Do GitHub stars ⭐️ = Money 💰?
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Do GitHub stars ⭐️ = Money 💰?

Nevo David 4 min read

This is a guest post by Nevo David who works at Novu and runs GitHub 20k.

Many open-source companies/libraries, Novu among them, are starting out by collecting GitHub stars. But stars are not coins, contributors, or customers. So why are we trying to collect them?

This is the answer I get from almost everybody, and they are right! partially…


I would like to touch on three subjects:

  • Credibility
  • Vanity metric
  • Trending opportunity

Credibility feeds developers 🍽️

The first step in the developer's journey is looking at the GitHub stars - furthermore, if two libraries do the same with different amounts of stars, usually developers will pick the one with the most amount, or it will be their first filter.

Of course, they will look after the last commit and latest pull requests. It’s important to see that the library is being maintained.

If you are an early adopter, yes, you might choose to go with a smaller library, but bigger libraries want to see growth - the more stars you have, the longer time you are in the market, and this is part of the vanity metric 👇


The vanity metric that rules them all 👑

We have taken Novu (at the time of writing this) to 24k stars, so you can trust me that most of what I am about to say is from experience.

Stars symbolize your growth.

If you grow stars organic (not buying stars or manipulating people to give you).

We have written tens of articles with a CTA to give us a star, which resulted in the following:

  • More contributors
  • More PRS
  • More signups
  • More visibility

In Novu, we achieved a major amount of stars that usually takes COSS libraries around 2-3 years to get. However, if you compare the other metrics, you will see that they match.


Trending on GitHub weekly 📊

GitHub has the Trending page. Many people monitor this page:

  • Investors
  • Contributors
  • Developers
  • Many other roles

Many libraries, such as Novu, got into a turning point once they got there.

And so, I have always tried to understand how to get to this page and realized that the best way is to get a lot of stars from multiple sources in a short period of time.

Since then, we have been trending there multiple times and have had major growth in all the factors.


Where’s the money buddy 💰

It’s a fair question, as most of the community around your library will never pay you.

I have a quick question:

Do you know where most deals are coming to companies in the Fortune 100?

If you haven’t guessed it, It’s word-to-month. It’s the strongest channel in the world with the biggest amount of credibility. And while the community is not paying you - they are building your brand. 99% of the customers of Novu, when being asked, “How did you find us?” - The answer is a friend. Frankly, it’s the biggest growth I have ever seen.

Community >> Product >> Money

How do I get those stars? 🌟

Over the last year, I have brought Novu a lot of stars, contributors, and, of course, customers.

We have methodically increased our number of stars and have also been declared one of the fastest-growing open-source companies of 2022 by RunaCapital. After achieving more than 20k stars, I have decided to go on a journey to teach everybody how to grow their repository and achieve this explosive growth.

I started a 100% free (and always will be) newsletter, it is good for you if:

  • You are considering open-sourcing your product (or building a new one).
  • You are considering opening a by-product and open-source it (to reflect on your main product).
  • You are in tech and want growth without the stars / without GitHub trending.

Feel free to register at: