Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

I have been in an interesting similar situation with my Trianglify [1] library, and have made money off of it a few different ways:

- Commercial licensing (the library is GPL) occasionally gets me a few bucks, but isn't a reliable source of income.

- Consulting on custom integrations/tweaks has been slightly better, but in general it's a simple library that's well documented and easy to use, so there isn't much need for this.

It became pretty obvious after I launched the project that my primary audience wasn't developers who could consume a JS library, it was designers. I wound up building a productized UI [2], and I've been experimenting with

- making money via donations (abysmal)

- ethical non-tracking advertising (low conversion rate, people hit the tool to accomplish a task, not click ads)

- and lately, paid functionality (so far, this has been the most successful approach)

I think that the skillset for developing a good and useful piece of OSS and the skillset for monetizing it are almost completely orthogonal - it would be really great if there was a way to make decent income off an open-source project without building a flashy website, learning basic marketing, getting in bed with advertising companies, etc etc. Unfortunately, the above seems to be what the market cares about.

[1] https://github.com/qrohlf/trianglify [2] https://trianglify.io




> - Consulting on custom integrations/tweaks has been slightly better,

Interesting, can you share a bit more detail? Not asking for customer names or anything, but curious what kind of customer is interested in stuff like this enough to buy consulting for it)




Applications are open for YC Winter 2020

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: