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Doug Nebeker ("Doug")
I have a few ideas for Visual Studio extensions and was wondering if anyone has experience selling them.
How do you sell your extensions? Is it just a link to your website where you do the payment processing or you need to sell it through Microsoft?
What are the recent trends? Do you find that extensions market grows year over year? I would hate to enter a declining market.
Unfortunately I have no experience for selling add-ins for VS to share with you. But I'm in the same boat and I want to make standalone application as VS extension because of some feedback from customers which are using VS and doesn't want to switch between VS and standalone application. But it takes time and money and I'm trying to analyze if it's worth doing at all.
Judging from the companies I was working for as software developer buying add-ins for VS to improve performance was the way to go, and there was not a problem for dev department to spend money on buying license to the whole team just make job done faster. Of course it doesn't mean anything about market growing, etc.
It would be great to here the real experience from selling VS add-ins.
One case study you could look at is Add-In Express: http://www.add-in-express.com/
They develop a VS plug-in to assist in developing COM Add-Ins for Microsoft Office. As you can see from their website, you don't need to promote or sell your offering through MS, although there may be benefits being part of the Microsoft development ecosystem.
I have no affiliation with Add-In Express beyond being a satisfied customer - their support is excellent BTW and a crucial consideration in this market. Your potential customers will want to be reassured that you'll still be around in the future.
VS plug-ins may be considered a close cousin to developer tools and controls. As such, I would consider this a tough market to enter unless you have a *very* compelling product.
Also consider the very real possibility (not to be confused with probability) whether your business opportunity could be obliterated - Death Star style - by MS incorporating your idea in a future version of VS.
As to market trends, I'm afraid you'll need to dig deeper with your own research and reach your own conclusions as to whether this is an opportunity worth pursing.
All the best -
Are VS add-ins and have founders who have been members of this forum at one time or another. If you email them very nicely, they might be able to help.
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
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