The Indie Hackers Podcast September 16, 2019

The Magic of Choosing a Great Market with Justin Jackson of Transistor

Episode #118

Justin Jackson (@mijustin) has spent a lifetime as an entrepreneur, working on products, hosting podcasts, running communities, creating courses, and more. But it wasn't until he created his newest business, Transistor, that he fully realized the power that comes from choosing the right market as a founder. Justin joined me on the podcast to talk about the advantages of solving a straightforward problem, the importance of finding the truth in the early days, and why it might be worth it to wait for the right idea for the right market.

  1. 9

    I thought it would take @jonbuda and me five years to get to where Transistor is at now. There have been some tough stretches since we launched. But looking back on it now, I can't believe what we've achieved since August 2018.

    Thanks for everyone who's helped us get to this point! 🙌 The folks here on IH have been really supportive, and we appreciate it.

    (Also, thanks to @csallen for asking great questions here)

  2. 5

    This was a fantastic episode. Definitely one of my favorite. So much on here I’m going to have to delisted a few times!

    @mijustin, what are a few ways to recognize a good “boring” market with momentum that’s worth going after?

    1. 6

      I like what @csallen mentioned in our chat:

      "Look for places where money is already changing hands."

      There might be a market where an old incumbent has gotten lazy or is slow-moving, and there's room for a new player to come in.

      Examples:

      1. 1

        Thanks for the mention @mijustin! And great episode 👌

  3. 3

    So satisfying to see Justin and Jon become airborne before the end of the runway.

    It does feel like Justin's current insights are a case of connecting the dots backwards. He's done so much more than most people will ever do. Courses, communities, live-streaming, learning-in-public, public speaking at conferences.

    Excellent episode -- 2nd only to the one with Lynne - which was really fun and conversational because of her and Courtland's friendship.

  4. 3

    One of the most valuable episodes and incredibly relatable! Always overlooked - what an Indie business can do is very different than a venture backed business so here's the framework to increase odds for success when choosing a market/product!

    1. 1

      Thanks! Glad it was helpful!

  5. 2

    I am just before my 51st birthday and am about to leave my cushy billion dollar company job to join in on bootstrapping startup. I still feel I'm a bit crazy, but hearing this did help put things in prospective. Thank you @mijustin and @csallen for the engaging episode!

    1. 1

      I'm glad it was helpful @brettski111!

  6. 2

    Thanks for your insights in this episode, @mijustin. I particularly liked the encouragement to older founders. :-)

    1. 2

      You’re welcome Ralph!

  7. 2

    Probably the best episode for me. Thanks @mijustin

    1. 1

      You're welcome! 👍

  8. 1

    I've been working my way through the archive and listened to this one today. It was exactly what I needed to hear. Thanks @mijustin for sharing your story and for the great advice!

  9. 1

    Whilst we wait for the transcript, I think the books mentioned by Justin in this episode were Getting Real and Rework: https://basecamp.com/books

  10. 1

    This was a great episode and had some real gems like how @mijustin looked at the history of the webhosting industry 20 years ago to find useful strategies for building a podcast hosting business now!

    The primary message of the importance of a market is great, too! It amazes me how much easier it is to sell educational products to experienced software engineers than it is to sell similar products to English teachers! I worked very hard at the latter for a couple of years and it was at least 5x less rewarding for the time invested.

  11. 1

    Thank you for this episode @csallen and @mijustin, I really enjoyed the valuable insights. Getting into the podcasting business myself with PodHeart, this was especially useful. I was even tempted to get into podcast hosting by listening to this. 😄 I hope you'll do great with Transistor!

  12. 1

    Lot's of great stuff on this one. Great interview!

  13. 1

    Looking forward to tuning into this one based on the honesty in the headline and of course the caliber of the guest!

  14. 1

    Top job on this one, really useful information.

    1. 1

      Thanks!

  15. 1

    Oh heck yeah! One of my favorite internet peeps on one of my favorite internet podcasts!

  16. 1

    Great insights. Thanks for sharing!