I’ve been trying to remain somewhat optimistic about this whole situation, but I absolutely echo the frustration present in this thread.
This is the way I’m looking at it. I’m comparing the current situation to how it was when I started. I signed up in February of 2019, and four months later I was convinced (and had somehow convinced my wife) that the Pro plan was the way to go.
If, today, I was four months into using Airtable on the Free plan, would I make the same decision to pay for the Pro plan—the one that exists now after the announced changes earlier this week?
Back in 2019, I saw a lot of potential in the Pro plan. Sure, part of that potential was for me, but I was also beginning to see how I could help other users and possibly build a business. And that was before custom apps were added, before scripting, before automations.
Looking at what the new Pro plan offers compared to what I’ve got as a legacy user on that plan, it almost literally makes me shudder. Yes, it’s a clear upgrade from the Free plan, and a lot of the things that I use on a daily basis—both for myself and my clients—are still there. But frankly I don’t see nearly as much potential with the limits that have been put in place.
The Pro plan that I have now gives me freedom. I don’t use a ton of apps, but if I feel like I need to add one, I don’t have to think about how many I’m using. I can add one, or two, or five, or whatever I need, and that’s the key word. What do users need? If someone on the new Pro plan needs more than 10 apps…um, well, they’re stuck. There is literally nowhere to—oh, that’s right, there’s the Enterprise plan. How much is that? …I’m sorry, what did you say?!
Looking at just the app allotment, the lower plans now make a series of baby steps: 1 for Free, 3 for Plus, and 10 for Pro. But the transition from Pro to Enterprise is not even close to a baby step. Not even an adult step. More like a several-giants-stacked-on-each-other’s-shoulders step. I actually charted it—using Airtable’s own Chart app—and it’s literally not a pretty picture. I’ll refrain from posting that for various reasons, but suffice to say it’s a) the only step left, and b) way too big a step for most to make.
In short: unless the average Pro user comes into a windfall of cash, they literally have no other option but to live with what Pro gives them.
Under the new plan, that’s not freedom. That’s not potential. Compared to my legacy-Pro options, that’s downright depressing.
In fact, after sharing news of these plan changes with my newsletter audience, one subscriber (who’s also a client) replied with his own frustrations, concluding with this statement that hit me hard:
I’ll have to be careful never to upgrade.
As I said at the start of this, I’ve tried to be optimistic about this whole thing. Part of me is still (surprisingly) thinking that way, hoping that something announced soon-ish might make me look back on this and repent for being so quick to anger. But I also can’t ignore a very wise statement made elsewhere (I won’t say who unless they give me permission):
You can’t “spoon full of sugar” a week after the medicine
I’m glad that I got Pro when I did, and I’m immensely grateful that my plan isn’t being downgraded to the new Pro level. If I’d joined four months ago, would I make the jump from Free to Pro now? Probably not. And that truly, genuinely, scares me.