In contrast to some competing free apps/services, the Pushover mobile apps are $3.99 which pays for the monthly hosting costs to keep the service running. Both apps are highly rated on both app stores and so far the app sales have paid for the domain name and other tangible development costs and are continuing to generate profit. I just purchased a Blackberry phone for development and plan to create a Blackberry app for the service.
The API is free, though applications are limited to a reasonable number of messages per month. That was put into place out of fear that a large company would use the app/service as a dirt-cheap platform to send large amounts of messages every day to its employees (like routing/dispatching directions, etc.) and burden the service. And rightly so, since shortly after launching, I got an e-mail from a large US company looking to use it in such a way (they ultimately decided not to use it). If such customers do come along, their API fees will cover them being on segmented servers.
Also, about your revenue model. How did you calculate that $3.99 would be sufficient to make profit AND give service to users on "all you can eat" terms? Wouldn't it be wiser to give one year for free (thats plenty of time to see whether I need and like your service or not) and then charge $9.99 per year after that? I mean, if this grows, I can easily see people eating up more bandwidth than this one-time $3.99 payment can bring into your pocket. If your TOS (sorry haven't checked) does not explicitly saying that in the future you may charge more, I think you may found yourself walking on a thin ice.
I went with $3.99 because Prowl is $2.99 and Notify My Android is $3.99. I'm not convinced that a yearly service is worth the overhead and I personally wouldn't pay to use a notification app that had a yearly fee.
The bandwidth and server overhead for running such a service are pretty low and iOS/Android push notifications are free, so I'm not really worried about monthly costs for normal users outweighing the revenue the app brings in. Right now Pushover is running on one of my servers that does other things, so it's not even really costing anything tangible. If costs start to go up, I can always increase the price of the apps to slow growth (or increase revenue if it doesn't slow growth).
I pinged the ifttt.com guys to ask about integration but haven't heard back yet. I'd like to do more integration with services that currently do e-mail notifications like http://hnnotify.com (I've already contacted them) to pick up more end-users.
My email address is on my profile, or I can email your support address if that's better.
I took the opportunity to hack together a notification plugin for irssi.
You are here for one of two possible reasons:
1. You are creating a card game yourself and want to look at the source
to see how it's done.
2. You're trying to figure out how you can cheat.
What I think I'm doing right:
* Simple to start. As soon as you enter the page you see the table, you just need to press Deal and you've started. No "enter your name", no choosing options before starting, no nag ads.
* Single page sites. The rules for the games are on the landing page, which means it has more content and is likely to be ranked higher by Google.
* Keep it simple. As a programmer I had the urge to create high scores, multiplayer, logins, track results etc, but at the end of the day most people just want to spend 10 minutes playing, and leaving out those things also means it's maintenance free, and frictionless to get started.
Funny thing is that I never play them myself after I've finished them. The interesting part for me is creating the computer player, and seeing if I can make him win more than the human players, I have some stats in Google Analytics that can show me that. Since the computer plays like I would play it's kind of like I'm playing against all the players :)
When I'm testing I usually let the computer just play against itself, add ?autoplay to any of the game urls and when you press Deal you'll see four computer players playing against each other...
I have thought about changing it all to one domain, and setting up some 301 redirects, but I'm just afraid to mess up my google rankings. For the solitaire game I re-use a domain, e.g I have http://www.solitaire-cardgame.com for Klondike solitaire (or classic solitaire), and then I have http://www.solitaire-cardgame.com/freecell for Free Cell solitaire.
Sharks and all that: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4017843
(Am I paranoid much?)
It isn't paranoid to try and develop good bullshit filters, bullshit abounds.
I reckon that at least ninety percent of what even the most rational and well informed people on the planet say, is probably bullshit, and the best trick for working out what bullshit other people might be talking that I have found, is to become aware of how much shit I talk myself, especially unintentionally, which is usually by repetition of something I heard that made sense at the time.
If something is truly important to you, triple check everything and test it against the real world in any way you can.
Take no-one's word on the internet, or anywhere else for that matter, purely on the basis that a story sounds reasonable. As a species we excel in storytelling.
