Aven is a startup unlike any other. Hypothetically, it is possible to build a thriving business that is completely open source. Even our long-term business strategy is in the open for you to criticize, embrace, or even take.
Tactics that can sustain Aven in the early days will not lead to high growth, so the business plan is broken into phases.
Phase 1: Sustain
The first goal is to keep Aven alive with a salary for the founding team.
In the coming weeks we will launch the "Aven Insider's Edition", which allows people to contribute to Aven on a monthly basis.
We will use social media to reach the market of 2M+ React developers want a transparent system to deploy Next.js apps on any cloud. We will also market to those who will be entertained by the open approach of the startup.
Aven Insiders will enjoy perks like access to exclusive content and merch, but the biggest perk is the ability to influence the future of Aven. We will regularly poll insiders to gauge interest in content and product direction. The more an insider contributes, the bigger vote they get.
This feedback loop will reward our insiders with the content they want, and it will guide us to produce the right content and tools.
Phase 2: Serve
In phase two, we will launch our open source product as a service.
We can leverage the brand recognition of the open source tech stack to attract customers to our "offical" cloud offering. A hosted service dramatically lowers the maintenance burden, so we can charge a premium.
Phase 2 begins with the same market of 2M+ React developers, but the service will be simple enough for new developers and non-technical people as well. Wordpress, who dominates with 60% of the CMS market, earns $135M ARR with their hosted open source product.
This service will hopefully provide revenue for us to grow a small team.
Phase 3: Grow
Throughout phase 1 and 2, we may offer consulting for enterprises who build apps with the Aven stack. In the growth phase we will develop the ability to connect enterprises with gig workers who can serve them.
A variety of specialties are required to develop a high-quality application. From from UX design, copy writing, translations, and video editing, to all of the technical specialties, Aven will develop a community of independent workers, at the ready to build applications for the enterprise.
In this phase more than any other, it is critical for Aven to become something of a media company, to retain attention and authority on the type of gigs that we hire out. For example, if we offer a video editing service, we need to become publicly-recognized experts on video editing, in order to attract customers and contractors to the platform.
Eventually we will grow beyond web software and embrace mobile, gaming, and robotics. With the assumption that the world has an infinite demand for new software, Aven's growth phase is unlimited.
See the roadmap for an overview of our timeline.