Are You Suffocating Your Users With Limits?

Abhishek Patnaik
Surge Startup
Published in
3 min readMay 23, 2023

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Albert Einstein said, “Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them”. The same goes for the user who is using your product. They will go beyond your tool and start using some other tool if you limit your product too much. LOL!

Remember? Excess of everything is harmful.

In today’s blog, we keep things simple, we discuss how you can create limits according to pricing. Thereby helping you with a significant profit margin.

What are Limits?

Limits by definition mean imposing restrictions on the complete app depending upon different plans.

For example, your tool has 3 features namely X, Y and Z. You choose to restrict Y,Z only to premium customers. That’s what limits are.

How does that Impact my product?

It impact’s your product largely. As a Startup, you want to make sure that users are able to explore the solution to their problems. You cant just restrict the USP of your tool or make limits way too complex for users to digest it.

Suffocating the users with Vague Limits

Often CEO, of the company tends to make a pricing offer that starts suffocating the users and they quit using it. Your product might be a ground breaker but it will fail if users find it hard to use.

Let me give you an example from my previous experiences,

I was working as a product manager of a startup a few years ago. The CEO of the company asked us to give an estimate of the server costs so that an efficient pricing plan could be made.

The CEO got inspired by a game made for kids. And decided to add a token for every feature. Now think, how confusing would it be, there were a total of 12 different features inside the product. 12 different feature has 12 different ways of charging token.

Here’s an example of how the pricing page looked.

How did it impact the product?

Well every time, a feature was used customers would be concerned about losing credits. They have to always check the limits page, to confirm that the feature they were using, if that would end their credits.

This made the app usage quite difficult. Now imagine, google starts charging you based on the length of the search query. You would feel frustrated right !! You would switch to some other browsers like Bing or Brave.

The same implies here, the users still think that the product is difficult to use, because of the poor product design.

How to FIX this ISSUE?

Here are a few ways you can make sure that your limits are not killing your customer's interest.

  1. CEOs often take decisions based on their gut feeling, without considering the views of a product expert. It becomes super important to consult with the team and the manager on how the pricing should be.
  2. Always respect the customer's opinion. After we launched the limit change, the user was blown by storm with outrage. The best solution was to remove the limiter with a new easy to understand pricing.
  3. Add a room to upsell your product. You would always want your user to switch to a premium plan. Make sure that you give them “trial access”, so that they can explore the different possibilities of your tool.
  4. Never allow freemium plans(until you have loads of money to spend). If you are offering things for free to your users, you are going to face difficulties after you embed pricing over those free plans. Users won't be ready to pay for it. For example, Phone-pay, a fintech startup, started charging 0.05%-0.2% of phone recharge after giving recharge for free to users. They created a huge customer base, and now they can charge easily. But this happens only when you have a lot of money to build that kind of valuation. If you don’t have money simply don’t offer freemium plans.

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Abhishek Patnaik
Surge Startup

I build product with passion. Follow me for product related blogs.