February 7th, 2020
Maybe it helps some other devs out there (to find an idea or something to work on), but here are the services that I pay for to run my business:

  • Heroku (~$200/month): Running 3 different projects, and some with jobs servers as well
  • Upwork (~$1000/month): Freelancers. I especially use Upwork because I don't have to think about all the billing stuff and time tracking, etc.
  • Sentry ($29/month): Absolutely essential for catching bugs fast. I started with freemium and then they eventually *got* me on # of errors/usage.
  • Klaviyo: Send emails to all my lists.
  • SendGrid ($15/month): To send various transactional emails. Like Sentry, I started for free and then they nabbed as email volume increased.
  • G Suite ($6/month): For Starter Story email address.
  • Stripe (Fees): Obvious.
  • Buffer ($15/month): For social media automation. I use their API, it's amazing. Lived off their free plan forever until I wanted to automate LinkedIn posts 
  • Placid ($19/month): For automation of social sharing images, OG images, social media.
  • Blogcast (~$30/month): Automatically creates audio versions of blog posts for Starter Story.
  • Simple Analytics ($19/month): Privacy-focused analytics that I use for this blog you're reading right now.
  • Mailbrew ($15/month): Sends me an email every day of any Starter Story mentions and other automations so I can stay off Twitter.
  • Adobe Premiere ($22/month): Video editing software.
  • AWS ($10/month): S3 and I also use the Alexa API.
  • WIP.chat ($20/month): Chat community for makers. If it weren't for WIP, I don't know if I would have made it in the early days.
  • Nomad List (~$8/month): Community for digital nomads. Makes it really easy to find cheap places to live/work.
  • Notion ($5/month): Somehow they nabbed me off their free plan. I can't remember really.
  • Cloudflare ($5/month): I pay extra for some of the rate-limiting features.
  • Pigeon CRM for Gmail: ($19/month): To run operations at Starter Story. Yes I pay for my own app! I think it's important to see that charge come in every month :)
  • Various: (~$100/month): Accountant + domains + I have a small budget to support indie makers with one-time payments and some Patreon subscriptions as well.

What I would pay for but somehow get away with the free plan:

  • Crisp.chat. Use this religiously to talk with leads and customers for Pigeon
  • Loom. Crazy how much value is in this software.
  • Calendly. Used this a ton in the early days of Pigeon.
  • Strava. Still living off the free plan.
  • Email Hunter. Amazing for getting email addresses. Their API is clutch.

Will think of more as they come.