tldr: Want to make an app, possibly on blockstack, but want to have a solid plan about how to monetize.
I have been working on a music education software project for a few months. You can think about it vaguely as a duo-lingo for instruments, although that’s not exactly correct. It wouldn’t really qualify as social media because user-to-user interaction isn’t the core of this app, although it is a small part. The app is currently closed source, but might go open source depending on what I decide for a business model.
I want a business model in mind because I can see this app being something amazing in the future, but probably only if I am able to find a way to work on it without also holding a full time software position (my current situation). I also want to be compensated for the effort I’m putting in, but not at the expense of losing users. I’m considering developing on blockstack because I love what it stands for and I think it might be able to offer me options that I wouldn’t have building a traditional web application.
I have a problem with ads although I wouldn’t be completely against them. I don’t like what’s happening with app based platforms and I don’t like having them on my page.
I’ve considered taking a donations based approach. If successful it would allow the software to be free for all users while allowing me to invest more of my time into it.
I was thinking about maybe doing an old school licensing model. I haven’t thought it all the way through but I could tie versions of the application to a blockstack id and allow them to make a one time purchase for access to the software. I could make the software available for a 30 day free trial that doesn’t boot you off when you’re past due (similar to Reaper DAW), simply reminding you to purchase a license if you enjoy the software. This would let me keep all code client side without worrying about piracy (it’s effectively free but if you find it useful and are able to pay then you’re on the honor system). It would also allow users to own their software and manipulate it if the wish.
I’ve also considered going open source and pursuing the app mining rewards. I think I could potentially get a lot of users but they wouldn’t be your typical blockstack user.
These are just my ideas so far but I do have a few questions as I’m not sure if I understand blockstack completely.
- Every blockstack app I’ve looked at is open source. Is this a requirement or just a part of the culture? Can I get app mining funding if my software is proprietary?
- How much more difficult is it for your users to register than on traditional web applications? Are there plans being made to improve this? I see the “friction” in registering as a potential issue for me. I don’t see my users as being particularly interested in blockstack unless it really isn’t any different for them as signing up for any kind of online account.
- Do you know any good routes or resources on securing funding for open source projects? I am not very well informed about open source funding so I could be wrong in dismissing it as a solid option.
- How common is it to mix blockstack with server side functionality? It seems like it kind of defeats the purpose of owning your own data.