Copyright 2004 by M. Uli Kusterer Fri, 29 Nov -1901 11:06:32 GMT Comments on article blog-john-gruber-macheist-figures at blog-john-gruber-macheist-figures Comments witness_dot_of_dot_teachtext_at_gmx_dot_net (M. Uli Kusterer) witness_dot_of_dot_teachtext_at_gmx_dot_net (M. Uli Kusterer) en-us Comment 12 by Mister Snitch Mister Snitch writes:
" I totally don't get Gruber's appeal"

He writes about Apple. Apple has LOTS of appeal (hence their fat bank account). Gruber himself, of course, has NO appeal.
Comment 11 by Mister Snitch Mister Snitch writes:
"Jackass of the Week goes to John Gruber without a question."

You are vastly underestimating Gruber. He has it in him to be the Jackass of the Century.
Comment 10 by david Kerns I think an important point that Gruber got wrong was making an analogy between the Mac Heist guys and a, say Don King. Considering that they have almost single handedly invented a new distribution model, built the website around a well thought out concept, and then executed and advertised for it - to follow the boxing analogy, that makes you more than just a promoter. It would be like actually inventing the sport of boxing, building a superdome in which to hold fights in, and then being responsible for ticket sales and yes, promotion. Maybe in that sense, just calling them "promoters" takes some credit away from them.

I don't know what Gruber considers generous but 30,000 USD seems conservative, and consider that it has to be split among several parties - I think if they can bank a good year's salary on top of that more power to them.

At the end of the day I think one has to be a little less cynical and a little more careful than Mr. Gruber has been in the piece he wrote. I have to ask myself when was the last time I raised 100 dollars for charity...1000 dollars....100,000 dollars? :-) It's hard to criticize these guys, and I am not sure why Gruber felt like he needed to stake his credibility on the "outing" of this "bad deal".

P.S. regarding the font, I am on a Mac and using Safari and it's still killing my eyes, a testament to the value of your writing that I actually stuck around to read it. Ouch.
Comment 9 by slantyyz WTF! "Slant Isle" plagiarized my post from Digg and even used a similar handle?

(Scroll down this page and see my original post:

Doesn't anyone have an original thought any more?
Comment 8 by Flaubert P. Rogers @Uri:

The "pissing about" annoyed me too. Especially as he had the gall to later come back and say "oh no, I was just making a simple point." When he was obviously saying so much more. As you say, he should have stuck to his point. If he had meant to say something simpler, and more direct, he failed in his presentation of it.

I actually like Gruber's long-form writing style and his tangents into obscurity. But it works best on the topics he knows well, and topics which are non-political. Such as when he talks about software, and the evolution of some interface convention - or his essays on Apple's business model and history.

I think that too often when an issue is controversial, he links to blogs he finds that agree with him, with a tone of "See? Someone else in the Mac blogosphere is saying the same thing, I must be right." he is also rather quick to call people Jackasses when they disagree. I think most of the Jackass awards have been well deserved - but lately have been slipping, so that anybody who is merely annoying or uninformed gets the award - rather than it being reserved for John Dvorak or George Ou levels of jackassery.

Anyway, enough of the bitching. I still love his site. Just think he really missed the target by miles this time. After finding Macheist and later joining their forums, I think they are breathing new life into the Mac universe - and getting lots of new converts to Mac shareware. I'm especially impressed with the number of new Mac converts from Windows - who are saying they never trusted independent or downloaded software on Windows, because most of it was full of spyware and adware. Macheist educated them that things are different on a Mac.

Yes! Having used shareware all my life, it's easy to forget how much Mac users take great shareware for granted. It's one of those things I can never explain when somebody asks why they should buy a Mac. It's partly the OS, partly the hardware, and partly the mainstream apps - but the Mac shareware thing is a huge part of it, but difficult to explain.

Now I know that one reason why it has been difficult to get across, is that cultural difference of Windows users. They just don't understand how inexpensive little programs made by companies they have never heard of, can be so good. They aren't used to such a personal commitment to excellence. They just see software developers, big and small, around every corner trying to rip them off. So they get their Microsoft Office, and maybe an Adobe suite - and that's it.

Anyway, sorry for that tangent. I hope Macheist can sustain interest, and cast the net wider. I have the feeling the Mac online media has stagnated into two basic camps - you have the MacWorld side, where they get lots of advertising income, and the majority of newbie users - and they basically steer them into whatever application/product is popular or trendy. They wield immense power in that regard. But they are also inflexible and conservative, and worst: really defensive about any criticism of Macworld, and worried about spirited discussion taking place. Then you have your blogs, who like controversy, and largely come from died-in-the-wool independent developers who are opinionated. They like the idea of community, but also fear change. They have a bit of a "You whippersnappers get off my lawn" vibe about them. They seem to think that everybody just has dollars lying around to donate to blogs, or buy lots of independent software - all out of principle, of course. That consumers should basically sacrifice themselves to the noble Independent Developer, so that they might continue the tradition of days gone by. Most of all, they seem really old, and don't seem to realize how many Mac users today are teenagers with a little bit of allowance money to spend, and totally different expectations of "community."

