When Li Jin (@ljin18) was young, she dreamed of going to school to pursue her passion in the arts. Instead she settled for little old Harvard, because common wisdom said there was no money in the passions. Today, the world has changed. The passion economy is stronger than ever, and Li is its patron saint. People are making millions of dollars on passion economy platforms like Shopify, Etsy, Teachable, TikTok, and Substack. And founders are creating millions of jobs by creating these platforms to empower other people. In this episode, Li and I discuss how she's indie hacking in the passion economy space despite being a venture capitalist; power-law distributions and their role in wealth inequality; and her massive ambition to expand the middle class.
What's up, everybody? This is Courtland from indiehackers.com and you're listening to the Indie Hackers Podcast. More people than ever are building cool stuff online and making a lot of money in the process. On this show, I sit down with these indie hackers to discuss the ideas, the opportunities and the strategies they're taking advantage of so the rest of us can do the same today.
I'm sitting here with the patron saint of the passion economy, Li Jin. Li, how's it going?
Hey, oh my gosh. I love that introduction. So good.
It’s true You've written more about the passion economy than probably literally anyone. You know more about it. You're involved in it.
You're building passing economy platforms. You're doing pretty much everything you possibly could.
Maybe to start out here, what is the passion economy and why should your average indie hacker or a tech founder care about this at all?
Yeah, definitely. I define the passion economy as the new economy in which people are able to monetize their individuality and be able to monetize non-commoditized products and services at scale, supported by digital platforms.
There's a few ways to pick that apart. I often talk about this in contrast with the gig economy. Over the past decade, we've all heard a lot about the gig economy. It's kind of exploded in terms of a new model of work.
So like Uber, Instacart. People, literally working gigs.
Correct. Uber, Lyft, Instacart, DoorDash, all of those gig platforms where you're just picking up a task essentially and it's a really commoditized, discreet job that you're doing and you earn some set amount of money for that. I often contrast the passion economy with the gig economy.
The way that they're different is that the passion economy is much more about monetizing some non-commoditized skill or product that you create and putting yourself into the work where the consumer is not just completely agnostic to whether they buy from Producer A or Producer A and doesn't even really care who is behind the product or service that is being offered.
In the passion economy, consumers really do care who they're purchasing from. They care about the story behind the product or the service; they care about that particular individual. People in the passion economy are essentially entrepreneurs who are monetizing different facets of themselves.
To give a few examples of what this looks like, I often refer to a few examples of passionate economy platforms that are enabling people to monetize individuality. That includes Etsy, which we all have heard of. It's a public company, a marketplace that allows people to sell largely homemade crafts or various handmade products that they've created. It has a $27 billion market cap now.
Shopify is another really massive company that I would consider to be a passionate economy platform. Shopify has made it so much simpler for an aspiring e-commerce merchant to get up and running online. Every Shopify store is completely distinct from each other. It's not like you're, as a consumer, you don't care which store you shop from; you go purposefully to someone's e-commerce site, and you purchase from that. That's another example.
On the startup side, I often refer to platforms like Substack, Cameo, Patreon as examples of startups in the passion economy that are all helping folks to monetize different interests and passions that they have and create a really differentiated offering.
I've been talking a lot lately on the show about different trends that are emerging. Why do you think people should care about this particular trend? Why does a passionate economy matter to founders and matter to the world?
Basically, the genesis of this idea of the passion economy is optimism that I have about humanity. It's this very deep-seated belief that everyone, all over the world, has some unique nugget of knowledge or a skill or expertise or talent in something that someone else in the world would benefit from accessing and they would be willing to pay for it.
I think the more that platforms can help expose that to consumers and help match people to facilitate these transactions, the more we can create economic value for everyone. In that regard, I think tech founders should care about this because it's so vast reaching and it has the potential to really help a lot of people make money.
I think there's hardly any problems bigger than economic empowerment in the world right now. Especially during the pandemic, there's such a large base of people in the world who care about earning income and being able to monetize any skills that they have, especially skills that are differentiated and that won't be commoditized or offshored. It's not just a particular industry, it's an entirely new economic model.
