Hi – this is a guest post by Giles Bowkett. I made at least $10,000 in the last few months selling videos on my personal blog (including at least $5,000 selling a video about how to have a terrific programming career, and at least $5,000 selling a video about how to sell videos on your blog).
Just this week, Michael Hartl of Rails Tutorial has created an audacious, $495 webinar/screencasts program as well. Meanwhile, Xavier Shay is touring the US with his Database Is Your Friend live training program, and of course the Pragmatic Studio live trainings have been going for years. (I attended the TDD studio twice, it’s great.) Live training sometimes goes one-on-one, as well: I give programmers personal coaching, as does Greg Brown (of Prawn fame). Somewhat atypically for this list, Greg is also developing a free program called Ruby Mendicant University which uses the info-marketing “webinar” model but gives everything away for free.
Although info marketing’s been part of the Ruby community since 2006, it’s grown in the past year; many of the projects listed above are new in the last six months. What does it mean? A rough, practical entrepreneurship runs strong in the Ruby and Rails communities, with a spirit audacious and independent enough to border on a punk rock vibe.
DHH has made fun of venture capitalists for spending millions to launch a company, when he built Basecamp on just ten hours a week, but ten hours a week is overkill for an information marketing business. I literally started my first such business with $30, selling Warcraft ebooks with pay-per-click advertizing. Rubyists are reacting to the dismal economy with their own gutsy ventures, which is what we should expect.