Neil Macy

Industrial and Independent Software

I really liked this article from Steph Ango, aka kepano on Mastodon, on the difference between industrial and independent software makers.

The whole article is a good read, and worth going through in full. But here are a few of my favourite parts.

Industrial software has a lot of critics, but it also does have its place:

Google, Apple, and Microsoft make industrial software. Like industrial jam, industrial software has its benefits — it’s cheap, fairly reliable, widely available, and often gets the job done.

But industrial software has also greatly damaged how we all value software:

Industrial software has become so incredibly cheap that most of us have lost the sense for how much value a quality piece of software can provide. We have become numb to the taste of good software and hypnotized by the idea of “free”.

I really like this comparison to grocery shopping:

I notice that I spend less on personal software than I do on groceries and many basic things.

I’m hesitant to spend on software, and will often hum and haw for weeks after using a free trial. But I’ll often try groceries on a whim, with no idea whether or not I’ll like them. No idea why that is.

Published on 23 November 2023