Monday, June 27, 2005

The PalmGear "algorithm tax" for developer fulfillment

Motricity aka PalmGear recently raised developer commission to 40%. This didn't hit developers that were part of the former "premier" programs, but since the standard programs(30% margin and no ads) ceased to exist, the entry margin now was 40%.
But, there was something else, buried deep in the email that PalmGear sent out. All developers who use developer fulfillment have to pay 5% extra. I wondered why... And now I think that I may have an idea! I have no official confirmation whatsoever, but I think that it it plausible.
If you use developer fulfillment, the ESD knows nohing about hiw your registration process works. they dont have serial numbers, don't have your algorithm-they dont have anything but your contact email address and your evaluation versions!
And this is what the ESD's dislike. PalmGear does not let a developer delete his program off the site if it sold once-they would loose revenue that way(thats why there are soo many old, unsupported programs online there). A creative TamsPalm reader who wanted his programs deleted did the following:
I don't care if they delete me. Actually, this is what I want. I don't give a damn about their rules, they dont have my algorithms or anything, I break their rules until they ban me!

And this is the point. If PalmGear had had his unlock code algorithm, they wouldn't care about him. They could just keep on selling the program and would hand out the registration codes themselves. Our fellow reader would have to be happy if they give him his cut of the profits, as he cannot control how much they sell.
In order to move developers over to this new fulfillment method and away from the developer fulfillment method, they add an "extra tax" for all the developers that use the unbeloved-because independant-fulfillment method...
What do you think?


Blogger Brad Green said...

I think it is completely wrong for them to not let you remove programs from their site. At this point the developer fullfilment tax sounds like extortion to me.

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Michael Thompson said...

I think it's more shady deals from PalmGear to fund this years big stockholder's bash in the islands.

PalmGear showerd their stripes years ago. They can't be trusted.

I'll get my stuff (as I have been) straight from the developer if I have any choice in the matter.

6:40 PM  
Blogger Brad Green said...

Exactly, it bothers me when someone reviews a program, and then links to the PalmGear page for purchase, when the developer had their own page. In my future reviews, I will make sure to only link to the developers page.

3:01 AM  
Anonymous Tyler Faux said...

eh... hey guys! first time commenting on a TamsPalm post. love the site !

anyway... about PalmGear. yes, i do agree that they overcharge the devs but i have to correct something that Tam said. You CAN take your product off the market once you have put it on, you just can't delete it forever. It's called Deactivating it and I rather like it since it shows me everything i've ever written and posted up on PG w/o having it viewable and purchase-able by buyers.

another point: PG has AMAZING developer communication and publicity. i'm happy to pay a good chunk of my profit (well... maybe not 40% but there are ways around that) for the amount of sales generated by the different developer connections they offer for programs that they find awesome (from a marketing perspective).

SharkCache was included in a LifeDrive-centric newsletter and it was very successful indeed.

bottom line: 40% is definitely over the top, and i see Tam's point about the extra 5 for not giving them your algo, and yes i'd prefer to get a sale thru paypal than palmgear. but in the end, after having an astoundingly positive relationship with their developer gateway people, i wouldn't be too quick to pin them as an all-evil corporation.

regards, tyler

5:39 AM  
Blogger Brad Green said...

BTW Tyler, my last comment was actually referring to you! (regarding a sharkcache review)

5:52 AM  
Blogger Tam Hanna said...

my experiences with their dev backend is mixed. While the people are friendly, its hard to get through to them.
What really dissappointed me was the way how they informed the developers about the raise:in the middle of a long newsletter(I may still have it if sb wants to see it)
Best regards
Tam Hanna

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

!!And this is the point. If PalmGear had had his unlock code algorithm, they wouldn't care about him. They could just keep on selling the program and would hand out the registration codes themselves. !!

This has always bothered me, ever since I went to real-time fullfillment my sales have decreased. Most likely its a coindience but how are we to be sure, besides paying a big timne accounting firm to audit them?

1:00 PM  
Blogger Tam Hanna said...

who tells you that they dont rebrand it and continue selling. Or that they just reenable it eventually?
BTW, I am in a support call and will report more eventually.
Best regards
Tam Hanna

3:40 PM  

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