Thursday, 3 February 2011

A Better Deal

Red Gate are now going to charge for Lutz Roeder’s Reflector.  This tool has been free for it's life – more years than I care to remember.  Its as much part of a software developer’s toolkit as a hammer is part of a builder’s toolkit.

I have dealt with Red Gate as part of a very small company and as part of a very large company.  I am sorry to say that each time I have come away feeling less than happy.  Any company that sends be a maintenance bill at the end of year one that exceeds my original purchase price isn't going to make me happy to deal with them!

Reading Red Gates’ pricing strategy, written by their co-founder, Neil Davidson, I struggle to believe their other CEO, Simon Galbraith, when he says how sorry he is about charging for Reflector.  I just kept thinking that they just want my cash - like the other times I’ve dealt with them.

Maybe Galbraith and Davidson should go and listen to Seth Godin’s pricing advice.  Maybe then I’d want to buy stuff from them! 

35USD is good value for Reflector and I may have to buy a copy.  I’d really just rather buy from another company and get a better deal.

1 comment:

Krystan Honour said...

The problem with Reflector is that it has been free for its life and they (Redgate) are going to remotely deactivate older versions. As a developer I can say that I find Reflector invaluable sometimes and it was always the first bit of software I installed/install when reaching an organisation, it's even become a verb in meetings for me (I reflected over it).

The fact is that Redgate are a company and exist to make money, not give tools away, when they got their mitts on reflector I sighed and knew this day would come.

I'd be interested in what Lutz really thinks about this move but he relinquished control to Redgate which basically meants it doesn't matter what he thinks.

Redgate will make money off of reflector for sure, but with Jetbrains now making cryptic noises how many will flip to another offering out of spite to Redgate, I'd wager quite a few if the tool cut the mustard.

My personal opinion is that this is a PR disaster for Redgate but once that dies down people will just want to get on with the job and $35 is not expensive.. then again free wasn't either.

Some exec somewhere will regret causing this bad feeling. I wonder how many will stop buying redgates sql tools as a result of this and shift to a competitor. Probably not many large code shops as they have central procurement policies but all the small to medium code shops who can spin on a dime with the tools they use.. I bet they loose a lot of them.

Foolish and short sighted from our perspective, good business from Redgates... or is the bad feeling not worth it... time will tell.

Personally I think it stinks.