Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 15th Oct 2015 22:32 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

In the past few weeks, Marco Arment, co-founder of Tumblr and creator of Instapaper, released version 2 of his podcast application for iOS, Overcast, for free. There's only one in-app purchase, which doesn't unlock any additional functionality, but just sends some money Arment's way. Call it patronage, if you will. Coinciding with the release, he published a blog post in which he states that any indie developer can just give away their full work for free, so his 'new' model should work for everyone.

Obviously, this caused a bit of a ruckus, since it's easy for a multimillionaire like Arment to give away his work for free. His situation is clearly unique, and most independent application developers barely get by as it is. Or, as Samantha Bielefeld puts it:

The issue isn't that Marco is successful, there are many app developers who would love to be in the same position. He has earned his time in the spotlight, and it's only natural for him to take advantage of it. Though to state that anyone can simply do the same thing and be successful, is just plain wrong. He has accelerated the race to the bottom for the podcast app category, and he comes bearing a huge following of people who will give him money for nothing in return except for the possibility of further development of Overcast. The average developer isn't being called out by name by Phil Schiller for something negative they have written about Apple. The only thing "indie" about Marco is that he works by himself. He is far removed from the typical experience of app creators, and even if it's deserved, it wouldn't hurt for him to be a little more humble, and realistic.

And she's completely and utterly right, of course.

This doesn't surprise me, though. Over three years ago, when the first Retina MacBook Pro came out, Arment and I had a Twitter exchange about something he said: he said that any web developer should immediately run out and buy this €2300 laptop because retina would be the future, and if they didn't, they weren't taking their work seriously.

I pointed out to him that for the majority of people working on the web, €2300 is a lot of money, and most of us don't have that kind of money just lying around. It might be pocket change to a millionaire, but it's almost a full month's salary for me (now - not so much in 2012, when I earned much less than I do now), and in many places in the world with active web developers, it's probably several months' worth of salary.

This exchange with Arment has always stuck with me, because I wanted to make sure that I would never turn out this way. I'm not rich by any stretch of the imagination (i.e., Dutch standards!), but despite my income being decidedly middle-class, I still belong in the, uh, I don't know, top 5% or so of the world - just by virtue of being Dutch. I'm 'rich' enough to buy several new phones, tablets, and computers a year to make sure I remain familiar with as many platforms as possible for OSNews, but I realise damn well that I'm incredibly lucky I can do so, and would never just assume that everyone else can as well.

So no, this kind of attitude doesn't surprise me at all. I call this the Donald Trump reasoning: everybody can be rich, if only they were Donald Trump.

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by galvanash on Thu 15th Oct 2015 23:08 UTC
Member since:

Sorry, off-topic rant follows:

You mentioned him... Why did you do that? Seriously, you know how everyone wanted to not publish the name of the shooters in all the mass shootings over here lately? Same reasoning applies...

Can this site please be the one place I don't have to read that idiots name in print? His entire campaign is fueled by the media storm surrounding him - good or bad, doesn't matter.

Agree with my politics or not, but some of us conservatives on this side of the pond are trying to save the rest of the world (and ourselves) from this guy, but every time his name gets dropped his poll numbers tick up...

rant off...

I totally agree with the rest of your post.

Edited 2015-10-15 23:20 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE: Ugh...
by henderson101 on Fri 16th Oct 2015 08:10 in reply to "Ugh..."
henderson101 Member since:

I listen to ATP. It's interesting enough. I listen on the drive to/from work. I enjoy Casey's rants, the ribbing they give Siracusa and the general banter. But the he, who can't be named, I dislike. From the opinions he forms from ridiculously convoluted standpoints, to his anal "must be the best" attitude *, the bizarre way he pronounces certain words **, to his weird about turns on decisions and the smugness that follows ***. But moreover, when he does make a mistake, the way he deals with it always seems so insincere. When Siracusa or Liss mess up, they are noticeably humble, often apologetic. But this guy, well, just seems smug and unrepentant. Maybe that is what got him where he is today, but it makes him an extremely unlikeable character. Siracusa will do the follow-up and accept his mistakes, but this guy will often take the "well if that's what you want, but my way is still better" attitude. I find myself calling him a dick most weeks, and skip his rants or "opinion" pieces frequently as they are often contrived garbage. To say I out and out hate the guy is too strong, and with the other two he is less annoying, but on his own I would just turn off and walk away.

* For example, last week they told him he would buy one of the higher models of Tesla in the after show because he would find some minor detail in the trim in the more expensive model "better" - this was despite him denying he would. But he will, and we all know he will given his track record.

** Example, using a hard G in the word "registrar" every week when advertising one of the many sponsors such as Square Space or Hover.

*** The whole "Peace" fiasco.

Edited 2015-10-16 08:16 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Ugh...
by galvanash on Fri 16th Oct 2015 14:39 in reply to "RE: Ugh..."
galvanash Member since:

I listen to ATP. It's interesting enough. I listen on the drive to/from work. I enjoy Casey's rants, the ribbing they give Siracusa and the general banter. But the he, who can't be named, I dislike.

I was talking about Trump, not Arment... I don't like Arment either, but then again he isn't running for the presidency of my country so I don't care much.

ps. Damnit, you made me say his name.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Ugh...
by avgalen on Fri 16th Oct 2015 08:11 in reply to "Ugh..."
avgalen Member since:

So just for compensation: Bernie Sanders
(yes, him, not her-who-shall-remain-nameless)
(and yes, some Dutch people are interested in American politics and really hope that you get the guy with decades of experience, a great track record and most important of all: genuine passion for the people)

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Ugh...
by galvanash on Fri 16th Oct 2015 11:34 in reply to "RE: Ugh..."
galvanash Member since:

So just for compensation: Bernie Sanders

I'm a pretty staunch conservative, so trust me I do not like Sanders... But I would vote for him over "you know who"... Really, I would vote for pretty much anyone over him - I refuse to take any part in the process of electing that empty headed bag of wind to any office, much less the presidency.

I honestly don't understand how things have gotten this far. The only explanation I have is that a pretty large number of republicans simply just want to watch the world burn... I keep telling myself it is all just apathy and petulance and that everyone will stop acting self destructive before the primary, but my faith is really starting to slip.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Ugh...
by pmac on Fri 16th Oct 2015 11:42 in reply to "Ugh..."
pmac Member since:

Is it like Beetlejuice? Say his name too many times and he appears? I don't like him, but taking offence to the mention of his name is a bit of an over reaction!

Reply Parent Score: 5