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CRIMP Defined




The demise of native coded apps

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Posted by Hugh
Dec 9, 2020 at 10:49 AM


MadaboutDana wrote: “...tracking software prices over the years is a study in the vagaries of market demand (or unexpected lack of it, in some segments).”

And not just demand - supply too. Contributors to this forum have noted before how, before the Millennium and for a time afterwards, single pieces of relatively straightforward software, though perhaps more complex to develop, (Wordperfect? Lotus 1-2-3? Agenda?) could cost at least £100, sometimes considerably more, Of course in those days we consumers were still charged significant amounts for operating system upgrades too.

Personally, I think one of the turning-points in app pricing, as well as in some other respects, was the launch of Scrivener on the Mac in the mid-late Noughties. Aiming for more volume - presumably - Keith Blount and his colleagues priced it low for a writing app - £35 or thereabouts whilst existing rivals were still up in the £70 to £100 region or beyond - and it seemed to set a new price-point. Soon after other new Mac applications followed suit. Competition amongst suppliers had an effect.

(There were also some other rather cool aspects to the Scrivener marketing approach, I believe. Keith initially wisely positioned Scrivener not as a pure writing app but as a kind of prep tool for Word, WordPerfect etc. It was described as “a drafting tool”. So Scrivener was marketed not to challenge the giants of the writing app market-place, for which in any case, at least initially, it did not have the functionality, but to be used alongside them. In my day, we used to call this “the puppy-dog strategy”!)