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Ask HN: Solo Founder SaaS or App Success Stories?
24 points by clarky07 1069 days ago | past | web | 11 comments
I've seen these threads before[1], but I haven't seen anything recent. Things along the lines of patio11 and BCC or AR. Solo founder with profitable SaaS app replacing old income or more.

[1] old thread from ~ 2 years ago - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3029771




I created Smart Receipts, a receipt tracker and expense report generator for Android - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=wb.receipts.

I make about $600/month between ads on the free version and sales for the paid version; not enough to quit my full-time job but a nice monthly supplement.


How much of that is ads vs paid? I've noticed that making free versions for my apps has been very helpful, but I still make 75-80% of my income off of the paid versions.


I'm in the exact same boat - about 75-80% of my income comes from the paid version of the app. The free version mostly serves as a staging ground to increase adoption and encourage users to upgrade to get rid of the ads.


Yeah. I've noticed that most people don't seem to care about having ads. An IAP to remove ads is of so little value it's amazing. I've had much better success adding a bit of friction and limiting the free versions. Here is this tracking app, it does everything the full version does, but you can't save more than X tracks. Stuff like that has worked nicely for me. Ads are just a bit of gravy and a slight annoyance to make someone ever so slightly more likely to upgrade.


I run https://www.improvely.com and https://www.w3counter.com, and they along with some side projects are my only income. I earn significantly more from SaaS subscriptions than I did working as a full-time software engineer. Does that count?


definitely. it is always nice to have multiple streams of income, just in case something bizarre happens to one of them. Another reason I'd like to start a SaaS app to diversify a bit from mobile apps. Last year I got hammered by Apple for a few months after the search changes and app store redesign. Thankfully things have gotten better since then.


Some other discussions: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2567487 https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1772199 https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1764682


1. This podcast has a few great examples: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/starting-from-nothing-fo...

2. unicornfree.com or @amyhoy on twitter and products coming out of her 30x500 class


to start things off, I've made ~150k working on apps over the last couple years - http://www.entrelife.com/2013/06/my-first-100k-on-app-stores...

I'm hoping to start a SaaS app in the near future, as B2B is far more interesting to me than $1 mobile apps. Having an ARPU above 70 cents and recurring revenue sounds glorious.

That being said, products are the way to go. Last month was actually my best month ever, and I haven't done any work on my apps since January. (some freelance work, some big projects on my property, some traveling)


I'm running a recruiting app (usehuman.com/prospect) myself. Not replacing my income but I hope too grow the company in the future to do that and more.


verbs.im 's founder @chaitanyapandit, made $50k as a solo developer working on a simple instant messaging client.




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