Ever since my fascination with technology became known by my colleagues, I’m often asked for my opinion regarding all sorts of quibbles and buying decisions. Most of the time, I’ll do it willingly, as I enjoy talking about this stuff anyway.
There’s one type of conversation, though, that usually leaves me a bit… frustrated.
“Oh, that’s very cool. But I wouldn’t pay for it.”
“Who pays for apps these days?”
While maybe over-thinking the buying behaviour of most consumers just a tad, I tend to agree with Shibel K. Mansour's smart take on the perceived value of apps over at The Pickle Theory:
One obvious reason is the maturity of the industry. Applications are much younger than the products and services I’ve mentioned above. Even amongst younger people today, there’s still some sort of psychological block associated with paying for intangibles. If you can’t grab it, it’s not real, and if it’s not real, then you certainly shouldn’t pay for it.
Ultimately, most people are skeptical towards buying apps for utility because they perceive that the “jobs to be done” with apps are still limited to the entertainment and leisure categories.
The intangibility of software — coupled with large companies giving away apps for free in exchange for other things (be it your data or you purchasing associated hardware) — has led to a devaluing of apps that is actually irrational. At its simplest: if time is money and apps save you time, why aren't they worth your hard-earned dollars?
Source: The Pickle Theory