Kenneth Ballenegger

Angel Investor, Engineer, Startup Founder

My Mac App Store Plans

The recently unveiled Mac App Store is, unfortunately, an affront to Mac developers. Importing the iOS’ closed model and applying it to the Mac, the new store carries with it all of the major disadvantages of its smartphone equivalent. I can’t stand the thought of losing thirty percent of my revenue, in return for which I get harsh restrictions on what I may do, week-long approval queues (even for critical updates,) a public expecting a ridiculously low price, months of revenue held off by Apple, and the risk of being cut out from said revenue at any time.

I’m not even going to get into how I will lose control over my own customers because Apple won’t let me send them promotional emails or sign up for an account. It won’t let me give away my software either, or have flexible pricing structure, educational discounts, volume discounts, promotions or giveaways.

Most excruciatingly, though, the App Store itself rocks. It’s beautifully designed and as a user, it is pure joy to use. Unfortunately, I am not willing to sign my soul to the devil to be a part of it. I was willing to deal with the limitations on the iOS platform, because it was presented as a new option, an is still somewhat reasonable on a smartphone. However, on the Mac, where we’ve been restriction-free for decades, this is most unwelcome. So here are my plans regarding the App Store:

  1. My apps will always be available from my own store. This will function the same way it always has: Sparkle updates and email-based licenses and trial versions.

  2. My apps will also be available on the Mac App Store (provided they get approved), crippled however Apple may wish. They will have a 30% price premium over the standard price, to make up for Apple’s cut. I will make sure that the standalone version is never inferior to the App Store version and I will advertise the cheaper, standalone version heavily.