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I made http://feeder.co, a Chrome extension to simulate Firefox's RSS live bookmarks back in 2010. Now it has 500,000 active installs on Chrome and our cloud hosted service is netting around 1500 USD each month after costs (1700 subscriptions).

Me and my twin brother have had it as a passive income thingie for years. After a failed attempt at selling it (SaaS metrics are NOT easy) we met a guy who saw some potential and we're finalizing paperwork with our lawyer to create a Swedish limited company right now with him as co-founder. We will try to take the plunge and get it running as a full time company within a couple of years!

Achieving a lifestyle passive income project is surprisingly hard...

I just want to let you know that I've been a feeder user for maybe 3 years now, and I've really enjoyed it. The new Android beta app is pretty sweet so far.

Thanks for giving me a simple place to go after Google Reader shutdown!

Ooo that's awesome to hear. Super happy to find someone using feeder actually. :D Did you run into any issues with the Android beta?

Wow didn't expect to see you here! I've been a paying customer for years (though I had a paying hiatus when a iOS app update left many of my blogs poorly rendered). I had no idea it was just a side project. Keep up the good work.

Wow! Thanks, cool to hear. We're really trying to improve our communication and get our shit together. If you're still a user, or want to talk, we're listening at support@feeder.co.

Pardon my ignorance: but how one actually earns money with chrome extensions?

You can either sell your users data (we get a lot offers for that...). It is not scalable and does not feel good in the tummy. We've been approached by fairly large reputable companies wanting click stream data, and smaller companies wanting everything from DNS misses to adding affiliate links in webpages. These are not good for your users and will not scale. Also Google is constantly cracking down on these schemes and rightfully banning extensions that do this. It hurts the rest of us.

We're focusing on building a great product and a scalable business. Making money from our users should be off something that benefits them as well, like a pro service with more features.

You can ask the user to pay a subscription fee to use the extension. (a freemium model for example).

Then, the user, in fact, pays only for using the back-end API. The front-end, of course, is like a website, """open-source""".

does Chrome Web Store have this feature built-in (to offer and process payments for extensions)?

And yes, Chrome web store allows payments. We have http://braintreepayments.com and http://paypal.com. Having them play together is hard enough...

If you don't mind; How much are costs? What does the backend do? Thanks!

Our servers are costing us around 600 usd per month, Linode and AWS. Here is a screenshot of Linode manager and AWS billing console: http://imgur.com/a/UUQ65. The names of the servers perhaps give it away, but we use redis for message passing, 4 servers that crawl around 100 000 feeds every 10 minutes, 2 cassandra databases storing posts, 1 mega MySQL database for metadata and users (post lists, unread post lists, etc). AWS for SES (e-mail notifications) and S3 (extremely cheap key value store for large items, post contents).

Then we have additional costs of http://chartmogul.com (love. required to know your SaaS metrics) http://intercom.io/ (love love love, awesome product).

Edit: Oh, and after a really bad downtime we're paying for pingdom and statuspage.io. So our total expenses are now probably around 1000 USD per month. Braintree and PayPal also take around 5%-19% of each payment.

Still interested in selling?

I doubt the value of feeder today is such that it's worth selling off... We're trying to grow everything, user-base, product, revenue, and are still figuring a lot of things out. If you wanna talk about it some more, my email is erik@feeder.co

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