Cydia creator Saurik talks about ‘Competition vs. Community’

Cydia Package

Cydia creator Jay Freeman, better known as “saurik,” has published a lengthy essay entitled “Competition vs. Community” on his personal blog. Freeman reflects on various topics, ranging from Cydia competitors and how Cydia is operated as a business to his personal community efforts and motivations. 

We’ve summed up the most interesting anecdotes that Freeman shared in the 5600-plus word essay ahead, and I personally recommend giving the full article a read in your spare time.

Freeman posted this essay at least partially in response to the upcoming iMods jailbreak store, which we provided exclusive details about in a report this evening.

Cydia Competitors

“Every year or so, someone announces a new ‘Cydia competitor’. Almost always, these projects either never come to fruition, are nothing like how they were portrayed before release, or don’t actually offer much of value over the existing solutions: they tend to disappear as quickly as they were announced.”

Cydia as a Business

“Cydia does not try to be the world’s best business; instead, it’s somewhere halfway between a community-driven project and a for-profit company. Cydia was originally a side project, so I should explain why I turned it into a business:

1) It let me buy my time from my previous job.
2) It “legitimizes” jailbreaking (politically): in both the 2009 and 2012 DMCA hearing cycles, it has been extremely useful to be able to point at a “legit” commercial ecosystem.
3) It allows me to fund random community efforts.”

Community Efforts

I have been a major backer of JailbreakCon […] I do a lot of outreach, giving talks at various conferences, all of which I do for free […] The jailbreak subreddit is also an interesting case: before I got involved, /r/jailbreak had been banned by the reddit admins. I argued with them to get it reinstated, explaining to them that I would be able to guarantee hired moderation staff.”


  • Freedom
  • Vision
  • Obsession to detail
  • Obligation
  • Masochism
  • Biased value system
  • Pride


  • Money: “Money, given some base amount, is not one of the things that motivates me. It never has been: after spending a half a year doing almost nothing but random jailbreak projects between late 2007 to early 2008, I ended up $20k in debt (my entire credit limit at the time) because I wasn’t doing my profitable consulting work anymore.”

  • Competition

Let us know what you think of Competition vs. Community in the comments below.