So far I have been only publishing free packages to AppExchange. However, since the rumors regarding that Salesforce will require a Security Review Fee even for paid apps, I started considering publishing some paid package to at least cover the cost of the security review fee. Also, one of the users of my free app asked me why didn't I publish it as a paid app. So far there were several reasons why didn't I make any of my AppExchange apps paid, including:
- My free apps on AppExchange were merely my pet projects, something I considered to be useful but still missing on AppExchange.
- At that time, I didn't have access to the AppExchange publishing console on my projects where I used to be working like subcontractor and I felt I need some experience with that, so I considered publishing my pet projects on AppExchange as a learning opportunity for me to learn the process of publishing an app to AppExchange.
- I am a single individual (in Ukraine we have special term like Private Enterpreneur, or literally Physical Person Entrepreneur in Ukrainian) and actually I was always involved in full time projects, so I never had much time to support or evolve my pet projects. All my pet projects I have built on weekends or during late evenings in my free time.
- Per my understanding, if you publish a paid app, a support is expected, and I guess that just responses by emails might not be satisfactory and I don't have an US phone number to publish for package subscribers to call me whenever they have issues. Also I am not located in US timezone, so I won't be even able to pickup the phone if someone is calling from US timezone in the time when I am felt asleep.
- I have some fears like that the app I publish will not be much popular and will not cover the expenses on Security Review fee, not even saying the cost of development or support. So it would be extremely risky to publish some paid app without even having some confidence that such app will be sold. Currently one of my free app is becoming quite popular and has 5 App Exchange reviews (but not as much popular as the top trending apps which have plenty reviews and I assume millions of subscribers), but when I published it, there were quite a few subscribers of it.
- I struggle with ideas. I meant, I have plenty ideas but I am not sure if someone would like to buy it. Also I tried to search over IdeaExchange but the most popular ideas are either implemented or planned to be implemented by Salesforce or they already have some top trending apps covering the missing functionality.
So, I know that fee for free app is kind cancelled temporarily, but I generally struggle with understanding two questions.
- How to make a successful profitable AppExchange listing? What makes an app or a component a successful AppExchange listing that brings profit?
- Is this even possible for one person to get a profit from publishing paid AppExchange app? Does it make sense instead to make a team or hire a support team? How hard is it to support a paid package on AppExchange?