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

My 18-Month Plan: Adapting and Evolving with the Changing Landscape

As a Production plan user, we’ve successfully built a full ERP for use in Kenya, handling customer orders with phone payments (MPESA), USSD support for orders and account information, sales forecasting, inventory management, and delivery routing. It’s incredible what we’ve achieved in just one year. Initially, we were on the Professional plan at $129/month, but we decided to move to the Production plan for two reasons: 1) to have more branches for development, and 2) because we realized that we were paying more for Slack than our hosting platform and wanted to show our support for Bubble by contributing more. We didn’t need to, our capacity never got over 20% in the pro plan and the extra dev branches are really just a luxury.

We’re now in the process of hiring a full-time developer to expand our app, incorporating VOIP call center integration, SMS automated follow-ups, WhatsApp support, online reorders, and OpenAI features to translate and summarize call center recordings for managerial review. However, with recent announcements and the updated FAQs regarding API WU costs, we’ve decided on a new plan for the next 12 months:

  1. Switch to an annual ProPlan and start migrating ALL of our data and the majority of workflows to Xano. We’re hopeful that Bubble will reevaluate their API WU costs, but I doubt they’ll budge much on things that actually use real resources.
  2. Continue iterating in Bubble for the front end until the end of our annual plan (12 months).
  3. After 12 months, reassess the situation and consider migrating the front end to an alternative platform like WeWeb, Wappler, or FlutterFlow—or even entertain a code deployment if our app is mature enough and our C-level execs have it in them to slow their requests for weird ad-hoc features every quarter.

This plan puts a fair amount of trust in Xano, but after extensive research and watching their principles speak on video, I feel confident about their platform and intentions.

For existing Bubble customers, don’t panic—plan and take action, you have time.

For newcomers to Bubble, celebrate the opportunity to start fresh without the sense of loss.

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Building anything with such a small number of WUs per pricing-plan simply doesn’t make sense, regardless of financial capability. I believe that the smart individual who measured and came up with the WU usage statistic on Bubble may not have considered the fact that only about 10% of all apps on the platform are actual businesses.

Im just very disappointed and heartbroken.

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Regarding the new pricing policy, there is no power vacuum. If this pricing policy and metrics are not revised, some other service will take Bubble’s position as a reference for no code applications.

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See this simple analogy, for you to understand the absurdity of this new charging model:

You want to rent a car.

In reaons of your need of safety, comfort, speed, all the best in one case, you chose a luxury Mercedes. The contract does not expire, while you use it, each month you also pay - for the same product, with the same qualities and, importantly, there is no mileage charge - because you need freedom.

From here your journey begins.
You’re halfway there and the car stops!
Immediately an agent calls you and says:

  • Hello, we have changed the rules of your rental. We really hope that you feel good about this, because here, we are having a wonderful idea.

This agent goes on to say:

  • Well, we want to let you know that, yes!!! You can drive as much as you like, but once you reach 100 km (Let’s call it Work load) you have to pay us more! But, look, paying…it’s all right, you can digest as much as you want. But, just one detail, for every 1 km, you will only have to pay 10% of the total amount of your lease. And that’s wonderful! Yeah, that way you have more kilometers!!!
  • Besides that. We want you to know that your business is important to us. That’s why. We’ve removed it to give you another awesome feature that we’ll explain to you at some point. But, it will be advantageous (for us). However, you will need to pay a small fee to get the comfort you were looking for.
  • And, it’s okay if you don’t want to have that Mercedes you wanted. We can let you use only its carcass. It will be almost equal, and you can do this for another 18 months. With a small addition of 10%. But, remember, you also can no longer digest the mileage you wanted. All this is for your good!!! Have a good trip …and, don’t forget trust on Us! We care about you

And here, of course, ends a journey with the client who does not feel that this is a fair, ethical process. However, a cruel way to harm people’s lives in an abusive way.

My friends, this is what Bubble is offering to all of us.

