I’m the CEO and co-founder of Netlify and have been closely following all the comments in our forums through our recent pricing change rollout.
For now, we have paused one of these changes, the new approval flow for Git committers, in order to give you more time to digest the change and for us to further streamline the experience.
Rather than coming with a generic response, I thought I would simply share what I told our whole team at Netlify in our Monday kickoff meeting:
Last week we launched a really important set of pricing changes that’s another step in aligning our pricing and our value proposition.
Back in 2020 we started a journey away from focusing on bandwidth, build minutes and similar metered charges, towards a seat-based pricing model. Our core value proposition is making our customers’ development teams more productive, and it’s been key to us that we charge our customers where we provide value, versus charging as a pure infrastructure platform.
A large number of developers that benefit from Netlify’s end-to-end workflow — through deploy previews, branch deploys, management of serverless functions, log drains, form handling, and so on — benefit without ever needing to go to Netlify’s UI. And this is a great thing. At Netlify we always try to go out of our way to reduce friction and let developers focus on writing code while our platform takes care of the rest.
Because of this, charging not just for UI team members, but also for the team members that got the full benefits of this workflow became a huge success on our enterprise tier and is now a proven model for us.
Last week, we finally took this pricing model to our self-serve tier to create a clear value chain from self-serve to enterprise. Allowing us to up our limits on bandwidth and build minutes and setting us up really well for future product development…
However, in our implementation and launch of committer based pricing we made one key mistake that has left some of our customers rightfully upset.
We broke our core promise of reducing friction by suddenly breaking the workflow for the customer segment on self-serve that had a large discrepancy between external committers and Netlify team members. We broke their workflow and then asked them to spend time fixing their deployments themselves by approving and inviting committers. As a product and engineering org, we have to always look at whether we’re reducing or introducing friction in peoples workflow, and something that clearly introduces friction should not ship. We should not be afraid of charging a fair price for our services — there’s nothing wrong with that — but we should go really far to never break the workflow or sites for our customers, and this time we did just that. So it’s no wonder some of our community is upset. On top of this, we didn’t communicate clearly enough about the change, taking some of our customers by surprise.
A huge thank you to our Support and Community Forum teams! You all responded with such empathy and patience while engaging with our customers on the difficult subject of the pricing changes, but also the impact to their current workflows and have unblocked individual customers as they report their troubles and I’m incredibly grateful for your hard work.
We’ll work with our product and eng team to find a way to improve our implementation of committer based pricing to remove the friction it introduced into some customers’ workflow and do our best to live up to our core value proposition of staying out of the way.
And in the future, we should all keep in mind how we stay true to always bringing less friction to our customers.
I’ve since met with our product and engineering team and we’ll be reaching out directly to the customers with a significant difference between number of committers and number of team members to help make sure their workflow is not in any way blocked by these changes and that we have a path to permanently fix the issues with the approach of having to manually approve and add team members.
We want to ensure we keep delivering an excellent development and workflow experience. We thank you for your patience and are taking your feedback into account to make improvements on the experience.
I’m also paying close attention to the segment of teams that ends up having 7 or more developers working on their projects while for some reason not being within the right segment for our enterprise pricing, especially agencies with contractors coming and going. We want to make sure we figure out the best possible pricing options for all customers as we keep refining our plans.