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I think this is what’s now “pro” plan. I vision the “pro” user to be either small business or a freelance that wants to build docs and sell them to small businesses.
The “pro” plan should include the cross-doc pack and doc protection (at least to some extent).
The pricing of this plan is OK as it is but It’s also needs a new user type: a “button - pusher” or “light - editor” who can only push buttons or insert data to cells. A “button-pusher” user should cost around 1$.
The “pro” plan might be limited to 1 or 2 makers and up to 15-20 total users.
As my Sweet Lover describe me as a “prosumer”, I think I fall into that category (at least in between the pro tier and the team tier) for different reasons :
- For now, I’m a soloist (and don’t need that many free Editors per doc makers)
- In times, I hope to centralize my life on Coda
- I’m a creative kind of person, therefore my mind can be a profoundly messy place
- I’m a perfectionist, therefore I need things to be done in a certain way responding to specific needs
For those 2 last reasons, I tend to choose top notch “productivity tool” to organize my life because they are always the ones fully responding to my personal needs .
I choose Coda because going through the templates and docs freely shared here, I could see that with a lot of work I could literally get rid of not-that-useful/helpful app’ and create the “app’s” I really need and will finally enjoy to use . (whatever the use case as it can go from the “simple” grocery list to some complete inventory system)
I’ve contacted directly the pricing team about that and made suggestions , but just in case, I’ll leave some here too :
- Cross-Doc should be available for all paying tiers (I didn’t got the time to test it yet though but this seems profoundly useful and convenient either for personal matters and/or professional ones)
- Pro users should be entitle to some protection (at least)
- We could pay for the ability (as a whole) for the external people to interact with a doc (pushing buttons, adding a row) instead of per-interacting-person
(non-exhaustive list )
As of now, like I said, I’m still a soloist user but, in some use case, I intend to share my docs with my Beloved Half too, simply to organize our life together in a better way
There also seem to be quite a number of non-profit here and I also think something could be done there too
Interesting thought that I haven’t heard elsewhere but would be interested in pursuing this concept…
I’ve got no credits for this , it’s coming from “elsewhere” where paying users pay for the ability to create forms to submit to external people.
The concerned database is therefore modified by what the external person fills in the form without risks for the database.
It’s an indirect interaction, but I think that everything is already here to make a system like this available in the paid tiers (using the Details view maybe)
And it could solve the “interactions problem” (with external people - clients, etc…) that was mentioned quite some time since Coda 2.0 was launched
Great product. Great community. I don’t feel that this was a bait-and-switch (as in other threads) since I fully understood that there would be a pricing scheme coming. This is business and there is great value in the product.
In my usage case, though, I have to stay in the free tier, or else move on to another product. The problem with the free tier are the very tight doc size limits and the limitations of the Viewer role.
A number have mentioned the need for interaction for Viewers and it seems to me like there is a role missing, someone between Viewer and Editor:
- Maker (document creator)
- Editor (document collaborator)
- User (an interactive consumer: two-way information flow)
- Viewer (a non-interactive consumer: one-way information flow)
I don’t think you can drop the Unlimited Viewers (on all tiers) since that would complicate the ability to share with non-Coda members or embed a section on a web page, to be viewed anonymously.
But, if we are creating an interactive doc, then what is the point of our consumer only seeing interactive features, like buttons? They need to be able to actually consume the section we have created, including when it is interactive. For example, they need to be able to interact with it by entering data and pushing buttons to add/remove/update rows. Hence, the User role (interactive viewer).
And… since there are Makers and Editors and Viewers\Users, then it is likely that sections of the doc will be for just the Viewer\User audience. As a bare minimum (for free), there has to be the ability to hide what’s behind the curtain. Only Editors and Makers should be able to see and touch all sections.
In my mind, it makes more sense to give all tiers the Doc Protection function and, as a trade off, limit the number of Editors in the free tier to 2 (like Pro), and add a limit to the number of Users (the interactive consumer) per doc. Maybe 1000 in free, 100’000 in pro?
