How we worked beyond the freemium model to deliver value to large teams and operational intensive businesses
1 year ago, we made a gamble. By introducing the “No Pricing Manifesto”, we set the course for our entire pricing strategy up to this date, and for years to come… The concept? a free-to-use admin-as-a-service with virtually no limitations in terms of usage. The reasoning behind? Alleviate the friction startups had to adopt our product.
To us, it simply didn’t make sense to focus on profitability when we were addressing a completely new, untouched market.
We thus decided to give out Forest for free. To empower new companies, side projects, MVPs, apps, and upcoming unicorns with a powerful admin interface to fuel their operations.
We realised we needed to focus on engaging with our customers to help us secure a leading expertise and build a product people love to use. That’s what we did… and it worked!
What we’ve learnt from the “No Pricing Manifesto”
We’ve seen startups using us from Day-1 structuring their operation and more mature companies (+50 EE) joining us along the way with advanced operational needs.
We learned that as a business grows, operations become more complex. It’s a fact that any startups must confront.
We also understood that well-crafted processes would make the success of a project or break it.
Forest, as the backbone of business operations needed to become the one and only place where all the business units operate and collaborate.
Feedback-fuelled features roadmap
The No Pricing Manifesto not only helped us iterate on our product thanks to myriads of invaluable customer feedbacks and complex situation to solve but also gave us a clear picture of what to do next.
With Forest in the hands of many users, we received ton of valuable feedbacks. One thing became very clear:
Today’s businesses are increasingly and dizzyingly complex bringing a new frontier to productivity: collaboration.
If we wanted to become the hub of operations for all the business units and go after the big fish, we needed to introduce more collaboration and more flexibility within our tool.
After countless nights crafting the future of Forest, we therefore came up with a set of new features (Team-based permission, Activity log, Multiple dashboards, Analytics module, Custom domain & branding, Third-party integrations) to meet the big guys expectations: introducing Forest Pro.
For more information about the pro plan features, please refer to the article “Introducing Forest Premium Features”.
We’ve always wanted to stick with a free option for a regular use of our admin interface empowering all the small projects with a powerful admin tool, from Day-1. While thinking of our pricing strategy for the pro plan, we had to be extremely cautious to stay in line with our initial philosophy. Our pro features are targeted at companies with more structured operations and it didn’t make sense to charge small projects for features they didn’t need.
We simply couldn’t get back to charging our users per seat as we did before the no pricing manifesto. We thought our economic buyers was the developers team while it was actually the business team all along. This pricing model was inhibiting our growth and creating friction for startups to implement Forest. Our penetration rate within the company was very low. It simply didn’t make sense.
Each employee has a different intensity of use of its admin interface. Whether it’s the CEO to simply follow its KPIs or the customer support to perform the daily operational tasks, your usage of Forest is likely to fluctuate and differ across different teams.
We believe our customer should only pay for what they use. That’s why we decided to base our pricing on the level activity on your admin.
For more information on the pro plan pricing, please refer to our pricing page.
A year later, we jokingly refer to the No Pricing Manifesto as the best decision we ever made at Forest!
Forest wants to become THE tool that enables businesses to consistently streamline your processes and operations to help you deliver your service more efficiently and we believe we’re on the right track to do so!
We’re incredibly excited about the road ahead and deeply grateful to the community that helped us build Forest!