Simple Pricing Shouldn't Be This Hard

I shared the other day 3 key attributes that I've been thinking over regarding our unique positioning and the pricing attribute is harder to come by; in other words, it's vastly more easy to know what not to do than what one should do.

For instance, it's easy to disagree with Slack's pricing and their limitations that force you into an upgrade path. And that path can be a bit confusing:

👆🏻 — Does anyone actually read this stuff?!

Everyone also knows what it's like to see this annoying message:

No serious builder of community will ever commit, long-term, to using Slack because their pricing is prohibitive of how communities naturally grow and form and evolve.

The community leader / manager has to play "whack-a-channel" by constantly changing or updating or adding / deleting existing / new channels so that folks can engage, search archives, and not encounter "dead" or clearly "locked" channels that can no longer provide useful value!

And if you want some of that money back? Sorry, Slack is going to keep that too:

Another really shitty user experience, especially for early-stage projects that are already strapped for cash! I could certainly use those $800 dollars back, especially since I no longer use Slack for any internal / external communication — saving money is the way of the startup™️.

What about not being able to access direct messages and important, mission-critical conversations with your community? Nice try... you're going to have to pay for that!

As you already know, this just doesn't scale! Slack, in simple terms, was never meant to be a "community platform" at scale... or really at all.

If you're going to help start communities form, build, and grow then you must price it in such a way that is simple, understandable, and doesn't move the user into a "gotcha, upgrade!" scenario when things get really moving.

Slack is a fine place to "test-drive" a new community, get things started, but, no one is going to pay $6.67-$8.00 per user, per month for a community builder / business operator that doesn't have an easy and quick way of distributing that cost across their business or recouping that cost directly through product and/or service sales!

No community, even the best and most well-financed ones, can afford that long-term — much better to build on something you know will scale with you without sucking you (and your finances) dry.


  1. 2

    As I understand it, the primary selling point of Slack is the 'searchable log of all communications and knowledge.'

    As I understand it, this is not a particularly important feature of community building.

    What are your thoughts?

    1. 1

      and they attached that searchable log of ALL data to a 10k message limit. this is their biz model. not a bad thing and i'm not even poo-poo'ing it!

      but, historicity for a community is important. the story and narrative that helps a community start and continue to grow. very different drivers / motivations and needs.

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