Meanwhile, we would pull in a lot (and I mean a lot!) of new customers who didn't think our app was worth buying at $20óbut who are happy to buy in at $10. We're suddenly selling our app to a whole different audience of more casual customers, all of whom got a much better deal than the serious customers who invested at $20.

Now we've done two unfair things to our $20 customers: a bunch of them missed the sale, so they're disappointed about that. And a bunch of them are kicking themselves for ever investing $20 in our app since a whole bunch of new people are getting it now for just $10.

But it doesn't end there: we've also now diluted our loyal customers' level of support because our support team's is now supporting a whole bunch of new, more casual customers who invested less money. This is a double-whammy: people who invest less money are actually more likely to need support because they're less likely to invest time learning our appóand because they've invested less money, we have fewer support resources available to spend supporting them.

In the end, time-based sales simply reward people who find out about the sale in time. If we knew we had a communication channel that would reach the bulk of our customers in time for them to take advantage of the sale, this might be more practical. Of if we had some way to block out people who weren't our existing customers during the sale period, that would also help dramatically. But without those options, I'm afraid the sale would reach some of the right audienceólike those reading this messageóbut a lot of the wrong audience.

Again, I'm sorry that my brief note on Twitter wasn't more clear about why we think time-based sales are a bad idea. I hope this explanation helps clear that up!
 
That was a really thoughtful response, Ken. Thanks.
 
It's bloody bullshit is what it is. Sorry but I am offended right now that I have spent $40 equivalent, plus $60 equivalent, plus $120 equivalent when it could have been $30, $45 and $90 or whatever discount you could have offered. I have paid a huge (for me) sum of money to OmniGroup over the years, helped them with their beta-testing, proselytised their apps and the company at every opportunity and you are trying to tell me that I would have been offended if you had offered me a time-limited discount? WTF, that is completely insane and frankly insulting.

Yes, I might have missed the sale and I would have been extremely annoyed at myself if I did, but that doesn't mean I would blame OmniGroup. It's the reality of the App Store that this is the only way that companies are able to offer discounts to their current users. It is what they DO. It's what users of the App Store know to expect - there could be a time when an app is discounted, particularly if it is a version upgrade. If you don't know that then it's tough for sure, but come on, there are no other ways to discount upgrades for your current users. None.

I am sick of OmniGroup making excuses for their complete intransigence on this. Either be up front and state outright in the app description that you will never ever offer any discounts or don't pretend to hum and hah about it. First you were waiting to see what Apple would do. Now you are just insulting our intelligence with a disgusting attempt at an excuse.

And for everyone saying I don't have to upgrade. That is a lie. I may not need to upgrade right now, but I have to upgrade at some point - I absolutely depend on these apps for my work. OmniGroup have already pulled their version 1 apps. They are no longer developing them. I can't rely on version 1 working with future updates of iOS. A point release to iOS7 could easily break them and I have no guarantee that OmniGroup will fix them or fix them quickly enough if that happened. I am forced to upgrade.

And for people saying that OmniFocus isn't worth the $20 to me. Of course it is, but I have already paid that. That is the whole point. I have already paid $20. I am not getting an entirely new app with version 2, I am getting a point upgrade to the one I already have. It doesn't have twice the features. It doesn't have twice the functionality. It didn't have to be twice the cost to me and everyone else who already owns it.
 
You know, whenever the subject of OF pricing comes up here, one of the faithful inevitably responds with a statement suggesting that someone shouldnít purchase the software if their data isnít important enough to merit the purchase price. I know thatís an easy way to dismiss an argument, but it's honestly more than a little tiresome ... in part because it comes across as condescending, whether itís meant that way or not.

But now, the problem is that those statements arenít even accurate anymore. For current OF users, the software has suddenly changed from being a $20 program to being a $40 one -- without giving the buyer that information beforehand -- and thatís very unfortunate for someone whoís only been using the program for a few weeks or months. Since few people will want to entrust their task management data to an app that wonít even receive bugfixes, most of us are realistically stuck with paying twice -- Omni has effectively painted us into a corner. Itís a great concept for a cash-cow product, I suppose, but it really leaves a bad taste in my mouth. At the very least, I think Omni ethically owes its 1.x user base a guaranteed period of bugfix upgrades.

It should also be something of a warning to anyone whoís considering purchasing any other iOS apps from Omni. Given what just happened with the iPhone app, no one in their right mind should buy the current version of the iPad app now, because itís pretty much guaranteed that over the next few months the $40 app is really going to cost you $80.

