Good news is bubble just raised 100 million (I believe a week or two ago) so maybe the plans will get better.
I use to use a game engine called unity when it first launched it cost $200 a month which was way to much for a hobbies such as myself. After about a year or two they made a few changes, they opened up the asset store where users could create tools (this brings them a huge amount of revenue) and they created pro plan (which might be 1,500 a year) for large groups who make over a certain amount and last but not least a free version where you can deploy to desktop, mobile and a few others for free (unless you port to Xbox, PlayStation I believe you need a pro account).
Because they had a good product they scaled quickly and was able to offset the cost (free for hobbiest), and pro for professionals (unreal engine also adapted this tragedy) along with the assets store, they are considered the one of the 2 top engines in the world. Also indie developers also become pro members. The hobbiest will probably always be hobbiest but they contribute to the marketplace (bubble store/asset store) to create a win win for everyone. The asset store /marketplace whatever you decide to call it can do a profit split between the store hosting (bubble) and the developer who created the asset.
My hope is that bubble finds their way and can create something like this.
I myself as an indie developer spent a lot of money in the unity asset store because I wanted to save time developing whatever project I was working on (some did ok, some where flops) but it was affordable enough for me to continue the hobby I liked to do (sure wish I made enough to become a pro developer).
Tutorials were always free (and f you wanted to pay you’d go to udemy), this made the barrier to entry easier which meant more indies which meant more sales which meant more future studios and pro members a very nice ecosystem.
I’ve seen some templates for bubble and the pricing is scary $200 and up. Which I’m my opinion kills the ecosystem (for those who truly want to get in and learn, the developer will probably make less in the long run), don’t get me wrong I can see that kind of pricing if you were building drag n drop node system that users could use instead of the current no code system.
I think I got off tangent lol…
Anyway that’s my 2 cents
How do you build a thriving Ecosystem that rivals the competitors which enables you to get better (look at the ones who have already done it like unity (asset store), etc…, model and improve), I’m sure there’s a balance somewhere it might even be developing something independent so bubble doesn’t incur the cost of hosting.
As a user I want the tool and can deal with my own domain and hosting issues. I don’t know if others feel that way but at least it would take some of the weight off of bubbles shoulders (would then only need to create a system to make it easy for us to link to our database along with some tutorials).
I’m a hobbiest who’s hoping to not be a hobbiest someday but if the barrier to entry is to steep (then you wind up losing people), having a free edition let’s hobbiest continue to grow get better develop more solid projects and when one becomes a hit and they are actually now making money they have to become pro members.
Another option is to open up the programming side for tools etc… which would help the ecosystem they develop the tools user purchase them to make their lives easier to create no code apps (others have done the same to improve tools that could be purchased).
Maybe my next project can be an asset store with indie products at affordable prices?
One last note about being able to deploy live, that’s how you iterate early, then make changes and iterate some more with testers (after that I would get a pain plan to launch, so in essence it would be great to go live for testing and iteration processes (with a limit of say 5 users) but if you get over so many users then your not testing anymore you should have to move to a paid plan).
Take care everyone!
I’d like to be in for the long run even though I’m late to the party.