Peddling Software to the Mac Crowd


MyDreamApp, MacHeist, MacZOT!, MacAppADay – these are all recent or current marketing plans that have originated in the world of Macintosh software. With the exception of MacZOT! (which follows something of a Woot plan of attack, offering one smokin deal a day) these ideas are all pretty unique.

MDA and MH have drawn their Mac customers in with interesting games and contests. Making the potential buyers feel like they’re a part of the product, and they begin to have a vested interest in the app. Very ingenious way of creating marketing hype.

There’s the recent MacAppADay which is offering a limited number of free licenses for a selected app on each day of this month. 5000 licenses to be exact. All I can figure with this plan of attack is that the blogging and discussion that surrounds each day’s freebie creates enough interest that the consumers who were turned-away (over the 5000) – along with the rest of the mac-using world – try out these apps that they may not have looked at otherwise.

Then of course when you attempt the download of MacAppADay, you’re redirected to MacZOT! which seems to make the biggest point here… The nepotism – so to speak – that seems to be involved in these marketing circles appears to be at every turn. The same developers of several apps will all have their wares show up in similar venues. Each Mac outlet is hyping the others’ stuff and vis versa. Everything has a feeling of being intermingled – as if there’s a single puppet-master behind the curtain. (Yes, I know Philip Ryu is the mastermind behind MDA and MH – Brian Ball is the MacZOT! man, perhaps he’s also behind MacAppADay?)

Oh, and I shouldn’t forget to mention how Mr Jobs must’ve lent out his Reality Distortion Field to the team, with the way they chummed the waters before releasing Disco. That was pure insanity the way they had people practically begging to give them their money. (On a personal note, I grabbed Disco for $15 and quite like it…along with the Kool-aid. Yummm…)

Now none of this observation is meant in a negative light. I love the ideas that have been popping up. I think MyDreamApp was a lot of fun and I look forward to the final products (as well as the runners-up who seem to be grabbing their own developers). MacHeist is an absolute BLAST and the freebies have been good to boot. MacZOT! has hooked me up with a handful of choice apps that I’d previously balked at plunking down cash for. Not to mention that they’re a great outlet for new apps to gain exposure. And MacAppADay is handing out freebies that I may not have tried otherwise. It’s all gravy to me, and I seriously appreciate the ingenuity that is driving this community as of late.



I participated in MDA, and found the idea great, but the implementation was poor. And the masses really had no clue as to what apps are either unique, do-able, or truly useful.

I tried MH the first week, and found it frustrating and pointless, and totally gave up. I’m not sure what they were trying to do, but I couldn’t get into it or spend the time to understand it. It was nowhere near MacZot’s internet scavenger hunt, which had clear goals (though not perfect).

MacZot was really the pioneer site for wacky promotions for Mac folk, and it continues to be the best overall. There have been growing pains, and misteps here and there, and some not so great apps (Not high on Disco myself). But Brian Ball really has a knack for inventive ideas, and really works hard to please his ‘customers’ and fix errors. He takes suggestions seriously, and has improved the site and promotions consistently. MacZot is generally FUN too. I like that.

MAAD seems interesting, and after grabbing ShoeBox, I’ll pay more attention to it. I recommend others do as well.

Nick Santilli

David – thanks for a view from that side of the coin. Glad to hear it’s been a positive experience for you. Love the app by the way!

David Teare

I worked with Phill during the second heist to make my 1Passwd password manager a prize for that round.

So far the results have been great! Not only have we gotten additional exposure, but the heisting crowd has been very helpful at providing ideas for improvement.

Cheers to Phill & Co.!

Nick Santilli

Mark – thanks for clarifying. Digging so far, so thanks!

Richard – i’d say you’re right – not that my opinion stands for much… pretty much a win-win situation for all involved though.

Richard Neal

The point of MacAppADay, as I see it, is that developers of not so mainstream applications give out free copies of their applications, basically as trials. With this, however, people have incentive to download it, because it’s free. A few people will get hooked on it, and when the next version comes out, and they can’t get it because they only have the unlocked version, they’ll pony up for it.

Mark (a.ka. MacAppADay Admin)

Brian is not behind MacAppADay :). I am. That said, we all know each other, work with each other, and share plans. That’s how it all works, so sometimes, you will see us forwarding and such.


I think it’s a great idea as well. I’ve found a few apps via MacZot that I would never have known about. Even though a lot of the apps featured are of no interest to me, the sites have done their job and I now know about them. Perhaps one day I’ll have a use for them, and I’ll know where to go.

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