RedShark by David Shapton
What’s the value of software?
I’m writing this with some software called Byword. It’s designed for professional writers and it’s probably the simplest idea ever for software. It gives you a completely blank screen, a choice of white or black backgrounds, and if you run it full-screen it gets rid of all the “noise” that can distract you or cause you to lose a train of thought.
Best of all, it highlights the paragraph you’re working on and dims the rest, so your eyes always know where to go and you focus on the area you’re working on. It really does make me more productive.
So, what’s it worth? It costs so little in the Mac store that it’s an impulse buy. But if you took it away from me - what would I pay to get it back?
Actually it’s not hard to work out. This software makes me around 25% more productive. It’s that simple. I would probably pay around $500 for it if I had to.
It's not just the number of features
Now, notice that this is nothing to do with the number of features in the application. There are just a few core things that I absolutely must have. Without them, I have vital tools missing from my kit.
So if I have relatively simple demands as a software user, what about content creators? They have needs that are almost exponentially more complex, especially with the modern trend where one person takes the pictures, post produces them and then puts them onto YouTube or a corporate client’s site.
The reason I’m talking about this in the first place is because of the furore over Adobe’s Creative Cloud subscriptions. I’m not taking sides on this. I can see valid arguments on both sides, Here’s how I see it. read more...