Monthly Community Update -- June 2023

@josh could you please include in the July 2023 monthly community update a roadmap of all features that Bubble is working on to help us build optimally within the new WU pricing model.

There were a lot of great ideas/features requested since the announcement, and it would be great to hear from Bubble which of those features are being worked on and the expected release of them, as well which features are on the roadmap.

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It’s something along those lines I currently got implemented. When an item is dropped in the repeating group, I need to retrieve its new cell index in order to update the “sort order” of all other items. The Bubble drag-n-drop plugin doesn’t offer that, so I’m using the Mouse & Keyboard Interactions plugin to get the cell index on hover instead. Since there’s no hover on mobile, this is a desktop-only solution.

If you have a solution that works on both desktop and mobile, I’d be more than happy if you could elaborate a bit on how you’ve gone about it.

I’m also all for a public roadmap, not just for WU reasons, but just as much for being able to better plan where I spend my time. While it’s nice to have new functionality pop up out of nowhere, it sometimes seems random what is added, and in some cases I could’ve spent my time on more productive things than trying to find a workaround for something that Bubble introduces a feature for shortly after.

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Fancy a sweepstakes on how months a table element will take to be implemented and then pulled? 2-3 so far…

Another yawn fest with little focus on the actual needs of their customers.

More information on things they broke and failed to implement than any updates to anything WU related. Especially concerning as the failures are with the fundamental basics of performance tracking/logging, which for a platform about to move over to a usage based model, is just scary.

If I got a WU for every month basic stuff isn’t delivered as expected or a WU for every good idea ignored, I wouldn’t care that they think its ok to charge WUs for development use.

From the outside Bubble is looking like a disjointed, mismanaged mess. God knows what it’s actually like inside the place, utter chaos I’d imagine.

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It’s always very reassuring to read these monthly updates, have this level of transparency and be able to “read” what’s in your mind. And see it’s definitely going in the right direction – Thanks for taking the time, don’t stop doing this, it builds (and keeps) trust.

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@josh when the sentence started “Things on our mind …” I was sure pricing fiasco MkII would be top of mind. But no.

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Appreciate everything you’re doing!

With all the work to try and improve the performance of the editor, is there a plan to just create an external application so that we don’t need to build in browsers?

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Hi Lizzie, to be very clear, we do not have any plans to further change the way WU is calculated right now. After we first announced WU, we made some substantial adjustments based on initial community feedback, and before making any further changes, we would like to see how WU works in practice for users who are scaling up on our new plans. We expect it to take at least 6 - 9 months before we have a real perspective, because apps on the new plans are generally either new as of May, or switched because they were not consuming much WU. As of our end-of-May billing cycle, only 1.5% of apps on the new plans had any WU-related overages at all, so we don’t view May as representative of what things will be like longer-term.

What we do plan to do:

  • Invest in more efficient ways to manipulate large amounts of data. This was on our radar as an important problem pre-WU, and a lot of the community feedback around WU was that this might become too expensive in the new system. We are targeting Q3 for releasing features here, and are currently doing research and technical exploration to figure out exactly what this should look like.
  • Continue to invest in our DDoS mitigation workflows, both in terms of preventing attacks in the first place, and making it seamless for customers to have their charges waived if there is an attack
  • Invest in better tooling for debugging WU usage. The main thing we are working towards here is making the pie chart that shows WU usage more granular, both in terms of ability to drill into things, and in terms of resolution (going from an hour to a minute). We are aiming for end of month though it may slip into July.

See my reply to Lizzie above for our top WU-related priorities. There were a ton of other great ideas from the community, and we’ve captured all of them, but we are holding off on building until we see what the biggest problems are in practice. Our experience is that problems anticipated in advance of using a new system often turn out to be minor in practice, and the biggest pain points are often things no one thought of. It is still very early days for WU, and we would like to see the trajectory of apps built in the new system that start acquiring users and scaling to understand what’s working and where the problems are.

As mentioned above, don’t count on any changes, at least in the near term. The way we’re thinking about our overall price competitiveness is:

  • We want to charge a substantial platform fee for using Bubble, higher than was charged on the legacy pricing plans. We feel this is justified by the cost-savings relative to building out an engineering team, and necessary for us to keep investing in the platform the way we want to (ie, we need to keep growing our own engineering team).
  • To keep Bubble accessible, we don’t want that platform fee to land on all our customers equally, which is why we did not just hike the rates of base plans. Rather, we want to distribute the platform fee based on usage, so that it is minimal for people starting out, and scales as apps increase in usage. We’ve done this by charging based on workload with a substantive markup.
  • That said, to your point, we can’t justify an indefinitely-large platform fee as customers continue to scale up: eventually it does become cheaper to build out your own engineering team. We are addressing this with volume discounts for WU units. Some of those discounts can be seen by looking at the pricing for our various WU tiers; we plan to offer further discounts at the Custom plan level, slowly converging towards costs as customers approach true enterprise scale.

Thanks for the interest! Please DM @nickc

We have made a lot of progress on SOC2. I can’t announce the timeline yet, but this is in “coming soon” territory, not “we have a lot of work to do on our end” territory.

It is not a false alarm. Those issues have been caused by our database being under real stress, causing performance impact, and throttling user apps defensively to enable it to recover. We view this as a genuine outage, and are very sorry for the impact it has had on your business. The only reason we haven’t been louder in our communication about it is that the overall customer impact (# of apps and severity of outage) has generally been lower than site-wide outages we have experienced in the past. But we are taking it extremely seriously and our Platform team has been hard at work mitigating the issue. Since I posted the community update, we deployed several fixes, and we are optimistic that we’ve addressed the major root causes.

