The future of mRemoteNG

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The future of mRemoteNG

Postby rmcardle » Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:02 pm

I lost my job yesterday. Along with some other things I have in mind, I want to try and make a living developing and supporting mRemoteNG. I'm a strong supporter of open source software and I want to do this in a way that follows the letter and intent of the license and also respects the developers, users, and community of mRemoteNG.

I'm looking for feedback on my ideas and any other ideas any of you might have. My ideas and thoughts about them are below.

  • Donations - I've done this in the past. It isn't much, but every little bit helps.
  • Selling support - I'm not sure how this would work. Would I sell yearly support, per-incident support, or both? Would it be per-company, per-site, per-user? What would the scope be limited to? Installation, configuration, and usage support? Bug fixes? New features? How much should I charge?
  • Bug and Feature Bounties - Would one person say, "I want feature X and I'll pay Y dollars for it", or would many people be able to donate toward a bug fix or feature request almost like Kickstarter? How would the required amounts be figured out? When would people have to pay? What if the bug fix or feature wasn't possible, or didn't live up to people's expectations?
  • Paid version - There are commercial Telnet/SSH and VNC components that would work better than PuTTY and VncSharp. mRemoteNG Pro could bundle those commercial components. The source code would still be released, but you would need a license from the component vendors to use it. A standard version using PuTTY and VncSharp would still be maintained. My concern here is development of the PuTTY and VncSharp parts of mRemoteNG would probably lag behind. I'm also not sure of how the community would react to this. Keep in mind that the original mRemote used a commercial VNC component, although mRemote was still given away for free.
  • Advertisements - I have already added ads to the mRemoteNG website and plan on adding them to the forum. I will keep them minimal (in number) and unobtrusive.

None of these ideas are set in stone. I really want your feedback. Any other ideas would be great too.
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The future of mRemoteNG

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Re: The future of mRemoteNG

Postby rothgar » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:01 pm

Here are a few ideas.

    Web based remote (a website that collects all my remote connections and can launch the installed app)
    Cross platform support? not sure how it makes money except for mobile apps
    Centralized remote management (database storage/synchronization) < could also be applied to end users with syncing via dropbox etc
    connection backup/sync service < this could come in very handy if mobile apps were available
    macros, scripts, automation tasks
    Single Sign ON?

Full disclosure I have stopped using mRemote a while ago in favor of RemoteDesktopManager which had fewer bugs and a lot of the features I just listed above. It was more expensive but they were also more active in development and fixed a few annoyances I had with mRemote. Best of luck and sorry to hear about the loss of your job (unless that was a desired outcome in which case congrats).
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Re: The future of mRemoteNG

Postby mrpsycho » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:58 am

+1 to Web based remote
+1 to Cross platform support. this is the best thing!!! i wish i could use mRemoteNG with its its database on all my computers.


i think the best way to make money on mRemote is to make 2 versions^
free and pro.

maybe free + in-app purchases.
for example: base app is free with built-in system protocols. if it windows - so rdp, putty.
if it mac os (or ubuntu) - vnc, ssh
and all other for additional pay^ you need rdp - buy it for $0.99
you need better vnc - another $0.99
if you need better encryption in passwords - another $0.99
mysql - add another $0.99

also there must be full version with good price. at about $20-30

also fully paid version is better to sell with its market places, such as Mac App Store, Windows Store, Google Play, etc.

maybe another great idea will be for a great IT teams. with build in hierarchy. but only way to it - is to find investors.


i believe that loosing your job is a great punch for a better life.


ps. sorry for my english ^(
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Re: The future of mRemoteNG

Postby funkyflash » Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:24 am

Sorry to hear about your job.

I happen to love mRemoteNG. I like the idea of the bug bounty thing. It provides you with a few services:
- The bounty provides a way of somebody to donate, where they might not normally donate. Personally, I feel better donating to a particular issue than I do to the project as a whole. Maybe I'm dumb. But there are probably other dumb people out there. Doesn't hurt to provide more opportunities to get money.
- It gives you an idea of how important a particular issue is. Finite votes work to the same degree, but this way gets you money :) Your time isn't unlimited. You'll want to know which issues to work on.
- It might even open up your product to some corporations. Big companies feel good when they can throw money at things. Big companies feel better when they feel like they can solve a particular issue with money. "Man, I'd love to use mRemoteNG, but it doesn't do this." "Uhh, well sir, you can drop a couple grand on a bounty for that feature request, and rmcardle will probably bust his ass to make it happen." I'm not saying it out of distaste or hatred for large corporations, I'm saying I can see my company doing this.

Good luck man. Cheers.
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Re: The future of mRemoteNG

Postby ljpaque » Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:39 am

Obviously anything that gets active support of mRemoteNG is a positive thing.

Another monetizing option is for latest version to be for pay and the previous version to be free. That introduces a problem with dual path for development if you would release fixes for problems in the previous version.

My favorite idea is feature limited for free, forum only support for low price, full support for higher price.

Good luck!
Larry
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Re: The future of mRemoteNG

Postby jeffa » Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:00 am

+1 for freemium approach to make money.

I also suggest something with a residual income model, if you are going to need to live off this!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freemium

An example of where I think the freemium model works very well is Lastpass.

Lastpass example:
a good solid service for free.
premium costs you $12 per year (so residual income model)
premium gets you access to exta features and a support ticketing system and an sla of some sort

Consider paypal recurring micropayments as a way of collecting your money, that way you are not having to deal with credit card details.
People tend to keep valid card details on their paypal accounts :D
A web service to have a central store of config would be nice but would not come without costs of its own of course, maybe include this in premium?
Also consider only enabling premium functions if the central web service has a valid paypal payment in the last couple of months. (let the user know whats happening of course) This does require occasional dial home of course... which some will not like.

I really like MremoteNG but bugs (read crashes) stop me from using it for now sadly.

Its human nature to walk away from free products that don't work, but if you have paid you will report bugs and bug reports is what you need to fix them.

I hope it all works out for you.

Long live MremoteNG


Jeff

p.s. Don't feel bad about asking for money for your work.
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Re: The future of mRemoteNG

Postby rmcardle » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:21 am

jeffa wrote:I really like MremoteNG but bugs (read crashes) stop me from using it for now sadly.

Please try 1.70 Beta 2. There are a ton of bug fixes and several of them are for crashes.

http://www.mremoteng.org/download/beta

Thanks for the ideas and feedback.
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Re: The future of mRemoteNG

Postby cmarkham » Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:07 pm

If I donate now on the mRemoteNG site through PayPal, it goes to you, right?
There's a "Donate Now" button waiting for a press.
I use mRemoteNG every day all day and my job would be significantly more difficult without it. I appreciate the work you've put into it and will continue to donate as I go and mRemoteNG goes.
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Re: The future of mRemoteNG

Postby rmcardle » Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:22 pm

cmarkham wrote:If I donate now on the mRemoteNG site through PayPal, it goes to you, right?
There's a "Donate Now" button waiting for a press.
I use mRemoteNG every day all day and my job would be significantly more difficult without it. I appreciate the work you've put into it and will continue to donate as I go and mRemoteNG goes.

Yes, it does. Thanks!
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Re: The future of mRemoteNG

Postby econwell » Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:28 am

I agree with those who have mention the 2 version option(free\pay).

Options for the paid version

Shared SQL Database of connections and setting
Have some sort of security structure in it for distribution of resources.

Additional preconfigured tools
Like the tools from Sysinternals

Update scanner for AD and network changes

There is alwas the option of licensing the software to a third-party for integration or distribution with thier product
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