Even before the pricing tiers were announced, the lack of the Doc Protection functionality (including the not-yet-released Permissions) has been the one thing holding me back from making greater use of it.
I use Coda in two capacities:
- My main use of Coda is at home, where I use it primarily to run an RPG for my wife and daughters. I use it track dynamic content like party inventory and combat encounters as well as more static content like spell lists and story details. Most of my documents for the RPG are over the limits for a free doc. I don’t currently use Cross Document because I built all of these documents before it was an option, but it would be very useful to me if it wasn’t pretty clear that I’ll lose the ability in a few weeks.
- I also use Coda to track projects for my two person team at work. I had one project a little while back that Coda would have been perfect for, and I suggested it as an option to the group who needed a tool, but due to our data security needs, we couldn’t use Coda at that time. My project tracking document for a two person team is also over the limits for a free doc.
I think Coda is a fantastic tool. I’m a software engineer and I’ve developed a lot of different type of apps, and Coda provides a lot of the capabilities of custom app development with much less time invested. I think your free tier is broken though. My story is the sort of story you want in freemium software: guy uses the free version on his free time to run his RPG, WOW guild, little league or whatever then becomes an evangelist within an organization that might be willing to pay for it. With the limits on the free tier, though, I would have hit a wall pretty quickly and abandoned the tool before I became entrenched enough in the tool to try to spread it to other areas of my life. Your tools is very cool, but I don’t know feel like I need to add another monthly software subscription to run my RPG.
I say I think your free tier is broken because it requires moderate personal users to pay for the service like business users instead of separating business users from personal users. If you effectively separate personal from business users with your freemium account, people will become well acquainted with your tool and seek to apply it in their work lives as well. Not every free user will bring in revenue, of course, but the quality of account from those that do will be much higher than your occasional GM who’s willing to pay $10 a month to have something more powerful than a wiki for tracking RPG content.
If your free tier discourages personal users from gaining familiarity and proficiency (which I think in its current form, yours does) then instead of a wide user-base interested in applying skills they already to have to solve problems in their organization, you wind up primarily with users who pay for your solution because they’re looking to solve a specific problem and your tool is the best solution in the price range. Instead of being a bunch of people’s go-to tool for custom workflows and lightweight apps, you’re in competition on a case-by-case basis with purpose built tools. In this case I think you’re at a disadvantage because your pricing isn’t going to be precisely tailored to compete in that market (whatever it is) and the user will likely have to go to the trouble of determining if Coda can do the job.
I don’t know what the perfect free tier looks like. I think that gating around sharing and collaboration rather than document scale would more effectively separate personal users from business users, but I realize there are a lot of different ways people use this.
I don’t love the way in which the new pricing has been rolled out to existing users either, but I think others have covered that pretty well.
Unnecessarily long-winded (sorry), but here’s my use case (or rather, what would’ve been my use case), and how the pricing scheme affects my use:
- I run a Discord server with several thousand members, ~10,000 messages a day, and a mod team of ~20 people.
- Our server has probably unusually strict rules - all about maintaining civil discourse and reducing bigotry. We’ve got several types of punishments, often handing out several per day across our community; we have quite a few members with a dozen or more minor incidents logged. We’ve been doing this for over 3 years.
- We have a crappy little Google spreadsheet we use to track every member on our server to have any incidents (about 250 of them at the moment), with a single text cell which summarizes the details for all of a user’s incidents, so we can identify recurring behaviours and differentiate between those who repeatedly cross the line in minor ways from those who engage it more damaging behaviours like bigotry or apologia. There’s also a cell for tracking how many of each type of punishment a member has earned.
- Every member of our mod team (again, ~20 people) has edit access to this doc, enabling them to add users and incidents. They don’t edit the structure or formulas or anything; they just add rows and input data. This spreadsheet is extremely awkward and clunky to use, and not very detailed in its information, but it seemed like the best we could do.
