Product positioning ponderings

As as been mentioned before, I'm working on Time Out version 2 (in between other projects), to be released once Leopard is publicly available.

At present Time Out is freeware. It probably shouldn't be, as it's a great, very popular product, but it started that way and has remained so thus far. That will change with version 2, which will include pretty much all of the most popular features people have been asking for over the last few years, many of which I've been keen to do but couldn't justify in a free version.

So version 2 and beyond will be shareware, and require a minimum of Leopard. However, I plan to keep version 1.5 (to be released soon) around for people who haven't yet upgraded to Leopard. Version 1.5 will remain free, and for 10.3.9 and later. That could also serve as an alternative for people who don't want the improvements in version 2 (or don't want to pay for Time Out)... but I'm also considering other options.

The latest such option to ponder is having a "Lite" edition of version 2. So there would be the standard Time Out 2, a shareware product, plus Time Out Lite 2, a freeware product. The Lite edition would have basically the same feature set as version 1.5, plus a few enhancements. The standard edition would have lots more new features. If the basic features were enough for you, you could use Time Out Lite at no cost, like you can use current versions. If you want the extra features, you install the standard Time Out and buy a license. Like my other products, you could install Time Out and try the full features for a while before deciding to buy.

A previous option that I thought of was to have just one Time Out 2 app, but two or three license levels, like for Simon. Under this approach, there would be a cheap Basic license with limited features, a Standard license with advanced features, and perhaps an Enterprise or Site license with the same features but allowing company-wide installation. This is different than the above approach in that there is no separate free edition; the differentiation is all in license levels. I do like the idea of keeping a free edition, though.

Another idea was similar to that one, having more of a "seat"-based approach. One license, the same features for everyone, but quantity discounts for multiple users. This is more like the Individual/Household/Site license model that I use for Caboodle and other apps. A seat-based approach could perhaps be combined with the latest approach (of standard and Lite editions).

What do you all think? Any preferences, or other ideas? Feedback would be appreciated, via the comments, the Time Out forum, or privately.

Lite version

I think you already have the lite version: just use 1.5 :-) It's way good enough for the free version IMHO.
I also would offer a free trial of the shareware, like Path Finder for example.

Keep it up!


David Sinclair's picture

Re: Lite version

Yes, one option is to make 2.0 shareware and leave 1.5 as the free version. While that'd be okay short-term, I have to think about the long term too, and there it makes sense to keep the free version up-to-date, so it can benefit from fixes and infrastructural improvements.

I would keep 1.5 available on the site for the foreseeable future, though, for people who aren't using Leopard. But even Time Out Lite 2.0 will be better than version 1.5.

The shareware edition will definitely include a free trial, like my other apps do. So you could try the full feature set for the trial period, then either buy or switch to the Lite edition.

Thanks for the feedback!

Re: Lite version

ok, sounds like a good plan. keep me posted with version 2.0, I will definitively install it!