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Last post Author Topic: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)  (Read 43969 times)

CWuestefeld

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #75 on: September 23, 2010, 01:45:29 PM »
Rob, thank you very much for the update. I'm really very glad to hear that you're still around, and that things are progressing -- if a bit slowly than you and the rest of the community might wish.

But, I do have to concentrate on the public side of it, because sales (i.e. income) is the thing that enables the development

I agree completely. But let me suggest that it's extremely important that your potential customers see this as an ongoing concern. If it looks like everything is "lights out", nobody's going to want to sink their money into that dead end. And for your existing customers too: their word-of-mouth ought to be an important marketing tool for you, so keeping them feeling like they're spending their time in a product (and community) with great future potential is essential. Your presence is necessary for all that.

Even if you were to just post to the forum every day or two a couple of sentences, something like "Today I'm working on the new vibrance enhancements, but it's taking longer than I'd hoped because I need to optimize the code to get it to the point where it's still comfortable to interact with." [1] Even if you told people you wouldn't have time to respond or add any more detail, just the fact that (a) you're seen to be there and active, and (b) the topic is progress on the new version would be a big help. Your users and potential customers would feel anticipation rather than anxiety.

For what it's worth, I'm using Sagelight for most of my image editing needs lately, and I really am looking forward to your upcoming version. Once you're ready, I hope to see you back here with the announcement.

[1] I made that up. It's probably not true, but seems typical of what might go on.

Darwin

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #76 on: September 23, 2010, 01:55:36 PM »
Great to hear from you Rob and welcome to DC  :Thmbsup:

A quick question about lifetime licenses - are all existing licenses "liftetime" or only those sold during a specific period?
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Curt

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #77 on: September 23, 2010, 04:04:07 PM »
...are all existing licenses "lifetime" or only those sold during a specific period?

I don't know but expect gizmo's edition really was an "exclusive edition" - there is no longer a version called by this name. Anyway, the lifetime site doesn't offer Sagelight, but has a link to buy it via the developer's site, at only $40 - apparently for a lifetime license, but the word "lifetime" is not used.

http://www.sagelight...or.com/purchase.html
http://www.lifetimeu...t-image-editor-trial

J-Mac

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #78 on: September 23, 2010, 09:50:27 PM »
I just went ahead and purchased Sagelight based on Rob's post. See - taking the time for that got you at least one new purchase/user, Rob!

I had passed when the Gizmo version was available; the UI really doesn’t impress me at all. Very non-intuitive compared to the various other editors I have used. But... the results look great and since I presently don’t have an editor that I feel is worth a darn I figured I would try to tolerate the UI since the product is great otherwise.   :)

I realize that's not the most lifting review of Sagelight but I felt I had to tell it like I see it.

Thanks!

Jim

J-Mac

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #79 on: September 23, 2010, 09:55:27 PM »
BTW, having just purchased Sagelight I sure do hope that this is the Lifetime licensed version. Doesn’t say anything about that in the registration email, nor in the About screen. Actually the About screen doesn’t even mention that it is a licensed version at all. (Doesnt say it is a trial version either at least...)

Thank you.

Jim

TucknDar

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #80 on: September 24, 2010, 01:23:32 AM »
is there any sort of upgrade discount available if I'm upgrading from the gizmo edition?

Curt

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #81 on: September 24, 2010, 02:00:39 AM »
Helicon can be trialed for 30 days without any limitations. The version from BdJ is 5.0 beta. Version 4.93.2 is FREE :-)
http://www.heliconso...ilter_downloads.html

as of today:

Quote
Helicon Filter 5.0.9 Beta (18.06.2010)

My version stopped working, and with no updates available, Helicon has become useless to me.

Yes, I've tried to remove all of it, and re-install, to no avail.
 :(

Edited:
"initializing failed (0xc00000005)" + drive "H" is hinted, but I don't have a drive H.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2010, 08:42:49 AM by Curt »

Curt

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #82 on: September 24, 2010, 02:15:16 AM »
is there any sort of upgrade discount available if I'm upgrading from the gizmo edition?

for now, there is no version available to upgrade to.

Rob Nelson

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #83 on: September 24, 2010, 02:58:00 AM »
Hi, Everyone.

Thanks a lot for all of the feedback.  It's really nice to hear what you think.

