The thing is that when someone buys an app you've finished, but that isn't generating revenue, they're buying both an opportunity and a problem.
The opportunity is obvious - maybe you can turn it into a money printing machine.
The problem is the developer cost to maintain and improve the app. Unless it's a complete business that's generating cash already (in which case it would be worth more than $10K), it's going to cost significant $$ for another dev to maintain and build on it.
Most dev salaries are around $50k to $150 per year. But lets assume you offshore it, find some killer talent and pay them $20k per year. If it needs 2 years of work and growth to be successful, that's 400% more than the $10K it costs to buy it in the first place. [Ignoring time value of money]
The point I'm making is that the $10K price tag is arbitrary to a buyer because what they're really getting into is a much larger commitment and quite a bit of risk.
So what to do?
I don't have the answers but I'll throw out 2 ideas:
1. Open source the project and recruit your friends to keep building it. Use the publicity and interest surrounding it to drum up consulting gigs worth more than $10K and funding and credibility for future projects and businesses.
2. It might not be a home run because Facebook has done it, but spend an additional 20% of the time you've spent so far to put in place a payment processing system and charge for the service. You may make more than $10K per year in recurring revenue. Just because Facebook did it doesn't mean you can't too.
Or is this inexpensive?
I'm asking because we were thinking of selling one of our assets too and wanted to know what would be considered a fair price for a Rails app (which was once live and is now shuttered).
I don't see how it's worth nearly 10,000 when before Facebook ate their lunch it made $50 a month.
Edit: he says 400+ hours which is $25/hour for $10,000.
1) was built in Rails
2) can be a really decent alternative to Facebook's Timeline, if it finds a new home
3) does not necessarily depend on other people's data
4) has a path to generate some revenue (charging to buy
an account if you don't have an invite)
5) has the possibility to go open source
I see all these things, and I can only think how Diaspora should be running to get this.
No, I don't.
For me, this would be the most interesting part of the auction, which makes me wonder whether well-known designers (and coders) could auction off their time chunks, instead of offering a fixed hourly rate. (e.g. available for three months this year, to the highest bidder).
So is your market rate as a freelancer.
Unlike a physical product, every developer / designer will have a minimum price which they won't go below. Thus the auction will never favor the buyers. In a low market, buyer will pay only minimum price, hence the auction format loses its purpose, as there will be no bids.
Maybe I'll start a post about it, as I don't want to derail this conversation, but from my limited experience there is too much spam site noise on eBay to sell a legitimate project you've worked hard on.
(On a related note, if you're interested in acquiring Lifemall - a nice clean, django marketplace and community, email me)
"This site is in the process of being transferred to new ownership. We value your privacy, and will not provide any of your data to the new owner without your explicit permission. If you don't want to continue using the service following the transfer, you don't have to do anything (but you can download a snapshot of your own personal data from <link>). If you do want to continue using it, tick this box"
The only problem I can see with that is that most users should rightfully refuse until they know what the new owners plan on using it for, so you need to have a sale lined up and a new privacy/data use policy drawn up before you can do that.
Perhaps you'd keep a copy of the database yourself, and then once the sale happens and terms are hashed out, send the mail to everyone, and deliver a copy of the filtered opt-in database to the new owners.
If companies didn't sell on the account details of their existing userbase these users would effectively be frozen out of any future site development/improvements (unless they re-entered all their data).
And since acquiring users is hard, from the seller's point of view an active userbase is probably one of the site's biggest assets (and also a validation that the site has some potential to it).
My plan is to open source it on Github or something if no one thinks it's worth 10k.
You do not make a site that doesn't support the dominant browser, especially not if you intend to sell, and double so, if the end-users are consumers and not businesses who might be forced into using a certain browser.
To you people who put your love for an arbitrary piece of software, above your common sense: Get a grip.
Impressed by the design. I'll add a bit of Ruby and business model.