$49 Mac super bundle, charity

My friend Davey sent me an IM today about a thing (company? event?) called MacHeist. I’m sure he’s mentioned them before but honestly, I didn’t really pay attention… I’ve been way too busy to keep up on cool shareware lately. But this time around, I took notice because MacHeist is currently selling a $49 “super bundle” of Mac apps, including Delicious Library, FotoMagico, ShapeShifter, DEVONThink Personal, Disco RapidWeaver, iClip 4, a Pangea Game, and NewsFire. I mean, damn.

If you’re even remotely interested in any of that software, it’s a steal—but even more interestingly, MacHeist and the shareware developers donate 25% of your purchase price to the charity of your choice (you have 8 to choose among, and the cover the typical charity spectrum: kids, nature, hunger, health, general aid). The licenses are gift-able — you can keep them all, give them all away, or give individual ones away.

The goal for MacHeist this time around is to donate $100k to charity. As I write this, they’re up to almost $55k. If this $100k goal is reached, all the people who bought in will also receive a license for TextMate.

How incredible is that? I just wanted to make a list of the positive things this accomplishes:

  • raises money and awareness for charity—and we’re not talking a penny jar, either ($55k!);
  • helps promote Mac shareware in general, which is helpful to small business people, independent developers, Cocoa jobs as a whole, and, of course, Mac users;
  • gives people who buy in great software for an unbelievable price

Needless to say, I bought in. I don’t get anything for writing this, except increasing the likelihood that I can score an extra TextMate license (oh, and a topic I know I can write a short post about for once).

But I am marveling at the gall and, dare I say, near-genius of the entire thing. I’ve been thinking a lot about entrepreneurship lately and this just blew my mental gaskets. What a world it would be if we could all create businesses which could have such a great three-way effect…

No Comments

  1. Peter says:

    Hi Amy,

    Got the deal yesterday. Its cool !! But I sure hope TextMate will be given even if the 100k mark isn’t reached.

  2. The Heist may not be so great for developers and the independent Mac development community as you think:

    Gruber has some analysis:

    http://daringfireball.net/2006/12/iniquities_of_the_selfish

    and Gus Mueller has some notes from a developer’s point a view:

    http://gusmueller.com/blog/archives/2006/12/week_of_the_independent_mac_developer.html

  3. Peter Jaros says:

    Actually, it’s arguably not great at all for the developers. For one thing, the devs don’t get a cut of the profits. They just get a flat rate for the whole week.

    For another, it’s kind of a slap in the face to people like me who actually shelled out $49 for TextMate alone. That’s a lot of money to me, and feeling like I should have waited to see if I could score a sweet deal like this or something at MacZot doesn’t seem healthy for the community to me.

    And lastly, they’re not selling licenses, so far as I know, but unlocked versions of apps. At least, that’s the case for some of them. And having unlocked versions of your app floating around seems like a bad thing to me.

    But all the developers in question entered into this of their own free will and I’m sure it will be good for some of them, at least. I just don’t think it sets a good precedent.

  4. joey says:

    Daring Fireball has a very positive take on this deal too:

    http://daringfireball.net/2006/12/iniquities_of_the_selfish

    (not!)

  5. Simon says:

    I actually heard about it yesterday on <a href="http://daringfireball.net/2006/12/iniquities_of_the_selfish">Daring Fireball</a>. I’m not a Mac developer so am not bothered either way but if Mr Grubers comments are correct this is slightly less of a bargain really.

    But that’s all the information I have, if I was a Mac developer I would look into it some more before buying.

  6. Enrique says:

    That’s awesome, I’ll have to check it out :)

  7. Amy Hoy says:

    Let me start off by saying that I love comments of all stripes. I don’t care if you agree with me, disagree with me, whatever, I just like seeing the comment meter needle wobble upwards. ;) <br/><br/> That said, I sense a pattern here! I read John Gruber’s article and, while I usually find his articles insightful and relevant, I believe that getting offended on behalf of other people — e.g., the "poor developers" who participate in MacHeist — is always a waste of time, space, and energy. And bits, in this case. (Unless, of course, those people are oppressed and unable to express their offense themselves. But this obviously isn’t the case.)

    <br/><br/> Now, at least one upside for the devs who participated — other than the Heist deal terms, which of course may have been less than they’d usually make — is publicity. I hadn’t heard of half the apps in the bundle before and I doubt I would have downloaded them to try them out, but now I own licenses (and they are licenses) for them. And if I like them, I’ll tell my friends; I’m the consummate blabbermouth (see also: the original post y’all are commenting on :).

    <br/><br/> Also, for folks who like more links, here’s an interview with Wil Shipley, one of the devs whose app is featured: http://arstechnica.com/journals/apple.ars/2006/12/13/6275

  8. Peter Jaros says:

    Amy:

    Yeah, that’s fair. They’re welcome to do what they want with their products. I still think it (has the potential to) set a bad precedent for the community. But I give the MacHeist guys props: this is a completely new way to market software, and good on them for giving it a shot.

    And as for Shipley: Delicious Monster’s going to make out like a bandit on this one. Delicious Library 2 is about to drop, and they’re probably going to make upgrade revenue on most of the bundle users. Clearly, this model works well for some devs. :)

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