I’m curious to hear everyone’s feedback on our decision to make a lite version of Script Debugger freely available to all. Is this a good idea, or a bad idea?
If you’ve had a chance to download Script Debugger 7, and played with it in Lite mode, what do you think? Are there still more features we can remove while keeping Script Debugger Lite better than the Script Editor, or are there some features we’ve removed you think should be included in the Lite mode.
I’ll respond to the idea part—I don’t think a free version is a good idea.
SD is a niche product. A free version is not going to result in corresponding increased awareness of it or AppleScript in general. People who use SD save huge amounts of time. It should have a corresponding price.
If you were to go with a subscription model on the full version (understandable), I would at least charge a one-time $49 for the Lite version.
I’ll see if I can do an overview of Lite features soon.
I rather like what Bare Bones has done with BBEdit — making the demo fully functional and reducing the feature-set to the free version when the demo time runs out. Pro features show up in the menus, but are non-functional.
In their case the free version is still very functional, but their market is bigger than yours.
It’s a conundrum…
We want to to make as many sales as possible, because we want Script Debugger to thrive.
What matters is that Lite users are directed to this forum when they need help. Once they come here, they see all the paying users talking about solutions that only exist in the paid version and they eventually shift to paid.
Mark, as I’m sure you know, this is a tough decision. IMO, a lite version will both replace/prevent the purchase of the full version, and will lead to its purchase. The obvious question is which is greater?
I think having a lite version has the potential to provide you with a lot more customers, as some (many?) people are willing to install a lite version that will always work, but may not want to bother with installing a trial version that expires in 30 days. Your idea to combining the two so that at the end of the trial period the user still has a usable app is very smart.
That should allow the user to get a taste of the full power of SD and then be confronted with the loss of some of that power. I like that strategy.
Perhaps you could ask the user to complete a short survey at the end of the trial, before the lite would be activated. This might allow you to gain some insight and statistics into the user’s purchasing decisions.
I don’t know if this is technically possible, but it occurs to me that one approach for the lite version is to allow the full power of SD for selected apps, like the Finder, for example. This would allow the user to continue to see the full power of SD for a long time. Thus, when confronted with working with another app the contrast would be stark. The user would be easily reminded of what the full power of SD could do for him/her.