Quote
But let me suggest that it's extremely important that your potential customers see this as an ongoing concern. If it looks like everything is "lights out", nobody's going to want to sink their money into that dead end

I totally agree.  I think, really, it was the internal things that were getting me down about keeping up on the discussion board.  It's a long story, but I am glad to be back, and will take your advice.

Quote
For what it's worth, I'm using Sagelight for most of my image editing needs lately, and I really am looking forward to your upcoming version. Once you're ready, I hope to see you back here with the announcement.

Thanks for letting me know that.  Like I said in my earlier post, I am very excited about getting this new release out and am working on it as hard as I can right now to get it out as soon as I can. I really meant to put out more updates, but I tore the engine apart to add some new core components to it, so it wasn't so easy to compartmentalize it into specific pieces.

(re:Darwin's Post)

Quote
A quick question about lifetime licenses - are all existing licenses "liftetime" or only those sold during a specific period?

Everything except for the Pay What You Want purchases are lifetime versions has been upgraded to lifetime versions.  I think that's only fair.  I never really liked sales like that, i.e. the banks giving out things just to new customers.  My cell phone company irriates me with that one!

(re:Curt's Post)

Quote
I don't know but expect gizmo's edition really was an "exclusive edition" - there is no longer a version called by this name.

Oh, maybe the term "exclusive" was misleading.  It was exclusive in the sense it was the only Pay What You Want version.  Gizmo has been very cool about things, and I think it was my idea to label it with their site as a way to thank them for hosting it.  I could have never done it if they hadn't offered to promote it.  I was talking to them about something else and just happened to mentioned I was thinking about a pay-what-you-want sale as a way to try different methods to keep the software as low-cost as possible, and they just offered to do promote it with no questions asked, so I wanted to do something in return.

The real difference comes with version 4.0, since the Gizmo versions don't get updated.


Quote
Anyway, the lifetime site doesn't offer Sagelight, but has a link to buy it via the developer's site, at only $40 - apparently for a lifetime license, but the word "lifetime" is not used.

On www.sagelighteditor.com (on the main page and the purchase page), it should say that there is a current promotion for a lifetime version.  I want to do it permanently, but I am not sure if I'll be able to do that.  I am at least doing it until version 4.0 is out.  I'm just really looking for ways to keep the software cheaper but not devalue it at the same time.  I'm not really a good salesman because I'd rather be developing.  Everyone tells me I should charge more, but I'd give it away for free if I could.  

(re: J-Mac's Post)

Quote
I just went ahead and purchased Sagelight based on Rob's post. See - taking the time for that got you at least one new purchase/user, Rob!

I really appreciate that, especially in light of your feelings on the UI. :)... or do I mean (:? No, I mean :).  

Quote
the UI really doesn’t impress me at all. Very non-intuitive compared to the various other editors I have used

I'd really like to get your thoughts on that.  9 out of 10 people that comment about it tell me that the UI is very intuitive, and I've received quite a few letters telling that's why they bought it, they thought the UI was much easy to deal with.  

But, on the other hand, on the 1 out of 10 comment, I get the exact opposite comment like yours.  I'd really like to know what you're thinking there.  Privately would be better, but, either way, I'd like to know what you want to see.   In some cases, I explain the method to the madness about why it's different -- for example, I get a few letters about why the default RAW conversion initially looks washed out compared to some other editors. When I explain that this has to do with the dual issue of not killing black and white points, but also avoiding range compression in the histogram -- i.e. the whole thing is about keeping a clean and useable histogram -- then it become clear why Sagelight does that on purpose.  But getting feedback (positive or negative, even when it hurts. ha) is a good thing, and I'll look forward to your comments.

Oh, and, yes it is a liftetime version.  You're right, I should indicate that in the follow-up e-mail.  I will fix that.  Anything bought right now is a lifetime version.

(re:TucknDar's Post)

Quote
is there any sort of upgrade discount available if I'm upgrading from the gizmo edition?

I've been a little conflicted about that.  I mean, I'm not trying to just get more money wherever I can.  But, some people paid $1 and others paid $25+ for it during the sale (though, I do have to say I thought, on average, people were very nice).  So, it doesn't seem right to just upgrade everyone automatically.    What I'm thinking is that since the Pay What You Want was a promotional thing, that if anyone who has that version just wants to pay the difference between the current price and their purchase price, then I would go ahead and upgrade it ito a lifetime license.   Does that seem fair?

