Pathfinder users: would you support a subscription model?

stu.farnham's Avatar


02 Sep, 2017 04:30 PM

Anyone who has been watching the market for productivity apps, at least on the Mac, knows that is a very challenging market in which to succeed. The App Store has changed how users value software, driving prices down.This makes it difficult for companies like Cocoatech to be profitable. Its users see the effect of this in the overall decrease of responsiveness from Cocoatech. How long have we suffered with the PF7 screen focus bug? Why is there no High Sierra beta version and likely no High Sierra supported version. until PF8? My guess it is due the the financial squeeze.

I have been using Pathfinder for as long as I have been using a Mac, and hadn't given it any particular thought for several years until I switched to the High Sierra beta and had to work without it. Over time it has insinuated itself into my workflow to the point that it is indispensable. I tried a couple of its competitors (CommandOne and ForkLift) and they are feature poor by comparison.Pathfinder has become very valuable to me; Finder isn't even in the game.

Over the several years several long time essential apps have gravitated towards subscription models, largely to attempt to offset the market forces that are squeezing so many out of business. 1Password and TextExpander are two that come to mind. Microsoft and Adobe have also made the transition.

A couple of these transitions provide object lessons in how NOT to make the switch. Adobe faced tremendous backlash in the photography market until they created the $10/month photography bundle. TextExpander users felt they were being forced into a price increasin with a new version that did not add value for the; in fact many felt the removal of Dropbox sync removed value. Fortunately for its users the folks at Smile software listened to their customers and made adjustments.

Microsoft (a company I am generally slow to praise) did a great job with their subscription model for Office 365. Although there are only two of us in my household we have thee Macs and at usually a couple of Windows VMs for work purposes, plus a couple of iPhones and iPads. We can run office on all of these for $100/year. New fealties in 1Password were such that switching to the subscription version was a no brainer in a household with lots of computers, multiple operating systems, and shared passwords for a number of accounts.

There's a key lesson in the approaches and experiences of those companies who have made the switch. The successful changeovers occurred when users perceived added value as well as added cost. When they did not companies like Adobe and Smile software were compelled to make adjustments to create sufficient user value.

So, what's my point? I would like to see Cocoatech move to a subscription model if doing so will help them remain profitable and to maintain and extend their product in the manner they have traditionally done.I'd gladly pay something like the upgrade price of $20/year for the software, especially if there was some sort of multi license bundle available.

A question for all of you who follow this forum: would you support a switch to a subscription model? What would motivate you to do so or why would you not?


Showing page 3 out of 3. View the first page

  1. Path Finder Support Team closed this discussion on 10 Oct, 2018 08:32 AM.

  2. Path Finder Support Team re-opened this discussion on 10 Oct, 2018 08:32 AM

  3. 61 Posted by thebookbloke on 19 Nov, 2018 01:47 AM

    thebookbloke's Avatar

    No I would not. The trouble I, and many others, went through to elicit even an inadequate response from Cocoatech when PF7 stopped working with High Sierra almost put me off PF for life. We thought that Cocoatech had gone out of business because we couldn't get any response fo ages.
    Eventually, we did find out that PF8 was underway and now it's out and I've paid for the latest version.
    Verdict: Not a patch on PF7. Simple things have become fiddly; full of minor irritations. I thought I had found an alternative with TotalFinder but now that is buggered under Mojave as SIP has to be turned off permanently.
    So, given the quality of Cocoatech customer service over the past year or two, I won't pay a subscription unless things improve dramatically.

  4. Path Finder Support Team closed this discussion on 19 Nov, 2018 09:22 AM.

  5. Path Finder Support Team re-opened this discussion on 19 Nov, 2018 09:23 AM

  6. 62 Posted by a14th on 21 Nov, 2018 02:37 PM

    a14th's Avatar

    No. Flat out, no subscription model. I know that's what the market is pushing everyone towards, but I will find alternatives before adopting a subscription model.

    This is not antipathy to Cocoatech; this is how I regard all software. I had to abandon Adobe Lightroom when they issued the last update to the standalone and basically forced everyone to go to the cloud.

  7. 63 Posted by Andreas on 22 Nov, 2018 12:30 PM

    Andreas's Avatar

    No way.
    I discontinue all apps trying to switch to subscription model.
    You‘d lose a PathFinder user for sure.
    Regards, Andreas

  8. 64 Posted by jb on 22 Nov, 2018 05:47 PM

    jb's Avatar

    No. Subscriptions are the death of software diversity, and only serve to kill boutique software to the benefit of large corporate monopolies. Think of how may programs the average power user purchases and employs, vs. how many $10-20/month substriptions that same person would be willing or even able to support.

    I would completely support almost any increase in software purchase price, as well as additional fees for every upgrade. I should be able to decide whether the cost is worth what I'm getting in advance. But an automatic deduction from my checking account with no real guarantee of development or usefulness, in fact just the feeling of pressure that I'm paying for some program even if I'm not currently using it, well, that's not something I will ever support. Every program that goes to subscription immediately also goes to my trash can. I fully support software development, but subscriptions are the death of choice. There's always a ton of free Unix utilities that can do much of the same job faster anyway.

  9. Path Finder Support Team closed this discussion on 22 Nov, 2018 11:25 PM.

  10. Path Finder Support Team re-opened this discussion on 22 Nov, 2018 11:26 PM

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