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User requests vs Dev desires

Shawn C Carroll
・1 min read

I have a side project that provides a service to a community for free. This project started out of functionality requests that my wife had that were missing. The user base has grown past my wife, but in my mind she is still the primary user.

Recently someone inadvertently abused the my service and knocked it offline for a short period of time (maybe 15 mins). This concerned some of the users, they want a higher up-time rate and are willing to fund some of that build out. The problem I have is that I'm not interested in solving the problem of a paid for use service. I'm interested in preventing the use case that knocked the service offline in the first place.

I have stated from the start that I don't want to take any money for this service. This is for a few reasons, first is that this a toy for me and if I start getting paid, it stops being a toy. Second, I'm concerned that if people start paying they may feel they have a right to direct development, again not a fun idea for me. Thirdly, there may be issues with my work if I start taking pay for programming.

I figure I will continue to put the pay-for-use segment of the user base off for a while. I'm put off a little that I have to do it though.

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