(re: Curt's Post in reponse to the above)

Quote
for now, there is no version available to upgrade to

In one sense, that's kind of true, since I am not out with 4.0 yet.  But, the Gizmo versions did not come with updates past version 3.  So, you'd be upgrading to the lifetime version which would be an automatic upgrade into version 4 and beyond.   If I can keep the focus on development, I expect to have something out in just about 3 weeks.  With the engine put back together, I can then get to releasing updates on a more even schedule -- I have a lot I've developed, so my only issue is getting the development time to install it into Sagelight.



Thanks again for all the comments.  Let me know what else I can do or questions I can answer.

Rob

« Last Edit: September 24, 2010, 03:27:44 AM by Rob Nelson »

Dormouse

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #84 on: September 24, 2010, 04:20:40 AM »

Quote
is there any sort of upgrade discount available if I'm upgrading from the gizmo edition?

I've been a little conflicted about that.  I mean, I'm not trying to just get more money wherever I can.  But, some people paid $1 and others paid $25+ for it during the sale (though, I do have to say I thought, on average, people were very nice).  So, it doesn't seem right to just upgrade everyone automatically.    What I'm thinking is that since the Pay What You Want was a promotional thing, that if anyone who has that version just wants to pay the difference between the current price and their purchase price, then I would go ahead and upgrade it ito a lifetime license.   Does that seem fair?

I think that is entirely fair.
I paid a relatively small sum (can't remember what it was) as a way of having an extended trial. I have 'played around' with using it on a number of photos to see what it can do, but don't make extensive use of it (atm) - I do have lots of other editors I am used to using. (I'm afraid that with me, it often takes a year or two before I am able to decide whether I will use a program extensively (usually with very intermittent use over that year) and so any opportunity I get to have a cheap extended trial is taken if I am at all interested in the program type). I did intend to purchase v4 when it came out (though I do remember seeing somewhere that upgrade to v4 was included with the Gizmo sale), partly because I wanted to support you/your blog/sagelight development and partly because I thought I might make extensive use of it; given the indications of v4 being quite different to v3, I didn't want to get too hooked on the v3 system when v4 was imminent.


Dormouse

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #85 on: September 24, 2010, 04:38:57 AM »

On www.sagelighteditor.com (on the main page and the purchase page), it should say that there is a current promotion for a lifetime version.  I want to do it permanently, but I am not sure if I'll be able to do that.  I am at least doing it until version 4.0 is out.  I'm just really looking for ways to keep the software cheaper but not devalue it at the same time.  I'm not really a good salesman because I'd rather be developing.  Everyone tells me I should charge more, but I'd give it away for free if I could.

I'm pretty certain that charging more (now) is not the best way to maximise your income from the program. Lifetime for now may be good. Offers are probably also good. You need high numbers of evangelistic users generating publicity for you all over the net. Your blog is very good. Wasn't so good that your recent public downtime immediately followed what appears to have been a very successful (in terms of publicity & numbers) offer. I agree with all CWuestefeld's comments. Longer-term users are likely to be quite happy with paying for upgrades so long as the upgrade discount is significant and there is a substantial advance in features/usability. A number of developers have moved from lifetime to paying for major version upgrades and this has usually been with no problems if the original lifetime terms are preserved for those who bought them. I think it might be worth your while looking at the idimager model of gradually increasing prices as the program's traction in the community and numbers of features has grown; and all on the back of very supportive forums and support.

For most end-user software, it really is a numbers game. Ten users at $10 are worth more than one user at $100, especially if they think that the proper price of the software is $50: more sales of upgrades, more recommendations to other people, more life in the forum, more overall publicity. Of course, this only works if they are happy users; if your users are going to be unhappy then you are much better off getting the biggest price up front and the least feedback on the net - but all your users seem very happy  :).
« Last Edit: September 24, 2010, 05:44:29 AM by Dormouse »

Curt

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #86 on: September 24, 2010, 05:16:48 AM »
As a person it is always a good feeling to get a lifetime license - I am 'happy' that I have a Outpost Security Suite lifetime license. But as a software user, I know from experience that when the stream of NEW customers gets smaller/small, the author will lose the incitement to develop, without being paid - I also have lifetime licenses for programs that have been abandoned. So, for a small company like Sagelight, I will warn against lifetime licenses!!
!icon_exclaim.gif

Dormouse

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #87 on: September 24, 2010, 05:51:47 AM »
But as a software user, I know from experience that when the stream of NEW customers gets smaller/small, the author will lose the incitement to develop, without being paid

Of course, there are some very well maintained programs that have been developed continually over many years as freeware.

