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Fri 09 Sep 2005
Pricing for DNS Enabler and WebMon
Category : Technology/pricing.txt
I've been asked what I would be charging for WebMon and DNS Enabler. I think it won't be more than $15 - when I'm sure that all the bugs have been wrung out, and that they'll be slick and smooth.
I've been wrestling with the idea of pricing for a long time. On one hand, I'm cognizant of the fact that, on the surface, I seem to be "merely" turning on or off settings for pre-existing software, and free open source software at that.
So the pricing has to reflect my acknowledgement that many other people had built the sofware that delivered those values in the first place - people like Wietse Venema for Postfix and all those Open Source contributors at the Apache, PHP, WebDav, and BIND projects, etc.
Yet, it has been really hard work building these "enablers" - supporting them and taking responsibility for fixing things whenever Apple breaks stuff with their updates.
So I think there's a level I can reasonably charge that reflects the value that I add. I need to stick my neck out and say that I am giving good value for money, and that I may have succeeded in making something that is powerful easily available, that would otherwise not be realisable.
And I do really want to give good value. I believe that the Mac had been the best computing platform, for businesses of any scale, for years. (Really, in spite of Apple's abject disinterest in the enterprise). So I want to make good stuff that are priced low enough to get a huge amount of use. Hopefully, huge enough to overturn the myth that Macs are not good enough for businesses. And for people who've been retrenched, or otherwise turned out of the large organisations, the Mac could be their best bet in plugging themselves back into the power grid. (No IT department? No problem. We're going to do even do better on our own.) I know we've got tools that can help, but they've got to be made cheap enough, and be robust enough, for the masses to use.
And yet profits are good. It's the money that is coming in for Postfix Enabler that has encouraged me to go on building DNS Enabler and WebMon. I'm hoping that these can help us support the continued development of Luca Accounting, in their turn.