Macheist seems much fresher. Certainly a younger userbase. But it straddles the two worlds. It has the slick presentation, and unashamed commercialism of Macworld - without the stifling conformity. Yet at the same time, it appeals to the "good cause" of charity and the Independent Developer. It's not scared of criticism or lively debate like Macworld. It's not afraid of new marketing ideas, or channeling natural human greed/economics for good purposes, unlike GrandpaMacBlogger.



Uri - I am using Safari on a Mac to view this. Is that font Futura Medium? It does look kind of skinny, but the main issue is it's too heavy. I don't know how others feel - but to me, this is a headline/display font - not a body text font. Each to their own, I guess.
Comment 7 by GaryP I came here from Daring Fireball (John Gruber's site), so I'd like to mention that he's giving opportunities for disagreement with him, and going out of his way to show other views. That's a Good Thing (tm). Whether he's right or wrong, debate/conversation is good.

I actually like Gruber's writing style - it's not direct but it gets the point across and gives a solid background that those unfamiliar with the topics might not know. If it's a few paragraphs extra, well... this is the Internet after all - we have tools to summarise stuff if we care to use them.
Comment 6 by Uli Kusterer Uli Kusterer writes:
Oh, a note to those on the comment RSS feed: I've added a small update to the article.
Comment 5 by Uli Kusterer Uli Kusterer writes:
@delete: Thanks, I fixed the typo.

@Flaubert: I'm actually more in disagreement with Gruber's article structure. He spends too much time ... err ... pissing about ... with other completely unrelated topics and too little on making his point. It all has a slight feel of smoke and mirrors or at least is horribly distracting from his actual point.

As to the font: I have to admit I'm 100% relying on my visitors using Safari on a Mac to view this page. I'm using some text-weight settings that only that combination gets right. Firefox on Mac is close, but looks somehow "skinnier". I'll keep it in mind for the next time I work on the CSS.

@Josh: Hi Josh! Great to "see" you again! I'm hoping to make it to WWDC, too.

@slant: Well, it's John's job to write articles now, so I appreciate he takes the time to write long and well-researched articles (which this one definitely is). But I also thought that he's doing a nice job of educating people about the heist. As for talking to them... it's a lot of work and takes a good deal of time to elicit statements from others. You can't compensate them for it, or you'd be seen as manipulating them, after all. But yeah, I think John had a bad day when he came across Gus' post and that caused this floundering article.

Then again, what do I know? I'm a programmer, not a wordsmith...
Comment 4 by slant isle John Gruber is just making a big stink about it simply because he was not involved with them (you don't see him making a stink about MyDreamApp because he was part of it, as a celebrity judge.) I totally don't get Gruber's appeal - he writes long-ass articles, mostly to make mountains out of molehills.

Like they say, "no publicity is bad publicity." Gruber and company have unwittingly contributed to the even greater success of this much hated marketing effort.

John Gruber jumped on the MacHeist bashing bandwagon as soon as he saw the possibility for higher site traffic but it didn't exactly go well for him as well as Gus. Any intelligent writer would want to remain as unbiased as possible, talk with both sides to understand their story/numbers, get accurate information then write instead of posting knee-jerk article to people he disliked greatly for breaking the status quo in mac community. I highly doubt Gruber took the time to talk to any of MacHeist staff to get some information but I may be wrong.

I may just be his anonymous site visitor #30007 but he completely lost my respect for him.

Jackass of the Week goes to John Gruber without a question.
Comment 3 by Josh Monroe Uli, Well put. I agree with you, these developers knew what they were doing. And, as we found out yesterday DL2 is just around the corner so, I think I know why Mr. Shipley took part in MH.

As for me, I don't know yet if I will buy the bundle just because I have all the apps that I really want already, and the talking moose is free!

Hope to see you at the hostel at WWDC '07.
Comment 2 by Flaubert P. Rogers Well said!

I am usually one who enthusiatically agrees with most things that Gruber writes. But in this case, I think he missed the mark. He wrote a little rebuttal to your article:

I have to call BS on that one. He certainly was saying a lot more than that. Otherwise, why did he devote so many pixel-inches to discussing Macheist? He has also written extensively about "devaluing" software, although not specifically about Macheist. He also mentions the costs of providing customer support..

Even if he was just "dispelling misconceptions," I'm not sure what the point is. Macheist makes more money from the deal. So what? I'm not even sure whose misconceptions he is dispelling, as I haven't seen anybody say that they believe there were royalties involved, or that developers would get most of the money. It's not like we are talking about huge sums of profit here, anyway - a few hundred thousand dollars at the very most.

Even his figures are wild assumptions. What about the costs of advertising and administering the project? Those cannot be insignificant, what with all the banner ads I am seeing for Macheist on places like

I'd like to see Gruber's logic applied to his own income. He participates in "the deck," and advertising scheme. Is it fair that he makes all that money just from accepting ads, even if the products advertised don't sell? After all, the advertiser is doing all the work of creating a product, and Gruber is just putting up a few hundred pixels on his website. Think of the poor advertisers!

Having said all that, can you please change the font used on your site? My eyes! The goggles do nothing!

Thank you.
Comment 1 by delete when corrected weigh: "have the numbers to weight how much the risk will be"