But where an income is needed I agree. Lifetime licenses can be good, when it is helping to build the user base and the overall numbers are increasing - but not viable if sales peak and then decline. Of course, some progs have a steady supply of new users and lifetime can work fine forever. Lifetime as an extra cost option can also work; it's what I would suggest at the point there is a move from a lifetime to a major version upgrade system.

tomos

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #88 on: September 24, 2010, 06:01:34 AM »
Quote
is there any sort of upgrade discount available if I'm upgrading from the gizmo edition?

I've been a little conflicted about that.  I mean, I'm not trying to just get more money wherever I can.  But, some people paid $1 and others paid $25+ for it during the sale (though, I do have to say I thought, on average, people were very nice).  So, it doesn't seem right to just upgrade everyone automatically.    What I'm thinking is that since the Pay What You Want was a promotional thing, that if anyone who has that version just wants to pay the difference between the current price and their purchase price, then I would go ahead and upgrade it ito a lifetime license.   Does that seem fair?

That would be very fair !
Tom

cyberdiva

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #89 on: September 24, 2010, 08:17:48 AM »
What I'm thinking is that since the Pay What You Want was a promotional thing, that if anyone who has that version just wants to pay the difference between the current price and their purchase price, then I would go ahead and upgrade it ito a lifetime license.   Does that seem fair?
Yes, that seems fair.  So since I paid $20 for the Pay What You Want gizmo version, I could get a lifetime license for $19.95?  How would I go about doing that?  Wait for version 4?  Do something now?  I doubt that your ordering form has provision for this arrangement.

cranioscopical

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #90 on: September 24, 2010, 08:25:50 AM »
My version stopped working, and with no updates available, Helicon has become useless to me.
FWIW, mine's still going.
Checks for an update, but none is available.

cranioscopical

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #91 on: September 24, 2010, 08:31:40 AM »
What I'm thinking is that since the Pay What You Want was a promotional thing, that if anyone who has that version just wants to pay the difference between the current price and their purchase price, then I would go ahead and upgrade it ito a lifetime license.   Does that seem fair?
Yes, that seems fair.  So since I paid $20 for the Pay What You Want gizmo version, I could get a lifetime license for $19.95?  How would I go about doing that?  Wait for version 4?  Do something now?  I doubt that your ordering form has provision for this arrangement.
I'm in the same position.
The idea of paying the balance between the two amounts seems fair to me.
Personally, however, I have no idea what I did pay. Rob, would you have any record of that?
I've not used the program more than two or three times, but I'm all for supporting someone with a fair-minded attitude.

Darwin

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #92 on: September 24, 2010, 11:02:20 AM »
One *possible* (pie in the sky?) solution to a dwindling income when dealing with lifetime licenses would be to provide a "donate to author" link on the website. Keep it low key and see what happens? I know DonL does this with XYPlorer... I wonder how effective this has proven for him? Of course, I haven't donated since I purchased a license  :-[
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Rob Nelson

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #93 on: September 24, 2010, 12:34:44 PM »
Hi.

(reply to Dormouse)

Quote
I think that is entirely fair.... I thought I might make extensive use of it; given the indications of v4 being quite different to v3, I didn't want to get too hooked on the v3 system when v4 was imminent.

Thanks for letting me know that. ... Version 4 will mostly add onto version 3 rather than revamping how it works.  I have added a number of options onto existing functionality, but the major part of the functionality I've concentrated into a different more advanced mode, formerly known as the Pro Quick Edit Mode, as well as added on functions like a rendition of the CLAHE algorithm.  I wanted to make sure I upgraded the ability to work with RAW files and ended up with something quite extensive.  The basic Quick Edit interface is the same, except that you can enter values, use the mouse scroll, and save/load profiles, things like that in addition to some algorithm improvements.

Quote
Lifetime for now may be good. Offers are probably also good. You need high numbers of evangelistic users generating publicity for you all over the net. Your blog is very good. Wasn't so good that your recent public downtime immediately followed what appears to have been a very successful (in terms of publicity & numbers) offer

I think between your comments and a couple others, I really have an idea of what to do now with the lifetime licenses, so thanks for the input.  I have an idea I that I will put below.

