Sizzy is marketed as a “browser for web developers” and its creator is known as a Macedonian developer. kitze, hoping to turn it into a thriving business. The product is currently available for his 14-day free trial, but after that you’ll need to sign up for a monthly subscription ($15/month for individuals).

At the recent Infobip Shift developer conference in Croatia, Kitze was the opening keynote speaker, speaking about the struggles of selling software to developers for a living. Not only did he sound sad about this, he was downright angry (see featured image in this article).

After the presentation, I met with Kitze to find out what Sizzy is and why he finds it difficult to market.

Sizzy: What are the benefits for developers?

A $15/month subscription sounds reasonable, but for a freelance developer, it’s not a trivial amount when added up for a year or more (let alone the year after that). Kitze is clearly a developer himself, so I asked him why he built it and how it benefits developers.

“So it started with the frustration of resizing the browser,” he replied. That was the best feature. Responsive He used Google Chrome for his design, but had to switch between multiple devices to see if it would work on iPhones, iPads, etc. [another] Tablets, that sort of thing.And I, why don’t I just make [web] A page with several iframes that can be opened at localhost:3000 and can be viewed on multiple devices. “

The original version of Sizzy was a Chrome extension that allowed you to do just that. He launched it in his April 2017 as a tool “for developing responsive websites very fast.”

But by July 2019, he had come to the conclusion that “a GitHub star wouldn’t pay rent” and had redesigned the product into a complete browser (built using Google’s open source Chromium project). restarted as

kitze shift

Kitze on stage at Infobip Shift 2022

The new version of Sizzy came with a price tag. Developers also benefited, Kitze said.

“Whenever I open localhost, instead of opening it in Google Chrome where the dev tools are hidden, everything is hidden behind something. [Sizzy is] It’s a tool that has everything you need as a developer. “

He also says that Sizzy “provides a more accurate simulation than Google Chrome, because Google Chrome only displays frames.”

Being able to log into different user accounts in the same browser window is another feature of Sizzy that “normal browsers” lack, he added.

For all of Kitze’s complaints about Chrome, Sizzy is built on top of the same codebase, Chromium. That’s why we offer his Chromium development tools, including Chromium Inspector. Kitze adds:

The main difference between Sizzy and Chrome from a dev tools perspective is that Sizzy has a “universal inspection element”.

“So if you go into Inspect Element and hover over multiple devices, you’ll see information about any element. Clicking on any element will take you to the dev tools for that device,” he said. .

software subscription blues

A big part of Kitze’s current problem is that Sizzy started as a free product. Especially if they rely on the tool.

Sizzy said in her Infobip Shift presentation that she received a lot of rebates from users when she introduced her new product as a subscription service. Judging by this Reddit thread of his, some of the negative feedback was that developers hate the subscription model. They only have to pay him once for the product.

Another problem with Sizzy is the intense competition for browser-based products that help developers achieve responsive design. CSS-Tricks said years ago he reviewed those groups, including Sizzy, and happened to pick another subscription service, Polypane, as the winner.

Perhaps Kitze’s biggest problem, which he hinted at in his reboot post, is that he has a number of side projects and regularly moves around the tech conference circuit. Kitze is a very talented presenter, as we witnessed at the Infobip Shift event. He reminded me of Gary Vaynerchuk, an American entrepreneur and media personality. Kitze doesn’t just look like @garyvee, she has the same bouncy charisma.

It’s clear to me that Kitze has no problem getting attention on the internet — he has over 29,000 Twitter followers — so I asked him why it didn’t work for his Sizzy business. ?

“Because we are trying to change our minds. [developers],” he said. “The oldest habit that people have is to use the browser […] We are trying to compete with free browsers. “

He also seems caught between the two extremes. He said he either wants to build something very big out of Sizzy (citing his VS Code from Microsoft as an inspiration) or it remains a side project.

Ultimately, while we agree with Kitze’s desire to make a living writing software, he faces the same challenges as us when it comes to making money on the Internet. Software winners are often products that do what other products can’t (see Figma or StackBlitz). If Kitze believes Sizzy offers unique value to developers, it needs to make it a centerpiece of its marketing.

Disclosure: Infobip paid Richard MacManus to attend the Infobip Shift Conference in Croatia.

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