That said, I am probably talking bullshit.
This was a weekend project and it performs already way better (a few weeks in) than my 1.5 year startup (which is something completely different).
That's some scary shit right there. Purely fascinating.
I am one random comment, in a LONG list. And all night, we have been seeing a new user every 15-30 seconds. WOW.
I also saw a bug prevented some of your reports to complete, which is perfect on a HackerNews day, haha #not. It's fixed, everything will proceed automatically.
As a thank you (to the community for finding that bug) and being so MANY, I've decided to create a promo code that upgrades all of your accounts to premium. I'll leave it running until tomorrow or so.
It's 'hackernews'. Wow, amazing community right here.
Also, I used Bootstrap as the foundation, it just helps a lot with getting things off the ground for weekend projects.
Are you TwentyPeople? It give the impression you have a bunch of staff, but in fact it's just one person?
I also made StepStats - http://StepStats.com/ - for better FitBit data visualization; it's free, but enough people have donated money that it has covered all costs involved.
wish I had a cent for every email it processed ;-)
1) You don't even need to go to Mailinator to get an email address. You just know that any time you have any address you want on hand.
2) With Mailinator you just use any name when you register on some website. (generated names are suspicious)
3) Mailinator has different domains to avoid blacklisting (domain name doesn't matter. You just need to know the username to check your mail)
4) There are websites that try to you using Mailinator by trying to log is with the name of your e-mail. For these services you can use another generated name that can only be used for sending mail, not for logging in.
5) Mailinator does not retain your messages for long. Also everything is stored in memory (as far as I heard), so the messages cannot be stolen.
Number 4 I didn't understand what you meant.
- it doesn't show e-mail address
- "random" button produces "Internal Server Error"
But also the design is in my opinion slick and minimalistic, but a bit TOO minimalistic. The design itself does not suggest that people use this website. It looks like an API description or something like that. You put a lot of emphasis on the "how it works" but I, as a user, lack basically opportunities of using the website.
I guess if you put "top 5 recent projects" or something on the landing page, people would see instantly that there are other people using this website. Currently, when I visit the page, I feel very alone.
Maybe put out ads and have as free weekend or something? The idea is that everyone arrives there at the same time for a short period until there's enough people that it's always busy
It's utterly true that the development is only a small fraction of the process. People told me before, but I didn't listen. It's also true that the funnel between getting a clickthrough and getting a payment narrows frighteningly quickly. It seems to cost me a fortune to get a paying customer.
I wanted to make something useful that wasn't built on VC money, and although it's possible, I'm not sure that there's much success to be had for small players in the web development arena. It's heartening to hear other peoples stories though. Another reason to keep trying. :-)
I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that website development is coming to the end of its homebrew phase (much like games and desktop software previously), and it's becoming almost impossible for tiny teams to make anything useful. There still seems to be some space in the mobile market, but that appears to be being swallowed by larger development teams with VC money.
And yes, I'm obviously making this post with the intention of also plugging my own service. I hope I've added something extra to the conversation though.
Not that it can't be done, but it sure feels like spitting into the wind.
http://hnd.sm is sincerely 'coming soon' (next week) but you can see how much work we've already done on our Dribbble here > http://dribbble.com/handsomemade
It's been a blast working with startups and existing brands creating new products, marketing them, and generally creating success through precise user experience.
Very profitable already and showing impressive growth.
Not a "web app" or socially networked, real time diet planner but we're a business and we're profitable!
Started in Jan of this year.
I've had several successful (read: awesomely profitable) new ventures this year, such as an ad network that I established and sold to a private party for a solid 5 figure amount within a month.
On one of my more established networks, I was able to grow the unique impressions by over 100k a day within 2 weeks of focusing on it. I also established a domain parking system that already has over 500+ domains parked on it and growing quickly.
During a random latenight coding session, I created a unique new channel/model of selling category related emails to advertisers bidding on a CPM basis real-time, and lining up another venture to integrate with this platform.