In terms of my downtime.  I'm afraid that was more due to internal issues than it was anything else.  I continued to work on 4.0 at a slower pace, but that's all the time I really had.  Iy would have been done with the next version by now.  But, I've taken care of the issue, which unfortunately put a lot more work onto my plate.   So, that's why I am now back because I am looking at starting anew in many ways, but I didn't want the software to suffer, so that's where I put the emphasis, as I didn't want to finally come to a solution and have nothing that's been developed.  I'm speaking a little bit between the lines, since I'm not the only person involved.

Quote
For most end-user software, it really is a numbers game. Ten users at $10 are worth more than one user at $100, especially if they think that the proper price of the software is $50

My initial thought (which was wrong) was that... Ok, if I put out something that I could charge more for at, say, $5, this will be seen as a cool (and not greedy) marketing idea and I'd make more than I would anyway.  More people would get the software, it would be cheap, and I'd make as much or more... It's a win-win!  But, I found out very quickly that unless you have the know-how (or money... really it's about money) to market it that way, putting a $5 price tag ends up devaluing the software.   People tend to take it as a statement of worth by the producer/author.  For example, I had a free version (which I'd like to return to one day) and another version at $19.95.  One of my main laments about the software (and still is, to some degree) is that the technology that I think (and sometimes verfiably) works better than, say, Elements or even Lightroom did not get noticed by too many people.

When I raised the price to $39.95, basically doubling it, suddenly a lot of the new technology I put in there started getting noticed accordingly.  People who did reviews saw it, and I started receiving many more letters about it -- things like the Smart Light, and the raw speed, etc.   I think the higher price was my statement that it was worth looking at in a deeper way.  That's just what I got out of it, but the experience with raising the price seems to bear that out.

That's why I tried the Pay What You Want -- I wanted to try to find a way to get it out there cheaper without devaluing it.  I think it was a mixed success, but I am not sure I want to do it again.

So, that's been the hard part -- if I could give it away for the $10 without devaluing it, that would be great!

(reply to Curt):

Quote
for a small company like Sagelight, I will warn against lifetime licenses

Thanks for the advice!

(reply to Cyberdiva)

Quote
Yes, that seems fair.  So since I paid $20 for the Pay What You Want gizmo version, I could get a lifetime license for $19.95?  How would I go about doing that?  Wait for version 4?  Do something now?  I doubt that your ordering form has provision for this arrangement.

Yes, that's the idea.  I am expecting to raise the price with the new version, or realistically split the software, but I will keep the price differential at the current pricing.  And, I'd really like to support the people who already bought it, because I feel like they've supported Sagelight (and me) by doing so in its younger stages.   I will put the details below, because I want to consolidate the proposal I have below.  But, in terms of the Pay What You Want, just send me an e-mail and I will send back a link that will set up a way to do it.   You can wait for version 4.  I will be ending the lifetime version promotion when I release it, but I won't just cut people off, either.



(reply to cranioscopical)

Quote
I'm in the same position.
The idea of paying the balance between the two amounts seems fair to me.
Personally, however, I have no idea what I did pay. Rob, would you have any record of that?
I've not used the program more than two or three times, but I'm all for supporting someone with a fair-minded attitude.

I would just need either the e-mail address you gave paypal or the name you used, then I can look it up and send a link.  I appreciate the support, very much.  If you wouldn't mind, I'd be very interested in what I can do to make Sagelight more interesting for you (perhaps I'm covering some of it with this next version).  I'm at rob@sagelighteditor.com


(reply to Darwin)

Quote
One *possible* (pie in the sky?) solution to a dwindling income when dealing with lifetime licenses would be to provide a "donate to author" link on the website. Keep it low key and see what happens

I thought about that.  I always felt odd about it since I charge for it, too.   I have been thinking about the idea of asking for donations so that I can re-introduce the free version.  This new version just has so much, I would feel comfortable taking the last version (with a couple minor subtractions) and making it free if I could get a certain threshold of donations.  That is, if I could get a donation fund to a certain level.  I'm probably going to split the software in a few months anyway, and it would my pleasure to make a new free version that has most of the features of the current version (plus whatever the engine and general UI inherits from the new version).

My proposal

I really appreciate all of the comments.  Since I'm a developer and not a salesman, I really got a great feeling about how people feel about lifetime licenses, and I do want to make sure that I let everyone know that I stand corrected about not being around for the last few months.  Even though I was going to some god-awful internal things, I really am touched by the support and should have realized it was there all along.

