Software Isn’t Expensive

Many people complain that some software is too expensive. I think it comes down to a fundamental difference in how software is viewed. I believe (most) software is a tool. I think others view (all) software as entertainment.

While Marco Arment was referring to the recent MacHeist bundle, this argument holds true to any software:

Most software is an incredibly good deal, especially the applications that you use every day or as part of your business. For example, given that I make all of my living by using TextMate, and it was developed entirely by Allan Odgaard over (probably) thousands of hours, it would be ridiculous for me to haggle its €39 price.

I am very, very tired of hearing “Photoshop costs too much” or “Why should I pay so much for software I don’t fully use?” To which I respond, respectively, “No it doesn’t,” and “You shouldn’t. Instead opt for different software that fits your budget/goals/skillset/featureset.”

Now, this may sound elitist, but professional software is priced for professionals who make a living using that product. Final Cut Studio & Adobe Production Bundle (as examples) are priced acceptably, as I can make that money back rather quickly on the jobs I take on. If you just want to use Photoshop to touch up some family photos, make LOL Cats, or doodle, there are countless other options for you (Photoshop Elements, GIMP, Acorn, Pixelmator, etc.). Several hundred (or thousand) dollars for software which professionals can easily make back using said software is not unreasonable. Do you want me to price out a full Avid suite for you?

If you view software as nothing more than entertainment, you probably would expect to pay no more than $50 for anything. It is a point-of-view I can fully understand; however, you then should not be looking at professional software, and you definitely should not complain about its price-points.

[hat-tip to @digitalreb for the original link]