These are but a few of the cool things currently being worked on by myself and my growing staff. Hoping to be hiring on more talent on soon and probably getting a swanky office in La Jolla, CA soon.
Have some pretty exciting plans for the year!
I will not spoil the surprise for others but I will say that I did not expect what I did not see.
I wrote a 55-page eBook on starting a profitable drop shipping business which has been downloaded over 500 times in less than a month (http://www.ecommercefuel.com/profitable-ecommerce-ebook/). I started writing in late April and released it May 15th.
Since I'm giving the eBook away and my monetization goals are mostly long term, revenues have been very minimal - less than $100 in affiliate commissions so far. But in 2.5 months since I launched the blog, I've received nearly 10,000 visits and almost 600 subscribers which I've been really happy about...
Yes, there are probably over a hundred other languages still spoken today, but the official and most widely spoken language is English. Almost all (if not all) newspapers are in English, national TV stations are in English, the government communicates exclusively in English, and all elementary schools teach English as a core subject.
Some Nigerians are illiterate, of course, and some never attended school. But the majority of the country, I would say over 90%, speaks some form of English. So it's not just the elite that speak English. Now in rural (and even in urban) areas you will find people that can only communicate in broken English, but broken English is still English.
Like KingOfB, I wonder why "domain.ng" costs $50,000/year!
Edit: Apparently, they're banking on the extension being attractive for things like "im.facebooki.ng". Hmmm.
btw, I think I broke your site when trying to upload two test PDFs. The first worked correctly, but second never finished processing and now every page says "Application Error". The Done button on BoxySign's Account Settings dialog does not seem to work (but the X button does).
Also, the sharable URLs seemed disconcertingly short for documents that may contain private information.
Yes, that is a bug I need to fix. Thanks for catching it.
Indeed, and that is by design right now. I chose to focus on the clearest solution to the end user to start, but do have plans for longer/harder-to-guess urls. I'm considering moving that list further up my todos though. (working on .doc support right now)
(Also, this sort of thing would work great with Facebook connect -- you could pull name, education, work history, and phone numbers automatically. Maybe LinkedIn has an API to?)
There is a LinkedIn import, but it is one of the PRO features. More about that here - http://www.resumonk.com/pro
Do you mind answering a couple of question? I'm curious how you guys have advertised this product, and where your users come from.
I'm also working on something for our first external event (i.e. an event organised on behalf of someone else), which will be really cool if it goes ahead.
 - http://www.44con.com/
Unfortunately a crash bug was in the first version for people running the iphone app on an ipad, which wasn't discovered until after an AppAdvice review came out which drove tons of downloads...so that led to a bunch of 1-star reviews. But reviews since the fixed version have been very positive.
The difficult part is to build something that provides enough revenue to support 1+ employees, office space, etc
So if I spent 100 hours making something and spent 5 hours a week maintaining it and it cost £500 a month to run, and the revenue was £501 a month, to me that's profitable.
Now obviously it's not profitable enough to keep it in its current state as 5 hours of my time is worth more than £1 but it is worth the time and money investment to make it bring in more revenue.
For some definition of "easy", I guess.
I'd say it shouldn't be terribly difficult to find audience enough to generate enough revenue to cover costs with even just ad revenue on even mediocre projects.
Though I should also point out that the word 'revenue' doesn't necessarily equal profit.
Are you having a hard time generating even the first penny? What's the niche? Who's the audience? What are the revenue strategies tried?
Basically everything I have built is because I found it interesting rather than trying to make money, so I'm not too bothered. However if it is so easy, where are all the "Hello World" tutorials for bringing in revenue?
We've opened doors to the public teo weeks ago and are already paying for the servers. Press launch following next week. It's all very exciting :) Once things relax a bit we'll definitely share our experience on some kind of blog.
Would love some feedback if you have a minute, too.
Edit: typo in URL, oops
Number of users is slowly growing, and I just released its 3rd beta update; looking to formally launch very soon.
We started to get a ton of activity after I integrated with Wufoo.com via the webhook API.
But right now unable to push beyond these local startup, lack of networking etc. Let me know if guys can help.