Ideas and Validation March 25, 2020

What services do you *actually* pay for?

Peter Thaleikis @spekulatius

Hello everyone,

Ideas and side-projects are great, but not all it needs to be successful. Validating & execution is key, we got this. Yet, I think nothing would come in as handy as knowing what services (online services) people actually pay for. So was wondering, if you are happy to share which services you are actually paying for (or paid for in the past)?

For me, it's these services:

  • Domains (mostly on Cloudflare by now)
  • Hosting (Digital Ocean)
  • Backblaze (backup storage)
  • Laravel Forge to manage DO instances
  • Google Suite for emails on one of my companies (might change to Protonmail)
  • Buffer (annual plan, not sure if I continue)

That's it - surprisingly low number in general and only one SaaS service. I guess I'm not representative though - I've got work-arounds for many things others might pay for. How does it look for you?

This is a cross post of my post on Makerlog ( Just FYI.

    1. 1

      Ah, thanks for sharing. I actually haven't seen this one before. Quite different to my list - more services

  1. 2

    Hey Peter, it sounds like you've been thinking along the same lines as I have. I wrote recently about how many people are building things that don't match up with what people are paying for:

    Let me know what you think.

    My payment list:

    • FrontendMasters ($39/mo) - Training as I develop my app
    • ($29/year) - Responsive browser to improve front end dev speed
    • Landen ($29/mo) - rapidly develop landing pages. My favorite expense as it saves time, saves money, and makes me money all in one.
    • ($19/mo) - podcast hosting for podcast.
    • Mailchimp ($10/mo) - email list
    • G suite ($6/mo) to get a domain email address ([email protected])
    • Ahrefs ($99/mo) Content Marketing research tool
  2. 2

    Mine from the last couple of years

    • Domains (NameCheap)
    • Hosting (DO)
    • Courses (Frontend masters, egghead, Babbel)
    • 1Password
    • PSN Plus 🎮
    • Notion
    • Apple Cloud
    • Adobe services (all-access, but with student discount)
    • EpidemicSound (music for YouTube)
    • Spotify

    Probably this list is going to be bigger soon because I have a lot of free stuff as student and it's my last year. Mostly by GitHub student pack.

    1. 2

      Looks fairly similar actually. Thanks for sharing!

  3. 2
    1. Domains on Google
    2. Google Cloud Pay as you Go (Firebase, Functions, Tasks, Storage)
    3. Apple and Play store annual fees (for mobile apps)
    4. G-Suite
    5. Stripe
    6. Mailgun
    1. 1

      I'm using Mailgun too - but it's still in the free quota for me :) Thanks for sharing!

      1. 2

        They have removed their free plan. We were also in the free plan and we moved to 35 dollar plan

        1. 1

          Yeah, I remember the email but didn't really look into it. Probably should lol

          1. 2

            Yes you should :) March 31st is the deadline to move I guess

            1. 1

              Ah, okay. Where did you go?

              1. 1

                we started paying for the service.

                1. 1

                  ah okay. I don't think it will cost a lot as I'm barely sending any emails...

      2. 1

        on free tier myself too, but had to move to pay service, which it's still cheap (for my purposes)

  4. 2

    Since my product is in the consumer space and I don't quite have the design chops, I do pay designers for one-off designs/illustrations that I think are important.

    1. 1

      Same here - I hire a designer for minor things occasionally. Also a English proof-reader as I'm not a native speaker and don't want to make an idiot of myself when publishing content.

  5. 1

    I pay for or would pay for (being now on free plan):

    • domains (local registrar)
    • hosting (Digital Ocean, Netlify)
    • git hosting (GitHub, GitLab, BitBucket)
    • email (ProtonMail and Zoho)
    • email marketing (MailChimp)
    • invoicing (used self-built tool for a long time, but automated help with tax returns/taxes is great)
    • analytics (Fathom Analytics)
    • occasional graphic designer
    • financial services + insurance (Revolut)

    They sure are others that I would pay for if needed. Also some personal things like Netflix (but I am also very quick on cutting up this kind of costs).

    1. 1

      Awesome, thank you! Let's see what people are responding :)

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