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And think about all the clients that one Airtable consultant might work with. Airtable collects hundreds of dollars (if not more) for that ONE HUMAN every single month.

Could we get more clarification on why these two specific apps are exempt from the app limits? I recognize that they are extremely useful for “democratizing software development”, but I wonder if it is more than that.

When pondering possible reasons for the app limit, one possible reason was the fact that having a lot of apps that “watch” records can slow a base down. Scripting app happens to only run when a user clicks a button, and thus is unlikely to slow down a base.

I feel that there are other extremely useful apps that help base users but do not “slow down” the base because they do not “watch” records. Could Airtable consider also exempting these apps from limits for Pro workspaces?

At the very least, Description app should also be exempt from base limits in Pro workspaces. The Description app is useful for documenting how a base works and how to use a base. If people have limited slots for apps, this app is most likely to never be used, yet it can provide immense value when onboarding new users to a base or dealing with complex issues that relate to maintaining a base.

Similarly, Base Schema can help users understand their bases better, and it only watches for schema changes, not record changes. It is the one app that I always recommend to anyone trying to understand their base, and many times when I show it to clients who struggle, they have a “lightbulb” moment. This app really helps people better understand the concept of links and backlinks, which is essential to developing on the Airtable platform.

Other apps that are extremely useful but do not watch records (and thus should have minimal performance impact) are the CSV Import, Search, Dedupe, and Batch update apps.

I understand that having multiple tiers of apps (those subject to installation limits, and those not) can be confusing. However, if you already are making an exception for scripting app, this two tier system already exists. Plus, there will always be a multi-tier system when you include third party apps.

Having more apps not subject to the base limits may or may not be the way to go. Maybe you have a creative solution that we are currently unaware of. I don’t know how many of these considerations you have already dealt with, as you have not yet explained your reasoning for the limit. I am simply trying to add to the conversation.

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[Edited by Author]

After a day of reflection, I decided to remove my previous post. My intent is not to publicly shame Airtable management to change their pricing model. My intent is to help them foresee the ramifications I believe will come from this decision from a business perspective.

I decided that sharing my feedback with them privately (which I have) instead of publicly will be more effective to help come to a workable solution for all parties involved.

I love Airtable. I want nothing more than to see it successful, but not just as a Company, but as a thriving ecosystem of partners/developers/community members. I have too much personally invested in seeing that success to not try to help create that. Maybe that is not possible at this point, but that is my hope.

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They are. If you know how to script. I wonder how many people that AT is trying to involve in their “democratizing” mission can do that. Yes, there are premade scripts you can use, but if you look at the type of questions mostly posted in this community, even that is a bridge far away I’m afraid. That’s why I find it so important to include other very useful apps for those kind of users, like you very justifiably mentioned. So imo it shouldn’t be used as an excuse for the limited number of apps that will be possible.

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Also:

  • If the app limit for Pro users is performance-related then the limit should have been x apps per Dashboard, not x apps per base since apps don’t run when its Dashboard isn’t open. And @kuovonne is right to point out that not all apps have an equal impact on performance. Even if that were the direction the following points still remain true:
  • The specific number of 10 is shortsighted. If you wanted to summarize records from each month of a calendar year, a very simple ask, you would get to November and scramble. Why should a "Pro"ffessional accept that?
  • There are 87 apps in the Marketplace: 43 by Airtable and 44 by 3rd parties. Despite representing over half the share, developers were not notified ahead of time of this change.
  • Of those 87 apps, by my count only 5 can be replaced by Interface Elements: Summary, Description, Chart, Timeline (now sunset’ed), and Record List. So the only alternative to use the gated features is to become an enterprise which is notoriously difficult and far too expensive to do.
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The limit on the number of apps is extremely disappointing, but I appreciate the heads up that it’s time to develop for other platforms instead.

I’ve recently been working on a commercial app for launch on Airtable, after choosing it out over other similar platforms like ClickUp, Monday, and Notion due in part to the flexibility and power of the developer platform and app integrations.

This change not only greatly increases the competition among apps, it also gives a massive advantage to existing apps that pursue the “super app” approach where they bundle a lot of functionality into one app. New apps will barely have a chance, which is disappointing, but I guess I’d rather know sooner rather than later.

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Hello Team,

I feel like Clark Griswold in this video getting an annual subscription to the Jelly of the month club instead of a Christmas Bonus.

“If this isn’t the biggest bag-over-the-head, punch-in-the-face I ever got.” - Clark, but also me after seeing Airtable’s display of their perceived relationship with developers

“It’s good. It’s good.” - Clark, but also me trying, but failing, to find the light in this update for any of my community members, current clients, or future clients

The rest of the video I will leave for your own interpretation.

I do not normally post in this community forum, but this pricing change gave me no other option. I am normally engaging with the 1.2k+ subscribers on my Airtable based YouTube channel or my 5.9k+ Airtable Community Facebook Group with friends like Kamille, Rebecca, and many others community members.

The changes to the pricing plans are disheartening. I have been a very strong proponent of what once was a platform for the last 2 years, when I first stumbled upon Airtable. I was thrilled with the possibilities of the product itself and where I saw the community headed. Contributing to the Airtable Community and helping those not so technically inclined better use the tool to scale their business is something I was strongly passionate about.

Regarding the specifics of the changes and how they cut off Airtable at the knees for new users/companies, I echo what has been said above by Dan, Scott, Justin, Kamille, Rebecca, and Kuovonne. These changes are very concerning as someone invested in the growth of this product/community.

