Turning inner space into outer space

September 29, 2020

Of Nova and nines

There’s an old pricing trick to make things seem cheaper than they really are. You take it down to a nine.

For example, instead of charging $10, you charge $9.99. That way, it seems (if you don’t think about it too much) like you’re paying $9.

This old trick is used for pricing Nova, the amazing new Mac-only code editor from Panic. It costs $99, which seems a lot less intimidating than $100, but is actually just one dollar less.

It even translates well (at this writing) to Canadian dollars — $129.98. This is a lot more than $99 or $100, but still apparently less than $130.

There’s a reason for all this agonizing over price. As much as I love Nova, I can’t make myself pay $130 when VS Code is free. Yes, I have to put up with cross-platform compromises, and I have to grudgingly make nice with Microsoft. But still, it’s pretty good. And free.

One day I may give in and buy Nova. After all, I paid for Panic’s FTP client, Transmit, despite the fact there are free alternatives.

Today is not that day.