Paid Software Upgrades

Dear Developer,

when I see there’s a paid upgrade for an app I bought, I feel ripped off. I already paid for it. I’m perfectly happy with the app the way it is. Why should I pay you again?

Obviously, I don’t actually need to buy the upgrade. I can just keep using the old version. But at some point in time you will decide to no longer support my seemingly ancient version. It could be that an OS update breaks my version of the app. In practice, at some point in time I will have to upgrade, and then I will have to pay again.

You don’t expect me to pay money just to continue using your app. You know that I hate recurring license fees. That’s why you didn’t only fix bugs, but you improved your app. You give me more value for my money. You finally added that new social networking thing. And a convenient new menu bar icon. Even a full screen mode for less distractions! You convinced me, the upgrade is totally worth it, here’s my money. Sorry I was a bit grumpy at first.

But before you know it, the affordable little app I bought a few years ago turns into an abomination of modes and choices and unique features for every specialist. Over time, I’ve paid several times the original price for upgrades, and I barely recognize the simple and effective app I fell in love with. Chronic feature creep turned your sleek app into an obese application.

I understand that things have changed. You have to consider the needs of a wider range of customers now. You’re a mature company now. You outgrew that youthful naivety. A business can’t delight customers without earning money. I really understand. I will even continue using your app. But I’ll have to find some other piece of software to admire.

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