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Ask HN: My side project is ramen-profitable. What do I do now?

For context: The project is a PC-hardware recommender (https://www.pc-kombo.de). It looks at benchmarks and tries to find the best combination for the budget, for the parts where there are no benchmarks (hdds, case, …) it relies on reviews and finally coded heuristics (=my judgement). It’s a side-project, I have a job (salaried PhD-student, finishing this year).

The jump from 0 to some monthly income was a really big thing and took a long time. Then everything moved fast for a moment, but now it did not evolve much in a while, and I’m not sure what to do. I see some options, but they also seem blocked.

For example, I’d love to extend the version for the US by adding newegg as a vendor. But the Usage Terms of its referral program are batshit crazy. The consequence by signing it were for me to have to pay them $20k dollars whenever they want, they’d just have to claim a problem with following their terms. I’d have no defense, nor the money.

I could also expand to other EU-countries. But I think the monthly work required to keep the database up to date would go over the time budget I have for this project. Maybe if I built that in a very robust way – but my tries to do that for Germany all only improved the situation, there is naturally always still manual work to do… Maybe that should be done anyway, I’m leaning towards it.

Maybe I could just make it more known in Germany somehow? Or maybe the site just needs to be improved gradually and would then grow by itself? Maybe (probably) there are other options I miss?

I’d love to hear some advice.

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