Thoughtbot’s ‘FormKeep’ service doesn’t have a plan cheaper than $29 per month. I’m not sure about you, but asking $348 per year for a simple form endpoint strikes me as a bit of a rip-off.
Because you’re thinking about the cost of providing it, not the value it provides. The contact form for qualified leads on a sales site can be worth $100 per submission. $348/y is nothing for the solution to a business problem that Just Works. See barnacles for more.
The other side of the equation is that FormKeep is a business project for them, not a hobby. The fully-loaded cost of an intermediate engineer to maintain FormKeep (though they have Ben Orenstein on it, who is an excellent sr dev) would be ~$150k, divide by $29 and 12 months to see you need 431 customers (who don’t churn!) just to break even. If you lower your price, the math gets a lot uglier, fast. You can get a behind-the-scenes look at FormKeep in the podcast they do about running it and Upcase, Giant Robots Smashing Into Other Giant Robots. It would be a nice earner for a solo dev but seems like a loss for a big consultancy; I don’t understand why they keep running it.
Random note: your “domain” field in the signup flow shouldn’t require “http://” on the front.
When I submitted with curl 'https://asimpleform.com/p/[my form id]' -X POST -d foo=bar -d firstname.lastname@example.org -d foo=baz, I got a 500.
curl 'https://asimpleform.com/p/[my form id]' -X POST -d foo=bar -d email@example.com -d foo=baz
Looks like it could be a nice bit of plumbing. Your two next features should be a dashboard with CSV export and customization of the landing success page (or URL to redir to), it’s super-important for marketers.
Thanks for the barnacles reference. I wasn’t aware of it. I especially like that it’s focused on bootstrapping over VC crap. One of the things I’m known for on Hacker News is recommending against anything VC-funded that’s listed there if it has long-term consequences due to sell-out or crap-out risks. We need more attention on strategies to build things to last that also support more than just founders + investors. Plus success stories like series Basecamp was running.
$348/y is nothing for the solution to a business problem that Just Works
That’s so true. A former client had a subscription to Formstack, which is also a fancy-looking SaaS form, with associated tooling, etc. Said client is a media giant, with a large inhouse team of web developers working on several very well known media sites, yet it made sense to “outsource” something as simple as web forms. Also, the associated tooling made it easy for non-technical business users to create/change forms, which is a huge plus.
Everything old is new again. Remember when web hosting companies offered “form mailers” which were simple cgi-bin end points that would send the values of form submissions? I guess you can sell anything if you put “as a Service” after it–good luck! I hope it takes off for you!