And honestly, from looking at the promotional video itís really difficult for me to even consider this a 2.0 app. There are lots of bright colors and lots of white space, but little in the way of new functionality, and the new landing page for the app is unintuitive and poorly designed. It's a rush job. Iím not sure at this point whether Iíll buy it, or get up the initiative to move on ... but either way, Omni has definitely lost my advocacy and my goodwill. I know itís hard to quantify that sort of thing, which is probably why Omni decided to ignore the topic, but I can say with some certainty that in my case that lost advocacy is worth considerably more than the $20 they may or may not get from me.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JKT View Post
It's bloody bullshit is what it is. Sorry but I am offended right now that I have spent $40 equivalent, plus $60 equivalent, plus $120 equivalent when it could have been $30, $45 and $90 or whatever discount you could have offered.
I think you misunderstand: our current prices are already discounted because of the compromise we've had to make about not being able to offer upgrade discounts. Your total investment for these two releases would have been the same $40, but we probably would be charging $30 for the initial purchase and $10 for an upgrade.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pitamakan View Post
Omni has effectively painted us into a corner. Itís a great concept for a cash-cow product, I suppose, but it really leaves a bad taste in my mouth. At the very least, I think Omni ethically owes its 1.x user base a guaranteed period of bugfix upgrades.
Please understand that we do still support our 1.x customers and will do what we can to make sure their existing investment is preserved.

But please understand that this situation is caused by the current limitations in the App Store, not by some policy decision on our part. Customers who purchased Logic Pro 9 from Apple before the upgrade to Logic Pro X are in the same boat, for example: those who paid $199 two months ago still have to pay $199 again today, and appear to be left without any channel for bug fixes.

For purchases from our own online store, we've always offered upgrade pricing, long-term bug fixes (e.g. providing updates to OmniGraffle 4 long after we shipped OmniGraffle 5), and so on. And we're trying to provide what we can through the App Store as well. (It remains to be seen whether Apple will approve an update to an app we no longer sellóbut we do plan to try.)
 
Ken,

Thank you for the response, and I apologize for the grousing. I honestly don't enjoy typing out sentiments like this, especially since I've really admired Omni for a long time ... and it pains me that I don't anymore.

And I agree that Apple's policy on paid upgrades is frustrating -- but I don't think it's something to legitimately hide behind when explaining this decision. This is in part because Apple's phasing out of paid upgrades has been a two-part process: they eliminated the discount, but they also greatly reduced the price point for entry. Logic Pro, for example, used to be a $1000 program, IIRC. The price of entry for Omni's apps hasn't been correspondingly reduced, at least on OS X ... and given the pricing tiers you have I honestly question how heavily the "no paid upgrades" topic likely factored into the initial pricing decisions for the iOS apps.

The other issue is that from what I've seen and read, this really doesn't seem to be a "major" upgrade, at all. Almost no new features have been added and some in fact have been lost ... mostly, it's just a visual rearrangement to make the app more congruent with the visuals in iOS 7. I know you wanted to take advantage of the attention generated by the iOS 7 launch date, but if you'd given the app a little more time and actually provided it with some substantiative new functionality, I think many OF users would feel a little less ripped off today.

I'm a fairly heavy iOS user, and over the last few days I think I've received roughly 50 app upgrades, for both free and paid apps, pretty much all to provide iOS 7 compatibility. Omni is the only one, though, that's asking me to pay again. While I know of one or two other companies that have taken advantage of iOS 7 to try to get people to repurchase apps, they're definitely the outliers ... and even the other one that I'm aware of are offering a discounted initial price, which makes Omni even more of an outlier.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pitamakan View Post
Logic Pro, for example, used to be a $1000 program, IIRC. The price of entry for Omni's apps hasn't been correspondingly reduced, at least on OS X ...
We continue to offer upgrade discounts on OS X, unlike Apple, and the bulk of our customers are eligible for them (since most of our sales happen on our own online store, not the Mac App Store) so our Mac prices have remained steady.

However, we have definitely taken this into account when pricing our iOS apps. When we originally introduced OmniFocus for iPhone, we surveyed the landscape of similar apps and found that most serious apps on the space cost $60-$80óso we came in at $20, an incredible deal. When we introduced our iPad apps, we discounted 50% for reduced functionality from the desktop, and another 50% because we were unable to preserve investments by offering upgrade discounts.

The problem with that strategy has been that lowering our prices doesn't actually help all our customers feel like their investments are preserved: it widens our audience to include people who don't think the app is worth the higher price we would have charged, and who now want upgrade pricing based on the lower price. I think Apple has found this to be the case with their Pro apps as well: yes, their $999 apps are now available for $199, but people who bought at $199 still expect an upgrade discount when the next version comes along.

Quote:
The other issue is that from what I've seen and read, this really doesn't seem to be a "major" upgrade, at all.
It may not be a major upgrade from your perspective, but it certainly is a major upgrade in terms of usability and performance and providing a modern architecture for future work.

Now, I recognize that that may not be enough for people who already have OmniFocus 1. After all, we put a lot of work into OmniFocus 1 over its five year run, adding perspectives, maps, time and place alerts, Siri, Forecast, and moreóit was and is a very mature product.

So if the improvements in version 2 aren't worth $20 to you, then there's no need to buy version 2 right now! We continue to support customers who are using OmniFocus 1, even on iOS 7, and it will be our job to continue to make version 2 better and better until (hopefully!) there's enough value there to make it worthwhile for everyone to upgrade.
 
 


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