Good question and some great answers so far
Those who know me, know that I am a fan of long-term thinking. My previous adventure — Zootool — has been running for almost 7 years and I fought hard to keep it going even through a pretty tough financial crisis. 7 years is not really long-term in the “real world”, but for the web it is kind of an achievement, if you consider the current life-span of most online services.
Kirby’s business model is a direct result of the financial struggles with Zootool and the idea to keep something up and running even longer than that. We are in Kirby’s 5th year now and it’s going strong. More and more agencies, companies and freelancers trust Kirby and constantly buy new licenses. Kirby is far away from hockey-stick growth, but it has been growing noticably every year so far. This made it possible to invest more and more of my time and money into the work of Lukas, Sonja and Nico. In fact I plan to extend this even more this year.
I think we are well beyond the point of being just another hyped CMS and Kirby is taking an important place in many user’s toolbelts. I’m very much aware of the responsibility that comes with this fact. But it also means financial security to a certain extend for Kirby and for us.
It also means that my personal motivation is heavily growing with Kirby’s success and I hope I can keep the rest of the team motivated as well.
My dream is to keep it growing like this, get the team even more involved, hire more people, grow the community and make Kirby better and better with every release and still innovate with it in 5 or even 10 years from now.
So far, the project has been a dream in all terms. In 2012, I would have never expected it to become, what it is today.
On a personal level, I’m all-in on long-term thinking as well. I have a family, a wonderful wife and son and we are currently building a house. So we are planning ahead 20-30 years there as well. I’m old fashioned, when it comes to such stuff
But as you all said, you can never tell the future. If something should happen to me, or Kirby sales suddenly collapse, we might be forced to leave this plan behind and find a different future for Kirby. I really hope not! But I said right from the beginning of Kirby, that the trust-based, open-source model is the best guarantee I can give the community, that the project will live on, even if something like this would happen. The flexibility, which is core to Kirby’s philosophy, should also be reflected here.
I hope this works as a good enough answer, to keep on trusting in Kirby as a reliable project for the coming years.