Well done. Looking forward to see Blynk grow
As a weekend tinkerer/maker this model doesn’t work for me. Here are a few reasons/examples:
Most of my projects are just fun little “wouldn’t it be cool to do this” type thing. They really don’t have a significant economic value. For instance, my current project will be a sensor to tell me if my garage door is open or closed. I would not pay $30/year for that service if it was a reliable commercial service, certainly not $30/year for what may turn out to be a buggy/unreliable service (due to my coding skills, not Blynk reliability). It may, however, be worth a one time $10 fee.
Once I have used up my one free project then I’m looking at $30/year just to tinker with a possible new second project. I would not be willing to do this and I suspect many makers fall into a similar mindset and would find alternative ways of accomplishing what they want.
My recommendation for a pricing structure is as follows:
1 or 2 free projects with basic widgets.
$10 to activate a project at which time it no longer counts against the free project(s)
Widget expansion packs (i.e. $1 or $5 per advanced widget or access to all widgets $25)
This model would create a lower barrier to entry.
Ultimately, I suspect you will NOT be able to be profitable if your target audience is tinkerers/makers. Your real $$ will come from commercialization (i.e. create an easy way for other companies to add inexpensive wifi control to their projects) and for that model to succeed it makes much more sense to go after VC funding to give you enough runway to commercialize the product. The success of the kickstarter campaign and the positive buzz should be a strong selling point to a VC company. Don’t poison this by going to an overly aggressive pricing model that will turn off your biggest supporters.
I think that is a fair assessment @alangstein.
Pricing any product is never easy so there isn’t a right or wrong answer but I agree that tinkerers and makers are not going to want to pay $30 per year for each project they undertake. They can obviously modify existing projects and Blynk is very flexible as far as this goes but many users would ideally want to have several projects on the go at the same time.
Commercialization is for sure the way to go and this should be to the benefit of makers and businesses alike. The more income Blynk receives the more resources they can use to add / improve the product.
Many businesses are not going to want to pay $30 per year per product either. These days with IT hardware being so cheap adding $30 EVERY year to products using Blynk will mean the products are simply not viable. Even if a product is only used for 5 years that is $150 which in some cases will double or treble the overall price of the product.
Businesses will be looking for a LOW one off (lifetime) cost to incorporate Blynk into their products and I see no reason why this shouldn’t bring in a sizeable income for Blynk.
Hopefully things will become clearer in the coming weeks regarding the pricing structure.
I’m not suggesting that a business will want to pay $30/year per product but they may be willing to pay $1 onetime fee per product and if you license to 1000 manufacturers each producing 100,000 units per year that’s a lot of $$. Even 100 manufacturers each producing only 5000 units/year that’s $500,000 (a lot more than you’d get from even 10,000 enthusiasts shelling out $30/year).
Super bummer for this new user.
I work in the health sector and I just started arduino for fun, at home. I am making some simple on/off switches to automate some of my home appliances. If I had to pay 30$/year to have the app I’ll probably dig into other solution. You see, 20$ investment in hardware and then 30$/year for the software would be too much from a noob standpoint. I would gladly pay 30$ for a lifetime access, though.
Absolutely correct conclusion. Often people involved in radio electronics are not able to pay $ 30 a year for the opportunity to press the button at a distance. For myself, I also see the correct one-time payment of $ 30.
Why do not you make the focus on the business segment?
Thank you for being so open with us!
We can hear your concerns and absolutely share them. More than that, we would be happy to keep Blynk free for developers when we are successful with commercial side. However this is a very young part of our company and we are working on that. If you have anyone interested in building connected products - please connect them with us.
Back to subscriptions.
First of all, Blynk is not only a product, but it’s also a service.
Secondly, we all need to shift our attitude towards software, because it’s inevitable. We are so used to pay for various services, but somehow, even being so digitalized, spending so much time dealing with software we still don’t realize that it became just another service.
We pay for a mobile phone usage every month, for TV, for heating, for food. We are so used to pay for services that we need or simply like, but still are not accepting the fact that software is the same service these days, which includes someone’s labor, servers costs, support costs and so on. Some might say: Gmail is free…well, you are paying with your personal data. But you are ready to pay with it for what? Mainly – convenience.
Imagine buying a car for a fixed price, but it won’t ride without a gas, right? I would be happy to have a car with free gas refills Or imagine all the maintenance included in the initial price.
Blynk is a product and a service
- it’s constantly developed
- it has support
- it has ongoing costs
- it incorporates your feedback
If you can spend your time on writing an app, connecting to some cloud, keeping it always up and running - this is fantastic. This is what Makers do. But remember that you always exchange your time for money. Let’s say you make $40 a day and you spent 5 hours on this task (which is totally unrealistic). Then you’ve spent $25 already…
If you find it convenient to control your house remotely - support Blynk and make sure that the convenience continues. If you like to experiment a lot - enjoy doing that easily with Blynk. If you are bulding a commercial product - tell us what we can do for you.
We are enjoying making cool stuff together with you!
As someone who just discovered Blynk and thinks it’s great, I thought I’d weigh in on this, especially as the developers seem to be interacting with the community in a meaningful way (which is always great to see).
As a hobbyist I’m not a fan of subscription-based services like this because I develop stuff in my free time, so projects often progress in fits and starts. As much as I think you’re building a fantastic platform and you 100% deserve to be compensated for your time and effort, I hope you can understand me feeling anxious about paying for a service that might lie unused for weeks at a time.
