Payback Time

December 23rd, 2009

Several weeks ago, I put together a seat-of-my-pants promotion called One Finger Discount. Over the course of a week, I facilitated the listing of software being offered at a 20% discount for a limited time. I did this because I was inspired to leverage the enthusiasm for software generated by MacHeist into something that might also benefit many other developers.

The response was so overwhelming, that a day into the promotion I realized I would not be getting much work done. I spent most of the following week keeping up with new additions to the promotion, and trying to update the web site to be more useful and attractive. I worked my butt off and didn’t take a penny from any of the participating developers. It just felt great to be doing something and getting the word out about smaller software shops.

When the promotion was over, I got a few really heartwarming notes of thanks from various developers who had taken part. I also ended up selling quite a bit more software last month than I do in ordinary months. Word from developers was that they had likewise seen significantly improved sales. We all win!

Today, with memories of One Finger Discount fading, I was busy coding away on MarsEdit, when my wife knocks on the door with an important looking envelope. Air mail from Canada? Hmm, what could it be? I recognized the name on the envelope as Dan Messing of Stunt Software, a friend of mine and fellow indie developer. Inside, I found two cards:

A thank you card? But what had I done for Dan lately? Even the tell-tale white hearts on pink didn’t clue me in that it was One Finger Discount related. It wasn’t until I opened the Thank You card, and noticed that it was in fact a 10 page booklet containing dozens and dozens of personal thank you messages from a large number of One Finger participants:

Holy cow! How touching that Dan (with help from my podcasting cohort Manton Reece, and my wife) managed to collect so many notes of thanks from so many participants. This was truly an accomplishment, and a greatly appreciated one. Thank you Dan, Manton, and Chrissa for your parts in organizing this. This alone is quite a payback for the hours I spent laboring to make One Finger Discount the success it turned out to be.

And the other card in that envelope? Each developer who had graciously agreed to send a personal note of thanks had also chipped in some cash and sent me the largest Amazon gift card I have ever seen! If you ever wondered whether $700 was enough gift to convey your heartfelt thanks, the answer is yes, yes, yes! Thank you so much to each and every developer who took part in this thrilling and inspiring gesture.

It’s great to be reminded that there are so many generous and thoughtful people in the world, and in our community. Sometimes you may feel that your deeds are going unthanked or unnoticed, but the old cliché that “what you give comes back to you” is true on many levels, and it may surprise you the ways it finds of doing so.

Thanks again, everybody!

7 Responses to “Payback Time”

  1. Erik Marcus Says:

    You must have been floored, Daniel. What a generous community you’re part of!

  2. Jon Says:

    This is awesome, gotta love the Mac Indie community.

  3. Seth Lipkin Says:

    That is heartwarming and awesome. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Joshua Nozzi Says:

    I was happy to chip in. Few know how tough a last/minute public tech scramble can be. :-) Thanks so much, Daniel.

  5. Phil Letourneau Says:

    You deserve it! That was a great promotion and it was all thanks to you.


  6. Don Says:


    That is incredible. If there was any doubt about the greatness of the indie Mac developer community, this should lay it to rest. And, Daniel, it was well deserved for a great idea and excellent execution.

  7. Conor Says:

    Merry Christmas!

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