It is simple. Jetbrains has the better product. For each IDE that Jetbrains offers, there exists a free alternative, whether its Eclipse, Visual Studio or Sublime Text. Some of these, like Eclipse & Visual Studio even have huge resources behind them. The reason you pay for a Jebrains’ IDE is simply cause it is better.
Talking about developer tools is a bit like asking for a fight, but I think in this case we can extract and discuss the business case here.
This piece illustrates so well how I view Jetbrains as a customer for going on 4 years. Developers are surrounded by endless links leading to documentation for this week’s killer tool. It’s only to be followed by even more next week. At some point something gains enough momentum to have gravitational pull… for a few months, maybe a year.
Jetbrains is different. They’re taking it slow, iterating based on customer response. They’ve built a solid following and customer base by taking one step at a time. I think many tech companies have lost sight of that in favor of spewing on and on about fluff until you’re blue in the face because content marketing. Jetbrains is doing it different, and based on the developers I talk to they’re doing a heck of a job at it.
There are a ton of great observations in this article, even if you’re not a fan of the actual Jetbrains’ products. I really like finding stark contrast that works, and this one was sitting right under my nose.