Troy Dean — of WP Elevation and Video User Manuals — was until recently also the maintainer of Google Analyticator, the WordPress analytics plugin with 400,000+ active installations. Troy sold Google Analyticator to Noah Kagan and SumoMe.
SumoMe is directly related to AppSumo, the popular deals website with over a million subscribers. SumoMe is their popup, social tools, and website analytics product, which includes a free plugin on WordPress.org with 40,000 installs of its own.
I talked to Troy about the sale. He says that they tried to monetize the large user base of Google Analyticator multiple ways without much success.
- They tried selling a Google Analytics education course. They got good feedback from a free webinar but not as many people were interested in further, paid education.
- They tested interest in a pro version of the plugin which would allow users to utilize Google Analytics' “content experiments” testing tool. This one maybe could've worked, Troy said, but it didn't line up as well with their other business interests, so they decided not to pursue it further.
Troy noted that the development costs for Google Analyticator were actually not trivial, since they have to update the plugin every time Google updates their APIs.
Noah contacted Troy at the same time they were debating next steps and they worked out a monetary deal to transfer plugin ownership. It seems everyone involved is happy, and now the popular plugin has a backer that's motivated, with a suite of related tools that they think they can pitch to Google Analyticator users.