An Optimistic Nihilist's Take on Building a $2M Business with Vincent Woo

Episode #041

Even as a programmer, Vincent Woo never loved school or working at big companies. But he was enthusiastic in growing his side project, CoderPad, into a $2M business. Get his take on startups, luck, and why advice is bullshit.

  1. 11

    Vincent sounds like a total and complete badass and I have a new indiehackers hero. I love how he just oozes almost obnoxious confidence (he's earned it) and at one point just took over the podcast and turned the mic around to interview csallen. nobody's done that before! I would love for him to come back on at a future point.

  2. 3

    I've already listened to this interview three times, and I think this is the most interesting interview ever conducted by Courtland.

    "Ted talks are the worst." Yes, they are!

    Vincent Woo is a a breath of fresh air in a world of stale mimics.

  3. 3

    I can appreciate Vincents candor and direct style in this interview. However, that "obnoxious confidence" that some are mentioning, did become a tad actually obnoxious for me. I think this is one of the recent interviews i liked less. I did like when he turned the interview around, that was a funny and interesting bit :)

  4. 2

    Best interview so far for me too. I agree with you guys, the best part was when Vincent took the mic and asked embarrasing questions to @csallen.

    @csallen is really quick giving his answers though. Anyway, good to know @csallen better. I have laughed a lot when they make jokes about @csallen's first start-up (to-do list app).

    Brilliant episode. No words.

  5. 1

    My Main Takeaways:

    An interview with Vincent "I can't rememeber" Woo

    • Vincent never wanted to get a job and work 9-5 for someone else, but he did after he graduated because he had to earn money to eat.

    • Vincent doesn't believe that people should start businesses for the sake of starting businesses. You should only do it if you feel that you should.

    • When Courtland first moved to San Francisco, he started a startup, and coded every day, 16 hours a day, for 2 years straight and did nothing else, and made no memories, he swore that he'd never do such a thing again.

    • Vincent's idea for Coder pad was born out of his frustration of the lack of existing tooling.

    • Coderpad was started using Firebase.

    • Getting used to sales was easy for Vincent because he is not conflict averse, and he's used to persisting and persuading.

    • Vincent worked nights and weekends to build Coderpad while working.

    • Vincent is a deep thinker, he says that he doesn't believe that anything is really real, including money. He sees life as a game.

    • Courtland's first full time job was IndieHackers after getting acquired by Stripe. At the time of this interview courtland was 30.

    • Courtland won a startup competition after MIT, he won $25,000 and lived off of that for a year. However after the startup died he used the remainder of that money to move to San Francisco. Here, he'd either get into Y Combinator, or get a job if he failed at that. He got into Y Combinator, got funding for an app called TaskForce which he was able to survive on for a few years, although this startup failed too, he ended up learning a lot.

    • Vincent doesn't believe that we have enough competition in the tech industry.

    • Think about what the customer wants.

    • As a solo-founder, you can't code 16 hours a day every day, there are other things you must focus on.

    • Try your best to ensure that your idea is actually good.

    • "Most startups die from suicide than from murder"

    • Vincent says that people don't like taking advice, you have to trick people into doing the right thing - he also says that this is a key learning for sales.

    • It's better to start a B2B business, than a B2C business.

    • Keep your emotions in check. Startups are emotionally taxing. Think critically about what you're doing, think logically, don't just follow your emotions.

  6. 1

    This is the funniest episode, Vicent has a great personality.

  7. 1

    Vincent mentioned that "Stelly has a great course" on sales for developers (I think). Does anyone have a link to this course?

  8. 1

    Can you put the podcast to be searchable on PocketCasts?

    1. 1

      What are you searching for? They should come up.

  9. 1

    Absolutely loved this interview, Vincent sounds super honest and direct and really liked the interaction between you two.

  10. 1

    My favorite interview on IH, by far. Thanks Courtland for bringing this to us and thanks Vincent!

  11. 1

    This was my favourite interview on indiehackers so far! Like swyx said, his obnoxious confidence is inspiring.

  12. 1

    Kevin Systrome (NPR interview) : I have this thesis that the world runs on luck. Everyone gets lucky for some amount in their life. And the question is, are you alert enough to know you're being lucky or you're becoming lucky?

  13. 1

    This comment was deleted 3 years ago.

    1. 2

      Please don't leave negative, unproductive comments like this.

      1. 0

        Just being honest. Vincent came off as very arrogant and I didn't find him likeable at all. I guess it's OK for your guests to be obnoxious but not members.

        1. 2

          It's okay to have a personality that some don't like. That's the risk of being human, and it's not taboo on the IH forum. However, it's not okay here to call people we don't like douchebags, etc. Hope you can understand the difference.

  14. 1

    This comment was deleted 4 years ago.