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Nevo David for Gitroom

Posted on • Originally published at star-history.com

Do GitHub stars โญ๏ธ = Money ๐Ÿ’ฐ?

Novu got 20k stars in one year, but what about customers?

Many open-source companies/libraries, Novu among them, are starting out by collecting GitHub stars. But stars are not coins, contributors, or customers. So why are we trying to collect them?

This is the answer I get from almost everybody, and they are right! partiallyโ€ฆ

stars

I would like to touch on three subjects:

  • Credibility
  • Vanity metric
  • Trending opportunity

Credibility feeds developers ๐Ÿฝ๏ธ

The first step in the developer's journey is looking at the GitHub stars - furthermore, if two libraries do the same with different amounts of stars, usually developers will pick the one with the most amount, or it will be their first filter.

Of course, they will look after the last commit and latest pull requests. Itโ€™s important to see that the library is being maintained.

If you are an early adopter, yes, you might choose to go with a smaller library, but bigger libraries want to see growth - the more stars you have, the longer time you are in the market, and this is part of the vanity metric ๐Ÿ‘‡

Cred


The vanity metric that rules them all ๐Ÿ‘‘

We have taken Novu (at the time of writing this) to 24k stars, so you can trust me that most of what I am about to say is from experience.

Stars symbolize your growth.

If you grow stars organic (not buying stars or manipulating people to give you).

We have written tens of articles with a CTA to give us a star, which resulted in the following:

  • More contributors
  • More PRS
  • More signups
  • More visibility

In Novu, we achieved a major amount of stars that usually takes COSS libraries around 2-3 years to get. However, if you compare the other metrics, you will see that they match.

Vanity


Trending on GitHub weekly ๐Ÿ“Š

GitHub has the Trending page. Many people monitor this page:

  • Investors
  • Contributors
  • Developers
  • Many other roles

Many libraries, such as Novu, got into a turning point once they got there.

And so, I have always tried to understand how to get to this page and realized that the best way is to get a lot of stars from multiple sources in a short period of time.
Since then, we have been trending there multiple times and have had major growth in all the factors.

Trending


Whereโ€™s the money buddy ๐Ÿ’ฐ

Itโ€™s a fair question, as most of the community around your library will never pay you.

I have a quick question:
Do you know where most deals are coming to companies in the Fortune 100?
If you havenโ€™t guessed it, Itโ€™s Word of mouth. Itโ€™s the strongest channel in the world with the biggest amount of credibility. And while the community is not paying you - they are building your brand. 99% of the customers of Novu, when being asked, โ€œHow did you find us?โ€ - The answer is a friend. Frankly, itโ€™s the biggest growth I have ever seen.

Community >> Product >> Money

ย 

How do I get those stars? ๐ŸŒŸ

Over the last year, I have brought Novu a lot of stars, contributors, and, of course, customers.

We have methodically increased our number of stars and have also been declared one of the fastest-growing open-source companies of 2022 by RunaCapital. After achieving more than 20k stars, I have decided to go on a journey to teach everybody how to grow their repository and achieve this explosive growth.

I invite you to register for my newsletter.

This newsletter is good for you if:

  • You are considering open-sourcing your product (or building a new one).
  • You are considering opening a by-product and open-source it (to reflect on your main product).
  • You are in tech and want growth without the stars / without GitHub trending.

Itโ€™s a 100% free newsletter (and always will be). Feel free to register at:

https://github20k.com

In it for tech

What do you think about it?

Top comments (23)

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moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

What do you think about it?

I think it sounds like an advert for a newsletter, but I'm not really sure why people are interested in newsletters these days! There's not much that's topical that people can't find for themselves so easily that it makes curated lists redundant.

If you have something to say in your newsletter that you don't already say in your series of posts here on DEV, why not give a bit more insight into the differences? Perhaps a link so people can read the latest newsletter in their browser without having to subscribe?

Subscribing to someone's newsletter is a pretty big personal barrier for a lot of people.

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darkterminal profile image
Imam Ali Mustofa

Can I buy a GitHub Star? Yes, I can! ๐Ÿคฃ

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nevodavid profile image
Nevo David

But can you sell it? :D

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tylim88 profile image
Acid Coder

if it can be brought, then it definitely can be sold

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darkterminal profile image
Imam Ali Mustofa

Hmmm... nice question. I am a broker... ๐Ÿ˜

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aregtech profile image
Artak Avetyan

not sure that buying stars works :)

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jonrandy profile image
Jon Randy ๐ŸŽ–๏ธ • Edited

Do GitHub stars โญ๏ธ = Money ๐Ÿ’ฐ?

No, stars are a bookmarking tool

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nevodavid profile image
Nevo David

Yes, you bookmark good things.
It shows growth for the maintainer

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jonrandy profile image
Jon Randy ๐ŸŽ–๏ธ • Edited

Not necessarily, I've bookmarked repos as examples of laughably bad code, and other similar reasons.

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nevodavid profile image
Nevo David

And the majority?
Also, for that you have the "watch" option.

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jonrandy profile image
Jon Randy ๐ŸŽ–๏ธ • Edited

The majority - quite honestly - are probably things I came across that looked vaguely interesting and meant to look at or evaluate later but never got around to... much like the act of bookmarking sites in browsers (that similarly use โญ as an icon for bookmarks)

You can even make lists within your GitHub stars to organise your 'bookmarks' - something you would never do with 'likes'. It's clear it was never intended as a 'like' feature.

Watching, on the other hand, is a different feature - for following activity on a repo

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jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel (jmfayard.dev)

Counter argument : GitHub stars won't pay your rents and your clients don't care about them.

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srbhr profile image
Saurabh Rai

Interesting article. It answers some burning questions in every open-source creator and maintainer's mind.

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nevodavid profile image
Nevo David

Main questions I am usually being asked

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srbhr profile image
Saurabh Rai

Because people have these questions. They want someone to answer it.

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sevapp profile image
Vsevolod • Edited

Since this is the case, give me a star too on Gentle, promise-based HTTP client for Deno and Node.js.. Will be very happy ^_^

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chturner94 profile image
chturner94

Starred

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sevapp profile image
Vsevolod

^_^ thank you!

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artxe2 profile image
Yeom suyun

GitHub stars, like money, tend to be self-replicating once they reach a certain level.
In the case of GitHub stars, I think it is because the number itself leads to improved accessibility, as mentioned in the article.

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smitterhane profile image
Smitter

I relate github stars to your reputation. A good reputation won't pay you any money but somehow it can complete the money puzzle for you.

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nathan_tarbert profile image
Nathan Tarbert

Really good info, thanks @nevodavid!

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tombraiders profile image
Samaa Shaaban

hhhhh I need a star plz