So it's been almost exactly 3 years sine the first commit to the Vendure repo, and today we launched v1.0!
This launch sets the stage for the next phase of the project: community growth. This is where focus will shift to encompass more marketing, partnership and community-building efforts.
The end-goal business-wise is an open-core model where we sell paid plugins on top of the open-source core framework. To make that viable we need a critical mass of users. So that's the next target!
Release announcement: https://www.vendure.io/blog/2021/05/announcing-vendure-v1.0/
An agency that used Vendure for a major project recently wrote about the experience.
Great article that discusses why they chose Vendure over incumbents such as Shopify & Magento.
I had a call today with a web dev agency who are using Vendure to power the national online retail application of a major European supermarket chain.
I can't reveal any specifics of the company, but if you live in Europe you probably have heard of it.
We chatted about the development & scaling challenges involved and about what features they are missing. It was extremely useful to hear about what issues they have run into - they are operating on a much larger scale than other projects I've seen so I was able to learn about what parts of the framework need attention in this regard.
The project is in the latter stages, and I hope to be able to generate an in-depth case-study once it goes live.
This past week saw the independent publication of 2 articles featuring Vendure - a first as far as I am aware.
The first is an evaluation of modern e-commerce frameworks: https://www.monterail.com/blog/e-commerce-platform-comparison
The second is a technical tutorial on production deployment: https://dev.to/oncode/how-to-setup-a-vendure-e-commerce-api-on-a-dokku-droplet-3enc/
Nice to see some community and name recognition forming around the project!
After around 2 years working on the open-source ecommerce framework vendure.io, I got my first paying customer!
It was unexpected - I was approached via my Slack channel by a company who are evaluating frameworks for building a new product on top of. I provided 2 days of consulting to help speed up their evaluation of Vendure.
Support/consulting is not my goal in terms of business model, since it doesn't scale so easily. But it's still exciting to start seeing enough interest in my work that companies are willing to pay for my time!
Yesterday the Vendure Slack workspace passed 100 members! It has been really rewarding to grow our small community and interact daily with developers who are building things with Vendure.
Slack has also proven to be a great tool for business development leads - quite a few initial contacts on Slack developed into video calls with potential for future collaboration.
At the suggestion of a friend, I did a "soft launch" by posting to Hacker News and Reddit.
The Hacker News link was swallowed into the void. 3 upvotes, a couple of comments and about 20 visits to the GitHub repo. Posted around 11am CET Tuesday morning, so maybe the timing was off (US was asleep).
Also resulted in about 50 extra stars on the GitHub repo, which always helps.
I've just published my first blog post which is not just a release announcement: https://www.vendure.io/blog/2019/09/vendure-tooling-overview-of-a-modern-developer-toolchain/
I guess it could be considered "content marketing". Right now my target audience is developers so I've written a very developer-focused piece.
Personally I can't stand the typical low-effort listicle-type content marketing piece ("7 awesome jQuery plugins you need" etc), so I wrote something that I would write anyway for my personal blog, but put it on the Vendure blog instead.
I'm quite happy with this since it scratches my itch for technical writing whilst also (hopefully) getting people curious about the project itself.
Vendure has been in "beta" for a couple of months now. In the past weeks I've started to get my first real users building projects with Vendure!
First a developer from Italy reached out indicating interest in developing an e-commerce project with Vendure. I quickly set up a Slack workspace and we chatted about it. Now he's working with another developer on 2 real projects! So far this has been really exciting and an excellent source of feedback.
I posted a link to the Slack via the Vendure Twitter account (~200 followers) and now we have a grand total of 6 members in Slack!
I'm about to add a link to the Slack workspace on our website and see if I can build up the community a bit.
Vendure is still not at the point where I'm ready to go into "marketing blitz" mode, but a slow and steady increase in active community members makes sense.
I needed to build an ecommerce solution in a modern way, using the tools I know - node, TypeScript. No existing framework had what I needed. I figured that others are looking for it too.