Monday, 2 February 2009

The Nick Hodges Podcast

I have just listened to latest podcast over at the Startup Success Podcast, with our very own Nick Hodges as the guest. I have to say it was rather disappointing. I guess for someone who laps up every mention of Delphi on the web (does the web sometimes seem very small to you?), these kind of things are always disappointing, because you never learn anything you don't already know. The disappointing thing though was every (well the really juicy ones at least) question was answered with a "I can't say more than that" or "I can't confirm when" etc etc I'm not trying to criticize Nick. While to a long time Delphi developer like myself, at first sight, Nick seems to have a dream job, if I really think about it, I'd have to say he's got a really difficult job. He's kind of stuck in the middle. The public face of Delphi, with his hands tied behind his back.

I was particularly waiting for his answer to a question I had suggested on Bob's Facebook page. The one about Embarcadero's Bizspark equivalent. I've blogged about this before, and I've since had a change of heart. It's more of a softening of stance really. Yes I'd like access to Delphi for a paltry sum, but Embarcadero are in the business of making money, not making me happy. I still think they seriously need to find some way to attract new developers, but doing a Bizspark equivalent, is just not going to work for Embarcadero. Even so, Nick didn't really answer that question either.

I have a suggestion for Embarcadero. A cut price Delphi, call it Turbo Delphi if you will, with a bare minimum of components. Just enough to get you started. Basic database access, a button, and edit box etc etc. Then have an ITunes like shop front for selling individual components(singles) or packs of components (albums). Somehow marry those components to a single licence. Buying all the components individually would cost more than buying the full product, but at least it allows users a lower entry cost, and who wants all 2321 components anyway? The store could be expanded to third party offerings. Could it work? Or would people just buy the cut price version and use freeware components? If they did, would it be a bad thing?

3 comments:

Alan Fletcher said...

You said "Embarcadero are in the business of making money, not making me happy".

Let me correct your statement with what I think is more appropriate: Embarcadero are in the business of making money by making me(us) happy.

Cheers!

Alan Fletcher said...

I think that the best answer to your request should be for Embarcadero to commit to publish a Delphi Community Edition that ships with a set community supported components and a set of Embarcadero's Delphi components that would allow anybody to produce decent applications. Also, database connectivity should be kept to Open Source databases such as PostGres, FireBird, etc.

And maybe allow people to buy the components they need (like you have suggested) as a way of making them upgrade to a "professional version.

I think that would actually have more influence on the community than have people pay for the Delphi Impaired Edition.

Anonymous said...

If they don't get people at grass roots using the product, then Delphi will die and they won't make any money anyway.

They MUST stimulate new user interest and cut price (i.e. virtually free) Turbo's are the ideal way to bring new users into the honeypot. Once addicted to Delphi, then your component store is a great idea, but they have to be competitively priced or as you point out, folks will opt for open market components.

Delphi became popular by being good and affordable - they need to put it back into that bracket or risk killing its future completely.

DerekSmith