#1 2013-09-04 23:58

From: den4b.com
Registered: 2006-04-06
Posts: 3,399

How it all evolves into Lite vs Pro

I think it's a pinnacle point of this project. A good one I hope! (4 new releases at the bottom of this writeup)

The evolution of technology and software development has seen significant changes over the past decade. We no longer play snake games on our polyphonic-able phones, instead we browse Youtube videos on our smartphones. We prefer reading blog posts to actual books, and we probably spend more time Facebook'ing, Tweeting and socializing online rather than offline. And software is the fundamental block in all these great technologies, which evolves at an ever increasing pace, demanding better, faster, more functional and usable interfaces. Fun times!

I remember about the same decade ago I started this project - the den4b site. Back then I didn't know what exactly it was or what it could become. I was playing with random ideas, prototypes, small tools. It was a time of college life, full of free time for wonders and hobbies. Slowly but surely various ideas started to evolve into viable software products, unconsciously.

For a very long time all these products where provided and supported completely free of charge. Then the notion of donations came along when people started asking how to express their gratitude and support future development. At that stage the time became more precious than ever before, while this project became significantly more demanding and consuming, requiring a full time commitment yet without a hint of financial support. I remember I was on a brink of giving it all up as I published the Great and not so great...

Nonetheless, we have survived, thanks to the understanding and supporting community. A this point it was understood that treating it as a hobby no longer works. The project also required financial support in order maintain the development. This is when the licensing terms have settled in and commercial licensing was introduced. This did not radically change the situation as the licensing lacked transparency and motivation since there was no differentiating factor between the free and commercially licensed products (apart from the small script in license agreements).

About 6 months ago the registration facility was getting gradually introduced to allow better handling of commercial users. The ground was set up, but exactly what was that ground for? So I started reading a lot about small software vendors (so called microISV), their paths, and commercialization in general. An extremely helpful Successful Software blog highlights some of the chalanges and suggestions for Starting a microISV. Bearing in mind what I have learned recently, together with valuable advices, I started devising a strategy - a strategy which brings us to where we are today - Lite vs Pro.

Don't worry, the "Lite" version is not much lighter than the "Pro" version. It is basically the same feature-full product with only a couple of features either limited or disabled. While the general advantages of the "Pro" version are:

  • Commercial use

  • Prioritized technical support

  • Supporting the future development

  • (full feature matrix)

I would like to bring this writeup to an end with 4 new releases:

Just to give you a hint what's coming next: I would like to focus on the tiny but annoying issues which were sitting on the backburner way to long. Tiny details do matter, as it is elegantly demonstrated in the example of automated cat feeders - This Is All Your App Is: a Collection of Tiny Details.


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