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This is what it all boils down to:

Airtable’s financial incentives are not in alignment with their customers’ best interests.

Why?

Because Airtable is flush with nearly $2 billion in VC funding, and they have been repeatedly told that they are worth $11 billion. So their “customers” are their VC’s.

They don’t see their customers, consultants, or developers as important (or even necessary!) parts of the Airtable ecosystem.

Airtable has continually generated badwill amongst their biggest fans & loyalists because of these misaligned incentives.

Here’s a hint for Airtable:

Start caring about your customers & developers & consultants before it’s too late.

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Very well said. Many of us have invested significant amount of time learning Airtable partly we do hope Airtable can grow as big as Google Workspace and its marketplace. Just as what @openside has highlighted, Airtable needs to fix this pricing to grow but not with this way. I am sure Airtable has a team of PhD finance expert, forecaster, etc to come up with this ridiculous structure of pricing. Instead of bashing their pricing, I would propose this model:

  • Usage based pricing whereby all plans have almost all access of features but limited with how many storage they are using.

Some of customers are not from marketing department, they do not need to upload tons of attachment into the base, they need more records (beyond 50k) and they should allow this in lower tier plan (plus or pro) either as an add-ons or included.

I am pretty sure Airtable top management is blindsided by recent funding and they think they can do whatever they want.

On the side note, I do appreciate @Jordan_Scott1 for her engagement and contribution to the community.

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Wow, an interesting read, I truly feel for those businesses that have dedicated themselves to AT, unfortunately this has exposed proprietary no-code lock in at it’s worst.

Pre-IPO pump at the expense of early stage adopters. I am now expediting open-source options to avoid being painted into this corner in future. I had concerns early on Airtable with little to no DevRel activity - vindicated by this post, how sad.

I wish you all the best with your hedge fund investors and meeting their growth targets, I am actively moving off this platform…

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Hi @Jordan_Scott1 , Airtable, Community, Experts, Scripters,

I remind you that I use Airtable Pro (now Legacy) because I am a Teacher, that before 2019 I had intuitions, even a mockup of what I was looking for as a platform to base my work of Collecting, Sorting, Redaction, Illustration, Editing, Restricted Test-Diffusion of any material for my Courses, Exercises, Workshops and then I had a flash at the end of August 2019 when I discovered Airtable a bit difficult because I was using keywords that always made me go around Airtable instead of landing in it!

Very quickly my amazement went down one floor (November 2019) because Airtable, not yet equipped with all these noCode aspects of today, was not at all scriptable, neither in Python which I already knew enough to make something operational, nor in Javascript which I had a very basic knowledge, without code requirements as I learned here in the community and on medium.com since.

It’s when the Script Block beta fell in my mailbox around the 18/12/2019 that the game changed: in contact with most of those who wrote in this thread and who offered commented scripts and improvements or even more massive rewrites, commented, of our own attempts of scripts, I learned to do from airtable almost what I wanted!

The limits that prevented me from getting 100% satisfaction look, from here, not impossible to break but they resisted all my ultimate requests or begs:

  • I still have no programmatic access to switches, toggles, options of my views;
  • I’m still not able to collect nor to modify programmatically my formulas: so my plan to maintain my own library of formulas has fallen through, which has led to my massive replacement of formulas with scripts that I can manage in libraries after writing them reusable.

Since December 2019, whenever I’m on tools other than DaVinci Resolve from Blackmagic or Adobe Apps, I’m 80% of my time on Airtable and 20% of my time on Google Workspace.

I have invested all this time, and my Airtable Pro (legacy) subscriptions, and a subscription to a small FrontEnd to make my own Interfaces that can be shared in readOnly endlessly and without exposing all my data contained in my database, and I have never had the opportunity to invest more of my own money because I don’t even represent a Business but a Non-Profit in the Education field.

On the other hand all my Students who are 22 yo average age have a contact with Airtable through me and as some of them are learning javascript because they are studying “interactivity”, some of them also have a contact with what is going on under the hat of my final presentations of supports of courses based on Airtable.

