Tarsnap price cut

On Tuesday of last week, Google cut prices for their Google Cloud Platform services. Not to be outdone, less than 24 hours later, Amazon responded by cutting prices on several Amazon Web Services offerings, including the Simple Storage Service where Tarsnap stores customer data. Now it's my turn: Effective April 1st (I nearly announced this yesterday, but decided to wait until the April Fools' jokes were out of the way) I'm cutting Tarsnap's bandwidth and monthly storage pricing from $0.30/GB to $0.25/GB.

This will no doubt annoy my friends Patrick McKenzie and Thomas Ptacek, who for years have been telling me that I should raise Tarsnap's prices. But while Thomas accuses me of running Tarsnap like a public utility rather than a business, and thinks this is a characteristic to be avoided, I see this as a high compliment — and so like a good public utility would, I looked at Tarsnap's revenue and expenses (not just the per-GB costs Tarsnap pays for S3 storage, but also S3 per-request fees, EC2 instances, bandwidth, payment processing costs, and what I consider to be a reasonable salary to pay for the time I spend on Tarsnap), realized that I didn't need Amazon's price cut, and decided to pass it on to Tarsnap users.

Does this mean I will always pass on any future Amazon price cuts? I'm not going to make any promises; Tarsnap's operating costs may go up (if I decide to hire someone, for example). Conversely, as Tarsnap grows I may be able to cut prices further, thanks to overhead costs being amortized over more Tarsnap usage, even without any further price cuts from Amazon (and considering how large these recent price cuts were, I'm not expecting to see any more from Amazon in the near future). All I'm saying is that right now I don't feel any need to increase Tarsnap's profit margins, and rather than pocketing money I don't need, it only seems fair to pass this unexpected windfall on.

I hope Tarsnap users will appreciate the savings — but if not, I'm just an email away: I can always sign people up for a special Patrick McKenzie surcharge.

Posted at 2014-04-02 07:10 | Permanent link | Comments
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