I am new to iOT and embedded programming. I’ve only tinkered with Blynk for my ESP8266 for a few days. I dare say that the developers and service providers have done a great job. As a software engineer myself, it is not easy to make something this good that actually works, and people find value in it. Pavel and all the community suporting this platform, great job.
I have been following the discussion on pricing models and I read mostly great ideas and feedback.
As someone who has created many great things in the past that became great door stops, I would say entry level to market is the greatest barrier to monitizing products and services. I would hate to see something as usefull as Blynk become a fancy door stop because the owners and developers did not leave pricing and marketting to the experts who know how to think out of the box on these things.
Guys, your pricing model is going to KILL your userbase. As right or logical as you want to be, trying to convince the tinkerers and makers that they should see things your way, it’s not going to happen! For every customer, paying a price for a product or service is about value and burden. Everybody already understands that it takes hardwork and gazzillion hours to create THE AMAZING BLYNK, but you need to think big picture here. While you are busy arguing why $199 per month is a good deal, you are losing 20 customers who could have paid you $10/month and organically grow your product/services.
I found Blynk because I have a hardware that I am creating with ESP8266 but I don’t have the capital to pay someone to create an android/IOS app for it. This limitation will delay me to market, and yet there could be a possible solution.
(1) Consider allowing private/individual developers to use your app for free to tinker. But when they are ready for a token key to test, they can pay a fixed 1 time fee per token/hardware.
(2) Consider co-revenue sharing with individuals and makers who would like to take their product to market. Ask for anywhere between 5-20% of sales for a 3 years contract. After3 years, the customer can either renew the contract, or join your other subscription models. You can enforce this based on end-user token request during application activation. Invoices are paid monthly or users cannot continue to use the application which would then impact the app owners business. Basically, this is royalty based model.
These models would allow the popularity of your software to grow, and for you to grow your revenue depending on the success of your community and users. Everybody wins!
I am sure there are a few holes in this model, but that’s why the community is here to provide feedback and make things better