Hello Istvan. I notice this is a stock response — which I don’t blame you for using However, “we haven’t found a way” is disingenuous I fear. There are ways, you’re just choosing not to implement them.
Now I’ve started off with what appears to be such a negative commentary, let me set some context, and be a little more positive. I’m a product manager in the software industry by day, so I fully, very acutely, appreciate the balancing act of pricing and targeting the kind of customers you want. I also note that at the full pricing level, shapr3d is an absolute bargain compared to the competition! It’s also a modern interface, and is relatively simple for anyone, even with no CAD experience, to pick up and use. I love it, in short.
This is not something you’re likely to admit in public — but the obvious question to me, as a product manager, thinking ‘inside the company’, is who is our ideal customer? And then, of course, how do you attract them? This latter question is probably already answered — it’s not by the hobbyist. Which is why you restrict the free tier so much. One can get a taste of the UI, how easy it is compared to the competition, then realise the pricing is very favourable for a professional when comparing to competitive products, and it’s almost a ‘no brainer’ to sign up.
Serving the hobbyist community probably doesn’t stuff the top of the funnel for you in the way you’d like for your ideal customer type, hence not ‘finding a way to support your use case’. You don’t care about the hobbyist use case. And, again with my PM hat on, looking ‘outwards’ from your company perspective, I fully understand that! Like I say though, I don’t expect you to admit that in public. Many would not be as pragmatic as myself
But I’d like to proffer that a ‘hobbyist’ subscription, with similar features to the free tier now, without visualisation, with restricted models (2 or 3), at even $12-15 a month would probably sit well with the home 3d-printer user, or the home woodworker, etc. Rolling monthly fee, not a forced annual sub. With the right restrictions in place (and that’s a whole other point — maybe the way the app is coded today means you can’t turn features on and off, easily, depending on subscription tier, which could be the truth behind ‘can’t find a way’. Of course, the answer then is, code better. “Feature flags” are not hard.) that the pro users are making use of, I’m fairly confident this level could be additional revenue and not a cannibalising move that causes higher paying users to drop a tier. That’s probably a customer-conversation route for your product marketing folks to take though
Lastly I’ll say, I do love the product. I’m currently not working, so can’t justify the expense, so when my annual subscriptions comes up for renewal next month, I’ll have to let it lapse and go use something terrible like Onshape for the two or three 3d prints I design a year.
Thanks for reading