Ayende @ Rahien

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Looking at the bottom line

In 2009, I decided to make a pretty big move. I decided to take RavenDB and turn that from a side project into a real product. That was something that I actually had a lot of trouble with. Unlike the profiler suite, which is a developer tool, and has a relatively short time to purchase, building a database was something that I knew was going to be a lot more complex in terms of just getting sales.

Unlike a developer tool, which is a pretty low risk investment, a database is something that is pretty significant, and that means that it would take time to settle into the market, and even if a user starts developing with RavenDB, it is usually 3 – 6 months minimum just to get to the part where they order the license. Add that to the cost of brining a new product to market, and…

Anyway, it wasn’t an easy decision. Today I was looking at some reports when I noticed something interesting. The following is the breakdown of our product based revenue since the first sale of NHibernate Profiler. Note that there is no doubt that NH Prof is a really good product for us. But it is actually pretty awesome that RavenDB is at second place.

image

This is especially significant in that the profilers has several years of lead time in the market over RavenDB. In fact, running the numbers, until 2011, we sold precious few licenses of RavenDB. In fact, here are the sales numbers for the past few years:

image

Obviously, the numbers for 2013 are still not complete, but we have already more than surpassed 2012, and we still have a full quarter to go.

For that matter, looking at the number just for 2013, we see:

image

So NH Prof is still a very major product, but RavenDB is now our top performing product for 2013, which makes me a whole lot better.

Of course, it also means that we probably need to get rid of a few other products, in particular, LLBLGen, Linq to Sql and Hibernate profilers don’t look like they are worth the trouble to keep them going. But that is a matter for another time.

Comments

Scooletz
08/30/2013 09:16 AM by
Scooletz

How do plan to kill the products with the lowest revenue? For how long will you keep them alive? Will you make them open source, ofc only if their code bases are separated from the product you want to keep alive or simply shut them down? There's plenty of interesting questions in this topic.

Ayende Rahien
08/30/2013 09:20 AM by
Ayende Rahien

Scooletz, The low revenue products as of now are currently sitting on the same codebase as the highly profitable products, so they won't be OSS. I am not sure how to approach this yet, needs thinking about. Probably some sort of "no new sales" and 12 - 18 months support for those.

Daniel
08/30/2013 12:12 PM by
Daniel

Maybe split the codebase, some less significat -> OSS, the other, significantly significant -> closed source.

Or, just don't spend anymore time on the specifics of the LLBL Gen, for instance.

me
08/30/2013 12:16 PM by
me

how about making them open source?

Khalid Abuhakmeh
08/30/2013 01:44 PM by
Khalid Abuhakmeh

Awesome news, love to see RavenDB blowing up.

As a note, looking at your products why not merge all the profilers into UberProf and manage one code base. You give the user's more value and you give them once choice. They'll feel like they are getting a bargain and you provide one profiler to rule them all. It would be a win win for everyone (imho). For those who already have any profiler, offer it as a upgrade cost if they would like to move up.

Just a thought by looking at your data.

Ayende Rahien
08/30/2013 02:07 PM by
Ayende Rahien

Khalid, Internally they are a single code base. But splitting them up into separate products makes more sense business wise.

Khalid Abuhakmeh
08/30/2013 02:09 PM by
Khalid Abuhakmeh

That makes sense. I'm hoping RavenFS will show up sometime on your charts :)

Chris B
08/30/2013 02:35 PM by
Chris B

I would expect Raven's revenue to quickly approach the revenue for the NHProf because the pricing is so different. You only need a few sales of Raven to generate the same revenue as many sales of the profiler. It's difficult to say exactly how many since both products offer several subscription/purchase pricing options.

I think the profitability numbers would be more interesting :)

Ayende Rahien
08/30/2013 02:38 PM by
Ayende Rahien

Chris, We have been profitable for about 4 years or so. RavenDB is no longer being sponsored by other products.

Joe King
09/01/2013 06:25 PM by
Joe King

Any chance we could see the left hand legend?

Just kidding....

Ian Nelson
10/09/2013 10:03 AM by
Ian Nelson

I note that a standard UberProf license costs more than separate licenses for NHProf and EFProf. Reducing this might result in more UberProf sales to .NET freelancers/consultants who use both EF and NH.

Ayende Rahien
10/09/2013 06:04 PM by
Ayende Rahien

Ian, The assumption is that you'll only go for Uber Prof if you are using more than two of them

Comments have been closed on this topic.