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Tarsnap pricing change (daemonology.net)
51 points by cperciva 10 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 10 comments

> so making this change on the Tarsnap website brings it in line with the reality of the billing system

Seems hard to argue against this.

> The topic of picodollars has become something of an ongoing debate between us, with Patrick insisting that they communicate a fundamental lack of seriousness and sabotage Tarsnap's success as a business, and me insisting that using they communicate exactly what I want to communicate, and attract precisely the customer base I want to have.

This is the most important line from the post IMO. (Small typo btw.)

I admire and am envious of Colin. He's making a good living doing something he likes that he built himself, selling a service that has real value, and without sacrificing his integrity in some way.

I think wealth can be a sort of drug where people want more and more and will do anything to get it -- whether it's selling user data, manipulating people with dopamine rushes, lying, making money off of nazis, or whatever. It doesn't have to be that way.

without sacrificing his integrity

Just to be clear, I don't think that pricing Tarsnap in picodollars is a matter of integrity. Nobody would suffer if I got rid of picodollars.

It's one part whimsy and about nine parts branding. Just like how Stripe launched with a curl command line on the front page of their website, the presence of the word "picodollars" is a shibboleth which says "we're geeks, just like you".

This is exactly the right mix of nerdy and petty, hard to guess if it's just an April Fools' or not.

It makes me sad that you think I'm petty.

Sorry, that's probably the wrong word for it. I meant the vibe of "Patrick really wanted me to change this, so I did, but not quite how he had envisioned".

Maybe you're looking for the word "trolling"? I mean, that's kind of the essence of April Fool's jokes.

Gentle ribbing is how I'd put it.

I'm a very happy customer, btw. Thanks for your work!

Wait, was there a $/gigabyte day pricing thing before? Because if it was quoted solely in picodollars per byte before non technical people who weren’t willing to google would have no idea. With the change whimsy is preserved and legibility increased. Normal consumers know gigabyte and day.

Wait, was there a $/gigabyte day pricing thing before?

I can't remember if it was there at the very beginning; but the $/GB translation has been there for years.

Since the per byte cost is below my rounding threshold and looks like either zero or maxint, I suggest we simplify the model and charge every user the rand (0, 1) throw of zero or maxint dollars irrespective of how much data they store.

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