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7 Innovative Startup Ideas for Developers to Launch in 2024

Are you a software engineer looking to leverage your skills into profitable side hustles?

The possibilities for making money online are endless, and in this post, I will share seven side hustle ideas for developers that I believe will be highly profitable in 2024.

1. AI-Powered Custom Solutions

Let’s start with AI-powered personalized solutions.
AI is no longer just a buzzword; in 2023 alone, the AI market was valued at more than $153.6 billion, and it’s expected to grow exponentially.

AI Market Size.

According to the latest available data, the global AI market is worth approximately $196.63 billion in 2024.

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That figure is up from 2022’s $142.32 billion. And has more than doubled since 2021 ($95.6 billion).


AI Market Growth Over Time.

Between 2022 and 2030, the global AI market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 32.9%.

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A new AI tool is coming out every week; you can explore some tools at TopAI to get some inspiration from there, which are used for completing development tasks, generating images and videos with AI, research tools, and so on.

As a developer, you can tap into this by offering AI-powered custom solutions to businesses.

For example, you can build a tool like AgentGPT or God Mode by utilizing an existing large language model (LLM) like GPT, Llama, PaLM 2, or others that can understand and generate human-like text. (i.e., you create a token for GPT models and add it to your application)

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Then, implement a system that can break down user-defined goals into actionable tasks — break down users’ large inputs into small tasks with the Laddering technique and then return a more useful response.

You will also need to create a chaining mechanism where tasks are executed in sequence to achieve the set goal.

You can stop here, and then people can interact with it from the terminal, but to take this a step further, design a user-friendly interface that allows users to interact with the AI agents. Additionally, allow users to define goals, monitor progress, and receive outputs.

If your tool is useful enough, you can monetize it through subscription models; most people will be happy to pay you to save them time from prompting themselves or to learn prompt engineering to do it properly.

This is just one example of a tool you can make, but the options are endless, and also check out the existing tools before starting to create one.

2. Selling Digital Products & Plugin Development

The digital transformation market is also growing, which includes digital products and services, and is projected to grow from USD 2.27 trillion in 2023 to USD 8.92 trillion by 2030.

You can create digital assets like plugins for Shopify or WordPress.

IN 2023, WordPress is still used by 45.8% of all websites on the internet and of the 9.2 million e-commerce websites in the U.S., 28.51% use Shopify.

You can also create reusable website templates with your favorite tech stack and sell them on platforms like ThemeForest or Template Monster, on which I have a detailed guide in case you’re interested.

I used to sell mostly website templates on Themeforest, and it can be quite profitable as a first step.

3. App Store / Play Store App Development

Mobile app development is still a vibrant market.

As of 2023, the Google Play Store hosts approximately 3.718 million mobile apps, while the Apple App Store offers around 1.803 million iPhone apps.

You can develop an application easily without knowing any native language like Java/Kotlin or Swift by using cross-platform tools and frameworks such as React Native, Flutter, or even Ionic, and you don’t have to learn anything new except using React or Angular to create an application or game. It works by wrapping the app in a native container, allowing it to access the device’s features while being developed with familiar web technologies.

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You can earn money from this by monetizing through ads displayed within the app, with in-app purchases by offering additional content or features within the app or charging users to download the app’s premium version without ads and with additional features.

4. SaaS or Micro-SaaS Products

In the realm of SaaS (Software as a Service), the opportunity lies in creating specialized, niche products that solve specific problems for businesses or individuals.

Micro-SaaS products are often built by a solo developer or a small team of developers. These products don’t require a large investment but focus on a very narrow market or functionality. Here are some Micro-Saas ideas that you can start in 2024.
Raycast is an example of such a tool with a small team of developers.

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It’s a productivity tool that streamlines daily tasks and workflows through quick access and custom scripts, primarily targeting developers and power users. It is a very successful project with a subscription-based model.

5. Open Source Project Contributions

By contributing to projects related to your field, you demonstrate your skills, collaborate with others, and build a reputation in the developer community.

This can lead to job offers, consulting opportunities, or the chance to sell your own tools and services to the community that grows around a project.

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Furthermore, if you initiate an open-source project that gains traction, you can monetize it through sponsorships, donations, or dual licensing, where you offer both a free community version and a paid commercial version with additional features or support.

6. Ethical Hacking Services

As businesses increasingly rely on digital infrastructure, the demand for cybersecurity expertise is skyrocketing.

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Ethical hackers, or penetration testers, are professionals who use their skills to identify and fix vulnerabilities in systems before malicious hackers can exploit them.

This can involve anything from web application testing to network security assessments or even social engineering drills.

As an ethical hacker, you might work as a freelancer, start your own consulting firm, or join a corporate team.

The field requires staying constantly updated on the latest threats and technologies, but it can be highly rewarding both intellectually and financially.

7. Tech Blogging

Tech blogging is also a powerful way to share your expertise, review new technologies, or provide tutorials and tips.

It can start as a hobby but has the potential to become a lucrative career through advertising, affiliate marketing, sponsored content, or selling digital products like e-books or courses.

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Successful tech bloggers establish a niche, whether it’s covering the latest in web development, AI trends, or gadget reviews, and they grow their audience by providing valuable, accurate, and engaging content.

Building a strong personal brand as a blogger can also open doors to speaking engagements, book deals, or consulting work.

Article by chinnureddy.

Top comments (3)

softwaredeveloping profile image

Thanks for the article. I found Raycast very interesting.

chinnanj profile image

You're welcome!, i appreciate that you found that very interesting 🤔.

chinnanj profile image

share your wonderful reviews about this article.