Simplenote no longer sustainable without a subscription

Recently read the Simplenote blog where they’re testing out a voluntary subscription (pretty hefty in my opinion)

They also state:

If that’s the only way we could continue the service, we’d make Simplenote paid-only.

Looks like the free version has run its course. Can’t complain as it has been free for a long time.

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$19.99/month or $199.99/year and they need 5% of their users to subscribe or they will have to go paid only…

Does that mean the paid only could be closer to $0.99 month?

Or would they lose so many users that it stills needs to be (much) higher?

I suppose it depends on what value people place on the app. In the comments section of the blog some people think the voluntary subscription is somewhat high and a paid subscription would need a more feature rich app.

Once they move to paid-only, they talk up how much cheaper an $5 or so a month are.
Call me cynical, but I smell an attempt at “anchoring” a higher $20 price point before doing so.

Not saying that their math doesn’t check out or that they don’t deserve.
But honestly doubting that they’ll be getting a fifth of their users signing up at that price.

They have a bunch of Web 2.0 type entrepreneurs who use the service (Mullenweg, Dorsey, Tim Ferris etc.) that should have no trouble coughing this up. Not sure if they have several hundred that are wealthy, but they might. (I’m guessing they have about 10k-20k users left, based on the fundraising goal.)

I don’t think they have any expectation that subscription-haters, or people there for the value of a free service, will pay.

Mullenweg’s company, Auttomatic, owns Simplenote.

$20/mo. is a lot for plain text sync. You get a lot more with Apple Notes and Drafts. I assume Android has its own Notes app.

Yes, I shouldn’t have mentioned him in that list. He’s been a huge financial contributor by running the service and paying for their developer. I would hope he’s willing to keep paying the balance after this fundraising.

This actually reminds me of another beloved web artifact, Metafilter. Metafilter has a number of active users in the ballpark of SimpleNote. They put all their financial cards on the table this fall and have raised several thousand new dollars a month in fundraising, all from people with no obligation to pay anything but their initial $5 to join. Many people are paying $20/month.

SimpleNote isn’t a community on the face of it, but it is a long-running service by and for people who like text and it has a lot of overlapping users from other communities, and they talk to each other about it.