Why Price Transparency is Critical for SaaS Products

Ben Staples
5 min readApr 1, 2021

Originally published on www.Ben-Staples.com

I recently had a pretty frustrating experience with a Saas (Software as a service) product I love which really hammers home the importance of price transparency.

I live my life off of Trello (includes a referral link) to organize everything, whether it is task lists for work, or even tracking movies I want to watch. Sometimes Trello doesn’t cut it for me however. Tom Favaloro, one of the best Product Managers I’ve had the chance to work with, introduced me to Airtable (also a referral link).

The main difference between Airtable and Trello is that while Trello has a kanban card based foundation, Airtable’s core is an excel like data entry table that can be manipulated into different views.

Trello Logo
Airtable Logo

The main reason I’ve used Airtable for different projects is because of its ability to visualize links from one field of data to another, and to tie changes to one record to others. A great example of needing to do this could be searching for a property to purchase. You could have a sheet of different properties, and another of different owners. Each property could have more than one owner, and each owner could have more than one property, but Airtable makes it extremely easy to track changes and notes across the two.

The big challenge for SaaS providers like Airtable and Trello is that they offer an incredibly awesome free product, and then need to figure out ways to monetize that product and convert free users into paid. The key here is doing this without blindsiding users.

Trello and Airtable have both built out add ons, power ups (as trello calls them), or blocks / apps (as airtable calls them) that gives users exposure to how cool the functionality is in an attempt to get users hooked and reliant on those features. Airtable gives you a free trial period, and Trello has taken the approach of giving you one free power up per board, requiring an…



Ben Staples

Ben Staples has over 7 years of product management and PMM eCommerce experience from at Nordstrom, Trunk Club, and Vistaprint . Currently based in Chicago IL