I notice that you guys are doing a lot of work these days improving the focusing routine. A lot of work for $99. Have you thought of having the automated focusing and maybe the observatory related automation as extra add-ons. This would leave the main acquisition program fairly stable and at $99 still easy attract new clients. Those of us with automatic focusers and observatories should be able to pay for the extra software development to support them.
I would definitely support this approach. Or even a subscription based maintenance model. For long term support of the product I think you need more of a continuing revenue stream than finding new users indefinitely.
I know a lot of people would rather buy something outright then pay a subscription - still it could work.
I recommended this particular solution because it is in line with their current model. I would just define the basic system as that part of the system that everyone uses to acquire images. This part seems to have less changes and would appear more stable to new users. Those of us that have upgraded with focusers and observatories should pay more for the extra automation - like we do for the mosaics and notification extras.
While I support this approach in general, I can’t see how automatic
focusing would be an extra feature. You can’t image throughout the night
without refocusing. I.e. if you provide a platform for imaging automation,
it must include focusing. It would defeat the purpose otherwise.
But +1 to all the other extras (framing, notifications, observatory…)
I would be a lot more confident in the long term availability of SGP, if it sold for a higher price and had an annual support fee ($25?) that allowed downloading and installing updates and allowed making postings to the forum.
Extra cost add-ons like the Framing and Mosaic wizard are perfectly justified.
Most people using SGP have paid thousands of dollars for mounts, OTAs, cameras, etc. SGP is a small price to make that investment pay off. I used MaximDL 6 for a while and it costs $600 (?) to buy and a $100 a year in support. I would strongly recommend SGP over products like MaximDL, Prism, TSX, etc.
At public star parties, I hear a lot of people say that amateur astronomy is really expensive – have you priced a Bass boat lately?
I don’t understand this thread. For those of you who want to pay more, go get a few extra licenses until you have paid what you are feeling the urge to pay.
Please don’t ask for price increase for everyone (using autofocus). The developers will increase if they need to increase.
IMO the autofocus routine is the last(?) rough corner of SGP core foundation, after AF is working for obstructed telescopes it would be great if the authors start working on some (non free) add-ons. For instance I love to see an scheduler add-on.
+1 - we want the program and its ongoing support to thrive. I would hate to go back to the gold standard if Ken and Jared felt that the well was drying up.
The model could be that a user has continued use of the software but not access to upgrade versions (rather than updates) without a small fee.
Get the AF routine OK. And then develop add-ons, 2 I would like to see and are somehow related for remote work
- Webinterface as screen sharing takes lots of BW
I would pay additional 50 to a 100 for each …
I don’t feel for subscription based model, but do understand that something needs to generate recurrent revenue so if introduced, keep it low like 20 a year or so …
Why are we talking about this?
I agree. I don’t think it is appropriate for us to advise the developers on how to price their products. They know what their business goals are. We don’t. Quite literally, it is none of our business.
Really now. It is our business.
Do you really want support for this product to stop after 3 or 4 more years? Is that all the longer you plan to use this software? If so, fine. Don’t worry about how long a steady stream of new customers will continue to support the development and maintenance of this product.
I am a software developer myself and I have a really good idea what it takes for software developers to stay in business. They either have a very expensive product or they have a very low priced product with mass appeal and market potential. I think we can all agree that Astrophotography is not a mass appeal market, and that SGP is a very low priced and fabulous product.
Why should any of us expect to get maintenance releases of this product for free forever?
All Astrobin users have noticed that the developer this year introduced a $35/year maintenance fee. Quite reasonable, after all those of us who use it want new and better features, and continued existence.
This is literally one of the silliest things I’ve ever read. I agree with the guy above - if you’re that worried about it, or you feel a burning need to pay more, buy extra licenses or make a donation. For some of us who do this as a hobby, $100 is a sizable investment as it is.
If the devs need to charge more they will. They don’t need your encouragement to charge more. They know how to price their product, and they’re very communicative with the community, so if there are business flow problems, I’m confident they’ll let us know and takes steps when it’s appropriate. And I’m certain the community will step up and keep the product going, since it’s become central to our astrophotographic workflow. I’m positive, however, if your conscience is hurting that badly, that the devs will gladly accept a cash infusion of whatever size you want to give.
I agree entirely. Exactly the kind of sentiment I expect our user community will express.
It is unlikely that we will change the pricing of our core product (pretty much ever). We’ve been pretty vocal about that and it’s one of the reasons we started building SGP. If you’ve been with us long enough you may even recall when it was completely free and used Nebulosity for capture…
We’ve certainly had talks about how to make our business more sustainable in the future…I’m pretty sure these happen at any company that wants to continue to exist as it currently stands we’re doing just fine with our pricing model. If you want to help and support us, just continue to promote our product and recommend it to imaging buddies.
It is about the developers having enough resources (i.e. money) to develope this software further and to its full potential. I would happily pay more if some of the current issues were resolved. Modules could be a good approach as people can add the functions they are interested in. Not everyone has an observatory, for some people all they will want is a good scheduler and guiding. Others will want more automated control.
Could you elaborate on this? Not the “pay more” but the issues you’re experiencing?