Wow, I really appreciate this last bit so much:
“…when you critique my product or offer alternatives, by all means do take into account that it’s paid. But don’t make it your only point. The world is too nuanced for that. I hope you will find things it does better than the alternatives. And whichever conclusion you come to, please let it exist. It’s just another option and may help somebody out there.”
I’ve really struggled with this subject, and you’ve really done a good job expressing a response.
With my app, I also hear this feedback occasionally. To make matters worse, I keep having this debate with myself.
I’m not sure why so many people feel that everything on the internet should be free, and I do realize that not everyone has the means to pay for things. Let’s face it, many of our apps are solving decidedly first world problems. But I’m still unsure why I keep having this debate within my own mind. Imposter syndrome, perhaps.
In my app’s case, there are two additional reasons why it can’t be free: 1) the price is a quality signal, 2) the fee helps ensure a more engaged participant because everyone has skin in the game.
I do also provide a number of free resources to help people who’d rather not pay.
You’ve inspired me to codify the reasons why my app isn’t free into not only a blog post, but also an FAQ question and as a saved reply template in HelpScout. All of which to make it easier to just give my response and move on with my day instead of reopening the debate each time it comes up.
Anyway, thanks again for sharing this!