[New Thread] More context on our changes to pricing - FAQs answered

@rico.trevisan and @casheets123: I am out of zingers with respect to this one. And @tatiana.a, it’s good to see you here. I believe we’ve met in person, have we not?

Now, Bubble’s business is Bubble’s business and they can make whatever decisions they want. But a whole bunch of people – smart people, who also happen to be Bubble customers – have pointed out some serious flaws in the new pricing model. @gaimed is one of these. And nobody from Bubble is responding in a realistic way.

I was very measured in my first post on this topic yesterday, where I pointed out that it would seem that one of my existing apps (the one that does embeddable VR calendars) would more than double in price, to something like $433/mo (maybe more, Bubble should really just have a calculator where you can put in your "WU"s and it spits out what the right plan + WU add-ons is, because honestly I can’t figure it out). Anyway, that app performs flawlessly right now on a Professional plan with 2 extra units of capacity right now.

Is it worth continuing to operate that app on Bubble at that new price? Probably not. So that’s just an economic consideration, right? Hey, I can vote with my feet if the price is too steep. Seems simple.

But the problem is this: Let’s take that new price, where the increase over what I pay now is at least $250/month. What am I getting for that?

Well, the WU chart tells me that two backend workflows (that are absolutely necessary for the core functionality of the app) account for pretty much all of the app costs. One (about a third of total WU usage) is basically a license check (are you paying me? If so, anyone can see the calendar I will render for you. Are you not? Only you can see the calendar, nobody else can.).

The second one is an API call, whereby I fetch and parse the iCal feeds that are connected to the calendar so that it is accurate whenever it is shown. The call is of course made from Bubble, which pings an endpoint that I run in Google Cloud Functions. That function then returns the calendar data to Bubble in a form that Bubble can work with.

That workflow is responsible for about 66% of the app’s WU usage. OK then, let’s assume my new cost is $433/month. The cost for this workflow is about $285/month.

Is that reasonable? Well, there’s a 1:1 correspondence from this workflow to calls to my GCF endpoint, right? This endpoint, by the way, does a pretty significant amount of work and runs in a container that isn’t the base one, I pay a little extra for extra CPU and extra memory, because some of these iCal files can be pretty large and there can be multiple iCals connected to a single calendar and we parse and process all of them at once.

OK, so how much does that GCF endpoint cost me per month? It costs me somewhere between nothing, zero, zilch, nada and $0.03 each month.

For the sake of argument, let’s say it costs me 3 cents per month, every month. Of course, Google has huge economies of scale and I must expect that Bubble can’t price their end of the API call in quite the same way… however…

$285/0.03 (the amount of uplift Bubble charges me over what Google charges me) is 9,500. That’s nearly 4 orders of magnitude more.

This is ridiculous, of course, because the cost on Bubble’s side must be somewhere close to what it costs me in Google, even if their data storage or whatnot is “inefficient”. Let’s say that Bubble’s actual cost due to doing things poorly over in AWS or whatever is 10x. That’s entirely possible.

OK, so all of those API calls are incurring Bubble $0.30 per month. So the net profit from those marked up API calls is $284.70.

This is, of course, insane. One might even say usurious. What should or would I reasonably pay? Well, a 10X markup would be 3 bucks. Sure, I’d pay that. A 100X markup feels pretty freaking extreme, but it would only be $30, so I might pay that.

(In fact, I’d definitely pay that because, @tatiana.a, just yesterday I decommissioned 3 legacy Personal apps that were costing me $48 bucks a month for several years and they weren’t even doing anything. So I could absorb a $30 price hike and still have saved myself money. But also note: Bubble’s MRR from me just took a $48 reduction. This is all because of the new pricing. I advise other Bubblers to do the same.)

But there is no f**king way that that’s worth $285 to me and since it’s gonna scale linearly if and when my app grows, I can’t grow the app.

Others here are seeing exactly the same thing. And it basically makes Bubble infeasible as a platform for… well… anything.

So, Bubble’s user base is not gonna grow, I can no longer recommend using Bubble for anything other than just goofing around, and continuing to be involved with Bubble is just sort of stupid and ridiculous. This is unfortunate, because I really believe in the concept and I’ve spent countless hours of my time trying to make Bubble better.

I don’t really talk about my feelings, but let me share them this once: I am literally sickened and heartbroken by these changes. And, I am actually feeling like I don’t want to enable Bubble to be better anymore, because of the ridiculous costs. It’s kind of unethical for me to help people build apps on this platform at these sorts of markups. And some of my things are probably only going to hurt people because I bet SSA usage is ridiculously overpriced and bulk data creation (which I have made much easier and I demoed this recently) is insanely overpriced.

So, I really think I’m taking my toys away and going home. That’s where I’m at. I literally couldn’t get anything done yesterday over this. Maybe I’m not the most emotionally resilient person. But I want it to be known that I am personally hurt, sadenned and upset to see this.

One more thing: For those who are posting here with these silly ideas that the WU charts are being misinterpreted, please get a grip. People like me are reading this right.