(second of 2 posts immediately following each other)
InfoSelect would have been a good example though since it had been one of the very first full-fledged text databases, and thus in its time, it must have been something quite special, "empowerment" and all, it was there at the time, by lack of much competition; similar for askSam which targeted the same market, more or less, perhaps with a little bit more weight put on the "archiving" side (imported documents; it also was the perfect crm database for people who didn't want to invest in database programming: "fields"), while InfoSelect was marketed more as a personal information manager?
Both programs came with high prices at the time, with askSam within the then usual 1,000$ price range (see above), and while I don't know the InfoSelect price of the time, it's always around 300$ now (or is it down to 249?), which doesn't convey any more exclusivity but just makes many people shaking their heads in disbelief (askSam is defunct): the degree of technical superiority hadn't been upheld accordingly.
Also come to mind, but I may be mistaken here: dBase, the expensive program for "experts", vs Paradox, the "cheap" program for people who were less so?
Anyway, it's evident that today, TheBrain plays with exclusivity, the notion of "not being for everyone, but for sophisticated customers", which when successfully communicated, allows for higher pricing.
As said, the promise is about more complete and more immediate access to all your stuff, by alleged plastic/flexible access/display, with free, immediate interlinking, while the cheaper "competitors" (which all compete more within their group than with TheBrain: this is a core aspect of the exclusivity concept) are built in trees, more or less like concrete, and then the better ones must superimpose the concept of "cloning" which makes those trees a little bit more flexible.
Another concept by which developers try to break up the inflexibility inherent to trees, is done by replacing the tree by tagging (CintaNotes, Clibu), where then, very ironically and in order to preserve the accessibility of the material with rising element count, a tag tree is put up, but this thread is not for prematurely ridiculing tag trees as a possible dead-end; CintaNotes Professional now allows for inspecting how such a tag tree (not only for sub-tags (tag-hierarchy), but also and in particular for tag combinations) works in practice, and the developer of Clibu delves deep into the arising problems, too, from beta to beta.
But there is a problem with trees indeed, and I think that the solution comes with avoiding non-plastic, non-just-virtual, ephemeral trees altogether, from a rethink of a the link paradigm. (A traditional tree is nothing but ONE basic form of link: unidirectional ones of the meaning parent-child ((possibly multiple and equal) subordination links in each parent: "has as immediate child"), even "siblings" aren't but elements which have got the same ancestors, in exactly the same lineage (path identity), and their order in the list (which is also present in mindmaps and in TheBrain, just not so prominently displayed) is then determined by the order in which their links are in their parent (if you had unidirectional links in the other direction: "has as parent", the order would be lost, and you have a classic tag tree; you can of course introduce more metadata from which then the order will be re-established).
But this is a thread about software pricing and not about links and trees being too basic, just let me say here that trees should be a display, not a storage format for knowledge bases (I'm speaking of the metadata concepts within the underlying relational database here; I know that they technically aren't tree databases anymore), even less so since the full tree will be rarely of use, so it's a conceptual error to build it up to begin with. But that's another subject, also with regards to current file systems on the Windows front.
Anyway, TheBrain conceptually does a little bit more already than some traditional text databases do and thus is able, for the time being, to sell for 250 to 500 per cent of their prices, while I cannot identify the relative weights of this factor and the "it's alternative, graphic display here" one, the latter also being sort of evidence for the former one and thus reassuring the customer: it's not only "pretty", but it's also "proof" of alleged superiority, looks let aside.
For DO, my other example of choice here, it's quite similar: There, too, there is much visual plasticity integrated which is not available (to that degree at least) from its competitors, and here again, that's a promise of both technical superiority and better, more complete, more easy, more immediate access, in short:A promise of being in better control - but without it becoming too demanding for that.
- I think herein lies the secret, or at least this should be the main element of several ones playing together.
See the original thread https://www.donation....msg408619#msg408619
(Navicat Review) from which this is a spin-off, and the spin-off of this thread here, https://www.donation....msg409068#msg409068
(How NOT to conceive trials (and some new ideas about them)).
EDIT June 10, 2017: Too many giveaways for a given software
In the "Trials" thread, I also spoke of the combination paid software vs freeware versions of the same software with the respect to trial design. Here with regards to software pricing, freeware and giveaways (which are not the same marketing means of course but which sometimes go hand in hand), it's again worth discussing.
My example today is Zoom Player
which sells for 40$ (or with lifetime updates for 100$); it's regularly on "sale" sites for much less, it has got a freeware version which is available all around the year, and in particular, its paid version is regularly on giveaway sites, you guessed it, for free, sometimes just a 100 licenses, and most of the time, without such restrictions, and so I now proudly own a permanent license now while the last time, the time before and the dozens of times I could have downloaded it for free from somewhere, I didn't even bother to do so: The frenzy by which it had been thrown after anyone wanting it, had sufficiently devalued it in my eyes; 1 day a year is probably ok but every three weeks or so, come on!
