What if I build features that solve the same problems as Patreon’s product teams?

Fundamentally, yes, that is great. Think of any successful platform company: their internal teams can build only so much, and only so well for a widely diverse user base.

As a creator-first company, we want to do what’s best for creators. If a developer builds something that is better for a particular creator than what we’ve built - then by all means, that creator should use it.

Words are words, so here’s a credible example. Consider that while we have a core team building relationship management creator tools, we have greatly invested in our integration with Zapier, which opens the floodgates to almost every CRM and marketing automation tool out there. And we’re comfortable with that, because it’s best for creators.

Let’s communicate. Reach out and tell us early what you’re thinking about to partners@patreon.com. If an internal product team knows that credible members of the developer community are working to solve a problem on their roadmap, that helps teams better prioritize and shift limited resources to unsolved problems. Or they may not, and creators will end up with more choices. Either way, we’ll all have been better for communicating about it.

And the benefits of communicating go both ways - if we’re already releasing something - we can also help you re-focus. This has happened in the past and been hugely valuable for developers in saving them time

Let’s communicate! In fact, let’s over-communicate.

I can chip in on this topic via my experience from my own project which i coordinated with Patreon:

When I decided to create a premium WordPress plugin for Patreon, I reached out to Patreon about my project and got in contact with Tal & Spencer.

We communicated extensively, during which we made sure that my plugin (Patron Plugin Pro) and official Patreon plugin for WP would not overlap in features, and mine would bring added value. Tal & Spencer were great help during the development of my plugin and as a result not only my plugin made it on time (and on a very short schedule I might add) and also as fully synergistic with the official Patreon plugin. Results were very satisfactory. Users are happy too.

I very much recommend other developers to get in contact with Patreon with their ideas and to coordinate the development of their integration. From experience, i know they will be very helpful in many things ranging from information to advice.