Two more apps I really like(d) have recently announced that they’re moving to subscription models: Fantastical and Paste. The Internet almost universally decided to stomp on the former’s announcement, but I’m not sure that the latter is widely popular enough to get a lot of people riled up. With rare exception, these moves are death knells for my usage of such apps. As I’ve written before, the bottom line is that apps have to offer good value to their users. To me, $40 per year for a pretty calendar does not offer good value. A clipboard manager which jumps from $15 once to $10 per year does not offer good value.

What these changes really do for me is nudge me out of complacency and into reevaluating my app choices. As it turns out, the built-in isn’t as pretty as Fantastical, but for $40 per year it’s gotten to be good enough. There are any number of clipboard managers - some inside apps I was already using, like Keyboard Maestro - that aren’t as nice as Paste, but for $10 per year they’re good enough. And so those moves to subscription models, which are always accompanied by long blog posts explaining how it’s really in my best interest, move me away from the apps I had liked and push me to check out the alternatives. What they almost never do is get me to switch to the desired Patreon-like financial model.

Merlin Mann described the category of little things that sit in the background and suck money or resources from you as eels attached to your neck. One is bad. Dozens are terrible. Well, I’m getting rid of my neck eels. There are very few apps I use that can’t be replaced. And when an app’s price suddenly skyrockets and stops offering good value, that’s exactly why I do.