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This Open-Source Component Makes $12,000 Every Month

How this solo developer quit his job after monetizing his Javascript plugin

Hello! Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your business?

I'm Alvaro Trigo, a web developer from Spain who enjoys making beautiful things.

I studied Computer Science and worked as a web developer for five years in the UK. Then I quit my job to dedicate full-time to fullPage.js, my first product for web developers.

I'm currently 35 years old, and I've been working on my own products since I left my 9 to-5 job.

Now we are a small team under the structure of a limited company. I hired a couple of full-time employees and about 12 freelancers.

We are currently focusing on a few projects, but the main ones are fullPage.js and a small group of niche blogs. We also spare some time to implement, validate or develop new ideas to open new sources of revenue.

Some of our products include: fullPage.js, multiScroll.js, fullSnap, fullStats

In this interview, I'll focus mainly on fullPage.js as that's probably the most interesting for other indie hackers and the one with more trajectory

How did you start this business? Take us through the process.

When I was working as a web developer, I had to create a simple site, and I was suggested to mimic a PowerPoint style.

So, looking for inspiration, I came up with the idea of making a full-screen scrollable site.

I was surprised to find out there were no components for web developers to speed up this process, so after building the page, I thought it would be a great idea to create my first plugin.

That was when my first product came out. In fact, it wasn't even a product, as I didn't charge anything for it. The component was fully free for about 3 years.

I just wanted to make something useful for others while keep to learn new skills as a web developer.

I don't remember exactly how much time it took me to create the first version of the free product, but it was probably a week or two and about 300 lines of code.

I didn't spend any money on advertisements; it all grew organically through blogs and websites talking about the new component. All I spent was time.

How did you get your first initial customers?

During this time, some people sent me emails asking for specific customizations. They wanted the component to have certain features that I didn't want to include on the main version for different reasons.

So, I would deal with them one by one by email and provide them with a quote to create a custom version of the component for them.

That worked kind of ok, but after a few months, I started to notice some people were asking for exactly the same changes or features as others.

So I thought I could probably create those as extensions to the main component. This way they could just purchase and use them right away without any direct contact with me.

This way, I would save time coding and discussing things by email.

In the first month, I released about 3 extensions and made more than $1K. I was impressed! I didn't expect it to work out that well!

I didn't have to promote the extensions. People found the free product through different blogs, websites, google, or even Github trending projects, and they would just find the extensions through its documentation.

Since launch, what are your marketing strategies or channels to get new customers?

To be honest, I was quite lucky in this regard. I never had to do much marketing to promote my first product.

After I created the Github project I thought it would be beneficial to share it with others and find out if it was useful for them as well. The ball kept rolling as word spread around the internet and the stars for the Github project kept increasing. Github even featured me as a trending developer along with my product.

People came to it organically or through different websites. I guess the fact that it was free and open-sourced helped on this matter.

I became a bit more active on Twitter with the intent of reaching even more people. But I can't really tell how much it helped the product.

I remember trying Google Ads and Twitter Ads for a couple of weeks, but I was never really invested in it, and I didn't notice any change in revenue numbers.

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How does your business make money?

The product is under a freemium model, where people can use it completely for free for products using a GPLv3 compatible license but will have to get a commercial license for products using other licenses.

The commercial licenses are sold under both models. An annual subscription or a lifetime license.

The extensions to fullPage.js are sold as a one-time purchase but are limited by the number of domains where they'll be used.

The whole business makes around $30K/month.

But this includes all our products; fullPage.js alone makes around $12K/month nowadays, and its maximum was $20K in one month.

Where can we go to lean more about you and your business?

Here are some links you can go to learn more:

Thatโ€™s a wrap! ๐ŸŒฏ

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