Archive for January 4, 2015

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Quitting Family Sharing

David Sparks (tweet):

The promise behind Family Sharing was that it would get us away from that problem. In theory, we’d all be able to have our own accounts but still share purchases as long as all the accounts are on the same credit card. If at some point, one my children moves out or pays with her own credit card, she retains her library and we stop sharing. I am okay with that particularly if it lets me have my 2 Macs, iPad, and iPhone all work without running into above-mentioned DRM walls.

What I didn’t realize was the fine print. There are a few bits that are potential deal breakers.


Three months ago I turned Family Sharing on for my wife and one of my daughters to see if this additional expense would be worth it. The transition has not been easy. Indeed, my family, that is normally game for just about any new nerdy thing I bring in, has rebelled. They’ve all told me how much they don’t like Family Sharing but not because of the above limitations, the problems are in execution.

David Chartier:

Like many couples, if you’ve been sharing a single Apple ID in order to share iTunes Store purchases (which Apple has long recommended), you may have run into a problem with iOS 8 and Family Sharing where you can’t download or update some apps. I’ve been troubleshooting this with my wife since iOS 8 landed, and I think I know what’s going on.

Update (2015-01-11): Jason Snell:

The story is much the same in the Snell household. Family Sharing is a good idea, but between the limitations and the bugs, it’s making my family agitate for a return to sharing a single Apple ID.

The Benefits of Selling Software Outside the Mac App Store

Dan Counsell (comments, tweet):

Now lets look at a real world example, RapidWeaver has been on the Mac App Store since it opened in 2011 and has generated over $2,000,000 in revenue. Apple has taken $600,000 (USD) of that in fees. Ouch!


I’m specifically talking about bundle deals run by StackSocial, MacUpdate, and MightyDeals. I used to love bundles, then I got convinced they were bad for our customers. I stopped participating in them for awhile and missed out on a lot of revenue because of it. I’m now fully behind bundle deals again and am glad I changed my mind.


When you have a new product coming out you’ll want to let your existing customers know. They’ve already bought from you once and trust you, so they may be interested in buying from you again. If you’ve only ever sold on the Mac App Store you have no details for any of your customers. When you sell directly you can simply email them and say “Hey, we know you bought X and we’d love you to check out Y, you’ll even get 20% off because you’ve purchased from us before”. This is a big deal.

Here’s another example, when App Store customers email me asking for a refund I have to say “I’m really sorry but you’ll need to contact Apple directly, we can’t issue refunds”. However, Apple doesn’t always give refunds, and this often results in unhappy customers and bad App Store reviews.


I’m not suggesting you pull out of the Mac App Store and only sell direct, I’m recommending you sell in as many places as possible.

A Dozen Things Tren Griffin Learned From Steve Jobs About Business

Tren Griffin (via John Gruber):

Dates of quotes are important in trying to understand Steve Jobs so I have included them in this post. A good friend of mine, who knew Steve Jobs very well, said to me: “He was a chameleon. And a really good one.” So when Steve Jobs said something really does matter in understanding what he meant.