Acquiring the Experience to Make It as a Solo Founder with Jen Yip of Lunch Money

Episode #150

Jen Yip (@lunchbag) is the founder of Lunch Money, a budgeting app that's going head-to-head with big names like Mint and YNAB. The catch? She's a solo founder, doing 100% of the work on her own. In this episode, Jen and I cover the wide breadth of experiences and skills she's gained in order to make this possible, her strategies for working hard enough to catch up with competitors but soft enough to avoid burning herself out, and why she's doing this all as a digital "snowmad" who works overseas during the winter.

Show Notes

  1. 10

    This was so much fun and it's pretty unreal to see my face on the sidebar of Indie Hackers right now 😄Thanks again for having me on the show and thanks to everyone who took the time to listen to me talk about my journey!

    1. 2

      Thanks for the podcast. I am between a beginner to intermediate coder and have an idea for an app. I was going back and forth with bringing another dev on board or doing it myself. Or the very least have a rough mvp to get my ideas out in code before getting torn in different creative directions. I think I will continue build it out until it make sense to add more people. I will continue to follow your journey. Thanks for sharing.

      1. 1

        Thanks for listening! Best of luck on your endeavour!

  2. 5

    @csallen I loved this episode because learning from a founder like @lunchbag that is "a few steps ahead" of where I am in my journey ($0-5k MRR, 1-yr-old product, etc) is so much more helpful than a founder thats "miles ahead" ($50k MRR, mature product, etc). It might be worth doing a poll (if you haven't already) to see if other IH listeners would like to hear from more founders at this stage!

  3. 4

    I really enjoyed this episode. It's amazing that Jen built Lunchbag, which is a highly polished and elegant app, all by herself. Love the genuine and candid tips that Jen is sharing with the IH community. Keep up the great work!

  4. 4

    It's great seeing other solo founders can make it. It inspires me!

  5. 2

    love hearing from female founders

  6. 2

    This is the first IH podcast I've ever listened to; talk about inspiring! Awesome work @lunchbag!

  7. 1

    Just listened to the whole thing. It was awesome. I wasn't sure if podcasts on this website were worth listening to but because I have been following @lunchbag for quite some time now so I finally gave it a chance. Her dedication is out of this world.

    1. 1

      Thanks for the incredibly kind words and for the continued support! :D

  8. 1

    I failed to launch 19 times... was rejected 5 times... #NeverGiveUp

  9. 1

    @lunchbag what's the tech stack for this product? I am amazed you built this by all yourself from design to development.

    1. 4

      Quick roll call– react, node.js, postgresql, redis (queues), mocha (tests), all in Typescript!

      1. 2

        Nice! Typescript!

      2. 1

        why postgresql instead of a NoSQL DB?

  10. 1

    Hi Jen,

    An interesting interview, thank you. I recognise the pattern of learning a topic before hiring to judge quality only to decide that one can do it instead, at least to quickly harvest the fruit within reach before moving on. After all, a majority of any profession are only of average or worse quality. :-)

    I do think it would be good if @csallen asked small companies what's in their technology stack given much of the audience are developers. I don't mean he should take time picking over the detail, but a single sentence listing half a dozen key things would help round out the picture of how the company's operating. I'd still be interested if you've time.

    Thanks again, Ralph.

    1. 5

      Hi Ralph,

      Thanks for the kind words! Since you're curious, here's the stack off the top of my head:
      Front-end: React, Semantic UI for React
      Back-end: Node, Postgres, Redis
      Marketing site: Jekyll

      All in Typescript!