Chat SDK

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Around 5 years ago I was looking for a good open source mobile messaging framework. There were a lot of options available but but they all had big drawbacks. There were commercial products that were expensive and locked you into their own proprietary platform. There were open source projects but they were messy, poorly documented and hard to modify or integrate with an existing app. 

I wanted a messaging system that was flexible, easy to integrate with my app and that gave me full control over my users' data. I was introduced to James Tamplin one of the co-founders of Firebase and was impressed by the ease with which Firebase could be used to build real-time apps. So I decided to try to build an instant messenger using Firebase. That gave birth of the Chat SDK project: an open source, backend agnostic, messaging framework that makes it quick and easy to add messaging to your app and gives you full control over the entire messaging process - code and data. 

Since then I've been working full-time on the project and gradually the feature set but it's a slow process because we're bootstrapping and the open source project has to be supported by consulting work (which is very time consuming) and sales from premium modules. We've recently expanded the team by hiring two new developers which has massively increased our monthly costs. We have several months of runway but we are currently operating at a loss because the modules sales don't cover our salaries and fixed costs. 

I would love to be able to put more time into the core library and provide more features for free. I would even be open to making everything free and open source. There are so many possibilities - end-to-end encryption, audio and video calls using WebRTC, supporting Firebase Firestore. But to do that, we need to find a stable revenue stream that can support the development.

I honestly have no idea if it will work, but I think Patron is worth trying. If even a small proportion of our customers could support us, we could put more effort into the open source library. At the moment our costs look like this:

If we could earn $2000 per month, that would allow me to work full time on the core library. If we could earn $5000 per month, that would allow the whole team to work full time on the core library. Above that, we could hire more developers and start pumping out new features.

So if you like what we're doing and you want to support us at any level, I would be very grateful. 

$1 of $1,000 per month
End-to-end encryption. We have been planning to add encryption to the Chat SDK for a long time but we just haven't had the development resources. If we hit $1000 per month I can spend half my time developing this feature. 
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