I kind of got lucky dodging the Parse bullet -- it was only because I quickly saw in my Parse-based prototype I was going to go over the ~1M interactions per month allowed by the free tier. At the time, the tier I could tell I'd be headed for ratcheted up to something like $100/month. I decided I'd rather just build it myself. Obviously, I'm glad I did now. Mostly because I'm on to some other things now and would hate to have to be rebuilding at this point just to keep my humble (yet very much alive and being used) app running.