April 13, 2022
Repricing: it's finally happening
After what feels like years of punting, the repricing work is finally going live in a non-trivial way! This week marks a legitimate milestone in the project: I have the first few production subscriptions to the new pricing plans. (This is kind of a cop out because I manually generated and assigned invoices for those folks as they have atypical payment structures, but it counts — it means the feature gating logic and all of that is working and active in production.)
I'm getting to the point where the end might not be in sight — I don't have a firm burndown list of everything that needs to be done — but certainly seems much closer than it did. Big, amorphous projects kind of go through an explore/exploit phase — you have broad, unbounded work until you get to the point where you've mapped out the state space of the full project and then you burn it down. I'm not in that latter space yet but I think I'm pretty close: there's going to be a long tail of marketing copy that I haven't yet itemized and a lot of pretty boring plumbing to update, but if I was told I absolutely needed to get this all done by the end of the month I certainly could.
A little aside: when I told a friend about these changes and about how many authors would in fact be paying less (if you're paying for Buttondown for Professionals and have 4,000 subscribers, under "old" pricing you'd pay around $54/mo and under "new" pricing you'd pay a flat $29/mo) and he warned me to run the numbers to make sure I wasn't killing my ARPU. This was good advice, but the panic was unfounded: if I were to simply project the exact same userbase that Buttondown has today into the new pricing scheme, MRR would approximately double. (Of course, you can't assume that all cows are spherical and all that, but my point is that the cohort economics are valid.) So that's encouraging.