August 10, 2018

The IH Effect

I read a lot about successful stories about companies and side projects. So, it got me thinking....There is a lot of talent on IH, this is a great community. What if we pooled our minds together and built like a "super side project". Here is what is in my head to (maybe) illustrate what I mean.

  • Give the project a name "the iH effect"

  • Pool our ideas together, vote on one to work on, work on it for 30-60 days, document everything, etc.

  • build a website only accessible to IndieHackers

  • We have a public feed of things we are working, tasks, etc for IH to see

  • Have different dashboards like revenue, advertising channels, other metrics etc

  • every week, we host a live podcast/webinar and talk about success, progress, ideas for the week. Open the broadcast for live Q&A

I'm a Product/Sales Pro. I can talk tech with CTOs all day but I can't code. I can biz dev just about anything. I have sold to F100 companies like AT&T, Dyson, Coke, etc. I can leverage connections, I'm insanely productive, I can contribute funds where needed, etc.

My point is, I believe theres enough talent that if we pooled our resources and committed to a "super side project" it would provide a lot of valuable insight into what it's like to start from Day Zero to launch and post launch.

IMO, it's PR worthy if something sticks, PH worthy, it can spark new side projects, inspire the community, etc.

I'm just rambling now, but you get the point.

Would anyone else be interested in reading/following a journey like this from day zero? (or is it just me)

Thoughts? Negative/Postive/Weird or Awkard are welcome


  1. 7

    Not to be a negative nancy but..

    If the main value is that there is a greater talent pool here than anywhere else, why not just host a 1-month launch-a-thon with sponsored prizes and where people get to host courses throughout in topics like product/sales, tech, etc? Maybe you can use your connections to get sponsors? And winners are decided by revenue / user growth...

    People work better in small teams than one mega project anyway. Not enough ownership in the mega project (both equity-wise and decision-wise), too many chefs, etc. Most startups don’t really need but 1-3 people to take off.

    And hey maybe it’ll actually get people to just shut up and launch already

    1. 1

      I agree. That requires funding/sponsors, etc. Which actually sparks an idea, I can get sponsors to fund a sort of hackathon. per say. If my idea had a tagline it would be " Follow the journey of 6 Indie hackers from Day zero. Follow as they build a team, build a product and give input along the journey." I think of it like building a core team and building a product. here is what it does. Why there is no monetary benefit in the beginning, we can build an audience from PH and IH to begin with. Stream team meetings, daily standups, etc on Twitch. IMO, the community would learn a lot following something like this and would be willing to donate to keep it going. Additionally, I agree, too many chefs in the kitchen never works.

      1. 1

        I like the way you think so positively, it makes me believe that you can do it.

      2. 1

        sounds good but I wouldn’t rule out existing startups that haven’t launched yet.

        edit: ever seen StartupLand?

        1. 1

          I agree. But No, never heard of it, adding to my reading list. But that just goes to my point is, we read about successful companies, after they have been successful, but how many people have been able to witness the journey?

  2. 3

    How would you allocate ownership to contributors?

    1. 1

      Didn't think about this before but I think if there was a team of 5 to 6. Then ownership would be divided evenly. Sounds cliche but for this type of project, its seems to be the easiest with less friction.

  3. 1

    I don't know, which out proper management, just gathering a vast audience will make it work or not. How will you assign work to every one & how will you check on their productivity.

    And what will be the outcome?

  4. 1

    Just posted in a another thread:

    I had a similar idea where you have about 2-10 people contribute 10-15 hours and/or $50-250/mo to a project with like 3-6 mo commitment.

    After which time things are re-evaluated and people can choose to be paid out, stay involved or become passive.

    There would have to be some formal process to manage decisions, so it doesn't converge on chaos.

    I think it would be much more productive and interesting than launching a side project on my own.

    People would have to be open to not working on "their idea" potentially. But, most of us do that at their job anyway.