Of all that has been proposed in this thread by those who have helped me, improved me, made me productive of added value in my work, the one that seems to fit me best about Apps and App limits is this one.

mostly because:

My first steps and decisions to invest so much time, and some money in Airtable were also very similar to this:

To conclude, Airtable should definitely take this into consideration:

These quotations are better written than I could have written to express this.
I thank again their Authors for having enriched, influenced, oriented my path in the now LEGACY Airtable Pro Plan
and

Sources: this fired me just before I opened @Justin_Barrett AATB NewsLetter:

that was following:

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“Upgrade now” (to Enterprise!) for more automations… :smirk: #pricingmodel

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Yep, as many people have complained about in these forums, Airtable offers ZERO ABILITY to pay for more automation runs when you run out.

Your only options are:

  1. Send an email to technical support and ask them to give you additional runs until the end of the month (and it seems like they currently have an “unofficial policy” to do so), or

  2. You have to spend $3,000 per month to gain 500,000 extra runs.

In a competitive marketplace, you would expect automation runs to cost approximately the same across platforms. You can get 800,000 extra runs for only $300 with Integromat, which is 160% more runs for a price that is 1,000% cheaper than Airtable.

@Elias_Gomez_Sainz I have already spoken to the moderators a year ago about posting affiliate links, and they gave me explicit permission — IN WRITING — to post affiliate links. You will also notice that there is nothing in the community guidelines against posting affiliate links. But I also have explicit permission IN WRITING.

I’m really sorry that you feel like I shouldn’t be able to collect a few extra cents here & there for all the hundreds of volunteer hours I donate to solving people’s problems in this forum, and for referring people to a tool that solves their automation roadblocks in Airtable. :man_shrugging:

I also see that you have absolutely no problem with posting your own Integromat affiliate link, though. You just have a problem with mine. Got it. Good to know:

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Why not 10 apps / user / base in the PRO PLAN ?

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Two major frustrations with the pricing updates

  1. Limiting the 5 editing user on free apps. The free plan and getting collaborators is how is i’ve recruited many people into the Airtable Ecosystem.
  2. The 7 apps for Pro plans. These people are your power users, building crazy cool things that inspire and showcase what this no-code tool can do. If your goal is to drive people to your next pricing tier, enterprise pricing just isn’t sensible possible for many SMBs and contractors getting other businesses into the Airtable ecosystem.
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One issue with the pricing plan is that the pricing page does not state how much enterprise actually costs. The number that is currently being tossed around for enterprise is starting at $3,000/per month. There are probably enterprise customers who are paying both more and less than that, but let’s use $3,000 as a basis for comparison, at least until Airtable provides a different number.

This price for enterprise is about 100 times as much as the pricing for pro for a small business with a handful of seats.

Most of the increased limits from Pro to Enterprise are on the scale of 2x to 10x. Record limits are doubled. History is kept three times as long. Automaton runs are increased tenfold. Attachment space is an outlier because it increases by fifty-fold when moving from Pro to Enterprise, yet it is still dwarfed by the increase in price.

Now Enterprise also provides features that are completely unavailable to Pro users, but many Pro users do not need an admin panel, single-sign-on, account managers, etc.

When dealing with some issues, such as record limits, upgrading to Enterprise might be a solution, because record limits are soft limits. However, upgrading to Enterprise is not a solution for problems such as running out of automation runs. Running out of automations can happen without warning (although sometimes there are warnings), and upgrading to enterprise cannot be done in a matter of minutes to get business running again, and cannot be easily undone the following month when extra automations are no longer needed.

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I know a client at around 1200euros/month

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I just wish instead of imposing limits on us, you teach us how to be Good Considerate airtable users? Someone built automations with an ideal workflow in mind. But we are left to our own devices to destroy each others calendars or use 26k failed automation runs in a day because one table is synced to 2 destinations thus taking 10 minutes to show up whereas the other imported things are only synced to one destination taking only 5 minutes. Someone designed apps dashboards to not all load at once for a reason. Teach people they should use dashboards to increase load speed. Someone designed interfaces with all of the fixes we asked for. But y’all don’t show us how to really be POWER users. I’m tired of videos explaining what a linked record field does. There’s obviously an ideal way you want things done to reduce our cost per user. TELL US WHAT IT IS. don’t put us in timeout like children.

