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The "minimum" plan is like a free plan, but with pro widgets

I suggest adding another plan that would be similar to the free plan in terms of the number of devices and users, but would allow the use of pro widgets.
The rate of such a plan would be, for example, 50% of the rate plus.

This would allow the implementation of private and small commercial projects, which, it seems to me, are very numerous among Blynk users.
It seems to me that many users of those who are forced to leave Blynk after the removal of Legacy could stay.
In addition, perhaps most of the users who build home projects on a free plan could switch to a minimum plan - this is beneficial for both the users themselves and the Blynk Authors - users will receive more functionality for a minimum amount, and Authors will receive a small amount per month instead 0 (for free plan).
Personally, I understand that I could implement many small projects on such a minimal plan.

If this is of interest to anyone else, please write, perhaps then it will be of interest to the Authors themselves.

If you look at the website you’ll see that even the PLUS subscription isn’t intended to be used for commercial projects…

Anyone wanting to use Blynk commercially should have a PRO or Business subscription.
Blynk are trying to make it harder for people to work around this, by applying restrictions on functionality, rather than easier.

Pete.

I’m aware of what’s on the site.
I asked Pavel a question: does Blynk forbid the use of any of the tariff plans for commercial purposes, since it was prohibited in Legacy. The answer was: there is no ban.

I see no logic in such actions.
Obviously, there are a large number of users who can pay a small amount, it is probably better to work with them than to lose them. Especially since those people had been with Blynk before.

@Serg_Grn apologies if I came across as negative about your suggestion. Overall, I can see the logic in what you’re proposing, but I can also see why it might not appeal to Blynk, or fit-in with their strategy based on what they have said in the past.

Here’s may take on some of this…

Having been a member of this forum for over 5 years, I’ve formed some opinions about the types of people that use Blynk (or at least the Blynk users who post in the forum).

I put people into these categories…

Students - Generally don’t want to pay anything. They may go on to be regular Blynk users, but most are just trying to get a goood grade in their assignment and don’t have any real interest in the subject.

Beginners - Usually have little programming knowledge, and want to solve a problem in an elegant/cool way. This might be opening their garage door, monitoring the temperature/humidity at a remote location, turning a device on/off remotely etc.
Most of these problems could now be solved by using products from companies like Sonoff, Shelly etc without the need to get too involved in the hardware or software side of things.
They just want their products to work, and are probably using code that was obtained from the internet and maybe tweaked slightly.

Makers - Usually beginners who have taken things to a more complex level and use their devices for more complicated tasks. This might include home automation, custom hardware, more complicated code etc.
They are more willing to experiment, refine and enhance their systems, but still want reliability and simplicity of use for the end user.
Off the shelf products may not meet their needs, or products from different suppliers (and therefore different apps) would be needed to achieve the result that they want. They would prefer to use one app to see/control all of their devices.
I put myself in this category.

Makers with Ambition - People who want to sell a product, and need an app to go with it. The app needs to be reliable, affordable, smart looking and easy to maintain.
To be honest, there are so many great products in the marketplace at the moment that it’s difficult to compete with the Chinese market, unless the product fits into a niche market. This makes sales limited, but end users willing to pay more for solution that will make their life simpler/easier. Blynk is better (more affordable) than trying to have a custom app written.

Business Users - This might be an enhanced version of the “Makers with Ambition” or where people want to use Blynk to make their business more productive by using Blynk. This might include monitoring and controlling manufacturing processes, where a custom built solution from an outside supplier would be mega expensive.

The free app is fine for students. Yes, they would like more widgets to be available, but they don’t want to pay so it’s not a revenue source for Blynk The conversion rate from student to beginner/maker is going to be low, so Blynk aren’t really seeing any lost revenue in this area.

The beginners are really the people who are most affected by Blynk’s change from one-off energy purchase to a subscription. They are the people who also find it hardest to convert their projects from Legacy.
They are probably the people who are less willing to pay a $5 monthly subscription, but people from poorer countries also have affordability issues too.
They probaly make up the majority of Blynk users, but this is just a guess.
Yes, a lower cost subscription may entice some of these users to migrate from Legacy to IoT, and it may also be a good entry level for new beginners or low-end makers who otherwise wouldn’t otherwise sign-up to a $5 subscription.

There are a few problems though (these are just the one I can think of)…

  • The cost of implementing and maintaining more subscription levels. How easy is this for Blynk, and how long would the payback time be for doing this work?
  • The cost of taking the payments. Presumably the payment portal that Blynk uses has a minimum transaction charge?
  • Users will never be happy. They will always want yet another lower cost subscription plan, more widgets in their plan, more datastreams, tabs, pages etc available to them. Where do you draw the line?
  • Support and documentation gets harder the more variables you include in the mix, which adds to the cost either directly or indirectly.
  • Would having a lower cost entry point take away sales from the existing Plus plan? It’s difficult to predict, but it’s certainly a possibility and all that extra work could simply mean more accounts to service for almost no increased revenue.

I feel that the current Plus plan is ideal for the typical maker (if there is such a thing). I also think that the cost is reasonable, but then I live in the U.K. and pay less than $5 per month for services such as internet, Netflix, Spotify, Amazon Prime etc.
Some makers would probably choose a lower priced plan if they could though, maybe resulting in a loss of revenue for Blynk.

The leap from Plus to Pro is huge, and it makes it very difficult to justify for the “maker with ambition”. But, it’s also much less that any legitimate business user was paying in Blynk Legacy.
People trying to launch a product, maybe as a sideline to their normal job, will struggle with Pro costs, at least initially.
But, having an intermediate product in this area would almost certainly result in loss of overall revenue, unless it was time-limited to say one year only.

Trying to come up with answers to issues like these, and predict revenue based on the various scenarios is one reason why I don’t run a software company!

I do think it’s good to float ideas for Blynk to think over, but don’t be surprised if they decide that it’s not in their best interests to take them up.
Also don’t be surprised is the answer is a simple “No, that doesn’t fit our business plan” or just no answer at all. It wouldn’t be appropriate for Blynk to share sufficient business metrics to allow us to understand the reasoning behind some of these decisions.

Pete.

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I understand this very well and I am not surprised at anything.
This topic was not created with the aim of getting a new tariff plan tomorrow, moreover, I think that with a high degree of probability this proposal will be rejected by the Authors.
But since I think such an idea is logical, it was proposed. And whether she will go further or not - time will tell.

@PeteKnight, thanks for sharing your vision of the situation, it’s interesting.

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@Serg_Grn thanks for the proposal. In fact, we discussed precisely the same idea a few months ago and it was declined. Pete well said about the main reason against - with high probability such plan will “mean more accounts to service for almost no increased revenue” if any increase at all. So, it’s not gonna happen.

What we gonna do for sure is - a trial period and more features for plus/pro owners, so it would be more valuable to update.

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