For us, it's not much a matter of survival but just doing what we enjoy. Should it be successful then great! If not, we still had fun doing it... just like any other hobby.
Of course, an amateur / hobbyist status doesn't grant you immunity from rants and such but so is the reality when you decide to go public with a project of yours.
So in the line of actual projects that reached release, here's my shameless plug: http://www.golemizer.com/