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API Plans Are Not Sustainable For My Small Business

I’ve already written about how I just don’t like class pricing tiers for API consumption, but I want to keep beating this drum until service providers hear what I’m singing. I think pricing tiers worked well to onboard the world with SaaS but for an API-driven world we a lot more flexibility and scalability when it comes to t he business model.

As a small business I just can’t take another monthly payment, without some deep consideration, and bank account consultation. I’m looking at the ImageOptim API, which is already a desktop tool I use, but the opportunity to automate my image optimization is very appealing. However, their entry level pricing tier is $9 a month for $1,000.00 calls. I might be able to add another monthly fee, but it damn well better be generating some value, or directly bringing in some new revenue.

My Amazon bill is always around $350.00, and I just downsized my Dropbox from $75 to $15 a month, and my CloudFlare is up to $75, and on and on. I have a whole list of monthly bills for a variety of services I depend on. The pricing tier based services are almost always the first to go when I have to downsize–Dropbox, gone. However, the ones that let me pay for what I use, tend to actually grow and are sustained. Overall I have about $1K a month to spend on SaaS and API solutions, but increasingly I’m favoring utility-based services over plan-based ones.

I think it is easy for API providers to look at their plans and pricing in a silo, exclusively from their perspective, and by itself the structure makes sense, but when you look at in the context of an entire portfolio of services for a small business, it just doesn’t make a lot of sense when you are using tens or hundreds of services. I know that all you business owners are looking for some stability when it comes to your business revenue, but you know what? So am I…