Stop Comparing App Prices to Cups of Starbucks

tl;dr: An app is not the same as a cup of coffee, one has caffeine.

A common refrain when people try to encourage others to buy mobile apps is to say things like: look your Starbucks “latte” cost you $4 and you will finish it inside of 30 minutes (one hopes), but this app is $1.99 and you will use it for months — if not years. Clearly the better value is the app, not the Starbucks.

That’s the common argument.

This is a terrible argument, and I’ll tell you all the reasons why:

  1. Apps don’t taste nearly as good as all that milk and sugar.
  2. Apps don’t provide any caffeine.
  3. Apps don’t help me fit in with a crowd — at all. I can’t walk around showing people I bought the app, but everyone can see that green logo on my white cup as I walk around — with perhaps my chin a little higher than normal, but that’s of no relevance here.
  4. There was actual work put into this “latte”, and I know the because I saw them do it. Look, my nephew makes “apps” in his basement and I think it’s not very hard because he’s just not very smart. He can’t even carry a conversation — like at all. I think he mostly just watches porn down there, but that’s pure speculation as I am far too engaged in my social graph to go check.

I could keep listing out things, but now we need to tackle this article by Dan Edwards wherein he concocts a scenario where a business wants site updates, and since you did the first site design, they want you to make the updates for free.

Edwards thinks this is a terrible thing, and should be avoided. That you shouldn’t even make the updates, FOR AN EXISTING CLIENT! Madness.

You know what you do in that scenario? You do the updates for free because you should be so lucky as to have the business want to work with you in the first place. Besides: it’s only writing a new layout, aligning it to a grid, choosing new colors, a new typography hierarchy, writing the copy, taking the stock images, and then doing 10-15 rounds of iteration. My nephew, again, does this all the time and as we have covered: he is not that smart. Further, think how great this will look in your portfolio the next time a business wants to grace you with not paying you. This is what business leaders call “win-win”.

And then Edwards reminds us:

So next time you feel the urge to complain about a paid upgrade, consider the people behind it and support them, and if you don’t want to, don’t. But there’s no need to call them greedy assholes, becuase they’re not.

First of all he spelled because wrong, so we already know this point is invalid. But let’s assume he had spelled because correctly, and dive into it further:

  1. Twitter was made for complaining — there is literally no better place to complain than Twitter.
  2. Sometimes I don’t even feel the urge to complain, before I just start complaining, so there is just no time to stop and consider things.
  3. I support Jesse at my local Starbucks because he is a talented musician and barista, but I’ll be damned if I will support my nephew in the basement — because that fuckup will just spend the money on weed. Again, I’m assuming this and have not verified how he spends his money, I need to update my social graph constantly.
  4. Do they want my money? Yes. Ok then they are greedy. You see when my barista, Jesse, asks for my money it’s not really him asking for the money. I know this because Jesse once told me: “If it was up to me, I wouldn’t charge you.” See, it’s the evil corporate overlords asking for my money and there’s literally nothing you can do to stop this. But these app guys, man, they are the ones asking for my money. Greedy bastards.

This all brings us to the biggest problem with paying — at all — for apps: after I spend my money elsewhere, I have very little left for apps. It’s true that I spend far more time using my iPhone than I do wearing that $600 waterproof jacket I just bought, but being wet fucking sucks. Seriously, have you even been wet? It’s miserable.

Speaking of being wet: you know who hasn’t been wet? My nephew in the basement, that’s who. I mean the kid really never leaves that basement.

Anyways, once you add up the cost of my jackets, the price of the fancy pocket knives I insist upon, the cost of my Cherry MX switches, the price of making every display in my life retina, my daily Starbucks habit, my love for Slurpees, insurance and gas for my BMW, and the headphones — oh the headphones — after all of that I just don’t have the money to pay for your fucking app.

Obviously this post is sat… actually if you didn’t guess that why should I ruin this moment for you.

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