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> Two sleeper startups in this space that are going to make a lot of money ...

How are they going to make money if open source enthusiasts copy the ideas and spread them for free? See e.g. React -> Vue.

Selling developer tools these days is just a losing game.






> Selling developer tools these days is just a losing game.

Selling a company that holds some patents or serious implementations of useful software is not. We live in an era where Big Tech will acquire companies for tens of millions, then dismantle their product, just to hire a proven engineering team (or keep them out of the hands of competitors for a brief period). So companies with actual, useful products do fetch quite a bit.


But that's a very indirect and uncertain way of making money. I think that people who do honest work deserve a better way of getting paid.

Also oftentimes not all that lucrative for the founders. The reason Big Tech will aquihire for a million or two per employee is because it costs that much to get a good employee. When companies have managed to assemble such a team and build a product to showcase it it's usually because they took a lot of capital before they had a product, which means that VCs own the lion's share of the company.

Which is why I totally dislike the FOSS culture of wanting to be paid for their work, while unwilling to pay for the tooling.

Git PR don't pay supermarket bills.


I've thought this since Borland fell apart. The ship sailed a long time ago. Unless you're a unicorn like Slack with cross organization appeal you have no chance!

JetBrains, OutSystems, Embarcadero (nee Borland),....

It is a matter of getting a target audience willing to pay for their tools.


JetBrains in particular has done a great job, and the Community Edition of Idea provides a ton of value for free.

> Selling developer tools these days is just a losing game.

I agree this is true for _trivial_ dev tools, but for dev tools that are more complex or provide an entire ecosystem I think this is not strictly true. Where I work (Sourcegraph) we are able to sell a good cohesive bundle of dev tools (code search, jump-to-definition/find-references, etc.) and through that have been able to easily fund REALLY cool tooling like https://comby.dev

I imagine the same is true for e.g. GitLab


Could be true, but personally I steer clear of these so-called "ecosystems" because of the lock-in effect, and especially if they are monetized using a SaaS scheme. For me, such tools are (in a way) broken by design, and therefore I wouldn't want to sell such tools myself.

What's the relationship between React and Vue? I've tried searching for it, but all I could get was code samples comparing the two.

They're both libraries for building user interfaces. They're related because they both solve the same problems. They also share a lot of core ideas (one way data flow, reusable components, declarative UIs, etc). I'm pretty sure React came first and heavily influenced Vue. They aren't commonly used together because most projects only need a single UI library.

Thanks, but the parent seemed to imply one was a commercial offering and copied by the other as an open source project. That's the part I was looking to get clarification on.

No, they've both always been 100% open source (ignoring the complaints about React's previous BSD+PATENTS license). React is built by Facebook, while Vue is primarily built by Evan You (+ a team of core contributors).

The "copying" comments are largely due to things like Vue's new proposed hooks API being very much inspired by React coming up with hooks in the first place.


To developers on the street, kind of.

Hence why everyone that want to make a living selling developer tools, turns to enterprise customers, B2B, or finds a way to package them as SaaS.


You are right about developer tools, but these companies are not selling developer tools. Plus, the technical implementations are non-trivial.

It seems like Materialize has some interesting approaches in mind:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWSdkGq1XWk


> but these companies are not selling developer tools

Welll ... from their website:

> Red Planet Labs is pioneering a radically new kind of software tool.

Also, the Materialize "reactive SQL" solution sounds a lot like Firebase.


Firebase is a hosted database. Where does a dev tool begin and end? Is Slack a dev tool? Is HN? Where do you draw the line?



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