When I first pitched Travis about teaming up, our goal was to test the waters and establish whether there is any demand for paid Gridsome starters/plugins. At the moment we are both still freelancing to makes ends meet, but our hope is that we can find the right niche within the Gridsome community, to be able to work on building products for JAMstack full-time.
There are of course a number of steps before we can really answer that question, but for now we're treating the brand as a mvp.
As part of any new business setup where you need to decide on a pricing structure for your products. When it comes to digital products, this can also be thought of as a business model. Essentially how you're going to monetize your products. Most of the traditional business models we considered share the same flaw - not giving back to the community. The alternative we came up strikes a nice balance between making it financially viable, while still enriching the community.
Think of it as a club/subscription where members get early access to our Gridsome starters, component library and detailed setup guides. This way, members get our products as they are released, then after a set period (for example 6 months) they are made available to everyone.
How it would work
Members of the club would have the ability to vote on which starters, components and guides they would like created first, along with the ability to suggest new starter, component or guide ideas.
In addition to the ongoing stream of content, members would also get exclusive access to our Excelsior starter and CLI. We'll be going into Excelsior in a later post, but for now the take-away is that it's our utility starter which includes consistent layouts for all the major Gridsome sources, plugins and popular NPM packages.
Using our CLI, you scaffold a new project and follow the prompts to select which sources, plugins and packages you want included. After about 60 seconds your new site is ready to go, with everything you need and nothing you don't. You can see an early preview of the CLI in action over here.
We're also structuring the configurable parts as separate modules to make it easy to add or remove stuff as needed.
Then for the starters, we're leaning towards releasing a new starter every three months, which will give us enough time to maintain a high level of quality, which still being able to work on Excelsior, the component library and guides.
Tailwind based component library
The idea behind the component library is to create a collection of rock-solid building blocks, that can be used within our starters, plugins and other tools. Yes, there are already some great component libraries out there (like Vuetify, Chakra Vue, etc), but each of them utilize their own CSS frameworks, meaning extending them means learning a new set of classes and way of doing things. We are big fans of TailwindCSS and will be using it for all of our starters, plugins and components, so it made sense to stick to one framework and use it for everything.
Then lastly the guides, the idea here is create detailed, step-by-step guides covering setting up the various Gridsome sources, plugins and relevant NPM packages.
The official Gridsome docs are constantly evolving and what we have so far is already pretty good, but there are still a ton of things I personally needed to figure out while building my personal sites, that aren't covered.
Things like implementing live-search, using Airtable, setting up authentication are just three topics off the top of my head. The number of guides we commit to releasing each month is yet to be determined, but I think five really detailed guides would be realistic.
Like the starters and components, the guides would be locked to members only for a set period, then made public to all once the countdown has concluded.
Over to you
We really want to focus on building products that people will genuinely love using, so please take a moment to share your thoughts on the business model and our general direction.