Don’t Justify the Price of Your App

A few days ago we released Thoughts, The forward thinking tool for iPhone and iPad. An infinite canvas sketching app priced on a sensitive band, App Store tier 20 (ie. $20, 20€, £15).

Overall the reactions has been absolutely fantastic, lots of happy customers and nothing but full 5 star reviews. We had a couple of comments complaining about the price though. That made me write this.

When we decided Thoughts pricing we were tempted to try to justify ourselves with a price that, of course we knew, was higher than the AppStore average. The inertia of free and $1 apps is so strong that first we thought about trying to make a statement. It was easy to position ourselves just on the other side of the store, perfectly aligned with some non-cheap awesome tools (iA Writer, Fantastical, OmniPlan, etc.).

We even started writing stories about asking what was, for you, the tag price of capturing your ideas (using the same rationale behind home alarms or any other safety device). How many Starbucks coffees will you need to skip to pay for the app (overused cliché)? My favourite was to say that a single Moleskine notebook and a pen costs already more than the app (of course, in that example you don’t mention the huge cost of buying first an iPad).

At some point we realise that was a big mistake. Good products don’t excuse and justify their pricing, good products just show their value and let customers decide themselves if said value is enough for the money asked. And we want to own a good product.

In other words, I don’t mind what’s the real manufacturing cost of a Dyson Airblade. I mind about how fast that bad boy dries my hands compared with every other competitor. That’s what matters.

And, well, that’s my personal view on this. I think it’s a shame that in the app ecosystem that unfair debate is permanently on the moment something costs more than $2. Creators should stop playing that game, for their own good.

Set your price and don’t tell me why. Just make a great product.

much night mode