Hey folks, I’m not out to get you!

I probably shouldn’t be writing this – I’ve certainly got better things to do with my time – but heck, this really gets to me. I’ve gotten several emails over the past week that are similar to this one:

I am fairly sure you sneakily intended to try to get me to have to BUY a new key for DF 5. Please note I used the word SNEAKILY. 

Sorry, it won’t work, I won’t be using it.  Maybe that is what you intended…

His email was in response to a mailing announcing Default Folder X 5, which said:

… And because you purchased an earlier version, you can upgrade to Default Folder X 5 for only $14.95 USD.

and gave the recipient a link to a web page that says:

If you bought a license before June 1, 2015, there is a $14.95 upgrade fee for version 5.

and which has a download button that shows you a page that says:

Before you install version 5, we’d like to make sure you know that you’ll be asked to pay a $14.95 upgrade fee if you purchased Default Folder X before June 1, 2015. We don’t want anyone to feel that they weren’t told about this before trying the new version.

So now – “SNEAKILY”? Really? I’ve tried to be as up-front about this as possible. Yes, I am asking you to buy a new key for Default Folder X 5. No doubt about that. It’s written everywhere. And based on the feedback I’ve gotten from the vast majority of folks out there, that’s entirely reasonable. I certainly think it is. The last time I charged for a Default Folder X upgrade was 8 years ago. Long enough that people had started sending me money out of the blue because they thought I should have charged them something by now for reliably supporting and upgrading the product for that long.

So listen folks. I’M NOT OUT TO GET YOU! Yes, I’m asking you to pay for software that saves you time and frustration on a daily basis. I’m not trying to sneak that by you. I’m not trying to dupe you. I’m not playing you for a fool. I’M RUNNING A BUSINESS. And yes, if you don’t think Default Folder X is worth as much as a meal at Denny’s, you certainly don’t have to buy the upgrade. It’s your choice – you can vote with your wallet.

Now to everyone else who’s sent me notes of congratulations, thanks, appreciation, and generally just been awesome – THANK YOU SO MUCH! You’re one of the big reasons that owning and running a small software company is so rewarding. I really appreciate your input and feedback.

Glad I got that off my chest 🙂

– Jon

27 Responses to “Hey folks, I’m not out to get you!”

  1. Robert says:

    Yea, I was a bit surprised to see a charge for the upgrade but that’s only because, as you say, it been so long since you charged and, now that a lot of apps are being sold through the Apple app store and they don’t get to charge for upgrades, I guess I kinda lulled into the free upgrade cycle and expected a free upgrade as well. But there are still a lot of Mac apps that charge for major upgrades which is totally reasonable! Some companies (Adobe) make you subscribe to a monthly or yearly fee. I don’t use a lot of features of Default Folder X but the ones I do make it well worth the $15 upgrade fee. I’m winding down my computer needs as I transition out of business and into retirement and I am not upgrading a lot of my software any more any more. Default Folder X is one app that I will continue to upgrade as long as I see the value for me. Thanks for writing a great piece of code, making it a reasonable price, and trying to serve your users. Thank you!!

  2. Mike Whitman says:

    $15 for an upgrade is perfectly fine. I wouldn’t be able to write my own code to do what DFX does for $15. I buy software and upgrades I like and use because I want those developers to stay in business. So, thank you for writing and maintaining a great app.

  3. Metin Seven says:

    Hi Jon,

    I totally understand your frustration. I love Default Folder X and it’s a pleasure to support your hard work. Keep it up.

    All the best from the Netherlands,


  4. I can’t believe that this needs to be said. After 8 years of free upgrades, damn straight it was time for a paid new version, especially with all the rewriting of the code for El Capitan. My Macs are now fully functional again. Thanks so much!

  5. Andreas says:

    Perhaps this is a sign of the broadening user base – you get more people to use DFX who are not power users and who have limited understanding of the software business and perhaps also limited understanding of a lot of other things.

    I suppose, the more people use your software, some such reactions are to be expected. Unfounded criticism happens in every larger group of people. It’s not pleasant but probably unavoidable.

    Thanks for making great software!


  6. Jack says:

    I don’t have any complaints with a $15 upgrade price. I’ve been using Default Folder for as long as I can remember and was disappointed when it no longer worked with El Capitan. I was happy to use the DF betas that brought me El Capitan compatibility and was happy to pay the $15 for the new version. Nothing sneaky about it. Thank you for a great product.

  7. Juan Orlandini says:

    I’ll ditto the comments. $15 for something that makes my life easier every day is a no-brainer. Ignore the trolls that don’t understand the value of what you do.

    Thanks for your hard work and keep it up.

  8. Matt says:

    First of all THANK YOU for making Default Folder X. I couldn’t live without it. My biggest complaint had nothing to do with your product or the price. It was that I had to wait so long for DFX5, but I am SO glad it’s finally here! I’m buying it NOW!! I’m sure the majority of users really don’t mind paying $15/upgrade. I mean that’s just like one meal eating out.

    Great job Jon and thank you for the work putting into this awesome product!!

  9. […] Jon Gotow (via Kirk McElhearn): […]

  10. Lief says:

    I’ll be buying DF 5 shortly. Not sure I have to have it but I am positive that I want support a developer who is willing to stand up and say this.

  11. Paul M says:

    It’s hard not to let stuff like this rankle you. As a software developer, I understand exactly how much blood, sweat, and tears go into something like this. Believe me, the effort is appreciated, and the value is fantastic.

    If anything, St. Clair Software is one of the most open and transparent companies out there; your clarity and communication during the (public) beta cycles was highly appreciated, and it showed that you were taking a careful, methodical approach to getting it right (which is reassuring in an age where most companies don’t even publicly respond to bugs, much less acknowledge what they’re working on).

