I regularly check new GPT-APT-based products for my awesome list every day. Recently I found Zeeno.ai and Monica. They both look promising but lack the ability to customize API keys, so I left some comments on Product Hunt asking if this feature could be supported. Luckily, they both responded with a positive attitude.

Additionally, the maker of Monica replied:

I’m a bit curious, is using a personal API because the daily free quota is not enough?

This is an interesting question because I initially asked for this feature solely from a developer’s point of view: utilizing my own key would decrease expenses and provide more autonomy. But for product makers, it’s not worth creating a feature for a small group of people with technical background when the majority of users are normal individuals. That seems to be the case, and the common practice for GPT-API-based products is to build a subscription model around the usage amount—a reseller of the upstream API. So why bother telling the user that you can bring your own key if we want them to think highly of our technology?

Well, there are still reasons to do so. Let me explain:

  1. What the user truly cares about is the usability of your product. Although some may not be aware of OpenAI, the number of competitors in the market continues to grow rapidly on a daily basis. Therefore, providing this option will not have a negative effect on how normal individuals think about your product.
  2. The developer’s favor is a cost-free marketing promotion. As a developer, I appreciate transparent and customizable products. I will spare no effort to promote your product for free through writing articles or posting tweets, as long as I find it powerful and customizable, and I believe other developers are the same as me. YouTubers may also appreciate the opportunity to create tutorials teaching their viewers how to use great products for free by utilizing “certain technologies”. We will spread its popularity.
  3. Those willing to invest in a tool are less concerned about API keys, because they prioritize convenience and time over cost. Consequently, we can assume that conversion rates for subscriptions are constant. The more users a product has, the higher the likelihood of gaining subscribers. It’s straightforward logic, isn’t it?

I am aware that, in many cases, backend logic can be too complex to allow for this feature. However, where possible, I recommend enabling the customization of API keys, which would be a mutually beneficial solution for both of us. So, what is your opinion on this?