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About the goodwill of people: 4,500 users and 0 donations (pretzelhands.com)
14 points by pretzelhands 11 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 24 comments

Having looked at the tool, I'm wondering what OP expected. I "used" it for 10 seconds, and am still wondering why I'd need it or what the provided value is over "extract colors and order them in a list". Color scheming shouldn't start in your editor IMHO.

Paid use is based on perceived utility, and donations (to me) go to a perceived need (and if there's utility on top, that's great). This app doesn't cry "I need money to do X", so I'm not sure why the author even expected donations, and "boatloads of traffic" isn't a reason that gets me to donate, really.

The about starts with:

>This tool was created to solve my own problem.

You create a very simple tool for yourself that can do exactly one thing and expect people to pay for it? And 4500 site accesses is absolutely nothing, by the way.

The main problem here are your unrealistic expectations.

I contribute to OSS that is used by millions of people. Certainly I should be a millionaire? No, that's not how it works.

I have released dozens of packages reaching hundreds of thousands of people and, according to SO, helped devs millions of times in different ways. In total I have been donated the amount of $10 (lifetime). I am considering different ways of making revenue now from my side projects since it is not sustainable.

I even had a horrifying experience when someone pretended he was donating only to get me to use his cryptocrap. What a f* waste of time that was.

Probably the only ones who can make it out of donations are the best known devs in their fields like Sindre Sorhus [1]. Others, while also really well known, have gone the open-source-but-pay-for-pro route like TJ [2] and John O'Nolan [3]. Thinking you can live purely of passive donations is, at best, naive.

Here are the statistics of 30k users and 80k page views on my latest project that netted those $10: https://twitter.com/FPresencia/status/955782847230431232

[1] https://www.patreon.com/sindresorhus

[2] https://github.com/apex/up#pro-features

[3] https://ghost.org/pricing/

People on ProductHunt are interested in products in general. The cross over between ProductHunt users to <your product> users can, and often is, zero. Getting a ton of traffic from there only means your product is new to people who are interested in seeing new products; there is no reason to believe they're ever going to be customers even if they come and see what you've made.

Not getting any customers from DesignerNews is more of a problem, and probably indicates something is wrong with your call(s) to action. They're obviously not working, or your product isn't useful. Ideally you should have set it up to capture user information before launching, because then you'd be in a position to ask the people who visited why they didn't buy. It's a little late for that now.

.colors() isn't exactly groundbreaking and there are plenty of free color scheme apps/sites out there that are more full-featured.

That was my thinking too: slick looking and all, but you can actually pretty easily do it yourself if you are a web dev. Most people use truly amazing frameworks for free, I don't think they would donate for this.

This reflects my experience too. Several years back I made an input method for typing pinyin with tones [0] and released it for free with a donation button.

In 5 years and tens of thousands of downloads I could count on two hands the number of people who had made a donation. Then I put the download link behind a 'pay what you want, including zero' button, and I made more in one month of that than the previous 5 years of donations.

Asking for donations is a poor way to monetize your product.

0: https://www.pinyinput.net/

There still persists this idea that all you have to do is "built it, and they will come", a la Field of Dreams (1989).

First off, that's not the right quote. It's "If you build it, HE will come." He being "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, a baseball playing ghost. And if you're basing your marketing strategy on baseball playing ghosts, you need to go back to school. Ghosts don't have any money, they can't buy your product. Baseball playing ghosts didn't even fund the REAL field of dreams, just down the road from me where they filmed the movie. The movie itself brought popularity and prosperity to the field, and since the movie was almost 30 years ago, the field is fallen on hard times.

But lastly, and this bit of insight came from my grandmother: It never amazes me when people offer something for free, and then get mad when people take them up on that offer. You did it. You chose to make it free to use. You put a tip jar out on the counter, sure, but ultimately the thing is free with no strings attached.

visitors != users. With an average visit time of 24 sec, I guess most of the 4500 "users" are people who, like me, found a link, clicked out of curiosity, spent a few seconds figuring out what it was and playing around a bit, and then moved on.

Hey HackerNews! Thanks for all the.. uh. Tough love. Your message has been received loud and clear and I will definitely try to do better next time before being whiny.

You'll hear from me again!

> You'll hear from me again!

I'm glad to hear that!

And good luck, I'm one of those who love smaller projects submitted on show HN.

There are utility site where I _do_ pay a small donation almost immediately, when I see how useful it is to me in an immediate sense, and there are other where I will kick the tyres, and leave thinking that no, this really doesn't save me time/energy/frustration etc.

Not to disparage your work and your site. It looks great, and your call to action to donate is quite clear, but to me, at first glance, looks like about a half dozen other sites that I have in my bookmarks bar.

Perhaps if you differentiated your site a little more from the others, so that I could see an immediate benefit, then you might be more successful.

Here is a use case that would be an instant hit with me. We are in the process of redesigning our logo for our SaaS app, and along with the redesign/rebranding, I would like to ensure that all the design elements on our web app conform to a similar colour palette.

If I could upload my new logo to your site, and it would magically give me the Bootstrap CSS files for a few alternative colour layouts that take into consideration the Bootstrap .success, .warning, .danger etc. qualifiers, then it would be an instant $10 to $20 pinged across to you from me.

Maybe your site does that? I don't know - a cursory look didn't tell me how it could be of value to me...

Is this a joke? There are about a thousand projects / things I would rather donate to before a trivial color visualizer.

If you make a product based on donations then you should never expect any revenue from it. If you want some revenue from it, then charge your customers.

Also, getting no donation from 4500 visitors is not really bad nor good. People do not donate often (because you can't donate every time someone ask for a donation).

I think its a bit of a misconception to think that such a volume in traffic _should_ result in a donation. If one was of the mindset that getting 4k traffic is cool then this would be time for excite but as the expectation has been to make a little off this the outcome is sad.

Before we flame him too much, just read where he comes from:


Nevertheless, that type of 'tool' is too trivial for me to even think about donating. Actually, I still don't know what it is supposed to do. I mean, okay if you don't know how to read hex-colors you can use the normal dev-tools color pickers or some color picker which suggests other fitting colors, but just a tool to visualize and let you change the order of an array of color codes?!? Sounds like something you would write in jsfiddle.

You can get 5,000 visitors from an unusually clever tweet, it's a literal nothingness in the context of tens of billions of web visits a day. This guy needs to try a little harder before looking to cash out.

If you really want people to donate, (this is on mobile) make it way way way more obvious than the third of four icons on the side. And I get the beer mug concept, but that still doesn’t scream “donate” to me.

Also anyone with a lick of JS experience could make this in less than an hour.

Also 4500 isn’t a lot.

4,500 is larger than a lot of cities in the Midwest, and Census data shows that in many of those communities, everyone is under the poverty line.

You seem to be running under the assumption that all or any of those 4,500 users even have any money to give you.

If you are looking for donations, make something worth paying for. Personally, I spent 15 seconds on your site, and couldn't find anything of value to me.

The act of making it doesn't entitle you to turnover....

And even if someone does find a tool of value there's the 'many small cuts' problem; I can't afford to give every creator $5 or even $1.

Don't mix charity and business.

If you want to give something away, then do just that, give it away expecting nothing in return.

If you want to profit, then build and monetize for that.

Don't expect a middle ground between the two.

How about offering something extra for people supporting. It amazes me that people slap some PayPal logo and expect people to contribute. Create an emotional appeal and call to action.

Donate 50k or I'll eat this rabbit?

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