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How does Trailbot make money?

I get asked a lot about monetizing Trailbot especially as it continues to spread across the country. In particular, I'm most often asked, "how does Trailbot make money?" and "when are you going to start charging?" The short answers are "it doesn't" and "not any time soon" but here's a longer answer.

For starters, Trailbot costs very little to run. My monthly hosting bills are negligible. The main cost is time and at present it does not impose an unmanageable burden on my time.

Secondly, adding money matters into the app would only ruin it. Charging trail organizations is a non-starter as that would be a barrier to getting official updates. Charging app users adds additional time demands (customer service, accounting) I'm not interested in. It also requires additional software development effort, which I'd rather allocate to new features.

Ads suck, not going that route. No interest in selling user data either, so the app only collects what it needs to function.

While I appreciate offers of donations, I'd rather see that money go to trail organizations as they're the ones providing the true value of the app in their updates.

Jersey sales was the single biggest financial loss this project has incurred so I don't plan on doing that again.

The #1 thing that helps keep me motivated to work on the app and trail manager is positive reviews. I love knowing that people are enjoying and getting value from the app.

If you really, really want to show your appreciation monetarily, please visit my bike shop ROAM Bike Shop for your next purchase (especially if it's a Revel or Salsa bike). Or you can purchase something from our web site.

I can't predict the future but I don't foresee any of the above changing any time soon. I won't rule out money-making opportunities in the future but I'm more interested in Trailbot existing than I am in profiting from it.

Thanks for using the app or providing trail conditions! As always, feedback is welcome at

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