I put up a SharePoint Designer extensions project up at CodePlex earlier this year and even though it’s really quite limited in scope, I estimate that it’s been downloaded by 40 to 60 (possibly even 100) companies in just about two months. That indicates to me that there’s a market for that solution and if I were to successfully commercialize it, that could translate into a goodly amount of beer 🙂
My background is actually much more in product development and I know what is required to bring a top-notch product, as opposed to a CodePlex hobby project, to market. In my past life, I was responsible for product R&D for all software products. The difference between then and now is that I’m a consultant now working for an (excellent) consulting firm (Conchango). Previously, I had an entire company behind me and in front of me, selling and supporting the products we brought to market. Today, I’d be alone.
I have several product ideas in mind, but I think the easiest would be to create a commercial version of the above-mentioned CodePlex project that uses that as a starting point and extends it further. My fuzzy off-the-cuff thinking is to charge something like $100 for an unlimited developer license and $500 per production web front end. I think I would also give away the source code.
If you have thoughts or experiences that you’re willing to share, please leave a comment or email me directly. I’d like to hear opinions like:
- Is it all worthwhile?
- Practical suggestions for marketing, collecting money, distributing.
- Any other comment you’d like to leave.
It’s "easy" to come up with product ideas and to implement them, though many dozens of hours of work are required. The other stuff is not as easy for me.