Mindnode has moved to subscriptions


My bias is against the rentier model for software products, so I’m very disappointed with this move.

A very minor positive is that they’ve deferred the inevitable full transition to subscription-only, unlike Ulysses, although a deferred execution does not remove you from Death Row. (This is a writers’ forum, dramatic statements of fact are allowed; at least it wasn’t a cheap simile.)

This is the third macOS product I believed I owned that’s been stolen from me – that is, something I own is being taken from me against my will. And this has changed my behaviour: I have stopped purchasing apps from the App Store that I expect to use for any significant amount of time. (I always buy directly from developers when that option is available.)

A couple of months ago I trialled a new app for a week or so, and the only reason I didn’t buy it was my concern that it would suddenly require being rented back: a kind of anxiety about potential buyer’s remorse . I’m more unhappy about this situation that developers acting in their own interests (they believe) and shafting customers. For example, I’m genuinely concerned about the upcoming update to Aeon Timeline.

There’s clearly a problem here, and I don’t know enough about the workings of Apple’s App Store to suggest what might be done. It would be ideal if developers stated their position clearly, as L&L have done. It seems to me, though, that it’s an opportunity to exploit for those developers who reject the subscription model.

I’ve no time for the “developers have to eat” deflection. If your product isn’t selling enough, then make another one – and even if it is, make another one anyway. That’s what writers have to do, and everyone else. Bilking customers once you have their cash is poor business in the long-term. The way it’s being done on the App Store is theft.

But writers don’t have to do that. Most writers don’t make enough money to make a living writing full time – they have other work to bring in money.

When you buy a book, you have no guarantee the writer is ever going to do another book in that world/setting again, no matter how much you like it.

When you buy software, you have no guarantee the developer is ever going to release an update – and on the Mac platform especially, when your software doesn’t get updated it eventually gets obsoleted. It is one of the downsides to the MacOS environment and Apple’s control over both hardware and software.

The point is, it’s not theft if you know about it up front. You have no right to someone else’s labor. If they decide to switch to a subscription model and are up-front about it, you have the right to choose to participate or not. If enough customers decide they don’t mind, then the developer made a correct choice.

I much prefer the “Tinderbox” model, which seems to be catching on with some other applications as well:
All updates within a specified time frame are included. After the “subscription” expires, further updates will cost money, but the software you have will continue to work.


Yeah, I have a couple of software packages for ham radio that work that way. During the active subscription period it includes updates and support. One of them just changed so that you can still apply updates after your subscription period ends, but if they include new features those don’t activate – but you still get the bugfixes.

I think it’s good to have multiple valid models so developers, business owners, and users can find ones they can live with.

I think the model that is offensive to the OP and most of us is when the “right to use” license is subscription. I think most folks are ok with support and upgrade subscriptions. I really hate it when a full price purchased produce stops working post update because the RtU license model changed and I didn’t get the option to not upgrade.

I feel your pain. I use Mind Node every day, and I’m grinding my teeth as well.

Have you looked at Curio? Here’s how they describe it:

Curio is an intuitive, freeform notebook environment with all the integrated tools you need to take notes, brainstorm ideas, collect research, and organize your tasks and documents. A single, incredibly powerful application where you can be more productive and focus on getting things done.

Curio has a pretty powerful mind mapper build in. I use Curio to organize every project, and often times I find it faster and easier to use a Curio mind map than to fire up Mind Node. Curio is a single-developer app, and George has been very reassuring about avoiding a subscription model…

Also, FWIW, I’m planning to start a long-term project to convert all my Mind Node documents to OPML for legacy purposes.

I don’t use any subscription model software, or any ‘online only’ software. I’d rather go back to using my old Word 2007 than pay monthly for something, or be forced into a cloud.

I buy the software I need and use it on my own PCs/iPad.

I would happily switch to Linux full time if Dragon went subscription only and my DNS13 stopped working for some reason. I still remember how to type :mrgreen:

I agree, in theory, BUT . . .

The combination of OneDrive and Microsoft Office is a pretty strong and money-saving offer (If I recall, both Windows AND Mac). It’s a terabyte of ‘cloud’ storage AND the MS Office Suite for about what the other services charge for just the cloud storage. I have set up One Drive to monitor and sync up all changes to my Documents folder, which makes for a quick and easy backup routine, and allows for the occasional off-site work sessions.

Sure, if I move to something other than OneDrive, I would lose Office, but with MS Office compatibility available in just about every other software package, I’m not sure I’d lose much more than a little convenience.

There are times when it makes sense, and times when it does not. For me, This combo makes sense.