Something’s brewing at MacHeist…

June 9, 2008 at 5:42 am (shareware) (, , , )

So, Phill Ryu, of MacHeist fame, sent out a tweet a few hours ago that said “been working my ass off over the past month to really improve the current bundle and redo the MacHeist sale page…stay tuned”.
Then Twitter pops up with a message from MacHeist that said: “Lockdown at…cool stuff coming soon…stay tuned agents!”

Going over to MacHeist’s website, the welcome screen that had been advertising the current retail bundle has been replaced with the following:

Let the speculation begin!!

Of course, the message boards at MH lit up like a xmas tree, and Phill posted that there “are some interesting things” going on. “This isn’t MacHeist 3 for sure, but we’re putting some kick into the previously existing bundle…” He went on to say that much of what they are doing will probably be used for MH3’s sale page, “so, in a way, you guys will get a glimpse of the future with that as well”. He closes the post by saying, “I think a bunch of you who skipped the retail bundle or were on the fence may be convinced with the additions, especially if you hit the right site tomorrow. But we’ll see!”

Umm, “hit the right site tomorrow“??? (tomorrow being the day of the keynote at WWDC being given by Apple’s Steve Jobs). MacHeist’s IRC chat channel says to check the MH main site on June 10.

Do I smell a mini-heist in the works???

It has not been a big secret that sales have seemed a little slow. Many of the MH faithful have passed on this bundle because they already have most of these apps (which is essentially a “best of” collection of popular past applications).

In all fairness, though, this bundle was targeted more at people who were not the regular MacHeist fans. Part of the reasoning behind doing the MacHeist retail bundle was to expose consumers to really good shareware who might not otherwise be aware of these sources for great software. These people will see the retail box packaging at their local Apple store or other retail establishment and be more likely to purchase it in a brick and mortar store than they would online.

Phill commented several weeks ago that at least one developer was pulling out because of a prior commitment, and his software would be replaced (it was also noted that early adopters would automatically receive the new product without having to pay extra for it – sort of an early adopters’ bonus!). Also, the “prize cabinet” did not go over exceedingly well, at least in the beginning.

The points system is essentially like a prize ticket system where you get 1 point every time someone uses your referral link to buy the bundle. The cabinet was initially stocked with eight or ten prizes varying in value from 1 to 4 points. There were good software apps for being used for prizes, but there were very few people with enough points to redeem for said prizes, even at the lower levels. The pre-launch buzz was talk of some spectacular prizes to be awarded to the top point-getters at the end of the bundle sale, such as ipods and even an imac — remember, points would accumulate during the year, so that could potentially be a large number of points. The referral system has not gone over as well as they had hoped, so that is one of the things that they have been working on.

MacHeist is still giving 25% of their sales to charity and they hope to bring the total amount donated to charity to over a million dollars with this bundle. Let’s hope whatever Phill, John, and company have planned for the next couple of days will jump-start things in the MacHeist community.


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