Will you be my patron? 💍
In this article, I’m announcing the launch of my Patreon page, of a Kickstarter campaign, and explain where I’m going with this.
Almost two months ago, I published a crazy idea: asking for monthly donations to help me keep crafting free software.
After many discussions with friends and other developers, I found the energy to take a leap of faith and actually do it!
The opportunity: Next Step for Trello
Almost three months ago, I crafted a small tool to help me plan my time more efficiently: Next Step for Trello (also read how it fits into my productivity workflow).
Then I realised that other people were interested too: my Chrome Extension got hunted on ProductHunt, and reached 3500+ users in a month, without much effort! I started receiving reviews and messages from very excited users: some of them were happy and grateful, others were frustrated about missing features.
After having spent hours fixing bugs and other critical problems, I figured that this excitement phase was the opportunity to ask users for support.
The first thing I had to do was to figure out what my users wanted.
Listening to users’ wishes 🌟
So I launched a survey, and announced it inside my Trello Extension, so that my users could know about it, and tell me what they want:
I closed the survey after 95 users had responded, because it was enough to let three top improvement requests emerge:
- Make tasks load and refresh faster
- Make it remember my favorite display mode
- Make it also work from the trello.com/my/cards page
And, because implementing those improvements would take me a lot of time, I also asked how much they would be OK to donate for that:
I was happy to see that the most generous donators were asking for the same top-3 features!
Ask users to commit by donating 🚀
At that point, I figured that I could group these top-3 features into a new version of Next Step for Trello, and launch a crowdfunding campaign towards the development of that version. (e.g. like Fontawesome did awesomely)
So I launched two crowdfunding campaigns:
- a Kickstarter campaign: Next Step for Trello v2.0
- and a Patreon page: Adrien Joly is creating Next Step for Trello
I’ve been pushing the former to the users of Next Step for Trello, as it’s a more clear and direct way for users to give a one-shot donation, to support the development of a well-defined set of improvements.
I started the latter on Patreon in order to support a longer-term vision of a process that I’m starting to follow with Next Step for Tello, as I’m going to explain in the next section. It’s also a good way to reassure users who want to make sure that Next Step for Trello will keep working in the longer-term.
What’s for patrons? 💍
The process I followed with Next Step for Trello is a perfect example of the collaborative process that I would like to keep doing exclusively with my patrons:
- Gather ideas and votes on software I should craft next;
- Provide early beta access, for testing and feedback;
- Improve the software and define a roadmap, based on feedback;
- Host live coding sessions on Twitch, to show my work;
- And keep my software free to use for everyone.
Plus, as stated on my Patreon page, I’m happy to make a custom version of my software for every of my most generous patrons! And I’m still open to original reward suggestions!
I know that Patreon campaigns are not usual to support software developers yet, but I would really like to prove that I don’t need to craft adult entertainment to make a living out of my code.
I would be extremely grateful if you believe that it’s possible, and if you support my process by becoming my patron!
If you just want me to make Next Step for Trello faster, remember your favorite display mode, and work from the trello.com/my/cards page
=> support me on kickstarter. (one-time donation with rewards)
If you want to encourage me to maintain Next Step for Trello in the longer-term, and be more involved in my future projects
=> become a patron. (recurring donation with rewards)
And, if you are not ready to prove me right yet, It would help me a lot if you could tell me why, and what would make you want to donate! 🙌
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