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Case in point:

The majority of my clients not only use more than 10 apps, but they use more than 20 apps.

Even a simple text messaging app from Twilio needs to be installed multiple times — once for each phone number. Same with the CSV app — one install per saved import. Page Designer — it is required to be installed once for each unique print job. The Summary App — one app per summary. MiniExtensions doesn’t work at all without its app.

The list goes on & on.

These clients of mine are small businesses with 3-15 Airtable users. They are paying $60-$300 per month. There is no way that they would pay $3,000 per month — or even $1,500 per month — to get what they get today. That’s what we call Highway Robbery.

Instead, all of them would switch to Coda or FileMaker or Google Table or Seatable or Infinity or any other Airtable competitor out there that gives them soooo much more than what Airtable gives them, but charges them a reasonable $60-$300 cost per month.

It’s truly hard to understand why Airtable would specifically pick a pricing strategy — and a feature restriction strategy — that is specifically designed to drive people away from the platform.

I can think of no other company that has ever done something as absurd as this.

p.s. This doesn’t imply that customers were happy with the previous limits, either. I lost plenty of Airtable consulting clients who had no choice but to leave Airtable because of the ridiculously low 50,000 record limit. And now, I predict that even more customers will flee Airtable — or not even get started with Airtable to begin with.

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Hi @Rebecca_Elam,
Yes, you’re right, but there are so many educational resources about Airtable (serious, verified sources) that I’m not even sure what you’re claiming doesn’t already exist somewhere…
The ideal would be to continue a work already started by the Airtable staff:
Gather all these resources (internal, community, verified third-part) in a single reference page whose link would be repeated in the header of the topics concerned by these quality contents.
A little while ago, I had drawn their attention like this.

Regards,
olπ

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Post Removed because I don’t have a dog in this fight and have already spoken my peace. Hopefully we get some good news Thursday.

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This really hits the nail on the head concerning the new limit on the usage of simultaneous apps.

Going forward, new users and anyone interested in helping Airtable’s customers must assess if the current gaps in Airtable itself (for any perceived solution) can be closed with ten or fewer apps. If you can’t see light through that keyhole, you have only two options -

  1. Find another tool.
  2. Purchase an enterprise license.

Vastly, option #1 will be the only choice.

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Really disappointed with that move, it will hurt the community and the business badly. As if there weren’t enough limitations to think of when building a business on Airtable, now there are even more.

It’s going to affect every business, if one of your employee changes your plan without your consent, it can go all boom. (or even yourself, if you’re not aware of the implication of the new plans)

It’s going to affect all App makers, what’s the point in investing time to build apps when those are limited to 10? It means I’ll be competing with all other available apps out there.

It might affect other tools that use Airtable as a data source.

And it definitely hurts whatever trust we still had into Airtable. I’ve been looking at NocoDB for a while now, and it’s becoming more and more the kind of alternative we need to replace the vendor lock-in of Airtable.

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I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this pattern in dozens of customers who are sub-enterprise users, and in many cases - SMBs with a single Airtable developer, but dozens of users.

However…

We have to be careful of assertions like this and especially based on statistical averages. I would caution all parties in this thread and Airtable itself from making pricing policy decisions based on an average of any kind for any metric.

Even words like “majority” are anecdotal and statistically unworthy because we really don’t know the nature of your client base. It could be a feature-biased collection of stringent medical researchers in Dubai, or it might be dairy farmers in Scotland (you see how I wove that cute pun in there, right?).

In any case, Airtable must be cautious of anecdotal data and we should exhibit a little restraint to use it as a club.

Back to the issue…

I agree with your premise; arbitrary app limits cast a chill on the marketplace of opportunities to employ what we all regard as a brilliant UI and approach to data management in a very wide realm of business challenges.

The imposed ceiling is not about the product per se; rather, it’s about the range of solutions that are possible with Airtable, and it appears to be this single dimension that casts the shadow. Apps [today] are the pathway to closing Airtable’s many gaps. The gaps are well-know and well-documented in this community. Perhaps Interface Designer is the future pathway, but it too has many limitations [today].

