Contributed Systems: the 2015 wrapup
In July 2014 I started my company Contributed Systems and work on Sidekiq full-time. Let’s review how 2015 went. The end of January will be Sidekiq’s 4th birthday so here’s some birthday numbers:
|1st Birthday||2nd Birthday||4th Birthday|
In 2015, I:
- released Sidekiq Pro 2.0 with nested batches and expiring jobs
- introduced Sidekiq Enterprise, with rate limiting, cron job and unique job features
- released Sidekiq 4.0 with a simpler and higher performance core
- released Sidekiq Pro 3.0 and Enterprise 1.0 major upgrades
- attended Railsconf and Rubyconf, passing out t-shirts and stickers
As for business numbers, my revenue is up 2.6x YoY from 2014. Average sales price has doubled due to the introduction and demand for Sidekiq Enterprise.
When I started Sidekiq and Sidekiq Pro in 2012, I had three goals I never mentioned to anyone to measure my own success:
- change the standard advice of “use resque or DJ” to “use resque, sidekiq or DJ”
- pass resque as the most popular job framework
- make $1 million from Sidekiq Pro by selling 2000 copies for $500 over five years.
The latest State of the Rails Stack 2016 shows that I’ve blown away (1) and (2). Sidekiq now has more market share than Resque and DJ combined. Market leader achievement unlocked!
(3) has been a learning experience: note the slow down in customer growth from 1 -> 2 -> 4 years. Like any business-focused niche software product, a small customer pool means a higher price is demanded (versus the original $500 price); it turns out to be easier to convert 500 customers at $2000 each. Given the amount of functionality in Pro and Enterprise, it doesn’t take long for businesses to realize that the value is there: no engineering time and effort necessary to build and maintain their own gems, a steady stream of fixes and improvements, expert support only an email away, etc.
(3) will be met: 2016 will be the year I pass $1 million in total revenue, right on schedule.
At the end of 2014 I introduced Inspeqtor and Inspeqtor Pro as a second product line for Contributed Systems with the vision of building a modern process monitoring system.
I still believe the product is amazing – it’s the replacement for monit that I’ve always wanted – but it’s hard to argue with the facts: uptake and sales have been minimal. What’s there is stable and people are welcome to use it; I won’t be adding any more features.
Sidekiq has been a success, Inspeqtor a failure. In baseball, a .500 batting average is superhuman. I’ll take it. I hope your 2015 went well and cheers to 2016!