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F Forumovod Jan 7, 2024

Just an opinion

You have done a lot of work and the result is really impressive. If we compare it with Flarum, their obsession with JS has led to the fact that no design themes have yet been created that differ from the default one. Modification usually comes down to changing colors, because without JS knowledge it is difficult to seriously change something. Flarum's weak point remains its poor integration with Laravel.

I like the Waterhole, but I won't buy it for two reasons. Firstly, you are developing alone and if something changes in your life plans, users will be left with nothing. Secondly, $100 annually for updates for a project that does not bring me money, this is unacceptable.

I think it was more correct to first form a community around the new engine, then monetize it. A little activity seems to show that things are not going well so far. In any case, thank you for not giving up the idea of creating a user-friendly Internet forum for many years. I've been following your activities since the days of esoTalk: the timeline feed and minimalistic design are truly innovative things.

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First off, being some one who is new to Laravel and just getting started in PHP I found Waterhole to be a 10/10 product.

And Toby has been more than great in getting back to me when I came across issues.

Second, Waterhole is worth infinitely more than the $399 / year. If you're having trouble monetizing $100 out of a community, that's troubling and you might have to reconstruct your business model.

Happy to pay more up front and get access to the attention when needed.

I highly recommend Waterhole.

In reply to Tyler DuPont Tyler DuPont

Hey replying here to say I am the same as @Tyler DuPont !

Waterhole has been bulletproof for our forum (ideas.tana.inc), zero worry on anything breaking all year, great experience. Bullet proof performance all year is worth more than $100! Toby has been super helpful, and I love when someone with talent and experience follows their instinct to build products which I think waterhole is. That is, one of the great benefits of using Waterhole for me is knowing Toby built it the way he wants, which means his taking all he learnt and all his skills to it. That’s also worth way more than $100. I get an expert in forum design to build our product, plus listen to my ideas, and generally be great to talk to. There’s always different ways to do things, but I love Waterhole as is.

Toby Toby Waterhole Founder Jan 21, 2024

Hey @Forumovod, thanks for your kind words! I want to respond to two of your points:

you are developing alone and if something changes in your life plans, users will be left with nothing.

This is not quite true - Waterhole licenses are perpetual, so you are entitled to use the version covered by your license forever, regardless of what my life plans are. You have full access to the source code and can alter, modify or extend it in any way you like. Granted, you may be talking more about key person risk with regard to future development of the software, which is fair enough to consider (though I have no plans to discontinue development of Waterhole!)

I think it was more correct to first form a community around the new engine, then monetize it. A little activity seems to show that things are not going well so far.

It depends what you mean by "going well". For me, the goal of this project is not really growth, but rather it is to make a product that I am really proud of, enjoy doing it, and work closely with paying customers to make sure they're satisfied. I'm really delighted to hear these testimonials from @Tyler DuPont and @Matt - thank you both 😊