The Cost of App Reviews

August 21, 2011 by Gabe | [mmd] |

David Chartier tooted the other day about someone asking for a promo code:

Entire email: "Do you have a promo code?" Translation: "I have a site and write 'stuff' on it so I don't have to pay for software."

Rudeness and sense of entitlement of the emailer aside, something struck me. I don’t want to see reviews from people that get promo codes. I want a review based on the same decision making process that real users follow.

Applications, services and websites sometimes cost money. When I purchase an app, I’m investing in the people behind it. Occasionally it’s an insignificant amount of money and sometimes it’s a year-long investment. There is also an opportunity cost with every purchase. If I spend $10 or $20 on something, I am unlikely to spend another $10 or $20 on a competing product.

I trust reviews written from that perspective.

I understand that some sites review a large number of applications and that can add up, but that’s an operating expense. I also appreciate that developers want their applications reviewed. There’s a kind of synergy in the relationship. I still prefer that an author spend money on the application they are reviewing. The cost of money and time that matters to them will find it's way into the review.

Don’t review it if it’s not worth your money.