June 26, 2010
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We've been getting some pushback on price on the forum of another Macintosh product from people who’d like our software to cost less. (We’d like our software to cost less, too.)

37 Signals recently introduced a new iPad tool for rapidly sketching user interfaces. It costs $10, and they’re being eaten alive in their forum.

LOL @ $9.99 (Fred)

$9.99? Seems a bit steep — would have made more sense if there was an iPhone version tacked with it. (Moeed Mohammad )

+1 on the 9.99, not enough value for 9.99 compared to other apps that are that much like Pages. I like the simplicity of the app, but would be more attractive at 4.99. Then I would buy it more on impulse just to check it out, 9.99 is a but steep. (Nick Ricketts)

$9.99? Are you guys nuts? (Zee)

Did this cost more than $9.99 to code? (hop)

By the way, I agree with John. How did you guys come up with that ‘ridiculous’ price? Sorry to be harsh but I can buy several interesting apps for $10 or even a cool game. (A guy from South America)

Keep in mind that the tool is meant to help two or more user interface designers exchange ideas while they work in different offices. Let’s suppose only two designers and one manager are involved. Set their billing rate at $200/hr. To repay the investment, the application needs to make their meeting 3 minutes shorter.

Or work it out another way. Those designers are working on a project for a business — people don’t usually design user interfaces to amuse their aunt Agatha on a rainy afternoon. Suppose it’s a tiny, little project with a budget of $100K, a little skunkworks sideshow. We’re expecting this thing, when it ships, to generate maybe $35K/year gross margin. Someone has Bright Idea that might make the product just 10% more profitable.

But it probably won’t work. Really — it was just an idea. Might not be a good idea, might not be possible to implement. The users might hate it, the sales department might hate it, management will probably veto it, Steve might not like it. The economy might collapse. The project might be cancelled anyway. The whole company might go out of business. There are lots of reasons it might not be worth doing. What’s the probability that justifies buying a copy of the software?


The way I work it out, if the odds that the idea is worth a 10% bump in gross margin are better than 350-1, you should buy the software.

The app store is worse.

This is robbery(by alexcharlie) The app does nothing. It is worse than the worst sketch app on iPad. It is criminal to charge this much. It is no more intuitive because of it's simplicity. Any other drawing app is easy to use and more expressive. Avoid this app.

great $2 app (by awkpod) This app must be a joke, or maybe a clever piece of 37signals performance art. Either way I don't get $10 of value out of it.

It goes on and on. Takeaways: