Patreon-style funding can support an individual but not a team or capital

As far as I can tell, even the most successful creators on Patreon and Substack (which is slightly more product-y but still has the same feel) tend to max out at order $100-200k, which compared to tech salaries is one person doing pretty well or two people scraping by. There’s no hard rule that this is the cap so this might be explained by:

  1. Not that many people actually will spend money every month for a subscription to a good that feels like it should be free or has little direct effect on their life. People don’t see patreon or substack as charity. Pay-it-forward tithing is underrated.
  2. It may be that people who would be making more have moved off of the platform to capture that money directly. Sam Harris did this, as I believe Ben Thomson did. However, they are both waaaaaaay at the end of a tail distribution and even then have just enough to hire software consultants.

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