Lost Pixel

Lost Pixel enables developers to catch visual problems before users do, founders reveal how much they invested in their open source projects, and open source goes strong at the Golden Kitty Awards 2023.

Welcome to a new edition of Open Pioneers - your weekly update from the forefront of open source. Today, we talk about:

  • Lost Pixel, an open source tool for visual regression testing, including an interview with its founder Dima

  • Founders revealing how much they invested in their open source projects

  • Open source products at the Golden Kitty Awards 2023

  • Job opportunities at Appwrite, Lago, and Supabase

Enjoy it, and please reach out if you have feedback or content requests for future editions.

🔍 Spotlight: Lost Pixel

Lost Pixel is an open source alternative to Percy, Chromatic, and Applitools Eyes. It is a visual regression testing that allows developers to catch visual problems with their applications and websites before their users do. The library has over 1.1k stars on GitHub and is MIT-licensed.

Learn more about Lost Pixel: Website | GitHub | Twitter

🎙️ Interview with Dima (Founder of Lost Pixel)

Hi Dima (@DivDev_), What’s the founding story behind Lost Pixel?

My co-founder Chris and I were working as contractors on a pretty big project with lots of engineers and custom-built visual testing solutions. The monthly usage was so huge that most of the major SaaS were out of the question, but an in-house solution was also very slow and inconvenient. We decided to solve the problem for everybody and build something that can be used both as SaaS & open source tools!

How are you monetizing Lost Pixel?

We have an open-source engine - lost-pixel, that powers our cloud offering, the Lost Pixel Platform. While lost-pixel is for indie developers and small projects - Lost Pixel platform is for teams & collaboration. We have over 1k users after our initial beta testing last year and are already helping such cool companies as Prisma, Rows, and Webstudio in making their visual testing effortless.

How are you deciding which features go into the open source core and which parts stay proprietary?

We try to be as open as possible with our tool, most probably, we will even think of making the whole package open-source and allow people to self-host it. We’ve poured a lot of effort into making it fast, reliable & convenient, and my only desire is that visual testing in the cloud becomes more democratized and companies would not need to pay thousands and thousands of $$$ for visual testing. While we are totally bootstrapped, it makes it a little bit easier for us to hide less and show more in parts of our proprietary software!

What’s the most unexpected thing that happened to you, building an open source product?

Being a bootstrapped founder, every day something unexpected happens :D I would probably say that every connection matters, and we’ve got the most unexpected clients from some small chats on Twitter, being helpful in the communities, and just being open-minded in general.

Any last words?

Try out visual testing, no, for REAL! The era of visual tests being flaky, unreliable & slow is going away, and we are here to drive the future of Visual Testing with Lost Pixel 🖼️ Compared to other types of tests, Visual Testing is really effortless to set up, easy to maintain (with the right tools & features) and is just pure fun!

Founders reveal how much they invested in their open source projects

A couple of days ago, the founder of Maybe, a personal finance and wealth management app, announced they spent about $1m to build their app.

The business of Maybe didn’t work out, so the team decided to revive the product as a fully open source project. Their goal is to let users run the app themselves for free and use it to manage their finances.

The announcement led to other founders publishing how much money they spent building their products.

Peer tweeted Cal.com invested $2m to built its impressive scheduling software suite with 150k+ users.

Didier from OpenBB, the open source investment research platform, said that they spent $3.5m on building its Bloomberg terminal alternative.

This shows the incredible commitment with which many companies are investing in the open source community. On the other hand, these are impressively low figures when compared to the funding that was required to spin up proprietary alternatives such as Calendly or Bloomberg terminal.

OSS Capital claims that open source companies “need only raise 30-50% of capital from the previous frothy era in order to grow into highly profitable public entities”. This (anecdotal) evidence can be taken as an indication that they might not be entirely wrong with this thesis.

Open sources goes Golden Kitty 2023

The Golden Kitty Awards are the most important awards for makers and entrepreneurs. The awards recognize the top projects of the year across various categories such as AI, design, community, productivity, SaaS, and more.

Yesterday, Product Hunt announced the nominees for the 2023 awards - and open source is going strong.

You can vote for open source products in the following categories:

Let’s show some love for our favorite open source products, and turn this into Open Kitty Awards (okay, bad joke).

💼 Work in open source

  • Support Engineer (Remote) at Appwrite Apply

  • Founding Marketer (Remote) at Lago Apply

  • Technical Product Marketer (Remote) at Supabase Apply

Not a fit for you? Check out more opportunities at Trueup or ossjobs.dev.

I would love to hear from you. What did you like or didn’t like about this newsletter? Which open source content would be relevant for you?

Until next week,

Jonathan (@jonathimer)

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