Are Designers Stingy?

over 2 years ago from Juan J. Ramirez, Another Designer

  • Danny Lai, over 2 years ago

    Hi. This is Danny and Aaron who created Midnight. We can share our reasons behind the infamous $8 price for the dark theme plugin, aka “just colours”!!

    — Designers have been asking for a dark theme in Sketch for more than 2 years ( ) but it never happened. When we began working on it we realised why — because it is really hard!

    — New Sketch updates in the future will break our plugin and we are responsible to keep Midnight updated. Developing once is easy but we need so commit our future time to maintain the plugin.

    — Everybody’s system configuration is different so we get a lot of support requests on Twitter with unexpected bugs and corner-cases. Providing support takes a lot of our time.

    — When you use Midnight, it provides value for every minute and every second that you use Sketch. Unlike other utility plugins which perform their task and then go away. Unlike a latte or a beer that provides value only for a few hours (we really think it is unfair to compare software costs with cost of lattes)

    — Dark theme is not for everybody. Some people who were waiting for a Sketch dark theme for years realised they preferred the light theme anyway. For those who like and enjoy it $8 would be a fair amount to pay for something they will use a lot for even the next year or until dark mode is natively added in Sketch.

    — We had modest sales in our first week. About 100 people have bought a license. After paying Stripe fees and hosting charges we made about $740 which is $19 per hour based on 40 hours per week. The $8 is a one-time cost so there is no recurring revenue for us which means revenue is going to be very unstable.

    — Three people work on Midnight. Danny (developer) Yi-Ming (designer) and Aaron (support and copywriting). It will be some time until we become millionaires out of selling this plugin!

    In conclusion, we do not think designers are stingy. Sometimes it is hard to see what goes on behind the curtain and what it really takes to build and maintain a product. We are openly sharing our development process, our reasons for pricing, and our sales metrics to help you look at this from our perspective.

    47 points
    • Juan J. RamirezJuan J. Ramirez, over 2 years ago

      Thanks for the super comprehensive answer. It really helps to understand the reasoning behind the pricing.

      2 points
    • Simone Simone , over 2 years ago

      What should be questioned is not the price or the amount of money you made, but why something like this should be thought of as " business". I think it can be more a lot more fun and rewarding to do something for the community and release it for free than convincing yourself that its a viable business idea and thus become outcome dependent.

      1 point
      • John Doe, over 2 years ago

        I love that you think it would be “fun and rewarding” to contribute free stuff for the community.

        I’m interested to know what free stuff have you contributed to the community?

        Or is it only fun and rewarding when it’s other people giving and you’re the one receiving ...

        31 points