January 7, 2019

Building a Legacy One Simple Product at a Time

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    Congratulations! 🍾

    Can you elaborate on how you kept attracting new users after the Reddit and Product Hunt launch spike traffic died?

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      I didn't do anything to intentionally bring in users. Over the years I've dabbled in AdWords, Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, and the like, but that never did anything for me, so I don't run any digital ads anymore. I wrote a lot of content and hoped people would spread the word. I've been on a bunch of podcasts as well, and that's helped too.

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    Congratulations! I cannot help but ask, where do you find reliable freelancers?

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      As I'm a freelancer myself, I can answer this one for you if you don't mind.

      Referrals. If you don't have anyone to refer a freelancer to you, you can just talk to random ones and see if they are ok.

      There are things that freelancer should/shouldn't do/say to their clients. Most of them just want something to work on for money, only a small portion of them are focused on actually HELPING the client succeed.

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        Hey thanks for the information. I was more interested in learning about recommended websites or platforms to get reliable freelancers that don't charge a fortune. I've had bad experiences with many sites in the past, its either that or the quotes are way over my budget always.

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          To be honest, a good freelancer SHOULD charge more than the "market price"

          Try and look on websites like reddit, linkedin (even IndieHackers?), etc. Although, referrals should always be the first approach.

          If you need someone to work with, shoot me a PM with your email, I might find someone for you from my freelancing circle, depending on your budget and needs.

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            To be honest, a good freelancer SHOULD charge more than the "market price"

            As a former freelancer I completely agree with you. I always tended to think I was "working with my client" whenever I was having a project.

            Problem is (and I see the other user distrust here) that the vast majority of freelancer that ask for high rates are most often more talk than facts and you discover it only late in the project.

            As you said, referral are the best way but you have to get lucky and get at least once good freelancer first.

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              I completely agree. It's the same with employees too.

              A bad/mediocre freelancer that's good with sales and talking can ruin a client that doesn't know what he should be looking for.

              The story can also end badly if it's the other way around. When a good freelancer works with a client that just doesn't want to listen and ends up over-building useless stuff. I've rejected good projects just because of this one.

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    Congrats and great job. Any chance you can share the initial specs you sent to freelance devs? It would be cool to see the level of detail that was there at the time.

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    Nice article, I always wanted a tool to separately send the same content in an email to multiple recipients, and the best way I've come up with is putting them all in the BCC line.

    How do you prevent Google from flagging user accounts as spam? I've heard that email addresses can be blacklisted if they send too many emails at once.

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    Wow. Thanks for sharing. BTW you use that machine for just productivity our you have problem with Sleep? I sleep too much so i am thinking if it will be helfpul for me or not.

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    Hey Ajay, congrats on such a gr8 achievement. Cud u pls throw some light on ur user acquisition strategy say acquiring first hundred to 1K to 10K to 100K+ users (and 10K paying customers). The reason for asking is there very very few successful companies growing keeping their price around $10/month/userr. I can't recall any one except "Scott's Cheap Flights" achieving 330K/month MRR hence little curious. Best wishes for acquiring 1M+ users and $3M ARR. Thanks.

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      That's a good question. It's not easy. Churn is a big problem. I'm actually considering raising prices and simplifying prices. Our pricing is too complicated for most people right now. Basically, I know that any one marketing strategy is going to max out, where the number of subscribers it brings in will eventually equal the number of subscribers that churn. So, I force myself to keep inventing new strategies. The "Inbox, Spam, or Promotions" tool was a strategy. The Domains tool is another strategy. And I have a couple more that I'm working on right now.

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    Wow, $115k/mo is impressive, congrats on your success!

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      115k/month isn't cool. You know what's cool? 115k/day. (Kidding. The Social Network reference.)

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    I'm not done reading the article but I just want to say thanks so much for coming up with Gmass! I use Gmass for my side project with Google Sheets to automate emails sent to customers at certain time after their booking/rental of products and it's a life saver. Freaking love Gmass!

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      Just to add on, I use Gmass as a workaround to hack together an automated and customized email mechanism to customers because of the limitations of the plugin I use for my Woocommerce site.

      How it works is each time a customer make a booking, by using zapier, a row is automatically created in Google Sheets with important information including dates for collection and return. Unlike a normal product sale, the actual date for collection and return could be quite far out months later. After some spreadsheet formula to get the necessary data in the right format and setting the date and time delays, I then use Gmass to automate specific notifications and important information to be sent to customers.

      Gmass saved me a ton of time and creates alot of productivity for me. It may not be what Gmass set out to do, but it sure is a great tool to create workarounds such as this!

      Thanks Ajay for this interview and for Gmass! Prior to this interview, I had no idea of the crazy revenue generated per month. Wow! Given the ton of benefits you generate for customers, you deserve every penny!

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        This is an awesome example of how people using GMass in unique ways. I feel like we've communicated before about your specific use via Zendesk. Am I wrong?

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          We haven't communicated via Zendesk. This is the first time! I suppose there are plenty of people out there using Gmass for plenty of other unique purposes too. Way to go! :)

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    Congrats! And I totally second your thoughts on PayPal, such a pain and so archaic. I really wish a new generation version would spring up that's as widely available worldwide.

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      Agreed. I'm thinking of writing a blog post, "How to work around PayPal's quirks when you're a SaaS company".

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    I've used this tool. It's pretty dope :)

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      You're dope for using it!

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    Very inspiring indeed! Well done and congratulations. As someone building something that isn’t revolutionary (more out of passion for the non-profit sector and scratching my own itch), it refreshing to read your perspective!

    Wish you all the best with GMass and whatever you work on next.

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    Impressive numbers & very inspiring for someone with limited js experience, but who still want to try and build something valuable while learning to code!

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      Thanks! Through building this, now I'd consider myself a decent JavaScript dev.

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    This sounds totally inspiring and awesome !!

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    Hey Ajay,

    I'm thinking about contracting a developer for a project I'm working on. Any advice for a first-timer? My biggest question is around the amount of detail needed in specs to clearly get the vision across.

    Any thoughts welcome. Congrats on the success so far!

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      Well, I use Upwork all the time to find freelancers. If you're on a tight budget you can get an overseas freelancer for a rate that would be a small fraction of what you'd pay for a US-based freelancer. The amount of detail -- the more the better. Where I see people fail in outsourcing a project is where they don't give enough detail.