Feeling a lot of very general frustration at the trajectory of 1password. They took venture money a while back, and they're now headed down the path that set at speed.

Venture money means you are committed to an exit-or-perish strategy at all costs, unless you raise enough other funding to buy out your venture investors - and the money for that has to come from somewhere too.

Between here and there, venture funding also commits you to a path of growth at all costs - _some_ metric must be going up and to the right, to facilitate that eventual exit.

1password already had phenomenal market capture and customer retention for mac users, which makes it very hard to push that number up. There are still a lot of people out there who aren't using 1password, so it's possible, but it's clear from their offering that they chose to crank on average revenue per user, instead.

What's the easiest way to crank up ARPU if you already have a committed userbase paying $X/year for upgrades? Find users who will pay $Y/year for upgrades instead - which usually means packaging your product in new ways to appeal to those customers.

Enterprise customers are a common target, and that's who 1password picked.

I am, you are, and so on, no longer the user for which 1password is primarily designed, because we don't make number go brr. CTOs are the customer, and the package is "use this, and you won't have to worry about credential breaches like the giant mess facing Github and Heroku." Telling execs that if their company uses your product, they can sleep at night, is worth exponentially more money than retail sales are.


* 1password 8 is no longer native. The experience for the end user is no longer enough of a priority to justify spending that effort. Exec customers, who won't actually be using the product, are easier to convince of standardizing on something if they recognize it when they see it, so now it's got a single (non-native, HTML-based) UI on all platforms, with the concommitant responsiveness and UI fit issues.


* 1password's blog posts emphasize enterprise risks, like the ongoing Github/Heroku/Travis firestorm, and talk about how safe 1password is _as a company_.


* 1password's "Try it now" page drops you directly into the teams-and-businesses pricing flow. If you want the individual pricing, you can get it, but it's not the default.



* Extensive, sudden, and involved investment in shipping products like SSH Key Management, 1Password Connect, and other service-integration products. I'm sure many developer-shaped customers will also get value out of these, but they're designed to position 1Password against Vault and AWS Secrets Store.

· · Web · 1 · 0 · 1

The worst of it is, I don't even want them to fail here. I think, given the decision to drink poison, they're doing the best they can to survive the experience. I just wish they'd not drank poison, and that they would have kept their focus on individual use.

@owen all this, plus keeping my eye out for alternatives lately.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Transneptodon is a community for people who like stories, games, games about stories, stories about games, probably also computers, cooking, language, and definitely social justice!