Here is what I'm thinking.  I am heading towards splitting the software and then raising the price of the new version.  The old version would remain at the same relative price, and the new version, I expect to be compared more directly to Lightroom.  The new version is called Kayak, and it has a number of features, including the standard Clarity, Vibrance, and host more, but also the ability to work in C*I*E lab mode as well as HSL mode, in addition to some particular advancements on the color theory regarding HSL that can really help images.  It features a multi-layer system, with a controllable mask on every layer, as well as a large amount of new developments that would take a while to list.

So, after getting your advice, I've decided to end the lifetime offer when I get 4.0 out the door.  Until then, anyone who buys it I will continue to give a lifetime license (for both versions), and anyone who upgrades from the Pay What You Want version by paying the difference, I will also upgrade to the lifetime license.  This is with current pricing, so whatever I raise it to, you will never have to pay more than it is right now (if you've already bought it at the retail price, then it's already been upgraded).

I hope this is a way to say thanks, and possibly get some development funds in at the same time.

Let me know how that sounds.  I am happy to post a link later with same samples of the version that's in development.

The pest control people are here, so I have to go. :)

Rob

« Last Edit: September 24, 2010, 01:12:33 PM by Rob Nelson »

TucknDar

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #94 on: September 24, 2010, 12:46:27 PM »
(re:TucknDar's Post)

Quote
is there any sort of upgrade discount available if I'm upgrading from the gizmo edition?

I've been a little conflicted about that.  I mean, I'm not trying to just get more money wherever I can.  But, some people paid $1 and others paid $25+ for it during the sale (though, I do have to say I thought, on average, people were very nice).  So, it doesn't seem right to just upgrade everyone automatically.    What I'm thinking is that since the Pay What You Want was a promotional thing, that if anyone who has that version just wants to pay the difference between the current price and their purchase price, then I would go ahead and upgrade it ito a lifetime license.   Does that seem fair?
Sounds fair, Rob!  :Thmbsup:

mouser

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #95 on: September 24, 2010, 01:09:38 PM »
Fascinating points Rob.

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When I raised the price to $39.95, basically doubling it, suddenly a lot of the new technology I put in there started getting noticed accordingly.  People who did reviews saw it, and I started receiving many more letters about it -- things like the Smart Light, and the raw speed, etc.   I think the higher price was my statement that it was worth looking at in a deeper way.  That's just what I got out of it, but the experience with raising the price seems to bear that out.


In particular your observations about how raising the price has the effect of people taking it more seriously -- while low prices tend to make them ignore a product matches some of my unfortunate observations, and it is troubling but important information for authors to consider.

CWuestefeld

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #96 on: September 24, 2010, 01:54:17 PM »
Rob, based on your word I'm about to plunk down the $40 for the lifetime license (despite having already paid a small amount for the pay-what-you-want).

I'm excited about seeing your new version. Can't wait. I'd like to weigh in also with a suggestion, but since I really don't want to wait, it can certainly be deferred to a later version.

The tools you offer give much better control than other tools (Elements, PaintShop Pro) of color, exposure, contrast, and the like -- or at least, better control than I can get with the time I have available, and my expertise with those tools. However, I think that you're actually weaker with two operations: sharpening and noise suppression. So far I've been accomplishing these with plugins (sharpening with PhotoWiz's Focal Blade, and noise fixing with Noise Ninja). However, plugins don't go as smoothly with the Sagelight workflow, so it would be better (and cheaper!) to have these built in.

Rob Nelson

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #97 on: September 25, 2010, 06:48:59 PM »
Quote
In particular your observations about how raising the price has the effect of people taking it more seriously -- while low prices tend to make them ignore a product matches some of my unfortunate observations, and it is troubling but important information for authors to consider.

Yeh, weird, huh?  I wonder if there is a way to deal with that?  As a software author, I'd really much rather have my software in the hands of more people for less money, except that issue does get in the way.  What kind of experience/observations do you have there?

Rob

Rob Nelson

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #98 on: September 25, 2010, 07:01:40 PM »
Rob, based on your word I'm about to plunk down the $40 for the lifetime license (despite having already paid a small amount for the pay-what-you-want).

Thanks a lot for the support. I appreciate it, and it definitely helps me focus on getting this next version out.

