Journey

The ROI - return on investment - of paid products and services

I wrote a blog post about how I manage Components UI and the tools I use. It seems scary, risky or counterintuitive to pay for tools and services when they are free options available or when you can do it yourself manually. In this post I want to explain what's the ROI — return on investment — of paid products and services and my reasoning  for choosing paid services to run my projects instead of a free or manual tool.

The mindset

Most of the tools I use to manage and build Components UI are paid services. One of the key reasons I decide to pay for them is because they save me time and offer great value for what I pay monthly. They allow me to run Components UI very lean, with automated processes and without much overhead.

It seems counterintuitive but sometimes "free" doesn't really mean free, it just means you are paying with "life". All these is to say that you are paying with your time instead with your money.

Long-term business

When you pay for a service or a product you are almost 100% sure that the makers are building a sustainable business for the long-term. As oppose to some Silicon Valley mentality: you can't build a sustainable business if you don't charge your customers (with rare exceptions).

This means you can depend on the tools long-term and not worry that they will be out of business soon and  you'll be left hanging without support for your business or projects.

The real cost versus value

Paying for a services lets you leverage your product. If you run a construction company you'll be able to build more houses if you have the proper equipment (tools, machines, cranes) instead of you working alone with your own hands. That's the power of leverage. That same principle can be applied to digital products.

When you pay for services that cater to your specific needs and add value to your project, you are getting leverage from those services. You can get more output with less input on your part. Of course you can build your project with your own hands using free tools (the same applies to building a house) but if those free tools don't add value or don't cater for your specific needs, you are not getting the full amount of leverage available.

For Components UI I use a lot of paid tools that help me add value to the product and help me save time in the process. If you are on the low tier of the services I use you'll find out that you'll pay around USD 60 per month. That seems a lot of money for services instead of doing it yourself. The real value — and leverage — comes when those tools help me build a product that I can sell for USD 69. This means I have to sell just one product and all the services are paid for the month. The rest of the sales are more or less profits. That's the power of leverage. And that's the real cost versus the value of paid services.

When you are starting out with your project it might seem scary to spend a lot of money on services when you are not bringing money in. I know this is true because that's how I started with Components UI. Depending on your needs and on your product you can start adding paid services to bring more leverage into your project and scale it even more.

I wrote a full blog post explaining the tools and services I use to run Components UI. You can read it here: How I built and manage Components UI [Part 1].


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