I wasn’t doing anything they couldn’t do.

Marco threw down the gauntlet in Pragmatic app pricing. Anyone can run a sustainable, indie business with a patronage pricing-model, he says. It only takes 10 years of hard work to do it.

Proving whether he is right or wrong is pretty hard to do. Maybe it’s all hard work. Maybe it’s pure luck. Hell, maybe it only takes five years of hard work, and Marco just kind of sucks at it. Either way, I’m going to try to prove it. And not by convincing you with some incredibly efficacious essay. Rather, I’m going to start my 10 years of hard work today.


I may have a slight head start; I have an app in the App Store. The Red Ace has been in the store for just over a year and has been downloaded 394 times.

I have a job. An excellent job. It pays the bills and gives me the freedom to work on small projects without having to worry about sustainability. I’d much rather stick with a full time job than go down the freelancing route.

Next steps

I need to build products and build an audience. I’m not 100% sure how to do that, but I’m guessing Marco wasn’t either 10 years ago. So until I know how to do it, here’s my plan:

  • Build cool shit.
  • Write about the cool shit I build.
  • Apply to speak at conferences.
  • Make a guest appearance on a podcast.
  • Keep self accountable with semiannual updates.

Odds are, I’m going to fail long before 2026. Building cool shit is hard. Writing about it is hard. Making time to attend conferences is hard, let alone speak at several. If you want to see Marco proven wrong, I invite you to follow along. If I fail, you can add it as a data point to your argument, “See, Marco! Not just anybody can do it!”

January 2026

I’m not measuring success by whether or not I can support myself via an app with a patronage pricing-model; that seems a little short-sighted. I’ll be successful, if in 10 years, people complain about my decisions and tell me “Of course it works for you, but it won’t work for me.”