So, that's a few months of dev time and a few thousand dollars of investment (VPSes, designer time, etc) that I won't get back.
Appointment Reminder also has been lagging expectations, but I still have hopes (and better, a plan) for that one. Sadly, immigration issues are a bit of a tax on my time/focus this month. (Severity: Deportation bugs tend to get worked on first, what can I say...)
Was this before services like Heroku and Google App Engine existed? The free tiers make failing much less painful.
Edit: One of my failed apps, http://app.reminderbear.com is still in existence thanks to Google App Engine. It has about 10 or 15 happy users that can keep using the service forever. It only costs me $10/year for the domain name.
I was thinking about sticking ads in as a property on the JSON object, but that'll double the bandwidth of the response size. =)
The brilliance of jsonip.com isn't really the service, it's the vision that it should be free and world-readable.
Maybe make a landing page with some ads?
I was hoping to capitalize on nostalgia by running ads in the emails.
Unfortunately, I got only 3 signups. The post I made on HN was completely ignored (only about 20 people visited the link), and the post I made on Reddit ended up with a net score of 0.
Oh well, lesson learned -- gauge interest on a proof of concept before spending the time to build a full product.
An app that game out of a drunken discussion with some gay friends about how to establish boundaries with a random hookup. I mostly made it as a gag, but I guess it does solve a real world problem. Irony is that it is the least profitable (free, adless), but has more user engagement than anything else I've made and it hasn't been out a week yet :-P
I've never made any money from it, but I get a kick out of knowing that people in far-away places are using something I've made.
http://colorblendy.com/ I did during a SHDH meetup with @limedaring, then couple months later during another weekend I released v2 with colorpickers on the Google Chrome store for free too: http://bit.ly/chrome-colorblendy
I still have "monetize this" on the TODO list for both of these. Was thinking of releasing a "pro" version of Colorblendy with CSS parsing and a saving feature. Also a campaign version with a bunch of levels of LineRage for $1.99 or somesuch. Someday.
It has been my best learning project (what gave me the knowledge to write mongly.com and the little mongodb book). It's also solid Rails experience which is important for me given that I want to transition out of .NET.
Closing in on 500 000 scores store (it's 1 score per user per game, so it gives you an idea of how many unique users). Around 100 games use it (all WP7)
It was featured on a fairly well know UK TV show (working lunch on BBC2) which got me loads of hits, so I thought I was made. Of course the traffic dropped off in a couple of days, and in the 4ish years it's been live I've earned a total of $100 in Google Ads.
I learned from it though, now I buy design, I've improved my front end programming skills, and I know that you have to keep working on something to keep the hits coming.
I've also learned that making money from ads is very hard, as you need a serious hit count to make any money.
But even with better ads I wouldn't make much as I only average about 50 hits a day. I think there's a bit of potential in the site, it just needs a re-design, the car database cleaning up (HUGE amount of work there), and some promotion.
I'd like to have another go at it, but currently all my free time is devoted to BugMuncher.
I can only imagine! FYI, I tried BMW E36 - which is the 3 series, and it listed old 5-series instead. But I really don't envy you that task ;)
I really like BugMuncher, BTW - just please hire someone to make the Feedback button a bit prettier :)
- http://www.drinkpacer.com - select your target level of drunkenness and track your drinking. It keeps you on pace using very estimated math.
- http://www.draw140.com - this was to be like Paint but for twitter. Unfortunately Unicode rendering differences between clients and platforms makes what you see not usually match what your followers see.
I don't consider either of these a failure though, I learnt a lot.. In the case of Unicode, a lot more than I ever wanted to :)
The second one is pretty neat. It needs some polish, but I can't help but think that could actually be somewhat useful.
My friends keep pushing me to pivot it into a game but I don't think it's a good idea liability-wise...
Never made a cent off it. Not that I have tried (to be honest). I am still working in it though, so one day perhaps. I find it useful though, so that's the main thing.
Never made a cent of this either, and the hosting costs are quite large for what is essentially a smaller version of TailRank (if you remember that).
Lastly, I made a "My Twitter Butler" clone with a website and the lot back in the Twitter frenzy. Never sold a single copy. I guess I lost $10 for the domain name and 8 hours of my time to implement it. I was hoping to sell one copy and break even on my direct costs.
With http://gamesuggest.net/ I actually tried some SEO (on-site, no tricks) - that failed miserably.
In terms of greatest loss, that would be my photo deblurring tool, http://www.blurity.com/ , which is suffering from my failure to achieve product-market fit. It's had some revenue, but its need for a powerful server has kept it in the red.
Kinda makes me think that a "syndication platform" for we comics might not be a horrible idea.
Marketing plan consisted of posting links to various sites... and that's about it. No wonder that I haven't had a single user pay for it. Honestly it's been a painful loss - a good 30-40 hours of development (yay Firefox addons! I'm now relaunching with Chrome) and spending around $40 on themes. So, it's been a complete and utter loss so far.
That said, I now have a marketing plan and high hopes :)
I am actually not in it for the money, but some of these projects have zero (0) active users and that's kinda sad for me.
Never made a cent out of any of these.
I've never made money from them, nor have any of them gained significant popularity (although pimpmysalary.com is actually receiving an entry every 3 mins. Or so - maybe that's my breakthrough success!!)
Yeah tell me about it! I got written up on lifehacker and I received quite a few emails and comments (some on the page and some not) basically saying "but it won't work unless everyone signs up!!1".
The funny thing is that if everyone who said that to me had told their friends, the chicken/egg problem would probably have been sold.
My standard response when people tell me something I've built has a chicken/egg problem is "right, so how many people have YOU told about it?"
You could enter your rego to check for messages. To try and boost pick-up, for anyone checking an empty inbox, I auto-added a randomised and semi-believable message. Not sure if it helped much, but obviously not enough.
Slightly related, I also started building a little web site for people to track cars they'd owned and driven with a view to building relationships between past and new owners for the hell of it. "I wonder what happen to that '74 Civic I traded with that girl for three bottles of wine?" Domain drove.com.au was free when I checked. Took me half a day to build most of the site but by then the domain had been taken and so I bailed - stupid.
My only criticism is that while I like a good clean design like that, it could definitely be a lot more appealing to the eye.
Hope it takes off for you.
A thought a day app that just completely tanked. It only gives you 1 thought a day - most others seem to be every possible thought you could want at any time. Mine just didn't catch on. C'est la vie.
Then there was the site-flipping attempt that just didn't work out at all - the content was all dream and alt/complementary therapy related. Just didn't hit the spot apparently.
Aggregators don't make money!
Sorry it doesn't make money!
I'm a non technical founder, so this is just a script I purchased online and put behind one of my domain names. Just needed to get the feet wet and go through the process of releasing an app. It's got 100+ users so I'll get back to promoting it once/if I can attract a technical co-founder. Just launched http://fishtaank.com so we'll see how this one goes...
Fun little project. The stretch goals were writing my first app in F#/Unbuntu/AWS, so it's not like the effort was wasted. I find the best thing to do with any project is to have a solid set of secondary goals that you can reach no matter how the original project turns out. (I've also found out that it's critical to keep projects small.)
A reminder service for power Twitter users. Didn't get enough hits to generate any Ad revenue.
said that: checkout http://replycam.com - i learned that any technology that you cant easily iterate a (project) killer (in this case the flash webcam booth app)