Ideas and Validation June 1, 2020

Sidekiq is making $80k/month. Why can't we?

exdeve @exdeve

Hello everyone,
I was wondering lately why are we paying for some things that we need for building a business and other things are free.

For example, we are paying for servers, for CSS templates, for email tools etc but we are not paying for any code needed to build a software product. It's always free.

I get it, it's open source and it's great. Of course, I am using it as well. But let's look at Sidekiq. This package has a freemium model. You pay only for premium features. And those features are great because the author can give his time to them. Why? Because he makes money making this package better.

So what do you think about Premium Package Manager that will help Indie Hackers make money from code packages?

  1. 6

    So what do you think about Premium Package Manager that will help Indie Hackers make money from code packages?

    I personally this this is a great idea—but I'm biased and working on https://premiumjs.com. :)

    @prasanna had a similar idea (we learned, independently of one another), and is working on https://privjs.com/.

    @exdeve, are those similar to what you were envisioning? Or, something different?

    Btw, I wrote a little more about it over on Medium.

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      I am glad I have asked before writing more than a landing page 🤓

      This is exactly what I was thinking of. Well not exactly, because I was thinking about Ruby on Rails community first, not js, but the rest is the same.

      So, when do you plan to release it? When will I get the chance to make money on a package I will write?

      1. 1

        Oh, I don’t have a clear timeline. I hope to have an alpha up in a month or so. Jump on the email list if you haven’t yet and you’ll get the updates! :)

        but I also have a newborn in the house. Lol.

      2. 1

        @exdeve, cool! Glad I saw your post :)

        How would this work in Ruby? I don’t know much about the ruby ecosystem... is there a package manager to interop with?

        If you haven’t seen, take a look at how xs:code handles it (access to Git repos).

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          Yes, rubygems.org handles most of the packages. But I thought about creating my own with paywall.

          Doesn't xs:code do what you want to accomplish? What are the differences between your solution and xs:code?

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            @exdeve, regarding xs:code, sort of but there are two limitations to me—you have to put an auth token in source code for this to work and that’s a big no-no IMO. And, it doesn’t work well with semantically versioned packages. You either get the head of a branch or a static tag, but this strips a lot of the power of semantic package releases via a package manager.

  2. 2

    Well, when i was building a saas, wrapping supplemental services around the primary one was a burden. So If i was building a package then i would be ready to pay some money for such a manager to put building such features on someone else shoulders.

    I also recommend to reach out the creator of Sidekiq and similar packages and ask him directly about it. Some of them are quite responsive and friendly and ready to share their thoughts. I tried :)

    1. 1

      Thanks for the reply. I will definitely do that! :)

  3. 1

    Yes,

    we might see more and more about this in the future.

    Jose of Elixir fame is preparing a product to tackle this called Bytepack:
    https://bytepack.io/

    1. 1

      I see that a lot of people are working on this problem already. Hope it will be something normal in the future

      Thanks for sharing this product :)

  4. 1

    Honestly, I looked for one when starting Nodewood because I absolutely believe that developers will pay money for good code that they don't have to write themselves. I've been approached by a few folks since I've started but I've already written a lot of the infrastructure I'll need. And especially since Nodewood is designed to be the fundamental starting point of the app, I had to customize a lot of how it's installed, etc.

    Ultimately, I expect to code new features as a premium library with free integration with Nodewood, to set up a second revenue source for each new feature, so I'm watching this space with interest.

    1. 1

      Thanks for good words :)

  5. 1

    Ultimately, a code library of any kind is only an arbitrary way for us developers to solve a problem on a very low level.

    I think it depends very much on every package individually whether you could successfully introduce a paid plan or not.

    1. 1

      There’s a few clear use-cases where people are paying already:

      • UI kits (see TailwindUI)
      • themes (e.g., wordpress)
      • ecosystem plugins (like for Wordpress or Shopify)

      A raw code library / developer tool may not be a good fit.

    2. 1

      You are right 100%, it does. I started to search for code libraries that I think can have paid plans and some of them were completely unfitted. They were too small and easy to write or were just something that gave cosmetic changes, they didn't solve any big problem.

      But some of them make a difference and are masterpieces. They SHOULD be paid because authors did such a great job 🏛