How much does it make
I scoured the Hacker News threads to find genuine solo online businesses to understand how much a single founder can make with a SaaS product, we website producing content, a developer tool, e-commerce or other type of business. The results vary. The most successful seem to be deep entrenched into niche markets, working on specialized products and use cases. Be aware of luck involved and survivorship bias. Here we go.
What: Instagram post management.
Revenue: the same a developer would get at Microsoft.
Involvement: 3h per week for support.
the idea came about when I wanted to post to Instagram, but the API didn't allow it. So I spent about a week trying to automate the process
undisclosed consumer app with subscription
What: b2c app
Revenue: 300,000 eur / year
Involvement: 30h per week for various tasks.
It serves a niche and does so very well, better than all others.
What: font preview solution
Revenue: not majority of income
Involvement: 1h per week for support
It's a simple tool that allows font designers to add a secure font previewer to their web store.
What: pinterest without social
Revenue: 222k in 2019 doubled from 2010
A one-person business is an exercise in long-term anxiety management, so I would say if you are already an anxious person, go ahead and start a business. You're not going to feel any worse.
What: weather app
Revenue: 2500 usd / month, with expense of 500/month
Involvement: 40h per week
This Android Weather app might not seem like a success but the business allowed us to move to the Rarotonga, Cook Islands from Auckland, New Zealand. Lifestyle-wise and building-a-business-wise, I think it's a success.
undisclosed software that blocks distractions
What: focus/distraction app
Revenue: well paying government job salary
The idea for my product first came to me when a friend in university had trouble staying focused on writing papers
What: image processing
Revenue: 1300 usd / month
It removes the background from product photos, with the intended audience being mostly people who sell stuff online
Revenue: 3000 USD / month with 70 / month for expenses
Involvement: 1h / week
It was my learn how to code project that has become my basic income.
undisclosed website builder
What: website builders
Revenue: 14000 usd / month with 500 / month expenses for servers and APIs
Involvement: 2h / week for support
By far the hardest part was/is marketing. At this point it's mostly word of mouth.
What: sports prediction
Revenue: 3000 GBP / month
ML algorithm to predict golf. After 5 years it's making enough from subscriptions
What: app toolkit
Revenue: covers basic living expenses
ToDesktop automatically creates a desktop app from any web app. Most of my growth now is coming from organic search engine traffic.
What: Seo software
Revenue: Enough to support the founder, but only after 3 years
I built it originally to help me with my own SEO consulting work, but it has grown from being a side project to my main source of income now.
What: Google Analytics alternative
Revenue: 29000 usd / month
Competing with Google Analytics isn't easy
What: NoCode solutions
Revenue: 24000 USD / month
Makerpad helps non-developers build complex apps where you'd typically expect developers to be required.he basically refuses to run a business that's not 100% enjoyable.
What: website builder
Revenue: 30000 USD / month
Card is a one-page site builder. AJ's an amazing developer/designer combo with over a decade of experience building one-page website templates and builders.
What: Wordpress plugin
Revenue: Enough for living expenses
WordPress plugin,It's an equal mix of rewarding and frustrating.
What: notes app
Revenue: profitable but not enough for a family
contextual notes and todo app. I build it because i needed it myself.
What: agencies software
Revenue: enough for living expenses
Involvement: fulltime, solo dev
It is an artist management software for agencies.
What: File transfer
Revenue: 4000 usd / month
Involvement: fulltime for 5 years
I get to work on whatever I want, I get to take as much time off as I want whenever I want, and I've never felt like I wasn't doing meaningful work.
What: Data platform
Revenue: 1500 usd / month
DaaS platform for holiday information.Ironically I started the project as a way to NOT have to maintain said data and now part of my day to day involves maintaining data accuracy... and sales outreach... and DevOps to improve... my own development efforts... and... and...
What: leads software
Revenue: 6000 usd / month with 1000 monthly costs
Involvement: solo developer
Yeah everybody hates popups. But I saw a potential for a product and wanted to try doing the SaaS thing
What: unsubscribe solution
Revenue: 500 usd / month
an app that helps you unsubscribe from spammy mailing lists
What: Instagram post management
Revenue: 10000 usd / month
I built this Instagram scheduling site and iOS app
Revenue: more MRR than an SF developer salary
Seven years ago I solo-started an automatic time tracker for programmers
What: PDF management
Revenue: reveived capital investment
helps developers fill out PDF documents.I raised some money from Earnest Capital , which has allowed me to go full-time
Revenue: enough for two persons
Starting a successful SaaS company as a side project is much harder.
Revenue: 3500 usd / month
API for software licensing and distribution
What: Raspberry Pi management
Revenue: not enough to live off
It evolved to scratch my own itch: simplifying the access, management, and monitoring of a fleet of distributed Raspberry Pis (running Raspbian, on private networks) without requiring any proprietary client-side code.
What: Open-source tools
Revenue: 1000 usd / month
We've taken the wisdom of the most successful open-source communities and turned it into a platform of efficient engineering tools.
What: website load tester
Revenue: close to comfortable living
if I were to start all over again as a solo bootstrapper, I would probably do something less technical.
undisclosed Quiz website
What: content website
Revenue: 6000 USD / month from ads with 20 usd expense for hosting
Involvement: 3h per week for uploading quizzes
Compare to my salary, I'm an IT Administrator in my day job and make $400 per month. I live in Ethiopia
What: UI screnshots
Revenue: junior developer salary in London
It's a fairly boring business to run and not as predictable or sexy as some sort of micro saas, but it's I'm happy with how things have been so far.
undisclosed content website
What: content website
Revenue: 200 000 USD / year
Involvement: still has day job
Started putting together a predictive analytics package for investing in digital content, so we have an idea of how content will pull before we create it.
undisclosed edtech platform for interviews
Revenue: 6 figures
Involvement: 10h / week for dev and marketing work
I launched it 2 years ago, mainly to help me teach a university class more effectively
What: newsletter and content
Revenue: 30000 usd / month
Lynne helps developers find roles at companies that share their values
Revenue: 7100 usd / month
Pat interviews e-commerce founders about how they started their businesses.
Revenue: 2500 usd / month
My revenue is from adsense, pro subscription, iVisa affiliate and Skyscanner affiliate. Most of traffic is organic.
Revenue: 450 usd / month
Revenue: 2500 usd / month
tech briefings each day for industry insight, without ads
undisclosed jewelry store
What: online store
Revenue: primary income
Involvement: 15h/week for 10 years
The traffic is all organic and nets a few thousand dollars per month with no marketing,
What: car marketplace
Revenue: full income
Involvement: founder does not work 9-5
online marketplace to buy / sell a Used Tesla. I have been living off the income this whole year.
What: Q&A site
Revenue: 4000 eur / month
Involvement: 30% of the day, solo
Q&A platform It started off as Stack Overflow clone but now it has features which are quite niche
What: photo printing service
Revenue: does not provide majorify of income
The tagline: Text or email your photos and we'll send 4x6 prints to your loved ones
What: painting from photos
Revenue: livable income
I've been living off of the income since inception, even though the first few years were poverty levels of income
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