15 months ago TextMate was released to the public and got a mixed response. Some loved it, some hated it, and many saw potential. Since then I have been working hard to improve the product, and it was with great pleasure I heard Leo Laporte on The Mac Attack say the following about TextMate (starting with an apology to the folks at BareBones):
It is incredible, it's getting better all the time, is the ultimate programming application […] its ability to replay macros, insert snippets, and run commands is very powerful and it supports all sorts of languages, it's just the ultimate programming or HTML editor, so I have really become a fan of TextMate […] at first people kind of mocked it […] but it's just incredible.
I am truly thankful to people like Leo Laporte, Merlin Mann, David Heinemeier Hansson, and the hundreds of other who make up for my lack of active marketing. Words cannot express my gratitude toward the work these people do!
I would naturally also like to thank all those who are helping me make TextMate such a powerful environment for so many different programming languages. Many users may not be aware that probably 95% of the language specific functionality, including syntax highlighting, and color themes, is not done by me, but instead by a team of volunteers (I am not listing them here because I fear I will forget some).
Of course the many people who help me deal with user support, propose intriguing features, and ask interesting questions at the mailing list and IRC channel are also much appreciated!
All in all I am really happy with the growing community surrounding TextMate, and alone the fact that there actually is such vibrant community surrounding a “for pay” text editor.
Speaking of the “for pay” element. I am often asked how much I actually sell, I try to be as open about everything related to TextMate as I possibly can (sometimes at the expense of “promising” a feature or release date, which I later have to change my mind on — hopefully a price people are willing to pay for my openness). But as for how much I do sell, the serial number on your license (should you have bought one) is the actual customer number, so this will tell you how many licenses were sold before you purchased yours.
Recently Gus Mueller disclosed his sales graphs for the first 3 years (with figures removed). Since the graph is likely more interesting than total number of sales, I am following his fine example and present here my (normalized) monthly sales for 2005 (also with figures removed).
What's interesting is that the number of downloads do not show the same extreme growth. So the rise in sales is not only due to more people learning about TextMate, but (hopefully) also my improvements throughout the year.
I didn't put any figures on the graph because I don't know how people react to such things. But January do represent a good salary, and I would probably lie if I said I wasn't getting rich from this.
But fear not, I develop TextMate because I am passionate about the program and love to see my ideas turned into working code. More money just means I can be more passionate, hire people to help me, and/or experiment with making larger portions of TextMate F/OSS (but these things are currently very long-term).