I don’t know why I wrote this post, but after seeing all the vitriol spewed at Smile for changing their business model, I started having these crazy thoughts in my head. This is all stupid, but for what it’s worth…

What if the typical developer isn’t a rich Wall Streeter making a money grab? What if developers are girlfriends, boyfriends, or partners? Maybe moms and dads? Maybe developers have mortgages, rents, car payments, and health insurance.

Maybe they’re wondering if they will ever have a dollar to spend on themselves after they scrape up enough to save for their kids’ college—or take care of an aging parent.

I guess what I’m saying is, what if developers are just human beings. Normal people?

And what if they’ve been failing? What if they keep getting up at one o’clock in the morning to open their laptop to take one more look at a spreadsheet, desperately hoping they’ve made a mistake. Maybe there’s a formula error somewhere. Maybe, just maybe the sales are there after all. Maybe they won’t have to take another contract job. Maybe they won’t have to let an employee go—another normal person with a mortgage, a kid, or a family to take care of.

Maybe they’re sick to their stomach thinking of what has happened to developers before them that “fixed” the same problem by

  • Letting the app die
  • Letting the app languish
  • Putting ads in their app
  • Selling their customers’ information to marketers
  • Selling the whole business to a giant tech company

Maybe they’re dreading the one-star shame that they know will come with any of those decisions.

So what if they decide to do the unthinkable. They raise the cost of their product to stay alive another year. To fight the good fight one more season. To keep their homes, their kids’ college fund, their family’s health. To secure their dignity—the very essence of their identity as an independent human being.

What if developers raise prices not out of greed and malice but out of necessity? And what if they don’t deserve to be spit on for asking to be paid? Like us?

Told you it was crazy. Forget I said anything.