So I just wanted to provide some feedback on how you are handling features in the free vs premium accounts.
In the past, I know that Asana’s revenue model was based on the number of users on a single team. I had implemented the Asana system in my previous workplace for quite a few teams, but never reached 15 users on any team, so we never needed to upgrade to premium. Since we were getting such value from Asana, I even called and talked to someone from Asana Sales to find out whether we were actually working within Asana’s acceptable use, since we had about 30-40 people spread across probably 6 teams. I wanted to make sure that if we should be paying, we would. From the conversation, we didn’t find much value in the “sharing” features, which was the only feature that was remotely helpful to us in the premium subscription. Honestly, it worried me that your revenue model was not sustainable.
Fast forward a year, and I’m working at a new employer and trying to get people using Asana but I am quite surprised that there is far less value in the free product now than before. I see that you have moved to a freemium model based on enabling (disabled) features in addition to the collaborative features for the premium subscription. Luckily you found a better revenue generation model, but my concern is your current customer base. By taking away features from those who are already using your system and are already used to certain functionality, it seems like a risky move. I was a huge advocate for Asana in the past and have gotten tons of people on the platform, but anymore, I have a hard time recommending it when basic features such as advanced search have been removed. I am surprised that you didn’t just limit the new features that you add from your decision point moving forward. That would have appeased your current customer base while creating a revenue stream moving forward.
Like I mentioned earlier, I realize the value that is offered by Asana, but taking value away from customers seems like a way to force them into a paid subscription. Like I said earlier, I wouldn’t have a problem paying for new great features that provide greater value, but by removing features, you have broken a social contract, and thus reduced trust. Although I am a single customer, I hope you consider the impact that you have on your current customer base. Your revenue is obviously going to be in a better spot now, which again, was a good move. Its the “how” that I think is going to hurt you. Your mission is around helping teams work better together, and a gateway into teams is through individuals. By limiting individual’s ability to understand the full value of your product, you are likely having customers pass you by and not giving your product a fair shot.
To sum it up, I’m glad that you have created a better revenue model, but be careful about the negative effect the execution of that model could have.
I’d be happy to chat if you need any more clarity or if there is anything I can help with. Thanks for making a great product.