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Ask HN: What should I do with my side project that has 14,000 users?
17 points by albertgoeswoof on Sept 28, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 17 comments
I have around 14,000 users of a web app and chrome/firefox extension I wrote a few years back. Usually I see 300 users a month logging in, and approximately 1,300 active monthly users (you don't have to log in to use it).

It gets ~20+ users a week registering, mostly through direct / social referrals, as the service is built around sharing URLs. The number of chrome extension installations remains constant at 13-14,000.

I have maybe a couple of hours a week spare to work on it.

What should I do with it?

You can see it here: https://tab.bz/

Given that you don't want to sink a lot of time into this, I think a donate button is your best option.

A freemium version might work if you can identify and implement a feature your users would be willing to pay for.

Unless you are financially independent, sell it if you can

I did look at this, but the only people willing to buy were the kind of outfits that will immediately load it with spyware. Where could I find someone who wouldn't do this and would pay a reasonable amount?

Curious how you know they'll load it with spyware. Not doubting you, but just curious what the signs are that tipped you off.

There are a few things that combined point to an unfavourable outcome for users:

- They offer to purchase the chrome extension, and have no idea that there's a web service behind it that makes it work. When I explain how it works they just ignore it completely / don't understand

- They offer an increased price if we have active users and users in high value geographies (e.g. USA, UK, Japan)

- They are from Russia

- googling the company sometimes reveals that they are an extensions monetisation service, or related to one, and can be integrated in a couple of lines of code (a script tag)

- sometimes they just say what they're planning to do if you ask

The offers are around $1000 USD. My morals have a price but it's a lot higher than that!

Generally I ask what their plans are going forward to extend the product and it's obvious they have none plus don't even know what the product is. When they just want to know the user base and location of the users that's a really bad sign.

> sometimes they just say what they're planning to do if you ask

Haha, I wonder why they would do that.

Haha, people are usually very straightforward with what they plan to do with it. Most of them don't feel guilty about it and usually justify that every other person does it.

Have a chat with Empire Flippers or one of the other brokers, they seem to be quite well spoken about around here.

How much are you willing to let it go for?

I am not sure, depends who's buying :-)

contact@tab.bz if you're interested in discussing

Maybe try with a donate button somewhere, it might give you insight if people are (even) willing to pay for it? You could still sell it afterwards but if you received donations it at least shows potential buyers it raises interest.

hmmm, why not monetize it somehow?

any suggestions on how? Subscriptions seem unlikely to yield significant results, and ads suck...

- Free — one ad related to the combined list of tabs (stackoverflow / programming blogs links => tech job offers).

- 1€$/mo (billed annually because banking fees) to remove those ads.

Ads are a necessary evil when the average person considers that software has no cost.

I quite like the relevant ad suggestion there actually. I would be surprised if there was an ad network that could give consistently relevant results?

The Carbon network has high quality, relevant ads for developers. You might want to look into it.


You could try a tip jar (not a donate button) and Patreon.

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