8 Profitable Open Source Library Success Stories [2023]

8 Profitable Open Source Library Success Stories [2023]
An Open Source Library

Open-source libraries become a widely used method of software development, stories from some of the top names in the field can help you with your development or help build your confidence in adopting this methodology for your own projects.

Open-source libraries have a lot to offer the world of programming. The potential for improvement and simplification of a wide range of computer applications is huge. However, with so many options available, how are developers and architects to see which ones are right for them? Following open-source library success stories that could help you determine your best options.

Here are some real life success stories of starting a open source library:

1. Vuetify ($300K/year)

John Leider (from Fort Worth, TX, USA) started Vuetify almost 6 years ago.

$25K / month
1 founders / 1 employees

Case Study

Hello! My name is John Leider and I am the founder of Vuetify, LLC.I started my company to help developers, especially design inept and inexperienced ones, build beautiful web applications.

Vuetify puts a large emphasis on its free aspect. Locking extra features or functionality behind a paywall just feels bad. Open Source is about sharing and improving code through community support. Over the years, this philosophy has allowed me to grow a massive user-base and ecosystem surrounding the framework.


2. EspoCRM ($360K/year)

Oleksii Avramenko (from Chernivtsi, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine) started EspoCRM over 11 years ago.

$30K / month
3 founders / 1 employees

Case Study

Hi! My name is Oleksii Avramenko. I’m one of the founders of EspoCRM, an open-source CRM application that helps to grow businesses.

The first version of EspoCRM was launched in 2014 and October of 2020 has seen the release of the 6th one. During the last year (29 Nov 2019 - 29 Nov 2020), the average number of downloads has increased to more than 16,000/year and we are extremely proud of it as it means that our product is in demand for our clients. Over the years, we started to make on average up to $30k a month.


Learn more about starting an open source library:

Where to start?

-> How much does it cost to start an open source library?
-> Pros and cons of an open source library

Need inspiration?

-> Examples of established open source library
-> Marketing ideas for an open source library

Other resources

4. Plausible Analytics ($1.2M/year)

Marko Saric (from ) started Plausible Analytics about 4 years ago.

$100K / month
2 founders / 0 employees

Case Study

Hello! I’m Marko Saric and I’m the co-founder of Plausible Analytics. Plausible Analytics is a simple, open-source, lightweight (< 1 KB) and privacy-friendly web analytics alternative to Google Analytics.

At the time of writing (September 1st), we are at $4,557 MRR and 743 paying subscribers. We’ve grown a lot over the last few months considering that we announced $415 MRR at the start of April this year (about a year after we launched our paid subscriptions).


5. HollaEx ($420K/year)

Adrian Pollard (from Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) started HollaEx almost 6 years ago.

$35K / month
2 founders / 13 employees

Case Study

I’m Adrian, the co-founder of HollaEx, an open-source crypto software startup. As a founder with a design background, my primary focus was on the product design of HollaEx, which allows anyone to start an exchange with their own coins and crypto prices.

HollaEx in 2021 has evolved into a general-purpose crypto service, with a focus on exchange technology and tackles key crypto infrastructure solutions like wallet tech, exchange hosting, and white-label services.


6. GanttProject ($36K/year)

Dmitry Barashev (from Prague, Czechia) started GanttProject over 10 years ago.

$3K / month
1 founders / 0 employees

Case Study

My name is Dmitry Barashev and I am the guy who is working on GanttProject, a popular free open-source project scheduling application for desktop operating systems. GanttProject may be thought of as a replacement for Microsoft Project for those who can’t afford to spend $1000 on a Gantt chart drawing software. It is used by small and medium-sized businesses in construction, mechanical engineering, media production, and other industries, as well as at colleges on project management classes.

GanttProject is free for any purpose, however, there is an option to pay-what-you-want and, to my big surprise, quite a few people choose this option. This, along with a few ad banners, generates about $3000-5000 monthly. Quite far from the Forbes list, but not bad for a pet project.


7. Wikipedia ($157M/year)

Jimmy Wales (from ) started Wikipedia about 22 years ago.

$13.1M / month

Case Study

During the dot com boom of the late 1990s, Jimmy Wales was running an internet search company. That's when he began to experiment with the idea of an online encyclopedia. In 2001, Wales launched Wikipedia, a website where thousands of community members could contribute, edit, and monitor content on just about anything. Today, the non-profit has stayed true to its open-source roots and is the fifth most visited website in the world. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," how Florence Wetterwald created Blabla dolls – eco-friendly knitted dolls made in Peru.


Read the full story on npr.org ➜

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