    Other post for reference:

    https://www.indiehackers.com/forum/how-much-runway-would-1-000-month-give-you-to-work-on-a-side-project-81051a04a5

  5. 1

    I've tried to do projects in this manner before, taking 5-8 people from an existing community and trying to do a startup.

    One of the problems was that that after some time, at least half of the group ends up being useless, which leads to resentment. Most of the projects you can think of can be validated with one or two founders.

    I think you're better off looking for a 50-50 partnership with a developer who's looking for a salesperson with your type of experience.

    1. 1

      Totally agree. My assumption was that with people watching, people would be interested. I think My problem is I can't build, I'm an architect. I'm thinking that might be the, only, feasible way to go. I have a few ideas, none, that I'm like "HELL YEAH" about but I can definitely sell. Personally, I enjoy the community, I think it would be great for the community. If I plan on pursuing any of my ideas, I think I would just fund it myself. Thanks for the input....wheels are turning

  6. 1

    Thank you for your input, I enjoy hearing feedback. I've decided to add/modify the original idea a little more.

    Here is how I imagine it:

    Team of 5 to 6 people (strangers) at this point

    We get together and brainstorm a product we want to build

    We only use products from IH products (give back to community)

    We have a team that includes marketing, technology and sales/biz dev.

    Here is where i see benefits for the community

    1.) I mentioned earlier it is PR worthy, if we are only using products from Indiehackers, they not only get real life feedback and user scenarios, they get exposure (if we gain an audience).

    2.) As a team/community watching, we will learn from each others experiences, be xposed to new ideas and hopefully generate a product that makes revenue.

    3.) As we build audience, I believe that people consuming this content would be willing to support IE donations, feedback, etc. The community keeps us motivated.

    Think of it like this.

    Who will join the adventure of building the worlds first open/transparent company? See what tools they use, ideas they discuss, watch team meetings and follow their progress from Day Zero to Launch. You'll learn new strategies, spark new ideas, see what books they read, etc.

  7. 1

    How would we:

    Organize a single day?

    Create a handful of simple outcomes?

    Figure out things like schedules, communications etc. ?

    The reason this isn't the default way of getting stuff done is because humans aren't able to just work in teams.

    It takes a lot of communication effort -- and a lot of coders would rather spend that time coding. ( i.e. it seems like a waste of time )

    I've volunteered on Habitat for Humanity house builds and spent a whole day saw a bunch of 2'x4's. While not unenjoyable, it wasn't something I'd say I got a lot out of personally. Service is fine for a day, but once the project gets complex, it'll take part of a day to get up to speed if somebody comes into the project after it starts.

    I wonder if lots of smaller projects would teach us how to work with others -- so we'd have more confidence to work on something like this.

    I imagine people who've done a barn-raising event are more confident after their first.

    1. 2

      Organize a single day, I think would be possible, I'm talking about giving 1 hr, for example, back to the community. I understand the communication effort, but isn't that what all these startups that are producing task managers, communication tools (slack) so we spend less time in meetings and more time being productive. I think this alone would shed some light into do they really work? But I get what your saying. And of course, not everyone will want to pitch in but if we start with core team, putting in the work, the community could inspire new ideas and keep the core team motivated, give feedback, etc. And interesting idea IMO

  8. 1

    I like the sound of the idea! As you stated the IH community is full of talented individuals with a number of different skill sets. The concept alone would gain attention from outside users and boost traction of whatever product we decided on.

    The only issues I see is the overall project management and the number of Indie Hackers contributing.

    I guess the next steps would be to create a survey to gauge interest from the community?

    1. 1

      Project management could get tricky. I manage software development projects and oversee roughly 13 at any given point but i'm more of a program manager than a project manager. The interesting thing is I believe it would be a good learning experience, for everyone, give people something to do, motivate people to do something. IMO enough people follow/pay attention to it, people will want to work on it. Creating a survey isn't something I didn't think of but totally worth a shot.

      1. 2

        Alternatively scrap the form altogether and create a slack workplace for all those interested.