Quote
I'm excited about seeing your new version. Can't wait. I'd like to weigh in also with a suggestion, but since I really don't want to wait, it can certainly be deferred to a later version.

The tools you offer give much better control than other tools (Elements, PaintShop Pro) of color, exposure, contrast, and the like -- or at least, better control than I can get with the time I have available, and my expertise with those tools. However, I think that you're actually weaker with two operations: sharpening and noise suppression. So far I've been accomplishing these with plugins (sharpening with PhotoWiz's Focal Blade, and noise fixing with Noise Ninja). However, plugins don't go as smoothly with the Sagelight workflow, so it would be better (and cheaper!) to have these built in.

I'm glad you mentioned those two things, because I completely agree.  With version 4, I've added the basic equivalent of the "clarity" function (which is basically a limited/curve-based local contrast function), but also have added onto the Unsharp Mask by allowing C*I*E LAB Mode (as opposed to Hunter LAB) sharpening as well as edge sharpening with a viewable and controllable edge mask, so you can control how the edges are defined and sharpened.    I've also added very flexible High-Pass Filter layer functionality that has given me some great results, as well.

With noise reduction... I agree there, too.  I have what I call the Image Smoothing function which works pretty well with large areas of noise, banding, moire patterns and such; but, it isn't very subtle, either.   I put in parenthesis "(noise reduction)" only as a mention that it can be used as such, but I never considered that algorithm as noise reduction, though that's the noise reduction basis used in a lot of editors.  But, real noise reduction, imho, is not so easy! ha.

For version 4, I have in the works adaptive NL means reduction, which I think works really well.  The hard part is making it fast enough to be worthwhile and controllable, so that you don't have to wait too long between iterations.  But, I am pretty fully immersed in SSE2 code these days, though I wonder if I shouldn't start moving it all out to SSE4. 

Thanks for the suggestions.  It really makes me want to get a beta of 4.0 out as soon as I can, so I can integrate more and more what people are looking for.

 Rob


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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #99 on: September 27, 2010, 08:09:31 PM »
Working out the correct pricing strategy for a product is extremely complex with many factors involved. My example above was just to illustrate that, at this stage in Sagelight development, the optimal strategy will be the one which maximises the sales and reputation. Being seen as cheap does not work because people will just think the product has little value; a higher price means that some people may evaluate and choose it. One off sales may or may not work, depending (for your long-term purpose) on whether those sales are to your target demographic.

My perception of your real target demographic (from Sagelight's features, the forum and most of the blog) is that it is to technically competent people with a real interest in photography and who spend a reasonable amount of time and money on it (there aren't too many other people that interested in RAW yet). This group is quite demanding and will tend to ignore products that seem too cheap or too simplistic. It seems to me that you have a wish to aim at a group with less interest and expertise (and possibly less money) who currently don't use this sort of product. It will not be easy to target both groups at the same time; my suggestion would be to plan 2 versions - one for DSLR & the other for P&S. They would have different pricing and marketing strategies. The top edition would be the one that needs the status as a top product. In some ways it is the way that the camera companies build their brands.

So what should the price be? Well, one way to start is to think what it would sell for if it were fully developed in features and marketing reputation. I assume many fewer features than PS (currently there's very little of the creative/drawing/compositional features: SE is very much a photographers' tool) - which reduces price - but is a very specialist tool - which conversely increases price (basically because the potential number of sales will be much smaller). Ultimately, probably higher than PSE and a lot lower than PS and probably quite a bit lower than LR. Of course, SE is not fully developed in either area atm, so appropriate pricing now may be, say, half of PSE, remembering that PSE requires an expensive pay for upgrade annually. Then you need to look at other competitors to SE and decide whether that puts SE out of line with them. Given this price, you should be able to work out a range which keeps it in this value bracket but gives you a top end price and a low end price.

Given that you want to drive numbers, I would suggest that SE's price spends much (not necessarily most) of the time at the low end of that range. One-off sales and offers can be at dramatically reduced prices - but these would need to be very rare or the whole pricing structure and reputation would be undermined; they should also be very focused on your target demographic (quite a few ways of doing this that don't look like sales such as offering signed-up beta testers a very substantial discount). The absolute target for now should be increasing reputation and sales to people who will contribute to the buzz around the product rather than the short-term absolute amount of $. Unfortunately, that will require an active forum & blog & relevant contributions on photog sites (at least until there are enough users doing that).