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Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Enter the .NET component business?


I'm currently trying to set up as an ISV. My product is, let's say, 'a business productivity application' backed up by a 'group collaboration server for the client app'. I wont bore you with the details, but there seems to be a market and competition seems to be lacking in major areas.

Anyway, during the course of developing this software I've had to develop several .NET components and controls which could potentially be of use to others. Based on Eric's principle of 'start really small' I considered selling these under a different brand to my main company.

Is anyone in this market? Is it saturated or is there still money to be made? Are the support costs a nightmare? Do the big players take the lion's share with little let over?

I'm generally looking for some input on whether I should stick to building my application (which could take several months to complete), or resolve to 'start really small'. I need to make a more informed decision.
NickH Send private email
Sunday, September 19, 2004
I think unless you have something really innovative you will struggle to make much, or any, money from it. It is extremely difficult to compete with the bigger players in this market IMHO.
Craig Send private email
Sunday, September 19, 2004
Yeah, I think it'd be too tough to compete, unless your components are so fantastic that you should ditch your "main" project and concentrate on selling the components instead.

The market does seem sewn up by a few big players and there are numerous websites where you can download components, including source, for free.

Support is also likely to be an issue. Nobody will pay much, if anything, for components unless they can see you have good support in place. This may well eat up all your time, leaving none left for the main project.

My advice is to stick to your chosen domain and concentrate on making your main project the best that it can be.
Sunday, September 19, 2004
You will always have competition from the big companies and the people giving it away for free whether its components that you're selling or full software solutions. 

The key will be in how you position your components in the market.  I know of websites that cater to selling components for the IBuySpy and DotNetNuke frameworks.  It seems that the people buying these components want to have enough control over what they're creating but they don't want to have to create every single piece from scratch, so they're willing to pay for it.
Brian Send private email
Sunday, September 19, 2004
You might consider using the components for marketing, release them as freeware to build some recognition. You can always release a professional version and charge for that.
John Send private email
Sunday, September 19, 2004

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