David Coveney has announced on the Spectacu.la blog that the Spectacu.la theme club is closing.
Spectacu.la has made all of their themes freely available while charging for support of those themes. As a result, the club has made little money for parent company Interconnect IT. Coveney attributes this failure to not knowing “how to make the best of the GPL” and not understanding consumers’ incentives or attitudes toward risk:
“I’ve learned this: if somebody can get something for free, they will. And no matter how well intentioned, they will not join later if everything works perfectly. That’s a problem, because if you make themes that need very little support (we did) then there’s no money in charging for support unless you restrict supply of those themes. In essence you’ve anchored the price of your commodity at £0. And if you give even a hint of free support in the comments then you’ve anchored the price of your support at £0 as well. We did both. The consequence? Even paying £5 for what might amount to hours of work appears to be too expensive.”
The Spectacu.la site will be taken down in the next few weeks. Existing club members will receive an email address to which they can send support requests for the next six months. All Spectacu.la themes and plugins will continue to be available on WordPress.org.
New themes and plugins will be released under Interconnect IT.