Mockingbird Launch: Goodbye Beta Users

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I received an e-mail a few days ago from Mockingbird, the wireframing online software which I constantly used for my project:

Mockingbird will launch on August 15th, 2010

Hurray? No. According to their blog post about the launch and a few posts on Twitter, most users seem quite disappointed and they do have a point. Some say the pay-per-month model doesn’t work for them, as they prefer to pay per project. Others say that pricing is quite weird and the active/archived projects doesn’t make any sense. Some argue about the number of pages limiting for free users.

After some feedback the guys at Mockingbird posted two updates to the post about new plans, the beta plan and the transition from beta to an upgraded account.

I say that Mockingbird simply ditched all their beta users. I’m very disappointed as I loved their service so much, that I constantly mocked up anything that came into my mind – from websites to apps, mobile apps, mind maps, graphs and charts and much much more. Now that they’re shutting the whole thing down I’m moving back to my good old Axure RP and Photoshop. Too bad.

I do think that at some point any startup has to go commercial and make some cash, but restricting access is definitely not the way. Add some new cool features and make Pro accounts with these features. Add new exclusive components and sell access to them. But restricting access to what you’re already working with, what the hell? Imagine Twitter says that in order to post more than three tweets per day you have to get a $10/mo subscription, huh? Or Gmail says that in order to read more than 10 e-mails per day you need a $5/mo subscription.. Rediculous..

About the author

Konstantin Kovshenin

WordPress Core Contributor, ex-Automattician, public speaker and consultant, enjoying life in Moscow. I blog about tech, WordPress and DevOps.


  • I don't think a "pay per month" scheme really works with this type of software. When you want to make a mockup you want to make a mockup. Like you said, when you get in the habit you just start mocking up everything. 2 "active" projects is silly. This is not something like basecamp where it makes sense.

    I think something like $30/year per user with unlimited amount of mock ups makes more sense. Or simply $70 per user with full time use.

    Take a look at Balsamiq mock ups. I personally never heard of Mocking Bird until I read this post, but it seems to be very similar to balsamiq. Balsamiq is made in Adobe Air, so it's kind of cross platform, which is nice. I use it under linux (and you only have to delete your ~/.appdata/balsamiq folder to "reset" the free trial :)

  • I agree with "ubercart themes", a certain dollar per user for full time or a certain dollar per user per month with unlimited mock ups is more realistic and sounds good! Otherwise pay per month scheme seems a bit odd!