RFC pico pro

on team pico's blog

A proposal for supporting pico services

We are building a few services that would be expensive to maintain over time without requiring financial support. Instead of asking users to pay for each service individually, we'd rather bundle them all into a single umbrella, pico pro.

Pico pro would be a subscription service, but I don't want to manage subscriptions. Instead I think what we should do is require a year subscription but the user would have to manually review every year. We would send an email notification prior to the subscription ending to ask users to renew.

I also want to employ the sourcehut payment plan where each "tier" offers the same level of features but we allow users to contribute more if they want.

# Pricing

Requiring a year subscription has a few benefits:

# Payment services

The obvious choice is Stripe. But we could investigate other options if Stripe is too restrictive or expensive.

# Technical details

It would be great if we could figure out a way to have users submit their payment within our CMS. If not then we'll need to send users to a javascript-enabled site.

I think inside the CMS we should have CTAs that nudge users to pico pro. We would have a sub-app dedicated to describing pico pro and why to upgrade. If a user does upgrade they should probably see a fancy banner that indicates they are pro members. I think adding a "support" section could be interesting that opens an IRC client to a private channel for pico pro users. This would be a great way to get immediate support from us.

Right now when you log into the CMS you see the following sections:

Set username
Manage posts
Manage keys

For non-pro members they would see:

1Set username
2Manage posts
3Manage keys
4+ Pro

For pro members they would see:

1Set username
2Manage posts
3Manage keys
4+ Pro
5+ Support

# What services require payment?

Anything that requires extra resources to fund that increases price based on usage. For example, our image hosting service is going to be expensive to maintain so we want to charge. Basically if it costs us extra time or resources to maintain the service then we want to charge for it.

# Open source contributions

We want to take a portion of the proceeds to donate to open source projects we are using. We use lets encrypt so that would be an obvious choice.

I think we should try to contribute 25% of profits to open source. We can play around with the percentage.

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