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19 Comments

Why I Didn't Open-Source My Second SaaS

  1. 4

    Thanks for sharing! I was actually thinking about open sourcing our app - it was super useful to get your thoughts :)

    1. 3

      Glad you found it useful!

      Just to clarify, I don't want to disencourage people from open sourcing their projects if it would make sense in their case.

      Just wanted to share an alternative point-of-view to the many success stories out there.

  2. 2

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Very valuable learnings on how the real world often behaves quite differently than the world we imagine in our heads.

    Did you read the recent blog post from Elastic / Kibana on how AWS took advantage of their open source code?

    1. 2

      Yes I’ve been following a discussion on HN, lots of interesting thoughts

      https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25833781

      1. 1

        Yep, that's the one! HN community being pretty harsh tho :D

  3. 2

    This is really great! Thanks for sharing this.

    This post sparked an entire discussion around open source and what it stands for in my team. Great food for thought!

    Looking forward to the reflection "some day" :)

  4. 2

    Thanks for sharing!

    I think it is healthy to set clear expectations on the open-source side of things. Even if you don't spell them out to people, just to have a mindset and an "internal policy" for yourself.

    1. 1

      Completely agree. By the way I've been following the Healthchecks.io blog, lots of great content - not to mention, thank you for providing the service!

  5. 2

    100% with you on this. My first SaaS was Graphite Docs. It was in the privacy and blockchain space, so it made total sense to open source it and let people self-host. My GitHub backlog grew to hundreds of issues I’d never be able to get to. While I don’t think that’s the reason Graphite failed (I’ve written a lot about the reasons), I am not interested in open sourcing my new SaaS.

    Perligo is built for writers, and while there is overlap in the writing and technical communities, I think there is less demand for a product like Perligo to be open source. But regardless, I need to have a go at building a product without having to maintain the source code for others. I just want to maintain it for me.

    Great post!

    1. 2

      I need to have a go at building a product without having to maintain the source code for others. I just want to maintain it for me.

      But now you're maintaining it for your customers/users 🤔😁

      Get what you're saying tho open source can be very unrewarding because people just expect you to work on it for free and make it better, requesting a shitload of features and getting mad if it's not happening fast enough haha 🎉

  6. 2

    Awesome stuff.

    I'm having trouble with setting up Google Analytics for one of my sites so I tried out PanelBear.

    Works like a charm.

    1. 1

      Happy to hear that!

  7. 2

    Thanks for sharing this.. I am thinking through similar decisions.

  8. 1

    Can i know your first open source saas is? The article never seem to mention it at the beginning, it is a clickbait?

    1. 1

      definitely no click bait now, should mention it, already out source at 1k star, just ping more traffic. I am also somewhat agree, the more niche / the less competition, you should keep your project closed source, funding the project further

    2. 1

      It’s traduora.com , still going but only as open source.

  9. 1

    Unless it's a utility lib, a framework, or an app about security, I don't see any reason to open source it.

  10. 1

    Thanks for sharing your perspective, it makes a lot of sense.

  11. 1

    Great article. I had the same experience with an open source product that we also offered as hosted at my previous job. As solo founder you should pick your battles wisely.

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