Apps are the crutch…

In some strange way, the emergence of apps might be classified as a pain medication or just a crutch that provides relief for solutions that would otherwise be entirely impossible without them. Even small scripts come to the rescue in ways that provide critical functionality that would otherwise deem Airtable as woefully unsuited for certain objectives.

Maybe Airtable understands this and is reshaping the future to accommodate a more unified platform that has a few undesirable refactoring bumps along the way.

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This is a very key point. The app limitation policy has transformed the competitive framework to include an additional dimension; a limited number of app slots. Now, apps must compete in a climate of artificial use constraints as well as functionality.

This is no different than injecting artificial incentives (or disincentives) into a free-market economic model.

Imagine if every consumer were constrained to an arbitrary limit of 100 miles per day for sedans and unlimited miles for pickup trucks that cost 20 times more than sedans. How would this change consumer behavior?

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I meant to edit my post earlier, I’ve gone back and forth because I honestly don’t know if anyone at Airtable is still reading at this point. But my thoughts still stand. The pricing model is a step in the wrong direction for mid-level (Pro) users and rewards the Free and Plus users, and punishes Power Users who followed the promise of what Airtable could be.

Since I work with multiple platforms, it’s frustrating when I need to find a new “Lego Piece” because my new clients can’t use the tool in the way that I have been using it for others.

For reference, I’ve been a Business Consultant for 11 years, after working in Corporate America for 10 years. My MBA is in Entrepreneurship and Business Analytics. My clients cross multiple sectors, but include SaaS companies. Ones you probably have heard of. I don’t come at this from a place of not knowing how any of this works.

My original post:

From the perspective of a Business Consultant that sources solutions for “small” businesses, I wanted to share how the pro plan limits severely impact how businesses will make the decision to select airtable over other cloud based database platforms.

I work with several multi-million dollar businesses who use airtable for a small sector of their business OR use it for the administration of their entire business- but they usually have 10 or less users actually accessing airtable. So their seating needs are lower.

And we use Airtable as the engine of their business, meaning we integrate it with other software (Zapier to connect Airtable to their bookkeeping platform, their document signing platform, to their scheduling platform, and so on). We often have upwards of 20 app blocks in one base. This can include different iterations of Page Designer since the content isn’t always dynamic and we need different layouts. We often use Twilio blocks to save specific correspondence to send out on a more manual basis, but copying and pasting correspondence scripts defeats the purpose of having the apps ready to go.

The 25 automation limit in bases, as well as not having better control of calendar views, for example, means that we might create satellite bases and sync the data into other bases to work through additional automations or more elegantly organize data.

Even elegant database management theory means that you have to partition data and query it on a routine basis instead of trying to save it all in one place. [See Designing Data-Intensive Applications, Designing Data-Intensive Applications: The Big Ideas Behind Reliable, Scalable, and Maintainable Systems: Kleppmann, Martin: 9781449373320: Amazon.com: Books], so you might have 10 - 15 bases feeling into one base to call data. Or they might be syncing data from the other 10 SaaS products we are using to manage their entire business.

Conditional automations don’t completely solve all needs, because, again, multi-million dollar businesses aren’t simple and linear, at least ones that have the level of architecture I have created using airtable.

But cutting the number of apps and syncs to new Pro users basically says, hey, those who don’t want to invest heavily in airtable, here is more power for less, but YOU - you users who use too much space but don’t want to pay for 50+ phantom users, you should find somewhere else to build your Architecture.

I don’t think “Power Users” (like most of my non-Enterprise clients are) are unwilling to pay more, heck Streak for Gmail is $50/user per month, so having a step between Pro and Enterprise is absolutely valid. Squeezing the businesses that may be Enterprise in 2 years (with my excellent cross-platform automation skills, of course :wink:) out of Airtable out of the gate is poor future planning. From my Business Consulting experience, of course.

I’ve seen droves of people leave Salesforce for the horrible price per seat, (and I remember when the price per seat in Salesforce was in the teens), and I’ve seen the rise and fall of software solutions in my scant 11 years in this industry. Don’t forget the middle, please.

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yeah im definitely not satisfied with the answers we received. is there a hope to eventually understand why this was done? we arent children. we can take it. just help people understand.

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