This software is commercially motivated. In other words, the hope is that it will become first: financially self-sustainable, and then second: profitable.
It started out as a side project during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. I wrote it because it was something I could use. However, it soon grew into something quite substantial and I wondered whether there might be a market for it. In other words, would other people want to use it, but also, be willing to pay money for it? Because if so, then I could continue working on it and turn it into something (hopefully) great. Only one way to find out.
So, currently, this is a side project … that’s trying to be a real commercial project. If it doesn’t become real, then that’s fine. I’ll just write the features I need, and then move on to do other things. However, if I can get revenue and funding, then I can continue to spend time on it, improve it, and see where it takes us.
With that historical background, here’s the plan:
The business model is going to be ‘open core’. The entry-level/core edition of GigoBooks will be free and open source. Advanced features or add-ons will be in a premium edition and be paid-for. Note that THE PREMIUM EDITION IS NOT OPEN SOURCE.
The entry-level and premium editions are called GigoBooks CE (community edition) and GigoBooks PE (premium edition) respectively.
For now, here are the planned monetisation tiers (names are temporary and unofficial):
- Level 0 - Free - Access to GigoBooks CE repository and source code. Compile it yourself. Community supported.
- Level 1 - Purchase the GigoBooks PE binary through an app store for $N (unsure what N is yet).
- Level 2 - (Subscription?) Access to GigoBooks PE repository, source code, issues queue etc. Access to GigoBooks PE binary. Vendor support.
Note that this is only a plan and comes with some caveats.
- This plan could change as new insights come to light. It will probably change. The question is not ‘whether’ but ‘by how much’.
- GigoBooks CE hasn’t been completed yet. It’s just alpna/beta software at the moment.
- Hence, level 1 does not yet exist.
- Level 2 also does not exist yet. For now, it’s no more than just some speculative thoughts.
(However, some more thoughts about level 2 … I’m thinking of implementing level 2 via github sponsors which would be a subscription/recurring thing. Although GigoBooks PE does not yet exist, a repository could be created and sponsors can submit (ie. via the GigoBooks PE issue queue) feedback and feature requests. Github sponsors would be an experiment and I have no idea how it will turn out. Some more thinking and pondering needed here.)
How will I decide what features go into CE and what features are restricted to PE? I don’t know yet. There’s too many unknowns to be able to say but I will try to strike a balance.
In general, as more and more features go into PE, simpler or older features will ‘trickle down’ from PE to CE.