Jan 9

Many a times I have been asked by my friends, “How do you come up with a business idea?”. My instant reply is “Look around. Find a problem thats hurting people. If you can find a way to solve that problem, you have got your business idea.”

Today I want to glorify the above statement with an example in the content of rails development community.

Consider this report The State of the Stack: A Ruby on Rails Benchmarking Report – 10 June 2009 which lists the most commonly used versions of Ruby, Rails, and plugins in actual 1800 production applications. Go to the plugins portion of the report. The image showing the usability of  plugins is as follows:

Rails Plugin usage - june 2009

Now consider the same report but the January 2010 version. The image below shows the the plugin usage in about 3000 rails apps.

Do you see a major difference at the top. The top used plugin in January 2010 doesn’t even exist in June 2009. And what does hoptoad do. In principle it does the same work as exception notification(the top plugin of June 2009) but in a much better way. The problem with exception notification was that you had to manage all your exceptions via email. This means you weren’t able to do the following things:

  • Club exceptions and record the counts.
  • Keep a record of which exceptions have been resolved and which are unresolved.

Hoptoad made it easy to manage your exceptions and in 6 months its one of the most used rails plugins. And mind you its not totally free. Its based on the freemium business model. If you have a decent sized app then the free model wont suit you. (from personal experience). Thus hoptoad solves a critical problem in a better way than existing methods and also earns a handsome revenue. Kudos to the hoptoad team!!

Report Source: http://railslab.newrelic.com/