I couldn’t agree more. I think it's super inspiring because you know, for wanting to look at the status quo, the gig economy, I think it's undeniable that a company like Uber has been valuable for the world.
It's super helpful. A lot of people pay for it. We must find it valuable, but there's something also a little bit dystopian about so many people basically working these jobs that don't allow them to express their passion very much and where you're sort of like you call an Uber, you don't really care who shows up, everyone's sort of interchangeable.
These other passionate economy platforms you're talking about, people are much more creative and they're bringing much more of themselves into the work and you actually do care. I'm not going to buy, you know, a pillow from anybody on Etsy. I want to get the best pillow from the person who is my design sense and my style. It's probably much more fun and fulfilling for them to make and much better for me as a consumer.
Absolutely. I think it's also telling that all of those gig platforms are trying to automate away the worker. They are investing in self-driving car research, delivery robots, anything that helps them to reduce the spend on the labor of the platform, because that's viewed as a cost; the more that they could reduce down those costs, the higher their margins will be.
I think that should instill a lot of nervousness and anxiety into these worker's minds, because even though they might be making money from them today, they're going down this path in which their labor is being increasingly commoditized. If the platforms had their choice between whether to hire a human driver or an automated robot driver, they would probably prefer the latter.
I think it is the gig economy. Yes, it has definitely undoubtedly created a ton of value in the world, but it's kind of this unstable value for the worker. I think they're really trading their time and their labor for a declining amount of income. They're not building anything of value that they can leverage down the line.
Very hard to leverage a service that you provide for someone and they get out of the car and that's it, transactions over. I like what you're saying about this commoditization thing, because it's happening all the way down the line.
There was a story a few weeks ago where Albertsons, this huge grocery chain, is firing a lot of their employees and hiring gig workers. Then you look up a chain at the gig workers and Uber just laid off like 150 people from, I think, Postmates, trying to replace people with automation, et cetera. It's like really all these jobs are becoming commoditized and none of them are really that safe.
I think the other thing that's inspiring about it is if you look at Silicon Valley as a whole like the quote of the last 10 years is really Peter Thiel saying, “We wanted flying cars and instead we got 140 characters.”
It's actually really challenging to build a business that works let alone a business that improves the world. But with the passion economy, I think it's a really good signal if you want to be an entrepreneur who has a positive impact on the world, you can do something that creates a lot of jobs where people basically now have a better standard of living and they can make money easier and more creatively than they could in the past.
Now your company is not just making money and making you successful, but it's making other people successful and making other people happy and having a positive impact. I don't know if there's ever been as clear of a way for somebody who has, I don't know, some programming chops and some startup ambitions to have a positive impact on the world.
A thousand percent, yes. I often return back to the question of why are we even doing this? Why am I investing? Why are you working on Indie Hackers? Why does Stripe exist? Why are we investing in technology? Why are we building technology?
I think the answer for me and for a lot of people is we actually do want to make the world a better place. We are trying to advance humanity. We're trying to create productivity gains. We're trying to increase the value and the output that we all create so that everyone's lives can be better.
But technology platforms, I mean, the progress of technology has always been towards increasing productivity gains and increasing per capita GDP. But that increase in productivity has not improved everyone's lives to the same extent. So, I think it's up to us, as builders and investors of technology, to decide how do we want those productivity gains to actually be allocated in society.
Are we trying to improve the lives of just the consumers or of the workers too, or just of the executives who work at these technology companies? I think we're here to improve the lives of everyone in general. And I think the passion economy is the path to doing that.
Yeah. It's an interesting topic you're hitting on, this problem of inequality, which is arguably exacerbated by technology because it's so scalable. If you build a company or product that reaches millions of people, maybe you benefit the most, your employees benefit decent amount if they have equity, consumers benefit from the new technology, but by and large, more and more value is being created and captured by successively, fewer people. You see this happen on a lot of the passing economy platforms, too, where a very small number of people are making almost all the money on Etsy or Substack or YouTube.
