by Justin Collins

Price Transparency With Brakeman Pro

Pricing in the static analysis security tool (SAST) world is difficult. Do you charge per project? Per repository? Per line of code? Per language? Per user? What defines a “user”? None of these approaches are very satisfying, because no single approach will cover all types of customers.

Instead, companies come up with per-customer pricing. Meaning they will look at a potential customer’s needs and size, and then come up with a number they think the customer might be willing to pay.

Then the negotation dance begins, where the customer attempts to talk the seller down 20-50% from the initial quote (which was kind of made up anyway).

To me, that’s stressful, time-consuming, and a little shady.

Personally, I do not want to deal with salespeople (and their relentless follow up emails/calls) just to get a rough idea of what a product will cost.

With Brakeman Pro, I wanted to be upfront and honest with customers. That’s why, as far as I know, we are the only commercial SAST with publicly-available pricing.

Want to purchase a license? You can buy with a credit card on the website and you never have to talk to anyone! That is the kind of interaction I like to have with a company - not “request a quote” or “contact us for pricing”.

Does that mean we make less money than if we had hidden price lists and made up numbers based on what we think a customer would pay? Almost certainly. Our customers range from companies making billions per year to individual users. It would be “smarter” to have the large companies pay more.

But the “mission” of the company is not to maximize profit. It is to fund development of a security product that will help make the world a little safer.

That is why it has been more important to me that we focus on number of customers, rather than overall revenue.