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the ipinfo story

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what does this guy do?

  • find a easy question, however cumbersome question on stackoverflow.com
  • answer the question with a solution of his api, with full demo codes of usage.
  • so many amateur programmers are not capable of or too lazy to build such an easy api, his answer and api took off.
  • make money

Why he succeed?

  • no one talks about the easiest way to “Make What People Want”: Make What People Ask For.

  • answer many questions related to this, about 1 question / 20 days
  • his answers give the whole solution and full examples
  • his design is simple, reliable, fast

see: https://blog.ipinfo.io/api-side-project-to-250-million-requests-with-0-marketing-budget-bb0de01c01f6

as pointed by one hacker news comment, it's a very competitive market, however you don't have to own the whole market, a small share is just profitable.

Comments on hacker news

I see the author is posting the same thing every 20 days or so, so here is the 0 marketing...

Kudos to you guys for building this. There is always a lot of scepticism from people on "why would anyone pay for this" . Reality is not everyone has the time or resources to build their own kit. There are literally 1000s of businesses on the internet that that are in the business of selling "time" or timesavers and removing the risk of maintenance, ongoing support. Keep improving this and with the rise of web personalization, the demand will continue to grow.

Just some rough calculations. Assuming the worst-case scenario, everyone in the highest tiers (the cheapest per request), 250M daily requests means he makes 400 * 250M / 320K = $312,500 per month. Or $3.75M per year. Not counting the expenses.

I think the most common business model for a website such as this is to offer premium services like:

  1. more accurate details
  2. fraud protection, if the ip is known for fraud or spamming
  3. increased rate limits, etc Just the top of my head s.. I'm sure you i can think of many more..

I use ipinfo.io mostly to see my own public facing IP address and for me, it's 2 reasons:

  • I somehow can remember that domain. I don't have to google "my ip" and dig through weird domains that change all the time
  • The design is clean and simple. Not too many information, no ads, loads fast.

This has worked well for me, too. I saw an influx of "How to offer a time-based trial version on Android" on SO and developed a trial SDK as an answer: https://www.trialy.io/

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