Benjamin Curtis

Speculations on Web Development

Tools for the Lone Developer

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There has been a bit of consternation among developers about the pricing changes to MSDN and the pricing of Team System, and Martin Weber talks about MicroISVs not being on the radar of tool vendors, in light of these pricing discussions. I have to agree that most larger vendors are focusing on selling high-priced tools to larger teams, but I also think there is a trend of MicroISVs themselves coming up with products for the MicroISV.

As an example, I point to Tesly — well, of course I would: if I don’t advertise it, who will? :) But anyway, Tesly is priced for all comers. It’s free for the lone programmer or small team, cheap for slightly larger teams, and somewhat pricey if you want the word “Enterprise” in the product name.

My point is that I personally feel the need for good tools, like Martin does, but I also think companies like Empirix (whose product similar to Tesly I discovered after working on Tesly for a while) don’t really care to serve a market like me. That’s fine, and they are doing just fine without my business, but it does (hopefully) leave an opening for people like me to create a useful tool and sell it to an underserved market.

So I say let those big guys keep doing what they are doing and price themselves out of this market. Then maybe I’ll have a chance to serve it. :)

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