But then, this software has deep problems, even independently of its kamikaze marketing: Somewhere, they say, "Its GUI has been developed the non-techy user in mind." (citation from memory), and indeed, its GUI is quite terrible, not only in the free, but also in the paid version, and 40$ is not nothing, so it better had some standard functionality the competition has got, too.
Have a look at the free vs paid versions comparison table: http://www.inmatrix....layer_download.shtml
- wow: That's a lot of functionality, on paper, or on screen!
Also, in the settings menu, there is some "advanced" option, and then, the same settings menu gets "on steroids", to employ that terrible expression you encounter almost daily with respect to software nowadays.
So we've got some contradiction between the 13-year-olds' GUI and the "hidden powers", on top of the fact that there are some other free alternatives, like VLC, but there are more.
And, as far as I have tried it out, Zoom Player (paid) comes with a Trump mode: it doesn't deliver ("Trump mode" isn't my find, I just like it so much): For example, for DVDs, in the "advanced mode" of the settings, you can opt for premier language English (or some other) for the sound track, the sub titles, the DVD menus, but:
- just 1 choice; NOT: "original language if English or Norvegian or Italian" or whatever, NO second choice for original soundtrack Norvegian or Italian" (or whatever), NO second choice for sub titles (first choice English, if not available: Norvegian, let alone of some third choice: if not available: Italian) or whatever: So, if you regularly see films from 2 or more countries, no way of presetting the original languages and preferred sub titles in order of precedence;
- it doesn't even work (Trump mode); instead of English (which is available on these DVDs), it gets to some other language, so it's really, really bad.
There are NO settings for DVD languages case by case, from this program, as there are in ANY real competitor, ie in paid video players, as for example in WinDVD I press a for the sound track and s for the sub titles.
Oh, but there are, probably, if you download and install some additional filters, just look into their forum, from 2004 on, but sorry, I'm too dumb to install all this, and then I don't know how to do the language choice for a given DVD: I want to see the film, not doing settings for 15 minutes every time, and I didn't find the commands for variable fast forward and all that either, the GUI's just too primitive.
So Zoom Player (paid) probably is a product with no market since as soon as you pay, there are probably much better tools around, and its special functionality is VERY special - it has got an API but that probably will not mean you just have to pay the developer 40$ and then can distribute the embedded player in your own software; of course, some people that make use of its special crafts will buy, probably pay 100 and are done with it for all time.
And other people will continue to use the freeware version or get the paid version on those around 12 occasions p.a. it's free.
So my guess is, you only give away paid software for free with such regularity if you're really desperate and have built a piece of software which is not coherent at all. To the developer: Make it, from "free vs 40$ but free 12 times a year", "free vs 20$ year-round" and discover that you'll much better results, and rename it "Quirky Player" - no, no, the latter suggestion's just a joke.
Yes, I know, "Americans don't need other languages" - but is that correct?
When other video players do the settings per DVD and you do it within your general settings, why don't you do it a meaningful manner, as described above? Even in the U.S., a choice for English or Spanish first, then English OR Spanish subs and menus would be helpful, let alone Canada with French (3 choices, by order of precedence), and not speaking of the rest of the world.
Thus: Whenever you do pricing, discover your market(s) first, and think about your software and if it appeals to its possible market(s) in its current state; if not, amend your software. (What I would do, I'd downright cut off Zoom Player into two different programs, with quite a different GUI for the "professional" version (assuming here that the advanced features it must have and which I was unable to discover are of real use for some, that is) and some 20$ enhanced version.) And: Don't give away your software so often (if at all) that anybody remotely interested in it will have plenty of occasions to get it for free. Well, that's so basic I'm almost ashamed of putting it down, but then, that's as obvious as them doing a 10-days trial for software that could seriously be trialed only after many weeks of basic (free) use.
EDIT June 11, 2017: As for ridiculous-pricing
, see my today's add-on over at "Software Trials" (link above): The player software "PowerDVD" currently is available at half-price again, but according to my observations - or should I better say impressions, since I don't check daily admittedly? -, that's the case about 3/4 of the year (with that and its siblings, link over there in the thread linked here - it's just the percentages that vary a little bit, here and there), and those few people who really buy at statutury price, not knowing any better, get all my sympathy. It's like those Persian rags "85 p.c. off" where the "85 p.c. off" price is the expected price and probably three times too much paid, but what do I know.
EDIT June 13, 2017: TheBrain
More on TheBrain (in general and on its pricing) over there in the "Trial" thread (incl. external links); also, my stance on TB expressed there is more balanced and more detailed; my formula above about it "not being functional" has been way too sloppy and not correct in its acrimony.