With these changes, I can not help but to still be passionate about helping business owners solve operational and technical issues, but this 100% disincentives me to trust Airtable as a tool or company to base my resources on. My good friends and developers, specifically Dan, Kamille, and Kuovonne, had what I perceived to be the closest relationships with professionals at Airtable. They have been effectively given a Jelly Of The Month Club membership, and it too was delivered late. With these pricing updates in mind, I can not help but think about what other tools (eg. Google Tables) I should be looking at for long term relationships and prosperity while solving these problems for business owners.

I hope the decision maker on this update at Airtable gets a good idea of how this adversely impacts key stakeholders of Airtable and the Jelly of the month club subscription is exchanged for the truly deserved Christmas Bonus. Give us a gift that truly keeps on giving.

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@Jordan_Scott1,

I’m sure you’re growing weary of these comments, so I’ll try to be succinct, a skill that y’all know I do not possess.

Chilling Economic Impact

It’s difficult to put into words the chilling economic impact the new pricing policy will have on both aftermarket developers as well as small and large businesses who typically enter the Airtable sales funnel on a whim or a recommendation from the esteemed supporters in this community. Recommendations from “grandfathered” users will only make this miserable policy change that much more distasteful.

No Aftermarket Upside

Much has been said about the app constraints and how this will cause “all-in” aftermarket supporters (like @openside) to plan their next moves with greater scepticism. There’s no debate that in light of Airtable’s posture, many of us have already readjusted compass-headings at a professional level, although, emotionally we are still “all-in” and likely share delusions or hope that this is like The ninth season of the television series Dallas which was annulled as a dream of character Pamela Barnes Ewing. That was the demise of Dallas’ advertising earnings in case you’re a bit too young to know this colloquial pop-culture reference.

You Misjudged The Definition of Your Own Product

Many of the responses here have articulated a detailed fracture between your internal definition of Airtable and the perceived possibilities that new buyers glean with the help of many people, products, and app flexibility. Most importantly, these perceptions are fundamentally based on apps that make it possible for customers to fabricate an ideal fitness-of-purpose; a fleeting possibility the more you constrain the number of apps.

I was recently entertaining the idea of a Trello-to-Airtable sync solution that might have drawn in hundreds, possibly thousands of Trello users who wanted to utilize their cards as data. That project was tossed in the trash as soon as I saw the announcement because its success is gated by enthusiastic future users; not today’s users. Technically, nothing has changed; the capability to deliver is there. However, the individual future visions that each customer may have is now severely myopic.

Taxing Innovation

In 2020 I referred to the prospect of pushing scripting out of reach of early users as a tax on innovation. You chose wisely to make scripting free for all – from early users to enterprises. This was a smart choice. Your new pricing policy is tantamount to massive taxation on innovation; a tax so high, no one will ponder what-if’s with Airtable because there’s no clear upside for users at any level of the sales funnel except enterprise.

Future Former Customers

Imagine a very happy “grandfathered” Pro user who manages to attract 20 other partners to become new Pro users. They begin to collaborate and share apps. The happy customer (the ring leader) is giddy with the prospect of increased productivity and rapidly getting the group to experience the delight of Airtable. Then the low app ceiling begins to demonstrate this was a bad idea. The new users are dismayed that they are each lesser class citizens. The ring leader has egg on her face. The group seeks out a better approach and all are future former customers.

What’s the Remedy?

Everyone in this thread is either an Airtable customer who is responsible to other Airtable customers both current and future – or – an avid customer who is likely an influencer of other Airtable customers both current and future. I believe we represent and influence (to varying degrees) the entire sales funnel.

With all due respect to the need for Airtable to be profitable, I believe it needs to augment this pricing policy or it’s “so long, farewell” for many dedicated members of this community and specifically those in this thread. I get the sense that the current policy is simply untenable for many reasons.

So, what isn’t untenable?

Airtable’s [apparent] premise for Pro accounts ( in light of this policy change) is that an enterprise “evaluator” need only a few apps to validate and envision the benefits of Airtable. This is flawed, of course, but maybe not obvious to Airtable “execs” who have not witnessed the slow and methodical transition that larger customers typically traverse before getting a PO for $36k.

I hate to complain without offering at least one possible resolution; perhaps this is one strategy worthy of consideration:

  1. For Pro users engaged by registered consultants, the app limit is waived.
  2. For Pro users with an Airtable or aftermarket support agreement in place (perhaps $100/month), the app limit is waived.
  3. For Pro users who have installed three premium business apps from the Marketplace, the app limit is waived.

Policy #1 is designed to incentivize Airtable and consultants to work toward a common goal - finding and selling bigger customers on this platform.

#2 is intended to provide Airtable with alternate revenues available to lessen the impact of new users and encourage an easier transition between adolescent customers and thriving larger customers; growth hormone therapy at an affordable step.

#3 is intended to qualify adolescent customers as potential larger customers; it’s a natural sales funnel that helps Airtable sales identify the likely enterprise customer embryos. (edited)

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Yep. The chilling economic impact is real. Well said @BenGreen!

This is a very good point; the gift - one that Airtable has been decisively generous with in the past - is the freedom for newcomers to innovate. If you eliminate the ability to explore and expand and extend the product, you will effectively eliminate a future of possibilities for many who hold a vision for making work better.

Love the Clark Griswold reference!

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How long before this becomes a Harvard Business School case study on how not to treat your developer and customer base? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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Here’s what a $735M Series F round of funding gets you. Greed. I suppose we should also be pointing fingers at some of these players too:

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A timely thread from Box CEO Aaron Levie relevant to this discussion just tweeted today. Can Airtable withstand the temptations and stay true to its vision? We’ll see if @Howie_Liu has it in him.

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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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