Someone previously suggested selling tokens instead - I think there might be something in that; I’d be happy to buy a token (/license/key/deployment/what ever you want to call it) for a project once it’s done and I’m ready to start using it and/or share the app with others.
You say that people who I share the app with aren’t charged, but they’ve used up one of my ‘shares’, so it’s still effectively costing me to do that. I’d rather be able to buy a token for that project so I can commission it and put it into service (and pay for the privilege of having an operational app).
I’d be totally happy to buy the app on the Play Store for a few $ too. Widgets perhaps too.
Free/less restricted use for people who run their own servers seems reasonable too.
Will there eventually be the ability to ‘package up’ a project into a finished app which can be shared, so users cannot edit it? Being able to start the app without using Blynk would be super too.
Hello, just putting my 2 cents out there as well. I recently started using Blynk, and it is fantastic. Regarding the future cost structure, i would be forced to pursue other avenues if there is a re-occuring yearly\monthly cost per project, etc. I would be happy to pay a 1 time fee, and pay for additional widgets, etc. My only use case so far: Building an automated environment controller for a family member. I wouldn’t ask the family member to pay an annual cost, but some sort of 1 time cost would most likely work fine.
Keep up the great work, hope you sort out the cost model so it works for everyone!
Agree with bpthomas. Don’t mind to pay something like 5-10-20€ (whatever) for the app with basic widgets plus something more for each extra widget, or even for upgraded widgets or something. Montlhy payments, not so much.
+1 for a one-time fee structure. I love Blynk, but there’s no way that I could ever justify the price of a subscription model over a long term.
Funny isn’t it people are prepared to pay megga bucks for the latest iphone, Macbook or quadcopter but when
it comes to pay for net access or phone contract we have a mental sketch fail!
I have only been playing with Blynk for a month or so but can see that i want to support it & see it grow.
I would prefer an annual sbscription as nothing is forever, including Blynk and myself!
A very bad deal on a lifetime payment, in my case extremely expensive.
I would be willing to pay around £20pa full access but what ever price model you adopt, please don’t go the
AD’S route either in app or on site or you’d be looking at the back of me.
it isn’t that i am unwilling to pay… and don’t make sweeping generalizations that I have the latest iphone…I am developing things for other people, and when you give them the solution and have to clarify, “it comes with a monthly subscription cost” it isn’t well received by the elders…Basically, i see the value and will pay for my stuff however it makes sense to me, monthly, yearly, etc… but when you do this for someone else, and they don’t see the value in paying a reoccurring fee, then you lose control…and they want a free solution. I would just like to see a “one time fee” cost. that is justifiable to others… “my solution costs $xx.xx are you in or not” 1 time fee included, and I am not making any money on this…just getting back the cost of material…no labor or coding cost
I would just like to say that my comments were NOT aimed at anybody and it is true that people
would rather spend their money on harware than services to support that hardware.
I had no intention of rattling cages, these are purely my views & furthermore my piece was
written very tongue in cheek…
Development “a process in which something passes by degrees to a different stage”
Like i said, nothing is forever!
There is software that is subscription based and software that is one time payment.
My sincere oppinion is that the developers should (and will) decide for what is best for them and for the product to sell. I would like to pay one time, for the same reasons stated by bpthomas, but I think they should opt for the most benefit payment model.
To echo quite a few people above - I’ve just discovered Blynk (after the KS campaign) and think it is great. It’s just what I’ve been looking for i.e. 2-way control of my Yun over the internet made simple.
BUT, I absolute hate subscription based software/tech and there is a 99% chance I will just let it drop if/when it starts. I am prepared to pay for the effort and resource put into Blynk, but would prefer a one-off payment or some sort of pay-as-you-go system.
I am just a hobbyist who has the odd project on the go for a few weeks at a time now and again, subscription would not suit my use at all.
@smssms and others, unless something changed I think i remember them mentioning a free tier, some fair usage version of the service that would be available for free with some common sense limits…
that should be (or if it s not, it should really be rethought) enough for most hobbyist usage …
if you ve got something that s more complex, then I am sure at some point they will find a sweet spot of what to charge for and how much… but it s still a business, how could they continuously develop and have servers and mentain those and offer support if there is no money coming in?
if the prices they give are unreasonable, or the free tier is not really enough, or they don t offer the local version for people to use, then I am sure it will reflect in a very abrupt drop in their service being used, and they will have to rethink or go under… give them a chance though
Thanks for your feedback. We are glad we have started this discussion with you before introducing any paid services. It’s great to know that many of you are willing to support future development of Blynk.
You might notice that we always tend to listen to you, and it became clear that while subscription is a safe model to run the company, it might not be a best fit to a spontaneous nature of Makers
So in our garage lab we invented something totally different. It’s not a subscription, more of a pay-as-you-go model (with free stuff of course). We won’t tell you what it is, but you’ll see it live really soon.
We hope that it will power up Blynk development and help us to make it even better.
i do hope you are considering some kind of white labelling of the app/service as well.
i ve noticed @Costas for instance using a model that would benefit greatly if he could packaged his own blynk powered app to ship to people…
i am positive that there would be a lot of makers that could then use blynk to make a service/device/dashboards and give their users a full blown solution (share could be used like this, but it s rather restricted currently, people might also wanna charge for this and pay you a royalty fee, or whatever)