Hey peeps- apologies for the delay, meant to jump in here quicker. Getting back into the swing of things here after getting back in AZ from our event. :)
Okay so pricing model logic and such. I think for the most part folks are deducing accurately above. But let me put it my own words here to see if its helpful and can shed some light on the ‘why’ of our approach:
Our monetization model is based on the core InVision collaboration platform. Free for Studio is possible because these existing collaboration features are where we make our $$$ (to give you an idea we have 75%+ of the fortune 500 companies using InVision enterprise accounts… thats a lot of people collaborating). The benefit of this setup is it allows us to make the Studio tool accessible to everyone while also naturally baking in incentive for users to pay for an InVision plan if they want to be able to collaborate, add comments, share links, etc. with a broader team or set of stakeholders.
So regardless of who you are, there's no barrier to getting started; you download it for free, there’s no individual/group licensing, etc. Use it free in its entirety locally (including all visual tools, motion tools, prototyping, responsive, etc basically anything contained in native app). If you want to start collaborating with a larger team/stakeholders with comments, sharing links, sharing systems with one another, etc thats when a paid account comes into play via InVision plan.
The logic here as a business is that we make money when you work with more stakeholders, when the team grows, when you join a larger team as an individual, or enter the workforce as student turned professional, etc. Thus collaboration features act as a natural on-ramp to becoming a paying customer in most every situation. We believe this is the fairest path to creating some very powerful multi-wins here: it makes it insanely easy to get started with little risk to the user, the ‘upsell’ point around collaboration is a natural one (and at a point where you’re already likely making money from the tool or part of a team that is investing in and can afford to support tools like this), its not forced, we believe it works at scale well, and there is the added benefit of providing a host of folks with access to a premium screen design tool that didn’t have it before.
Essentially this: our model is such that it scales with the life cycle of the designer while supporting our financial business model at scale. Much more to come here but hope my 2 cents helps provide some clarity in the meantime! :)
Mark- you'll be able to create as many documents and linked prototypes and files as your heart desires locally- there's no restriction on that at all. I think you are alluding to how this will work on existing InVision web platform when collaborating with teams and/or stakeholders though where the output is pushed as sharelinks for commenting. Stay tuned on that, we'll be dropping more info as we get closer to launch. Its a good question and one we've thought a lot about. I suspect you'll like the approach we've settled on. :)
I think this is an amazing model. I work with a lot of young designers and their main contention between tools is the pricing.
Being free, I'm sure InVision is looking at getting into the life cycle, as mentioned above, sooner. Allowing young designers to get started for free makes the transition cost much higher. If you think about how much it took to move away from a tool like PS to Sketch, you'll understand that pain.