How Not To Price
from the quick-lesson dept
While the mainstream press picks up on the (boring) obvious story that Six Apart has released version 3.0 of their popular Movable Type blogging tool, they seem to be missing out on the bigger story: the pricing structure they set up is being almost universally trashed by loyal Movable Type Users. I've never used Movable Type so I have no opinion one way or the other on the software or whatever they decide to charge for it. However, it seems that they've screwed up one of the most basic rules in pricing: never take away features and charge for them. You can charge for new features - but taking away features that were included for free before always pisses off your most loyal customers. They feel suckered. They feel like you've pulled a bait and switch on them. In this case, many MT users set up multiple blogs with multiple authors. That's what the software encouraged them to do. Now, they're looking at the pricing and realizing to continue doing so on the new platform would cost them around $600. "Costs more for doing less" isn't a way to make users happy. One other rule of pricing: recognize the competition. There are an awful lot of blogging tools out there, and more are coming out every day. Not all of these are free, and people clearly pay to use certain tools. However, ignoring competitive pricing (as Six Apart appears to have done, since the prices they're offering are well above the competition) doesn't make much sense - especially when the switching costs really aren't that high. Anyway, it looks like Six Apart has gone into damage control mode, trying to explain that this is just a "developer release." However, they (of all people) should have known how their users would respond to this offering.