As if we don’t have enough disputes in the world, here’s another one: Mac software developers vs. Mac software marketers.
Is this the typical Dilbert “engineers vs. marketing” issue? Yes, it is.
Just in case you missed it, there’s been a squabble going on recently regarding a special Mac software promotion at MacHeist.
Basically, a bunch of Mac guys got together and came up with a Mac software promotion idea to sell a bundle of nine Mac utilities at a super discount for a week.
Over $350 worth of Mac software for a single price of $49. The software was a good collection and the price was excellent for the buyer.
The MacHeist marketing guys negotiated with nine Mac software developers to sell their software in the discounted bundle. In exchange for a one time fee, the marketing guys were allowed to sell as many copies of the software as they could but only within a week.
Depending on what you read and where, the Mac software developers were paid, on average, between $5,000 and $10,000 each. All nine of their Mac applications were included in the bundle for $49.
The MacHeist marketing guys handled all the promotion, the web site, the marketing, advertising, and details. The Mac software developers got a one-time cash payment, and nearly 17,000 new customers to service.
The MacHeist marketing guys sold 16,821 bundles of the Mac software titles for $49 each.
Do the math. That’s sales of nearly $825,000.
The MacHeist marketing guys played the emotional nice-nice card as part of the promo and agreed to donate $200,000 to charity. That left $625,000.
Promotional expenses were estimated to be approximately $40,000, and payment to the Mac software developers was estimated to be up to $150,000 total (divided between nine developers).
The MacHeist marketing guys gained a profit of about $435,000. Each Mac software developer, on average, received less than $17,000.
John Gruber of Daring Fireball was the first to blow the whistle on the deal and pointed out the tremendous inequity between what the Mac software developers received and what the MacHeist marketing guys received as their share of the loot.
Gruber estimated that the MacHeist marketing guys received between 75-percent and 87-percent of the loot, vs. an estimated 1.1-percent for each of the Mac software developers.
Is the disparity between what the marketing guys made vs. what the software developer guys made too much? Did one group screw over the other? Does marketing deserve that much profit compared to the development group?
It’s easy to argue that everyone was a winner. Buyers of the MacHeist bundle got an excellent deal. Good Mac software, very low price. If the numbers are anywhere close to accurate, the MacHeist marketing guys made their own bundle.
What about the Mac software developers? They made some money, and now have nearly 17,000 new customers. Each. What was wrong with the deal?