- Then I found Coda, and after some research and experiments, we started to transfer our tracking data here. In the process of doing so, we decided to improve our system. So we split the tracker into two tables: users and incidents, intending to give each incident a row with all the information we’d ever need to reference for it, including a summary of events, the outcomes, the mods who handled it, when and where it occurred, links to messages and screenshots, and even buttons that send the row data to a webhook that then posts an identity-sanitized version of the incident into a log channel on our server (which we currently maintain manually for transparency reasons). It felt so much more powerful, and with the searching and filtering functionalities, it made it easier for us to locate relevant information too. And I had plans to interface with the API in the utility/moderation bot I created for our server, to allow members to grab their own status (ie. # of incidents and punishments and whatnot), since the sharing options weren’t so granular.
- But since this data didn’t already exist (our previous system just being summaries), we needed to go back through our server history (we’re almost at 10 million messages total) to find every incident from the last 3 years and record those specific details. It was loads of work. We ported over our member info, spent a few weeks doing our research, and managed to move over incidents for our first 20-30 members (about 60-70 incidents across them), just as a proof of concept. It was awesome. Incredibly useful.
- We also added reference tables for locations and members of the moderation team, so our tracking would remain accurate through any changes on the server, and so we could see who edited the tracker, and link our mods to incidents. This added about 60 rows. I also had plans to add a few other tables for tracking more complex data, like cases involving multiple users and connecting to multiple incidents, and one to track the duration of times punishments (which are arbitrary and range anywhere from a day to 3 months), and also had some ideas for additions and tweaks I could make once permissions were added.
- However, due to the work involved in upgrading, I had to put this project to the side for a few months due to university, so in the meantime our team continued using the old spreadsheet. And thank god I did; if these changes had happened after I’d gone through all that extra work, I’d probably be rather irate.
- Then Coda 2.0 happened. I was excited at first, as I’d been with every product update I got in my inbox, but when I opened my doc to see what the reasonable limits were, I found we had already passed the 35% mark on the row limit, though we’d only actually added perhaps 10-15% of our data. If we added the rest of it, we’d hit the limit for sure, and even if we didn’t it was just a matter of time.
- I was a little concerned, so I checked the pricing, hoping to find a cheap option, like a $2/month payment to simply up that row limit to 10,000 or 20,000 or something (which I suspect I thought of due to having recently started paying $2 a month for 100gb extra storage on Google Drive, though I understand that they - as Google - can afford to take a loss on cheap offerings like that, which Coda probably can’t), even prepared to pay around $10/month if I had to, which is more than I pay for anything else except bills. The utility was worth it.
- But the pricing calculator told me I’d need to pay almost $100 a month (1 maker + 20 editors) just to keep using it. And an extra $20 if I wanted to take advantage of the permissions systems, once they launched.
- Suffice to say, that was faaaar outside my budget as a student, even if I considered it reasonable enough to pony up for at all. The only running costs associated with our entire community is a $5/month DigitalOcean droplet on which I host my bot, which I pay for myself. Coda’s pricing instantly dismissed itself as an option for our team of volunteers.
In the weeks since this announcement, I’ve been looking into replicating as much of my Coda table setup as possible in Google Sheets, and I think most of our needs can be feasibly fulfilled there (and the ones that don’t can be reworked). I’d prefer to keep using Coda - it’s so much slicker, cleaner, and easier to use. But it’s just not justifiable.
The pricing scheme as a whole seems odd to me (unlimited editors and makers are free, but when you start paying they’re not? what? and cross-doc is a paid feature in the highest tier? I expected that to be free before any of the other packs, considering that’s all internal where the others are dealing with external sources), but apart from the editor costs it doesn’t really affect my use case, so I don’t have much of an opinion there.
Anyhow, in summation, since I rambled somewhat: I’d be happy to pay a small amount ($10 or less) just for increased row limits (at least 10x) on the free plan. I don’t know if that’s feasible or not. Maybe my use case (few entities, many rows; one doc and maker, many editors) is unusual. All I know is I’m forced back to Google Docs due to the editor/row pricing when I’d much rather not be.
Perhaps some sort of pay-for-what-you-use model is possible, like AWS?