I concur with the general theme: I’m getting pretty darn tired of Software as a Subscription and the whole rental model. I’m basically done with it.
Let me start by giving an example of who does it [the most] right: Adobe. It’s great to get ongoing feature upgrades, however, when something goes wrong – and it eventually does – rolling back to the prior version isn’t an option. In fact, I’ve had my business halted because the tools I needed “broke” on me. At least in one case, it was months before the fix reached a priority for them to address. Likewise, if I ever want off that train, I lose out on all prior investment. And there are times when I can’t or, based on location, don’t want to be on the Internet. I am actively looking for solutions to get away from Adobe now, and I’m willing to compromises of features, quality, and usability to do it. (And I’ve been a happy customer for years.)
Hype-on-demand is not an attractive option for me. I’d rather throw large handfuls of cash at you, knowing I’m always going to be able to run what I’ve bought, rather than have a micro-hole perpetually drilled in my wallet. As a user, I want my relationship to be with the provider …even …if …it …costs …more.
I know this rental-model sounds attractive for software developers – what could be better than an endless supply of predictable cash? Turns out, not so. When users are fed up with the subscription model, they downgrade or abandon … unlike special upgrades or every-other-year upgrades, they don’t come back. Take a look at the cord cutters and those that downgraded Netflix. I did the Adobe Creative Plan at $49/mo for about 2 years, I downgraded to the Photoplan for $10 … and found tools to replace the other needs. Think I’m going back? Nope. Think I’m going to keep paying indefinitely? Nope.
Software is like a cupcake – once it’s fully baked, and maybe frosted, it’s done. Take Microsoft Office and be honest – do you actually use every little new thing they have added over all the years, or is it primarily still the same old word processor for the same old needs? How much productivity did you lose when all your memorized shortcuts that were muscle memory went out the window for a ribbon that took up far more screen real-estate than needed? They are now putting sprinkles and gummy worms and chocolate chips inside, next month raisins. Software can reach a saturation point for features and change-for-change sake is even worse.
As Hype becomes the best at doing what it does, I’d much rather see another product spin off than it to become the does-everything application, just to keep folks “perceiving” value in a software rental store.
But I’ll share one more thing – there used to be a time when MacHeist curated the best of the best for its bundles, and merely the name alone (or the surrounding products) got folks in the door and upgrading. I would have never have bought, less known of, Hype were it not for a high-quality bundle. But now there are copy-cat bundles, and the reputation is dropping – there are a number of lesser-quality apps that are in every low-end bundle. I now ignore those bundles when I see them, and I used to spend like crazy.
I have to agree, Hype is -the- most valued product in the bundle, and it’s presence is not dragging the other softwares’ reputation up, but rather Hype’s down.