And even if you were skeptical of the specs and the team, Airtable has not been a bright shiny example of performance or scale. I think 25% of @ScottWorld 's massive list of functional shortfalls is related to performance or scale. The scale of these tools comes in two flavors - horizontal adoption in the enterprise (i.e., access control, synching, etc) and data throughput (i.e., max rows, automation runs, script timeouts, etc).
It doesn’t matter if they are perceived as watermelons or apples - both products have shortfalls given specific contexts (e.g., you must use predicates for any declaration of success). Sometimes the shortfall is the implementer who knew (or should have known) the technology was ill-prepared to perform. These are constraints, not necessarily failures.
So many rescue cases I’ve worked on got to crisis levels because the implementers - both internal builders and external consultants - failed to consider the question of fitness of purpose. Who should be blamed for this? The platform? Or the implementers?
The implementers sleep well at night by pointing to the specifications to unfairly place blame on the platform. This doesn’t carry any weight with me. Fixed automations is a ceiling you need to factor over time, not just day one. Blaming failure on platform specs doesn’t put finer points on the nature of performance, which is predicated on many things including, but not limited to:
- The client-side memory and compute stack.
- The performance impact of API calls used for polling.
- The lack of investment in event-based architectures.
- The flagrant use of fields as intermediate value-holders and computations.
- The lack of script profiling and optimized use of the SDKs.
- The data model itself.
- The big one - a failure to craft the solution with a deep appreciation for operational vs. strategic data management.
We’re WAY off-topic in this thread now, and I wish it were as simple as establishing these products as two types of fruits. Our comparisons of these platforms are often as poorly crafted as our pre-assessment of performance or inability to gauge fitness for specific solutions.
My recent observation is about the nature of the two companies - one with vast resources ($1.2b and 1,000+ people) vs. one with minimal resources and a development team you can count using fingers on one hand.
SmartSuite is certainly not solving “all” of the pain points that Airtable has failed to solve. However, it’s my experience that the smaller, tighter team is more likely to do so.