We are releasing Supernotes 1.0 in the next few days, and along with a whole suite of new features we are also introducing pricing plans, selling directly to you, the learner. Here is the reason why we didn't go down alternative paths of monetisation.
All of us at Supernotes are tired of lacklustre education and productivity tools which are offered for "free" to students. In reality, these tools are not free, but are instead sold to educational institutions such as universities. Even though the majority of users are students, universities are the buyers. If at any point the needs of the customer (university) conflict with the needs / wants of the user (student), the developers of the product will invariable choose to prioritise the needs of the party who is paying them.
This shifts an edtech company's focus and resources from where they should be (creating an innovative product that is fun to use and great for learning) to where they need to be due to financial realities (closing a two year deal with a university that wants data analytics). The end result is that many features are added to the platform - features that the actual students never see. When's the last time you were excited to use Moodle, Blackboard and other learning tools where the educational institution is the customer? Students are not the high priority they should be in many student-facing products.
With Supernotes we wanted to cut out the middle man, so we could prioritise your needs and create an awesome learning and note-taking tool just for you. So you can have your notes with you wherever you go, forever.
Privacy is important to us, and we know it's important to you too. Being recent students ourselves and giving up our privacy on Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook (*cough* Cambridge Analytica), and others, we understand the importance of personal data. So with Supernotes, we set out to make sure that your notes belong to you and nobody else. We don't want to share your data with anyone else, unless it's cards on Supernotes that you want to share with friends!
Ads and learning don't really go well together. The entire purpose of an ad is to distract you from your intended activity in order to sell you something. Our vision for Supernotes is a distraction-free collaborative notetaking environment where you can focus on writing and studying. With that in mind, serving ads in between your notes obviously wouldn't be the most helpful feature! That's leads us on to the only remaining option to monetise our product in a sustainable way...
We aren't building features for universities. We don't sell your data. We don't build features for advertisers. We are building great features for you, so we decided we needed to sell the product to you too. In this way, we can sustainably build the best collaborative note-taking platform around, with YOU at the centre of it.
So what are we selling? Charging extra for "premium" features? Nope. We disagree with locking away certain features and giving them only to people who could afford them. We think that is an anti-pattern, and would like everyone to be able to use all of Supernotes' powerful features from the get-go (from deep text search to dark mode).
After a lot of testing, we settled on using a "note card limit". Everyone who signs up to Supernotes receives a free "Starter Pack", containing 50 cards. You can get more cards by referring friends or from promo codes. If you are really enjoying Supernotes and reach your limit, you can upgrade to the "Unlimited" plan for only £3.99 a month - the same price as buying a notepad/coffee/beer every month. It's a subscription, not a one-off payment, so we can continue to innovate and build a better platform as long as you continue to use it.
It's still not much, but it's enough for us. We have a passion to create an awesome collaborative note-taking platform, so if you would like to support us we encourage you to upgrade to Unlimited.
For those of you who participated in the early Beta, we have upgraded all of your cards for free and given you an additional +100 cards as a thank you for being with us from the beginning!