43 Folders

Back to Work

Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

Join us via RSS, iTunes, or at 5by5.tv.

”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

MacBreak 74: Hot Lips and Hawkeye

MacBreak Weekly 74: Hot Lips and Hawkeye


Hosts: Leo Laporte, Merlin Mann, Andy Ihnatko, and Rich Siegel


A look back at Macworld, Office spreads out, MacHeist, .Mac future bright and cloudy, certain gestures and more.

Here's a direct MP3 download of MBW 74.

I think this might be one of my favorite episodes of MacBreak Weekly. Say what you will about the podcast medium, it's amazing to be able to pull an articulate person like Rich Siegel into your conversation midway -- (~00:38:15) -- just via IM and a phone number. Very cool.

So. That said. I really want the promoters and developer-fans of MacHeist to have their opportunity to respond to what Rich (and we) had to say. Clearly we all think a lot of the Mac indie community, so it'd be valuable to continue the conversation in a way that's fair and civil for everybody.

Directions on how to get your voice heard appear around (~00:57:11) of this episode.

update 2008-01-25 08:21:01

Philip Ryu and Awaken's Jerry Brace will be on MacBreak Weekly next week to respond to Rich Siegel's criticisms of MacHeist in show 74.

Mark1701's picture

Rich Siegel

It seems to me that Rich Siegel conflates a number of different issues when presenting his view of MacHeist. On the one hand, he appears to object to MacHeist on the grounds that it is a bad business move. On the other hand, he seems to imply that developers that include their programs in the bundle are in some way morally suspect because 1) they are indirectly supporting a morally/ethically suspect group of individuals, or 2)because they are undervaluing software generally which is adversely affecting the well-being of all developers.

  1. If participation in MacHeist is a bad move from an economic standpoint then Siegel’s reluctance to judge the actions of the participants a bit disingenuous. Either it is empirically verifiable that selling software at a price less than the market will bear will ultimately damage the revenue of these companies or it won’t. Also, his argument that individuals that participate in a limited time offer to purchase a software bundle will come to expect that all software should be equally as inexpensive seems to be an insult to the intelligence of those purchasing the bundle. I’m fairly certain that most consumers of any product can recognize the difference between getting software cheaply and cheap software.

  2. At times Siegel seemed to indicate that those that supported MacHeist were directly or indirectly supporting morally suspect individuals. I am not sure whether the actions of the MacHeist crew are or have been unethical in the way they promoted MacHeist, but this is a completely separate issue as to whether the bundling of the software is ethically questionable. As a number of individuals have pointed out, the developers were not coerced into participating in the promotions and they are being compensated for their product. While the empirical question remains as to whether this is a wise business move on their part, it is hard to argue that it is morally suspect.

  3. Unless I am mistaken, Siegel and the other developers are engaged in an economic endeavor and not a non-profit cooperative. If MacHeist causes a market re-adjustment when it comes to software prices (something I don’t believe will happen), then it might be against the developer’s interests to participate, but they have done nothing morally questionable.

  4. Finally, I think Siegel is mistaken when he says individuals that receive this bundle will not pay for upgrades, or will simply tap the resources of the developers. I think that in most instances those that buy the bundle are simply taking advantage of a great deal, and they would most likely have not bought the software at all. If they had really felt the need to purchase the software, then they would have already purchased it. I suspect that there are individuals like myself that agonize over every software purchase (including the $15-$20 applications). As someone previously noted, we can’t all afford (particularly poor college professors) to buy every interesting application like Leo and others may have the luxury of doing. I suspect that it is more likely to be the case that those that get an app that they wouldn’t normally have purchased at full-price, and suddenly find indispensable, are more likely to pay for the next upgrade (I suppose that I am subscribing to the ‘first dose is free’ approach to software marketing - an approach that resulted in my purchasing the non-beta version of OmniFocus).

Anyway, that’s my two cents on the matter.

By the way, 74 was a GREAT show.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


Subscribe with Google Reader

Subscribe on Netvibes

Add to Technorati Favorites

Subscribe on Pageflakes

Add RSS feed

The Podcast Feed


Merlin used to crank. He’s not cranking any more.

This is an essay about family, priorities, and Shakey’s Pizza, and it’s probably the best thing he’s written. »

Scared Shitless

Merlin’s scared. You’re scared. Everybody is scared.

This is the video of Merlin’s keynote at Webstock 2011. The one where he cried. You should watch it. »