If you are a Mac user you have probably heard of MacHeist. MacHeist is a package program that is release occasionally. It contains several programs, which if you brought alone would cost several hundred dollars. When you buy the MacHeist package you get all the programs for less then $20.00. The programs that are offer with MacHeist vary with each release and the date of release is unknown. This latest MacHeist which is now over, had the following programs in it: MacJournal, RipIt, Clips, Flow, CoverScout, Tales of Monkey Island, RapidWeaver and Tweetie. The MacHeist Web site says that they sold over 175,000 copies of the software and raised over $1,250,000 for charity. I admit I am one of those who purchased the MacHeist package this time around. I was already going to buy Ripit and was interested in Clips, so it made sense.
If you are a user and are interested in any of the programs in the package MacHeist seems like a no brainer. It is also a good deal for the charities, and MacHeist itself. There, however is a fourth group that maybe the losers in this scenario. That group is of course the developers of the various software. For example if you brought Rapid Weaver as a stand alone package it would cost you $79.00. With MacHeist you are getting it plus five other programs for a little less the one-fourth the price. So why do they participate in the MacHeist. It can’t be that the money is being given to charity, as Merlin Mann said on Macbreak Weekly 184 if you want to give money to charity, then give to charity. Is it a way to foster good will, that is the willingness to sell product A at a lost for a short period of time, in the hope that the buyer will buy product B at full price down the road. I don’t have an answer to this question, but there is obviously a reason developers participate after all this is the third year of the MacHeist program.
There is one area that I don’t totally agree with Merlin Mann. He thinks that as a user you should not purchase a MacHeist bundle, but if you really want the product you should pay full price. I disagree with him on this, my way of thinking is that MacHeist allows me to have programs that I wanted but couldn’t afford. I have always wanted to use Rapid Weaver, but I could not afford it, the chance of me buying it at full price was very small. Therefore the creators of Rapid Weaver didn’t loose $79.00, because they never would have gotten it in the first place. Also, I didn’t force the developer to participate, I just took advantage of their participation. If you are a mac user did you purchase the MacHeist package. If you are a developer did you participate in the program, if so why or why not, I would be interested to hear either way.