Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Redevelopment price hike?

In a comment to a previous post Isaac Raway wrote: "I see that you note you're going to change the syntax for controlling widgets in the new basic you're working on. Awesome! This may actually make me want to switch to LB as my main platform--maybe."

I'm glad to hear this. The new LB is coming along nicely now.

Isaac continues: "However I'm a bit concerned. I've seen this sort of "redevelopment" happen before, and often times it comes with a higher price tag. One of the strong points of LB I think is that it is truly useful but very inexpensive. I think you're the kind of person who realizes that though, so I have faith you'll keep it affordable."

Well, you're right. Pricing is a marketing issue and it isn't always clear whether to raise or lower prices. I can't promise that I will never raise the price of Liberty BASIC (in fact I've done it before) but I am committed to keeping it affordable. Many times I get feedback that LB is too inexpensive and that I should raise the price, so you see this is not a simple matter to determine.

Also remember that now we have a free BASIC (


Bill said...

Hey Carl

Good to know LB will always be affordable. You pretty much have the market pricewise. Where else can one get a good IDE, open-source form editor, powerful (semi-extendable) programming language, project manager, and excellent debugger for $100? Certantly not Microsoft or Apple.

Current LB4 Gold user (and future LB5 Gold user),
-BASICwebmaster from the LB Forums

Isaac Raway said...

Carl, just came back here to check up. I see you're posting again. ;-) Good.

I was just wondering if you had any thoughts about a sort of middle ground between hobby and professional development. Right now I think that LB is probably more towards the hobby end, if for no other reason than the price may create the a perceived low value for professional developers.

So, perhaps for some languages (it may not work for LB, but bear with me) there could be a higher price point for larger companies, a lower price point for independent developers or small companies, and a free version.

I'd imagine the free version would be pretty much just the way that JB is right now: internal commands, no DLL access. Basically, it's limited for hobby users.

The difference between the two paid versions might be the level of support? Licensing policy also seems like a good tactic: the price point for independent developers would require that applications are built by no more than two developers. If you have more on a project, you're required to get the company license. Just an idea.

I'm still rolling ideas around in my head for how to differentiate these, and I must say not only as an academic practice (at least I plan for it to not always be academic). At some point I will be releasing a language of my own, and the question of where to position it is an interesting and difficult one.