We at Binarynights are planning to change how we develop and price ForkLift, and before you freak out, no, we don’t want to use subscriptions. Find out in this post what we are planning and why.
So far, we have used the one-off purchase model which means that the major releases (ForkLift 1, ForkLift 2 and ForkLift 3) were paid releases and all minor updates in between (for example ForkLift 3.3.9) were free. This is the traditional way of selling software online but it has some drawbacks for both the developers and the users.
While using the one-off purchase model, the development of the major versions has become a bigger and bigger burden for us. This model has a lot of drawbacks: every major release has to be packed full of new features to make it interesting enough for users to upgrade. That also means that big features and great new ideas don’t make it into ForkLift right away because we have to withhold them and bundle them up for the next major release. That holds the development of the current version back, and we can’t react quickly to the changes in the market and the requests of our users.
What is the new model?
In our new model, there won’t be major and minor updates the same way as we have them now. As soon as a new feature is ready, we will release it. If we decide to implement a new feature or change something, we will start the development of it immediately. That will clearly benefit our users because they will use an app that evolves continuously. And that will benefit us too because we won’t need to maintain and develop two versions parallelly, which sometimes causes big issues. If we have to maintain only one code, we can deliver changes faster. We won’t speculate what to release and what to withhold either, so we will be able to focus on the continuous development of ForkLift without restrictions.
New pricing model
Changing the way we develop ForkLift means that we also have to change the way we price ForkLift.
The software industry is shifting towards the subscription business model. Subscriptions are great for developers because they secure a predictable and steady cash-flow, and they make the continuous development of the application possible. But we know that a lot of users are getting tired of subscriptions, and we also think that the subscription model is not the best fit for ForkLift.
We want to combine the advantages and minimize the disadvantages of the two extremes: the one-off purchase model and the subscription model. To do this, we want to use a hybrid model that some call the Dutch Model because it was first introduced a few years ago by mainly Dutch companies such as Sketch.
The idea behind this model is that when you buy ForkLift, you get the app and one year of free updates. After the year is over, you can renew your license and get one more year of updates, or you can keep using the same version of ForkLift forever. If you change your mind and want to use a newer version a few weeks or months later, you can renew your license any time and get all updates for another year.
If you constantly use ForkLift to upload files to your servers or you use it as your go-to file manager, then it will be worth renewing your license because you will greatly benefit from the constant enhancements. But if you only upload some files occasionally, then it might be enough to buy ForkLift once because you will be able to use a reliable FTP client for many years.
We want to lower the price of the single-user license (plus one year of free updates) to $14.95, and the renewal would cost $12.95.
We are currently working on the technical and administrative changes which are needed before we can switch over to the new model. We want to make the transition as smooth as possible.
We want to switch to the new model in a few months and release ForkLift 4 in the Spring of 2021. With increasing the version number we want to make a clear distinction between ForkLift 3 and ForkLift 4 to make the transition for our existing users easier to understand.
If you already have a ForkLift 3 license, then you will be able to use ForkLift 3 for as long as you want. Users who buy license keys to ForkLift after the introduction of the new model will get free updates for 12 months.
Nothing is set in stone, but these are our plans. We would like to hear your feedback. If you have some suggestions or ideas, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us @BinaryNights.