by Cesare Rocchi

The fallacy of almost free

by Cesare Rocchi

The entry level tier of Parse was so generous that it felt like the service was free. I think this has led some developer to reason along the lines of:

I don’t pay for that service, so I don’t need to charge for my app.


I can charge less, because I don’t have recurring costs for the servers.

That is unhealthy. Not just for developers but also for users. There’s probably gonna be some bending over backwards to port an app running on Parse somewhere else, with potential interruptions for the customers.

I hope that this misadventure is a wake up call for everybody, including me, to raise the bar and aim at a healthier ecosystem.

A few years ago I had a presentation titled “Choosing a backend for your mobile app: don’t roll the dice”. Since then the list of alternatives has grown like crazy.

If I had to pick I’d look for a sustainable one, that has been around for a few years. I’d look at their blog and try to read between the lines the message “we are here to stay”. It’s more relevant than having an SDK for the latest-and-greatest-cool-programming-language.