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Why I chose Electron.js for my side business

So I can fry eggs on my MacBook Pro. Kidding 🥚 🍳

With the current brouhaha about the Apple M1 chips and the recent love letter that Sketch wrote about macOS it might seem like choosing Electron.js to develop your idea might be a bad… idea. But let me tell you why that might not be the case.

There are several (very good) reasons why Electron.js was the right tech choice for my side business. But to start, here’s a tweet:

a tweet saying Electron app memory usage: 150 MB, Native app memory usage: 0 MB (because you never ship it)

It’s mostly a funny quip but there’s truth to it. If I chose to develop Loaf natively, I simply wouldn’t have had the time, money or means to accomplish it. And now that Loaf has paying customers I’m glad I chose Electron.js. Here’s why:

1. Money

Loaf is completely bootstrapped. I’m funding it out of my own wallet so I don’t have the luxury of building a separate macOS app and separate Windows app.

2. CSS and layout ❤️

What does CSS have to do with this? I’m a web designer and a UI designer. I’m very comfortable when writing CSS, but have very basic javascript skills. I have non-existent Objective-C/C#/Swift/.NET coding skills.

Because CSS powers UI layout, it gives me close to ultimate flexibility. This is the dream as a UI designer. I don’t need to ask a developer to make changes, I can do it myself! This means I can craft the best possible user experience. I fuss over every pixel and at the end of the day, the user wins.

3. It suits the product!

Loaf is an SVG icon editor. So there’s a natural fit there, the base canvas of an electron app is, essentially, good old HTML. I didn't need to build a rendering engine or do any translation stuff.

4. Finding engineers

When developing Loaf, I've worked alongside software engineers. The pool of engineers capable of web developement is simply larger than those who specialise in macOS and Windows application development. So finding a suitable partner will be easier for you.

macOS has been my daily driver for the last 7+ years and I'd love to design macOS software one day. But in the world of business, you have to be practical.

I wanted to share this in case you were holding out building something neat using Electron.js because it gets bagged out by the cool kids. There's nothing cooler than shipping a product that helps solve a problem for someone in the world.

What do you think?

Leave a comment :)

About the blog 👋

This blog is written and maintained by me, Philip! I'm building an animated SVG icon editor. Get it for free and let me know what you think! Also, I like coffee :)




Email: hello@getloaf.io