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IgnitionDeck 2016: Passing the Value Down

Posted in The Story by Nathan

One of the things we love about building software is that each new day of development gives us the opportunity to make improvements to a product, deploy the changes, and see instant results.

To examine something like IgnitionDeck, which started with very humble beginnings, is to see that as bugs are fixed, improvements are made, and features are added, no single line of code remains unchanged for long.

And it’s not just the code that evolves; the product evolves with it. The goal of course, at least for us, is to be able to provide an ever increasing amount of value to the end user, so much so that the offering is always expanding and our users are consistently rewarded for their support.

When Good Software Goes Bad

Traditionally, the more that a product improves, the more inclined the creator’s will be to increase the price. This happens all of the time in the software world; features are added, and the price goes up.

Another example of this methodology can be found in aging software products that are left to decay but still maintain their original sales price. In some cases, this could be deemed appropriate, but all too often, we watch as developers release a product with an initial set of features, never update it, and charge as much as they can until the product dies.

Some might say that this practice of extracting maximum value from a product is good business sense, but we think there’s a better way. We call it passing the value down.

Our Product Philosophy (In a Nutshell)

500 Classic is one of the first child themes that we developed for the IgnitionDeck Theme 500 Framework. It has always been a great seller for us, and is a theme that we are very proud to have developed and to continue maintaining. Initially, the price for this theme was $49, but over time, as the theme aged, we slowly reduced the price to the point to where it is now free.

Why give it away when we could charge a fee for it? The answer is simple – we have plenty of other themes we can sell for money. If customers want the latest and greatest, then they buy it from us. If not, then they can still use our product in a way that allows their website to look good, and the customer to feel good about it. We think that’s a win-win.

IgnitionDeck Crowdfunding, a product we first launched in October of 2011, has been priced everywhere between $79 and $99, depending on the various bundles it shipped with. Now you’ll find it priced at $49, largely in part because we built IgnitionDeck Commerce, a bigger and better product that also bundles with IgnitionDeck Crowdfunding in the form of IgnitionDeck + Membership.

In other words, as IDC got bigger and better, IDCF became more of an ancillary product. We accounted for this change by slowly reducing the cost of IDCF on its own, effectively “passing the value down” so that customers with small budgets could still find a way to use IgnitionDeck.

We could go on at length about the numerous products we’ve released, and examples of how we’ve used them to pass the value down, but that wouldn’t be as fun as what we’re about to announce. This, we think, is the best and most exciting example yet.

idc-onlywordpressA Special Announcement

The future of IgnitionDeck is IgnitionDeck Commerce (IDC). It’s the only WordPress plugin that ships with native crowdfunding functionality, and priced at $149, offers far more than any other WordPress e-commerce plugin could offer at such a low price. That’s a fact.

It also serves as the backbone for the advanced functionality of IgnitionDeck Enterprise (IDE), and makes it incredibly easy to do everything from selling products to building marketplaces.

We believe in its value so much that we think once a user tries it, they’ll never go back to the hassle of buying and managing multiple plugins and extensions. So how do we get it into as many hands as possible? You guessed it – by passing the value down.

But we’re not stopping at IDC. While its true that IgnitionDeck Commerce is amazing on its own, its true power is achieved only when combined with the crowdfunding power of IgnitionDeck Crowdfunding. When used together, products become incredible crowdfunding and fundraising campaigns, and marketplaces become platforms like Kickstarter, Kiva, or even Angel.co.

Introducing IgnitionDeck

For the last year, we’ve been working on a special version of IgnitionDeck Commerce. In this version, we’ve stripped IDC down to its core functionality, while maintaining its connections with IgnitionDeck Crowdfunding. This keeps the product simple, but effective. Prior to now, the code name for this project was IDC Free, but as of today it will be known simply as IgnitionDeck.

Now here’s where it gets good.

IgnitionDeck, as a product, will now be free. That’s right…we said it. IgnitionDeck, which includes versions of both IgnitionDeck Commerce and IgnitionDeck Crowdfunding, is now free.

Sure, there was a version of IgnitionDeck that was always free, but it offered nothing more than a widget with manual updates. This version is the real deal. You’ll be able to use PayPal Standard for both crowdfunding and e-commerce, all without spending a dime.

Why are we doing it? The reason is simple. We believe that the more people use IDC, the more they’ll fall in love with it and want to pay to upgrade and unlock the vast array of outstanding features that comes with it.

Additionally, this gives us a chance to sunset Legacy IgnitionDeck, a product that has been great to us and our users, but has also led to a splintered product offering we’ve long been seeking to correct. Make no mistake, Legacy is still a fantastic product, but when compared to ID+Membership, is not even in the same league.

How It Works

If you already own IgnitionDeck Crowdfunding, IgnitionDeck Commerce, or IgnitionDeck Enterprise (IDE), then the next update will change nothing for you. IDE is still and will always be a more powerful and robust version of our consumer product, and thus its price will remain unchanged. Note that free and premium users can still upgrade to this product at any time.

If you are currently using Legacy IgnitionDeck, or IgnitionDeck with WooCommerce, then you will have the option to continue using the product as-is for the duration of your license period, or upgrade to IgnitionDeck+Membership at any time before your license expires. Note that while you will still be able to receive support during this time, the product is scheduled to be deprecated on September 1st, which means that no more updates or renewals will be issued beyond that time. This also includes the many extensions that integrate with ID

CF but not with IDC.

Going forward, our integration with WooCommerce will require the purchase of IgnitionDeck+Membership or IgnitionDeck Enterprise. In exchange, we will be working to improve and enhance the many ways in which IDC/IDCF integrates with it.

Lastly, if you are currently using the free version of IgnitionDeck, then you will be delighted to see that your next update will unlock additional features made possible by IDC. Your commerce platform option will be limited to IgnitionDeck Commerce, which will require that you spend some time with the documentation to learn how the product works in correlation with IDCF.

When it Ships

IgnitionDeck will ship early September 2016, and will be available as an update via your WordPress admin menu. As a result, you will see some new menus appear, some old menus disappear, and some other menus shifted around. This transition will continue over time, and may be bumpy from time to time, so we ask for your support and patience as we roll out these upgrades.

In the meantime, we’d like to thank all of you for supporting us as much as you have, and let you know that this isn’t the last big announcement you’ll hear this summer. Have a question, comment, or complaint? Let us hear it!