Screenshot of my brand new Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/adrienjoly

Will you be my patron? 💍

In this article, I’m announcing the launch of my Patreon page, of a Kickstarter campaign, and explain where I’m going with this.

Almost two months ago, I published a crazy idea: asking for monthly donations to help me keep crafting free software.

After many discussions with friends and other developers, I found the energy to take a leap of faith and actually do it!

The opportunity: Next Step for Trello

Almost three months ago, I crafted a small tool to help me plan my time more efficiently: Next Step for Trello (also read how it fits into my productivity workflow).

Checking off tasks without opening their card, using Next Step for Trello

Then I realised that other people were interested too: my Chrome Extension got hunted on ProductHunt, and reached 3500+ users in a month, without much effort! I started receiving reviews and messages from very excited users: some of them were happy and grateful, others were frustrated about missing features.

After having spent hours fixing bugs and other critical problems, I figured that this excitement phase was the opportunity to ask users for support.

The first thing I had to do was to figure out what my users wanted.

Listening to users’ wishes 🌟

So I launched a survey, and announced it inside my Trello Extension, so that my users could know about it, and tell me what they want:

A Google Form to figure out what my users want

I closed the survey after 95 users had responded, because it was enough to let three top improvement requests emerge:

  1. Make tasks load and refresh faster
  2. Make it remember my favorite display mode
  3. Make it also work from the trello.com/my/cards page
Top-3 features scored 26.3%, 25.3% and 9.5%, respectively.

And, because implementing those improvements would take me a lot of time, I also asked how much they would be OK to donate for that:

About 45% of the 95 responders said they would be happy to donate for improving Next Step for Trello

I was happy to see that the most generous donators were asking for the same top-3 features!

Ask users to commit by donating 🚀

At that point, I figured that I could group these top-3 features into a new version of Next Step for Trello, and launch a crowdfunding campaign towards the development of that version. (e.g. like Fontawesome did awesomely)

So I launched two crowdfunding campaigns:

I’ve been pushing the former to the users of Next Step for Trello, as it’s a more clear and direct way for users to give a one-shot donation, to support the development of a well-defined set of improvements.

Kickstarter campaign for Next Step for Trello v2.0

I started the latter on Patreon in order to support a longer-term vision of a process that I’m starting to follow with Next Step for Tello, as I’m going to explain in the next section. It’s also a good way to reassure users who want to make sure that Next Step for Trello will keep working in the longer-term.

What’s for patrons? 💍

The process I followed with Next Step for Trello is a perfect example of the collaborative process that I would like to keep doing exclusively with my patrons:

  1. Gather ideas and votes on software I should craft next;
  2. Provide early beta access, for testing and feedback;
  3. Improve the software and define a roadmap, based on feedback;
  4. Host live coding sessions on Twitch, to show my work;
  5. And keep my software free to use for everyone.

Plus, as stated on my Patreon page, I’m happy to make a custom version of my software for every of my most generous patrons! And I’m still open to original reward suggestions!

I know that Patreon campaigns are not usual to support software developers yet, but I would really like to prove that I don’t need to craft adult entertainment to make a living out of my code.

I would be extremely grateful if you believe that it’s possible, and if you support my process by becoming my patron!

TL;DR 📌

If you just want me to make Next Step for Trello faster, remember your favorite display mode, and work from the trello.com/my/cards page
=> support me on kickstarter. (one-time donation with rewards)
If you want to encourage me to maintain Next Step for Trello in the longer-term, and be more involved in my future projects
=> become a patron. (recurring donation with rewards)
And, if you are not ready to prove me right yet, It would help me a lot if you could tell me why, and what would make you want to donate! 🙌
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