I do not complain about the price increase, but it is abusive. In addition to coming together with the loss of freedom with a cruel speech that everything is fine!

We are no longer the owners of our own solution: Do you understand that?

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My two takeaways from the whole thing:

  1. It’s disrespectful of @emmanuel and @josh, both to the Bubble community and @tatiana.a, to send her in as the proverbial messenger that gets metaphorically shot by the said community. She had never used the forum before and she only joined the company in Apr 2022—in other words, a month after Emmanuel’s and Josh’s mea culpae concerning the initial pricing proposal that caused the uproar. Emmanuel, Josh - you guys are better than this. You are the founders of a product we all passionately love and you should own important decisions. Your current radio silence is counterproductive and just alienates more users with each passing minute.

  2. It seems to me that Bubble made a decision to throw most bootstrapped founders using its platform under the truck and move upmarket to the greener pastures of venture-backed startups. Having worked in Silicon Valley, I know the latter are not even remotely as price-sensitive as most Bubblers here who are and have been voicing their opinions (myself included), because an extra thousand or two a month is just a drop in the bucket when the company’s combined monthly SaaS bill is $50-100k.

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Who are they? Everyone DM them it. Ill tell you what, people might think VC’s are bad, but the opposite. They only care about 1 thing, which is money. And this pricing, is undisputably, suicide. Appgyver for example, which I never used, but was VC funded, they didnt charge customers anything until something crazy like 1M in revenue.

Anyway, VCs rock, and honestly, if some of them stepped in and helped with this, it would benefit the community.

I don’t even want to make modifications to my app lol, I just feel like I’m gonna make things worse. Then have to change it in a few weeks when we maybe figure out what actually is a WU and how it is calculated.

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1482 messages on both threads, and all we got was a generic PR message.

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I sent the link of both pricing threads as a tip to TechCrunch. I feel like this issue needs more exposure and needs a larger community discussion. This forum is fine, but we’re talking people’s livelihoods. The response has been unreal.

Does anyone know any prominent tech bloggers?

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@renatoasse

If I am understanding “WU” calculations correctly… [What contributes to workload? - Bubble Docs]

This opens up all Bubble-built applications to nefarious actors. Whether they be your competitors, bots, or a viral moment. Every page load and every action on your application will cost x$'s.

Will “WU’s” be segmented and blocked smartly by IP Address? If not, I don’t see how one targeted attack could not put a business into a money hole.

Will we have to rate limit users and limit how often they can input information in an input field because autobinding contributes to “WU?”

Rate limit button clicks in case they’re connected to a workflow?

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It has been two days since the announcement and we are still waiting for answers and predictability to know if this will be sustained over time or if Can is really going to listen to our problems and back off with this ridiculous change.

Still, who has the confidence at this point to stay in the Bubble ecosystem? Knowing that any day now I could wake up to something like this?

Maybe those who already built their apps on Bubble and if they get a cost/benefit balance will decide to continue, but as an agency, I already think about what other platforms to recommend to our clients because we cannot trust that Bubble will continue to be a sustainable tool in time with this kind of problems.

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Good man. I messaged all their VCs on twitter too lol

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it’s a complete mess!
there are so many ways for nefarious actors or novice builders to blow their credit card limit!
No way anyone would be stupid enough to have the overreach feature on, so you’re running a website that may be on for a month at a time or a day a month, you have no idea. Great business model!

My app as an example: More context on our changes to pricing - #424 by jordanryankennedy_as

Another case study from Glideapps pricing -

Seems like Bubble is looking to be similar to Glide where they target high-end businesses. At the same time, they are not able to subsidize new users as much. However, the goal(as shown from the reactions so far) is to identify that sweet spot where new users can still develop something sustainable while not overusing resources that should rightfully be reserved for paying users.

Ultimately, the damage is done. I no longer feel comfortable investing in this platform. And that’s coming from someone who has built 6+ apps on Bubble in the past couple of years.

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Oh, @ihsanzainal84 is typing. I sincerely am looking forward to the message!