Alastair’s Place

Software development, Cocoa, Objective-C, life. Stuff like that.

Told You So

Well it looks like I was right about the whole MacHeist/MacZot thing, according to a post from Steve Harris of Reinvented Software (via Daring Fireball).

Yes, Steve made a bit of money by selling through MacZot. Not much though, and his figures pretty much blow the you’ll-make-money-from-upgrades argument out of the water.

And following on from John Gruber’s original guesses as to the amount of money made by the organisers of MacHeist, Wikipedia notes that MacHeist I raised $200,000 for charities and took $800,000 in total. Using similar working to Gruber’s original calculations, we find that1:

12 Dec 2006NewsfireTextMateFinal
Total Revenue $132,000$200,000$400,000$800,000
Total Raised for Charity $33,000$50,000$100,000$200,000
Post-Charity Revenue $99,000$150,000$300,000$600,000
Est. Other Expenses $30,000$30,000$30,000$30,000
Total Profit $69,000$120,000$270,000$570,000
Est. Total Payments to Dev's $54,500$67,000$79,500$79,500
Est. MacHeist Profit $14,500$53,000$190,500$490,500
MacHeist Profit Share 21%44%71%86%
Developers' Combined Profit Share 79%56%29%14%
Developers' Ind. Average Share 10%6%3%1%

So MacHeist’s organisers could have pocketed as much as half a million U.S. dollars, some 86% of the profit after the charitable donation and expenses, as compared with a total of 14% for the developers, or an average of just 1% per developer, and more than twice as much as was paid to charity. That, frankly, is nothing short of scandalous, and I’m sure that the people who bought from MacHeist would expect most of their money either to go to the developers or to charity, whereas in fact the overwhelming majority has presumably ended up lining the pockets of MacHeist’s organisers.

So while I feel somewhat smug to learn that I was right about MacHeist and MacZot all along (as, I’m sure do John Gruber [and again], Paul Kafasis, and Gus Mueller to name but a few), I feel sorry for the developers, charities, and customers who I think were ripped off.

1 Just to make clear:- the numbers in this table are based on educated guesses and what little information has been made public. See the original Daring Fireball post for specific details.