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What kind of revenue from simple web apps/sites?

I'm one of those old fogies that have been in the threads lately. I keep thinking to create some popular web apps and sell them (a version with ads for free otherwise paid) and of course it would be OS. There have been people doing this for many years.

I wonder if anyone is making any money from this. I have never seen a website which shows all the different ways that just small businesses (very small like under 100K or heck I'd be happy with under 30K) are making money on the net. I've seen an article or two but no in depth information. What about people using the google ads or amazon and other affiliate systems.  What about people selling a photo gallery, or bulletin board, or shopping cart etc.

Anyone have any info on this?

Me
Thursday, February 26, 2004

Probably misunderstanding you, but how do you make a business around open-sourced adware?

Nigel
Thursday, February 26, 2004

I'm sure creating applications and then fixing bugs and responding to new user requests might only be something to do other than watch friends. I'm wondering if there might also be profit in it.

I like the idea of people trying out an app and some people who just don't want to pay. So what do you do if what you are doing is because you don't have a TV? You can put out a version which will show ads for you so you profit from those ads appearing or being clicked on. See Opera for an example. Opera shows google ads which seems against the Google rules but then I might be misreading them.

me
Friday, February 27, 2004

Just so you know, you'll probably end up selling services anyway, because having customers take your source and custumize it effectively turns it into a new software. Not many people know exactly what's going on when the custom has hade extensive code changes, so they end up spending a wealth of time reviewing what was changed, before support can even be rendered. So you might as well either: 1) don't give away the source, 2) digitally sign the source and map the signatures to a billing system that bills higher the more customized the software.

Li-fan Chen
Friday, February 27, 2004

I expect most small businesses on the net that are making money are selling goods to consumers with their simple web sites and Paypal accounts.

Selling niche products or highly specialised goods. This is the beauty of the web for small companies. I've ordered all sorts of things from one man shops etc with a web presence and you probably haven't read anything about these people because they just go about their business and keep themselves to themselves.

Until you've got high traffic, Ads are going to make you nothing.

James 'Smiler' Farrer
Friday, February 27, 2004

We've tried several of these things

- Ads on a web site: You can make (some) money, but you need a lot of traffic and lots of skill in getting the right kind of of traffic, right kinds of ads for traffic, etc. It's not easy but is possible.

- Selling software/shareware/downloads: Works for us



I don't think you will make any money from ads in software, unless your software is downloaded by lots of people using it for hours each day (which might apply to opera or something, but not to some utility or whatever)

Also I don't think Open Source Adware makes any sense.

If your App is unpopular,  you won't make any money from ads.

If you App is popular, because it's Open Source, the first thing somebody can do is make a fork/patch to disable ads.

S. Tanna
Friday, February 27, 2004

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