With the growing catalog of Shifts, it makes sense to offer a subscription where users may run Shifts for their projects.
I created two plans to mirror Laravel's release cycle:
Both plans are offered for individual or unlimited projects.
After a candid conversation with Adam Wathan, I realized the staggered pricing for Shifts was confusing. Although the slightly decreasing price as you upgraded versions was "fun", it wasn't predictable. Especially since it increased slightly when new Laravel versions were released. So the Laravel 5.4 cost $15 in March, but $17 in September.
Instead I created 3 price tiers:
Shift has been run more than 10000 times. Nearly a year ago it was 5000 runs. Shift has consistently doubled year over year for two years.
Also had the opportunity to speak at Laracon US 2018. Even larger audience this year at nearly 700. I felt more comfortable talking about Shift by using run metrics to guide development habits.
Monthly revenue has been consistently above $4000 a month for the entire year. March and September being near $7000 when new versions of Laravel were released.
While this is not more than I make at the "day job", I have been saving. So I am going to give myself all of 2019 to work full time on Shift.
Starting to count the milestones in bigger leaps now. A little over a year ago was at 1000. Now at 5000!
With two new major versions released for Laravel each year, the catalog for Shift continues to grow. I continue to notice users running Shifts across multiple versions at a time.
Shift made $4000 a month!
I feel the largest contributing factor was speaking at Laracon US 2016. I only mentioned Shift in passing during my talk, but it was to 400 potential users. The conference was also closely followed by the release of Laravel 5.3. So it likely remained top of mind.
Today I increased the prices. I'm still using staggered pricing to incentivize users to stay current. I doubled the price of the Laravel 5.0 Shift to $14 as it is the oldest version. I raised the Laravel 5.1 Shift from $4 to $7, and the Laravel 5.2 Shift from $2 to $5.
In less than a month Shift received 100 uses. I received all sorts of feedback from users and have been working to implement all of their notes to improve the automation.
Had some big names in the community run Shift as well, including Freek Van der Herten, Jeffrey Way, and even Taylor Otwell.
After 5 weeks of building on nights and weekend, I launched an MVP of Shift. It offered automated upgrade services for Laravel 5.0, Laravel 5.1, and Laravel 5.2.
I staggered their pricing with older versions being more expensive. The Laravel 5.0 Shift was $7 and the Laravel 5.2 Shift was $2!
I received 4 customers on the first day and Taylor retweeted this tweet the following week.
Devs should focus their energy on building features, not spending hours making tedious changes upgrading to the latest version. At the same time, software can't be allowed to get too outdated. Shift bridges this gap.