Are there examples of commercially successful Qt libraries?



  • I'm thinking about a couple of modules that would improve Qt's overall experience, and I wonder if there have been libraries in the past that people were successful in commercializing. Any familiar examples?



  • Hi @ihaveajob,

    I wonder if there have been libraries in the past that people were successful in commercializing

    Nothing comes to mind, but if you have a look at https://inqlude.org/ and see the libraries that have "Commercial" listed as one of the license options - they're probably good candidates to look into to see if any have achieved any successful?

    Hopefully someone else can reply with some real knowledge, but give that a look in the meantime. And be sure let us know what you find :)

    Cheers.


  • Moderators

    I haven't seen any either. I'm sure they exist I just never needed to extend Qt at such a level that would require that much of a product. I have my own little libs that I use to extend some GUI stuff, and some threading (although those are out of date since I like Qt threading now-a-days), but nothing at a grand enough scale for a commercial product.

    I have seen open source ones like KDE's extensions to Qt, but I haven't seen a commercial one. Again I haven't looked though. Anecdotally, that would make it seem like not a great place to spend your time, but if you have really good ideas it might be worth it. If nothing else you would learn a lot which never hurts when getting new jobs. :)

    Keep in mind Qt itself doesn't make that much money.

    https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160810006285/en/QT-Group-Plc-Year-Financial-Report-1

    They have been around 20ish (probably more) years now and are big in the open source community since KDE and a lot of linux applications use it. Extending it I think would be a tough place to make decent money. You'd be better off writing it as open source, gaining adoption, and then trying to sell your open source company/rights to Qt or some company that uses it. That is the easier route these days to make money on pet projects.


  • Moderators

    Don't forget the Qt Company's own commercial offerings!

    • Qt Automotive Suite
    • Boot2Qt

    These modules/libraries used to be commercial-only, but are now open-sourced to GPLv3 too, but not LGPL (list from http://blog.qt.io/blog/2016/01/13/new-agreement-with-the-kde-free-qt-foundation/ ):

    • Qt Charts
    • Qt Data Visualization
    • Qt Virtual Keyboard
    • QML Profiler
    • Qt Quick Compiler
    • Clang static analyzer
    • Qt Test Integration
    • Qt Quick 2D renderer


  • @ambershark said in Are there examples of commercially successful Qt libraries?:

    Keep in mind Qt itself doesn't make that much money.
    https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160810006285/en/QT-Group-Plc-Year-Financial-Report-1

    Reading that, every figure is quoted using the word "thousand" like:

    • Net sales EUR 16,084 thousand (EUR 12,873 thousand): up 24.9 per cent

    Just so I get a handle on the ballpark, does this wording mean EUR 16 thousand (terrible) or EUR 16 million (wonderful) ??

    EDIT: Oh, I see Qt Company is a "plc". So it must mean million! So:

    • Comparable operating profit EUR 1,181 (1,120) thousand, comparable operating margin (EBIT %) 7.3 (8.7) per cent.

    Sales of EUR 32 million, profit of a couple of EUR million p.a. (how do they manage to run up costs of EUR 30 million?) is not too shoddy, is it? Perhaps it is, I don't know...


  • Lifetime Qt Champion

    @JonB Just some guessing:

    • Employees salaries
    • Infrastructure (both real estate, IT, etc.)
    • External services (web hosting, etc.)
    • Research and Development
    • Certifications (for example all the medical related certification they did to allow easier medial product development)
    • Attendance to events
    • Marketing (Swag and other stuff)
    • Traveling costs
    • Taxes

    You are likely also not taking into account that the Qt Company is present in several countries on all continents which all have their particularities.

    Also, the report, IIRC, is for the year where The Qt Company was created (or rather, was again made an independent company) so it's again not without high impact on that kind of figures.


  • Qt Champions 2018

    Actual commercial projects that can be seen as an additional module of Qt:


  • Moderators

    @JonB

    Sales of EUR 32 million, profit of a couple of EUR million p.a. (how do they manage to run up costs of EUR 30 million?) is not too shoddy, is it? Perhaps it is, I don't know...

    Couple million profit isn't a bad thing, but it's certainly not in the realm of big companies. It seems to be quite stable income wise and it's profit is up which is good.

    But if someone wanted to build a commercially viable library off Qt they aren't going to see that proverbial cash cow. ;) It could be a comfortable living but my guess is it would be a lot of work with little reward.

    Qt seems quite secure though. Any financial statement that isn't in the red is doing great imo.


  • Moderators

    @VRonin said in Are there examples of commercially successful Qt libraries?:

    VPlay

    Can't believe I didn't think of that one with how often they come and plug their product here on the forums, lol


  • administrators

    @ambershark said in Are there examples of commercially successful Qt libraries?:

    Qt seems quite secure though. Any financial statement that isn't in the red is doing great imo.

    It's going to be in the red for a couple of years, but that is due to growth, sales should be going up for a couple of years.
    So it will be a bit in red, but still great :)


  • Qt Champions 2018

    @ambershark said in Are there examples of commercially successful Qt libraries?:

    Qt seems quite secure though. Any financial statement that isn't in the red is doing great imo.

    Qt Operating Margin

    @tekojo said in Are there examples of commercially successful Qt libraries?:

    sales should be going up for a couple of years.

    Qt Sales Growth

    I think after years of disastrous results. Mainly correlated with the decline of Nokia, I think Qt is on a good path to sustainable growth in sectors I can see expanding in the coming decades.

    P.S.
    I'm not an equity analyst and the Qt company has no public debt that I know of so this is just the opinion of a man on the street, nothing more

    We are going WAY off topic here



  • @VRonin
    Ooo, I'm glad my company doesn't look like that!
    I wonder if now would be a good time to invest in some Qt Company shares? ;-)


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