The Tragedy of Bubblers

Damn, I got scared. You might think is just an exaggerating way to express myself about Bubble change on its prices, but not. On November 2015, I was living back with my parents, jobless, broke and going through a life crisis, since I was reaching the 30s, and my life was not where I planned to be.

The previous 4 months, I was submerged on Udemy, Coursera, YouTube and any other resource out there, trying to learn how to code. All this because I had decided to never ever go back to a corporate job. I felt it was just draining my soul out. In other words, I was miserable.

However, those 4 months were full of frustration, and a permanent hopeless sensation. Until an innovation-enthusiastic friend of mine sent me a Whatsapp message at 2:30AM, while I was stuck trying to just make some sense out of my Javascript course. “Hey, dude… Check this out. It might help you!”

Yes, it was Bubble. Not lying here, I did not understand shit on how to use it. Gladly, I found @aheller from Airdev.co offering a coaching session; and guys, my life changed. I’m not having Champagne showers on clubs now, or a Narco-like life. But hey, I’m out of my parents’ place, living the freelancer dream, traveling when I can, so life its good.

Rather than earn my money through developing full products, or MVPs for start-ups on Bubble, I’m more like a consultant that helps small companies on digitalizing operational processes, and Bubble help me to show models or simplistic demo versions of them. So Personal, and sometimes Professional, plans became my best friends.

So, when I received THE email couple of days ago, I started making the numbers, and they didn’t add up. Specially, because I live in a third world market. So, I saw my entire way of living threated, and I got into the panic room.

Not shame on me, but I ran to check out Wappler, since I read a post here some time ago. Curiously, I found other Bubblers there on Wappler’s forum asking newbie questions, probably having the same feeling than me: to look for a solution. I even went to Webflow. I know, I know… but I was desperate.

Gratefully, Bubble team reacted. Thanks for that, @emmanuel and @josh, really. But I have this impression that this will happen again, and every time will be more complex to handle. Since, as you mentioned: “we’ll lose money on some customers and make money on other customers”. then you are trying to find a “balance” by sharing the charge between heavy and light users, but there might not be such a thing based on the current plan price structure.

It is Bubble’s distant some sort of own version of the famous ‘Tragedy of the Commons’, even when is not technically related, here also the individual users are acting independently according to their own self-interest. In other words, no one’s wants to get screwed by others needs of specific features. Here is where I see @seanhoots type of idea the best outcome Bubble might offer.

First time Bubble made a change on prices, I believe there was some concern about ‘storage’, now the issue was on ‘capacity’; just as some people need ‘collaborators’, but others don’t. So why don’t do something like this? (Structure, don’t know about the prices per feature)

Usually, start-ups like Bubble main goal is to make their product widely used, rather than limiting access by price increase. So, out of the free and agency option, why don’t let people pay exactly for what they need, while you guys make a reasonable profit on each, rather than sit and wait for a good one?

Whatever you decided, I hope you make the right decision here, because your product could literally change people’s life positively, it changed mine. And we all want to see it changing the world too.

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You make a passionate point about the impact of the recent pricing changes. It is unfortunate that you feel that the changes threaten your livelihood where you live.

I’m curious about your interpretation of the tragedy of the commons idea. It seems like this theme is present through your post. I’m curious about specific examples of how you see it relating to bubble and to the bubble pricing increase? Is it that you think that bubble feels that previously-lower pricing had already triggered a tragedy of the commons where users were competing too much for limited resources?

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