I’d like to see Sketchup adopt what I call the Agenda pricing model. I loved Sketchup before, but don’t like the pricing/subscription model that now requires me to pay rent forever to use it, regardless of my needs.
IMHO (and many others), the folks at Agenda have found and implemented the perfect balance:
They have a very robust free-forever version, just like you, but it is not online only.
Buying into their "Premium” version includes:
- 12 months of all new features
- Keep all of that “forever"
- Includes all basic upgrades forever (ie it also keeps working through OS changes)
- After that year, pay again whenever Premium features are worth it to you. Or just stick with what you already have if you don’t want the new features.
- No lock-in to use what you already paid for
No required “subscription”, yet the incentives are perfect. Developers can just keep adding improvements and features without waiting for the next big version to entice upgrades. They are incentivized to improve significantly continuously, or folks won’t pay again. Modest entry pricing, so there is a low barrier to entry and the same low level to buy new updates helps users to buy and try Premium. No “big releases” to hold out features for, just continued improvement, and users can wait 18 months, or 2 years if they aren’t enticed by improvements and features (I suspect many upgrade after the year is up just because they love the model so much).
They also have a great user community forum, where you rarely find any complaints beyond users wanting more features. And they are always straight with users, never evasive.
There are details on their pricing model here: A ‘Cash Cow’ is on the Agenda
I hope Trimble considers this, as it really is the right thing to do, and no doubt will restore a level of trust was lost when they downgraded the free version and switched to a subscription model.