    Don’t let the self-entitlement of some users negatively impact the pride you should rightly feel in successfully keeping such useful yet affordable software going.

  12. Jon says:

    Wow – thanks to all of you! I guess I need to come up for air a little more frequently – it’s easy to get buried in the details of the development process, tech support and administrivia. And as most engineers already know – we’re trained to focus on what’s wrong so we can fix things. But in doing so, we often miss a lot of the positives. Thanks for hitting me over the head with the positive stuff – I needed it 🙂

  13. If it’s any consolation, I feel exactly the same as you do, and get similar emails despite all the efforts made to ensure customers no when it’s a paid upgrade. No, the app didn’t “auto install the update”, yes, the app explicitly says it is a paid upgrade, yes, we did email you with the full details when it was released, yes, you can revert to the previous version as described in the documentation, and no, I’m not in the least interested in anyone updating if they don’t feel the upgrade is worthwhile.

    But similarly, yes, I do make it easy for people to update to the latest version, and yes, its a paid upgrade and clearly marked as such.

    Anyone who does not want paid upgrades shouldn’t expect upgrades at all – just like all the endless abandoned Mac App Store software.

    Why would anyone want the developer working only to expand their market and not for the existing users – that just leads to dumbed down or abandonded software.

    Good on you Jon, I’ve been meaning to write exactly the same article, so you saved me time writing it!

    • Jon says:

      Thanks Peter – and you make a really good point about all the abandon-ware out there. Keeping businesses running and giving developers an incentive to update and enhance their products for existing users is kind of a big deal in my book too. For those of us that have been doing this for decades now, eh? 🙂

  14. Klaus Fechner says:

    Briefly: I have used Default Folder since classic Mac OS times, since I first heard about it. I think it’s worth every penny! I sorely missed it when it wasn’t quite ready after Mac OS X updates, and I gladly paid the upgrade fee.

    Different users may have different budgets, and everyone needs to decide for themselves. No-brainer for me!

    Keep up the great work, Jon, and don’t let them get to you!

    (Now if I could just have colored DFX icons back in the file dialog side bar instead of the stupid Jony Ive shades of grey …)

    • B. Jefferson Le Blanc says:

      I agree. I think Jony Ive has had the mopes since Steve Jobs got sick. The gray Finder Window sidebars arrived with OS X 10.7, Lion, long before Steve passed away. It’s been a goth world at Apple ever since.

  15. Juan Lupión says:

    Its strange, I got the Default Folder with a MacHeist promo… and didn’t find much use to it –in fact non of the programs included in the promo got much rotation in my computer. But now I’ve decided to give DF a new spin… I’m upgrading!!!

    BTW, the copy in the mailing was pretty clear, IMHO

  16. Andrea says:

    I’ve been happily using DFX since january 2015 (MacHeist bundle).
    I have been waiting the new version since upgrading to El Cap, since I didn’t want to mess with the system integrity settings, hoping for a good upgrade pricing. Which is totally what happened.
    A certain amount of people is either greedy or stupid, or maybe a combination of the above. Don’t mind about them.

  17. Eric says:

    Some people would complain if you kicked ’em with a new boot!

    This is a fantastic update, and worth it at twice the price. And considering it’s a license for the person I’m able to put it on my five Macs at no additional charge! That’s $3 per Mac. If you think that’s sneaky or excessive, then it’s high time you sell your Mac and buy a Dell.

  18. James Katt says:

    I appreciate the work that you do, Jon.

    Thank you for giving us Default Folder 5 and supporting Default Folder all these years.

  19. HeiLei says:

    Another very-long-time user here. 15 $ for an update after 8 years of free updates is VERY CHEAP, especially for software such as Default Folder, which is not just some regular app, but actually has to dig pretty deep into the guts of Mac OS X.

    Thank you Jon, for your work, efforts and support. Default Folder X is (still) the first thing I always install into any brand new Mac I get.

  20. Trystan says:

    I’ve not used Default Folder X before, but I’m thinking about buying it just on the basis of this post: I write software too and it really galls me that anyone is affronted at the prospect of paying for an upgrade after 8 years of free updates. The sense of entitlement is frustrating, especially when s/w developers also need to put bread on the table.

    • Jon says:

      I don’t actually mind if people have a different valuation for software and choose not to buy it. That’s a choice, and everyone values things (like their time) differently. It’s more about the concept that I’m somehow trying to be deceptive about it – that’s the part that gets me. Yes, we as software developers need to make a living – but no, we don’t do it by trying to screw our customers (talk to drug companies, insurers and cable providers if you want to yell at someone).

  21. David Blum says:

    If I sum up all the time I saved since all the years, this upgrade should cost me $1000 easy. So don’t focus on such stupid hater mails, we love Default Folder since it’s available!

  22. Jeff Chapman says:

    I was totally happy to buy this license for Default Folder X. I hadn’t started using it until recently, but it saves me a lot of time. The feature that lets you select an open Finder (or Path Finder!) window to save to is brilliant. You deserve to be paid for such a useful piece of work, Jon. Looking forward to your further refinements! (Also looking forward to an upgrade to HistoryHound!)

  23. Stewart says:

    Some people are cheap. Businesses won’t survive if they don’t charge for major updated software.

    BTW – the upgrade price is well worth it.

  24. Fahrenheit 451 says:

    When I encounter software that I find indispensable, I never hesitate upgrading. And, for that matter, the upgrade price bears even less consideration. In the three decades plus of Mac ownership I’ve seen a lot of great software come and go. Supporting developers’ whom consistently place effort into their product is just as rewarding to me as it is using their products.

    Thank you for the many years of exceptional software!

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