martedì 10 novembre 2009

Weekly update 02->08 November - and how we (don't) fight piracy



1.2.0 is out and 1.2.1 beta1 was out 1 day later...why that? Read on...

Marketing (shopping list style)

  • Homepage update: it was just about time! Our homepage described Tabbles as it was supposed to be (8 months ago), but the way it evolved is a bit different from what we initially planned (not much though).
  • Main product page update: check this out.
  • Special pages appearing when users interact with the installer: welcome page on installation, the un-installation poll and to "special users". This is a part of our plan to find out what happens with trials and also to deliver the most information possible to the user. But who are the special users? does it have anything to do with piracy? Maybe... just read on.
Piracy, free-riding, friendship and building a community.

Ok guys:
-> anyone who has never downloaded a pirated software/videogame/song/movie, raise your hand.

-> anyone who doesn't currently have any pirated software/videogame/song/movie, on your home pc, raise your hand.

I have the feeling I won't see many hands up in the air :-)
And what's the problem with it?

Piracy = revenue loss.

A 3 mins search on Wikipedia will show Microsoft's point of view (one and two) on the issue, and also a nice article about the "piracy controversy" is here. I guess we all read/heard/thought about the problem already.

What I want focus here, is 3 aspects of piracy.

1) Natural born pirates. I'm a west-european and as a such I'm a part af that privileged part of the earth inhabitants who can afford to pay for software. There is a great quote I heard at a university which sounds like "the western countries are like people sitting in a limousine and drinking champagne while the rest of the world is outside starving". Well, that's just the way it is... beside that (not even) 1 billion people who may afford buying software, there are more than 5 billions who probably can't, but they still can afford a 400$ computer to run software. Maybe they can still do something for my company?

2) Pirate = free-rider... really?. Well, it would be futile denying that I have or had illegal copies of software. At the same time, I remember spending a lot of time on forums and communities of various kinds.
A real exemple here: I didn't pay for my Quake 2 license back in 1997...but in 1998 I did this (which eventually led me to get a job working on this). While doing that I spent a lot of time advocating the verb of Quake on forums, websites and among friends. Now, do you think that the id software guys would run after me claiming their 50$ or would they rather thank all the kids like me who contributed to make the community that generated so much added value to their products? (Not to mention that while I didn't pay for Quake 2, I bought Quake 3 and Doom 3 afterwards...)

3) The only thing I can get from you are your 30€...really?. On the amazing balsamiq blog I found this very interesting article about keeping the press' attention when the spike is gone... Well, I guess you could guess the answer already: The Community.

Of course: if time = money, a passionate user can give back much more than the license price, and can drive the product and the company into new directions by giving his/her opinion or by actively joining the development and/or the marketing processes.

For this reason we wrote this shameless post on our forum. And for this reason we say "pirates, be our friends, we need you!" :-)

So: why 1.2.0 and one day later the 1.2.1?
We're aware of an illegale version of Tabbles floating on the net (hint: try use the google blog search for it :-D ).
The Auto-categorization feature kicks ass: for this reason we're making sure that everyone who has that pirated version (which uses the serial number released on the GOTD offer) will understand that they won't receive it unless they "go legal" and this is what our friendly message (inviting them to join our forum and contribute) is about . That's it :-)



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