From: Roger Turk <73527.1356(--nospam--at)compuserve.com>
Date: Mon, 14 May 2001 18:21:29 -0400
Bill Polhemus wrote:
. > Oh, and FWIW, I just heard back on the price of PowerDraft. They want
. > $1995 for a single license!
. > And keep in mind this is about half the price of Microstation itself!
. > Guess this brings up the same ol' issue again, of why Autodesk, Bentley,
. > and a few other vendors of engineering software are essentially shutting
. > themselves out of a volume market made up of all us "little guys" out
. > here. I don't think they care, obviously, because they can sell multiple
. > licenses (I think a multi-seat license for the latest full version of
. > Microstation works out to about $1200-$1500 a seat) to the "big boys" and
. > keep up the payments on their Mercedes and Jaguars (and "Bentleys" for
. > all I know!) Who the h*ll needs us small fry?
. > Sheesh.
MicroStation was *the* CAD system before AutoCad came on the scene. However,
MicroStation sold only "complete systems," software and hardware, for
exorbitant prices and would not sell the software separately. Then AutoCad
came on the scene and sold only the software that could be used on *any*
hardware using a variety of operating systems from MS-DOS to CP/M, including,
IIRC, Tandy's version of DOS. Even at that, version 2.5 cost in the
neighborhood of $2,000, and then, as today, you had to buy from an
"authorized" dealer. But, you didn't have to buy complete systems. The de
facto standard today is, of course, AutoCad, not MicroStation. (By the way,
guess who is the missing member of the OpenDWG group.)
There is a Jack in the Box commercial on TV that shows a person at a
fast-food trade show who charges $25,000 to do a taste test. His response
when asked if he had any takers was that he only needed one. This seems to
be the attitude of the software producers and the software service industry
--- they want only one or a few buyers, not many.
One of the big mistakes in the software and software service industry is
charging for "perceived worth." John Walker, one of the original developers
of AutoDesk commented on AutoCad being overpriced in his departure "white
paper" when he left AutoDesk.
AIA's MasterSpec is being sold (licensed) based on "perceived worth" at over
$1,000 per year for licensed use of MasterSpec. If you choose not to renew,
as I did this year when the license fee went from $495 to over $1,000, you
are prohibited from using MasterSpec, even the parts that you have licensed.
Since ARCOM is not very timely in shipping the quarterly updates, you might
not have received one or more updates for which you paid, and you are not
even offered a refund for those not received.
These people are blind to the way of making money. More money can be made by
selling something that everyone wants for $2.00 than to sell that same item
to few for $200.00 based on "perceived worth."
A coin-op laundry that I use dropped its washer charge to 50 cents from 75
cents about two years ago. It used to be that you could go in there just
about any time and find a number of washers available, if not all of them.
Now you are lucky if you don't have to stand in line waiting for a washer to
become available. Two years ago, its "perceived worth" was $.75; its real
worth is $.50. And I would imagine that more money is being made now than
two years ago.
A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)
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