[Poll] SmartThings Community! Would you help SmartThings help us?

I personally love the idea and platform that is SmartThings.

BUT…it’s nearly unusably unstable as mentioned in many posts here. It’s so unnerving after adding hundreds of devices and hours into setting it up. My SmartThings buttons work about once a month at this point on average.

I happen to work in leadership in the software industry and know one thing: SaaS costs money to develop, host, and maintain.

SmartThings seems to need help. 99.999% of the time revenue helps enable companies to fix quality/reliability issues. So, would you help them?

(No, I don’t work for SmartThings)

Would you pay a subscription for SmartThings IF it were more reliable?
  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

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No, but I would pay a subscription to maintain access to the groovy ide and compatibility with legacy smartapps and dths.


What if paying is what made it more reliable though?

@SuperSmartHome you seem certain that money will fix SmartThings, where do you get that opinion from?

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For a Yes-No vote, how the question is framed makes big difference (as we’ve seen in real life before and after Brexit). “Reliability” maybe a little vague and meager since common users don’t expect 99.98% reliability, and but certainly higher than 50% (probably 70-80%) in terms of automations working as expected. Where you delineate free and paid probably need to be spelled out (like most service plan Tiers); additionally, since SmartThings has always been free, and the App migration, although announced, was forced on user (by deprecating the classic app before the new app is ready), the degradation in service and the notion of paying for service may not be an easy yes vote right now.

Although I don’t have inside visibility to the SmartThings team, through their youtube videos and forum posts, it feels they are short staffed and over tasked. Backend migration is never sexy and always painful, and its hard for most developers to care much since whatever written is used once-twice and move on. Right now they have one foot in the old boat, and the other in the new. Its a difficult place to be. That said, from management perspective, paid subscription service may convince upper management to add more resources (people, hardware), but they need to put forth a proposed subscription service plan to manage people’s expectation (since now dollars are involved, expectation is assumed).


Experience in the SaaS industry, as mentioned. Recurring revenue means more to invest into people, devops, devsecops, SaaSops, etc.

It’s clear however that they aren’t getting the investment they need- whether it be from above (Samsung) or below (us).

Is it wise to compare SaaS (business to business) to Samsung SmartThings (business to consumer)

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I’m with you on this. The goal should be as high as possible, but of course there’s a road to get there.

Also, this wouldn’t mean EVERYONE needs to pay a subscription. You could say, potentially, regular app users can go free. Automations unlock in a tier, IDE is another tier, etc.

It sure is- this is a SaaS regardless of B2B or B2C. Think Netflix, Amazon, Google, etc…

IDE and groovy are going away - so no charge there :wink:

I am out. A poll that will get way less than 100 votes will not sway ST’s decision making

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But maybe it wouldn’t if they could afford to keep it! Who knows! This post is a shot in the dark- but maybe if the team sees it, maybe this can be some leverage for them.

What makes you think paying for it would make it more reliable? Deprecating the better-featured Classic app was supposed to make the system more reliable; it didn’t. They’re going to say depreciating Groovy and the IDE will make also make the system more reliable. Those things just make it less useful.

None-the-less, I paid more to get a more reliable solution. The end result was all local execution of all automations (something SmartThings still hasn’t delivered after 5 years of owning my v2 hub). Complete control over my home automation. No cloud outages. No “something updated in the platform and now all my devices/automations/etc are gone”.


I am also looking at that system as a cut-over. Again, this is a shot in the dark!

Speaking of, how was the cutover? If you had complex automations, was it difficult to get them over? Debating that and Hubitat until SmartThings sorts their sh** out.

I think the theoretical concept is good, but I don’t think a global megaconglomerate like Samsung is going to be swayed one way or the other by a forum poll that would likely get less than 150 responses. And does not screen for any of the other typical profile data that add context to the responses.

They already spend literally millions of dollars on focus groups and consumer research. I suspect they already know what people would be willing to pay for. And what they are interested in selling.

There’s nothing new about the idea of subscriptions: Samsung has tried a couple of different ones with smartthings in the past, including the failed one for cameras. And a multiple tier level one with the now discontinued Artik.

So knowing whether a tiny group of power users would be interested in paying for a subscription with, say, a 12 month MFOP (maintenance free operating period) isn’t information that is likely to change the trajectory of the decisions Samsung has made for smartthings. Or, to be honest, give them any information they don’t already have.

If you’re willing to pay more money for more reliability, buy any of the other home automation systems which have more reliability now. (Hubitat, Abode, Apple’s HomeKit, Ring + Alexa, ADT Blue, Homeseer, Control4, etc.) That’s a message Samsung will get one way or the other, and likely have much greater impact than a poll response.

Submitted with respect.


To me ST now feels like the strings are pulled from individuals outside of the original Smartthings circle, what we have now is what the ST team can achieve between other commitments requested from above

Just how it feels to me anyway

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As others have pointed out, are there enough active users who would vote to make a point?

Wink made the mistake of acting without user input and without poor timing/ communication, so many users bailed, including I. Wink added cost, but added nothing of value, and at least in my opinion, Wink was far less stable than ST. Wink also could not do much in the way of control as compared to off the shelf ST.

From my perspective, I’m willing to pay a reasonable amount of money, if there is enough use of the service and value add to make it worth the price. Obviously, there are other solutions that are “free”, that will likely drive people away if they start charging. For instance, Google and Wi-Fi enabled devices are much cheaper than ST and Zwave, but you are giving big “ABC” brother all your data, Google never understands you, and the off the Google routines are limited. From my understanding, Hubitat is more stable/local, but you have to invest lots of customization effort, which is a different cost. IFTTT is also now charging a monthly fee for more than 3 self developed applets. The problem I have with IFTTT beyond the cloud delays is that most of the stuff on there either has little value to me (e.g. notify me when the space station passes over my house), or just doesn’t work (LG). There is “no such thing as a free lunch”

The solution I’ve seen for SaaS that seems to make the most sense is a basic free tier, and then $s for added features. The $s could be one time charge or a subscription. Stability should be free.

I’d ask open ended questions to determine desired features and levels of cost. For instance:

You could ask for each item, would you pay tiered monthly fees (say $1 each) for:

  1. Upgraded DHs that expose all functionality
  2. Enhanced Automations
  3. Unique solutions libraries
  4. More C2C service integrations


BTW, This was exactly the business model that Samsung used for the Artik cloud which later became the smartthings cloud (Although that’s not the same cloud as the one that smartthings hubs talk to. Samsung has a long habit of naming multiple things with the same name.)

But it failed, and was discontinued pretty abruptly:

SAMSUNG Discontinuing ARTIK Cloud May 15, 2019 (both paid and free accounts)

Thanks for the Artik reference. I wasn’t aware of the Artik history. Sometimes it feels Samsung takes a Google approach to product development - throw stuff on the wall, leave it for 2 minutes and see if it sticks and move on (e.g, their Samsung SmartThings camera that’s now being discontinued). I understand that business strategy, but the consequence with constant products going to grave is why now I do not trust Google infrastructures, you simply can’t depend a large part of your business on them and be uncertain they’ll changing on a whim. I guess quick product cycle makes sense for the hardware market, but I hope Samsung understand that doesn’t work for SaaS.

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I never asked for a cloud based service…I bought into a device which had local operation and standards compliance as part of us original marketing. I’d sooner pay more for the hub and have it ‘just work’ with zigbee devices. Maybe pay for future updates instead.