On our radar! No in-progress work streams I can announce yet, but we will be following up with early SSO customers to dig into this further.

We don’t think the issues are because it is in-browser / javascript: the challenges are more because a lot of our javascript is out-of-date or written inefficiently. We are making steady progress improving this, though! Separately, we’ve considered the idea of wrapping the editor in an Electron app or something similar, but that wouldn’t be a magic bullet to fix performance, and we have this idea low on our list because we think the effort vs the payoff wouldn’t be that great relative to other things we could work on.

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@josh Well, I was going to post part of a 15 page essay I wrote on Bubble last year entitled… “Bubble is a blackhole with an identity crises” (which I think is still true today) while awaiting your response, but you beat me to it!

Yeah, so once again we are here putting our faith in the brains and brilliance of you guys. It isn’t perfect, but what in life really is. Personally, I’m going to ride out this storm.

However, there is one important detail that I hope you and the team will consider in the future. There are still paywalls around development including the idea that WU’s are calculated while doing development. The software world moved away from this pricing model a while ago and when M$ follows (open sourcing the platform) it’s worth taking note. The idea I think is that, you try to get as many people using the platform early who then eventually get locked in because of the time investment in the tooling/framework and therefore are willing to pay higher fees later for hosting/etc.

Here is one other thought that might not be as reasonable. If you integrated the stripe processor in a few plans like a SASS billing plan (I realize everyone may not want or need stripe/payments) similar to how you integrated user auth. Then you could charge a percentage fee as the app grows to scale. I would gladly pay another 3-5% every month to have Stripe integrated out of the box and this could turn into a massive revenue stream while keeping the pricing low during the build out/user acquisition stage.

I realize that there are 3rd party solutions available, but I would want it built in which comes with the Bubble platform support team.

I have intentionally stayed out of the pricing forum post war, but I did want to throw out these thoughts for consideration now that everything has calmed down a bit. Pricing changes are going to be hard and I do believe that mistakes have been made during the process (and maybe still are being made).

At the end of the day, nothing has changed for me about Bubble. It all comes down to believing in Josh and Emmanual who are at the helm, and about them making the right decisions for themselves and the community. They’ve been pretty good so far, so I’m not tripping too hard over a little pricing fiasco.

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But surely you can understand why it frustrates people that you’ve implemented a new pricing model and are intentionally holding off on developing WU management features? Yeah, its true that the issues in practice will only become crystal clear in time but by the time you implement better analytics tools (if ever, because we are blindly trusting), thats only after we’ve wasted money for the previous months.

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And lost the time from 18 months that we have for optimising our apps. Also, if we know what are they going to optimise themselves (e.g. bulk data handling), then we would not waste our energies right now in optimising those.

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This isn’t a bad idea at all.

You can run a 6-9 month observation without charging us ridiculous pricing and charging us for development. While you observe, people are forced to give up on app builds halfway through, refund their customers, uproot years of hard work and shut down businesses.

There are many solutions, like increasing the WU limit for each plan, reducing WU costs etc… none of which you care to introduce.

What’s the guarantee Bubble won’t increase prices again after this 6-9 month observation? By which time there probably won’t be a community to piss off.

Pretty sad to see such a great product being ripped apart by repeated management failures.

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Thank you for the response, The previous communications were not clear so it is no wonder there was anger. Not sure I am super happy with the fact you only plan to look at this after 6-9 months as that gives those who are on the fence about the new pricing less time to consider their options.

It sounds to me like Bubble is hoping that growth continues and that new projects will just go through the tiers and upgrade along the way and if they notice this behavior, there is no need to do anything as the system works. Unfortunately, I and probably many others, hope that the new pricing proves to you in this period that it isn’t sustainable for an app of any moderate success and a rethink happens.

Mad to say for a product I enjoy but I hope the new pricing experiment is a big failure and it forces your hand. That seems to be the only way a change is coming based on these communications. You’ve turned a community of passionate builders against you and unable to recommend Bubble to their peers. Let’s see what the next 6-9 months bring, I appreciate having a clear timeline laid out.

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+1 You said it! A few months ago, I was completely passionate about Bubble, an evangelist and an acolyte. Now I’m moving my back-end development elsewhere and, while I’m still using Bubble for the front-end, it now grates on me to do so especially having looked at what else is out there :roll_eyes:. What a shambles and what a shame.

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thank you for your answer.
i hope part of your work on large data also involves reducing how many WUs are needed for do a search for and grouped by for 10k-1M rows as they can be quite WU heavy in comparison to how common searches are in apps.
many of my clients come from airtable/excel/google sheets with already 100k rows to import and just visualizing things in a dashboard for 50 users should not cost $130-1000 per month.
i get value-based pricing but it is outcompeted by freemium.

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Great update, and seems like you’re well aware of the problems that we’ve been experiencing as of late with the editor, and are on top of it. Very reassuring to hear all around.

Thanks for all that you do!

A Table!!!

Not yet…

Will Bubble no long have an affordable price for Brazilian User? 1USD = 5BRL
It seems Bubble is turn into a pay-to-view solution. Adjusting the price for 10% is not big deal guys. But you need to keep the price competitive and affordable.