You've written extensively about this and we're going to get into this, but first I'm gonna give one more example of a passionate economy company that actually you turned me on to that I thought was super inspiring and it's called Shef.
I love the idea behind this company. The way I got onto this was I was basically thinking, you know, I'm like a single guy. I don't have any kids. I work a good job. I can save and invest my money, but what should I spend money on to make my life better?
I was just kind of thinking and talking to friends about it. We often have these fun conversations too, where some of my friends are house shopping will be like, “If you could have one really cool luxury room in your house or one cool, luxury thing you could spend on, what would it be?”
Mine has always been a personal chef. I just want to have somebody who can cook for me, cook healthy meals at regular pace. It's predictable. I don't have to spend time cooking. It's kind of a time-saver and a nutritionist all at once. It’s kind of a perk you automatically get if you work at a big tech company because they have these great cafeterias, but that's not a thing if you work remotely, which I've always done, and now pretty much everybody's doing because of COVID.
I've had this in the back of my mind for years, but I never actually looked into it cause I wasn't that serious. Then a few months back, I was like, I should just Google this, how much does a personal chef cost? I thought it was going to be ridiculously, prohibitively expensive, just absolutely a total waste of money.
It turns out the median price of a personal chef in the United States is $200-$300 a week for five meals for a family of four.
What? How do they make a living?
I just, I don't think chefs, personal chefs, get paid very much, to be honest. I mean, you have to pay for the groceries and so, that's all for labor, but I think they just cook in bulk. I don't know. My buddy was roommates with a chef and I don't think that guy was making a ton of money.
I was thinking about this, wow, this is super cheap. Number one, I should do this for myself. But number two, probably other people want this and for whatever reason, I've never heard of any sort of platform that's sort of democratizing this and helping people who are chefs connect to people like me who want food. I got this big idea in my head of a creator economy or passionate economy platform that will connect people to chefs in the same way we're connected to restaurants through something like Uber eats.
Then I ran it by you. I was like, you know, he would know about this, Li would know about this and I messaged you and you're like, “This doesn't work because it's illegal, but there is a platform called Shef, S-H-E-F, that's actually doing this.”
Yeah, that's right. Yes. I completely agree with you. This is a perfect example of what I had mentioned about. I think everyone has some talent or skill that they can leverage and turn it into economic value for themselves.
I think so many people out there are great at cooking. They enjoy doing it. They have the time to do it, and they should be able to monetize that for other folks who don't have the scale or don't have the time. Unfortunately, this is a highly regulated industry and there's cottage food laws in place in most states, I believe, that prohibit people from selling homemade food. Most of these laws exempt bake sales and shelf stable foods, but for anything that is temperature controlled, prepared food from home, I think that's actually illegal in most places.
So, I think Shef has an interesting road ahead of it just like Airbnb and Uber did in terms of changing regulation. But I honestly think that this model I would love to see it exist. I would love to see it be more pervasive. I think so many people could benefit from this.
Honestly, I don't think home-cooked food is any more dangerous or unsanitary then stuff, I've worked in a restaurant, and the horror stories I could tell you. The stuff that my parents, or people's parents cook at home is way cleaner than what you would sometimes find in a restaurant. So, I think this is beneficial all around.
In addition to Shef there's a few other companies also operating in this space. One of them is called Cook Unity. Another one is called Hot Plate. I think they're all operating in slightly different geographies right now, but yeah, I would love to see more of this happen. It's already happening a little bit on Etsy, too. Etsy, even though it's a horizontal platform, food is actually one of the big verticals. It's all baked kind of shelf stable cakes, cookies, that sort of thing.
Yeah. I've seen it happen on Instagram, too. A friend of mine sent me a post and it was this guy in his backyard and he was barbecuing and cooking food and he's like, “A tray of Matt’s down-home cooking for 10 bucks.” It was a giant barbecue hamburger and a tray with these chili cheese fries and hot wings. This guy's definitely in the South and he was in Alabama, but he just used Instagram to sell food from his backyard.
Probably not legal, but I like what you're saying about the fact that there's so many people with so many talents and skills that are sort of locked away, that they could make money from. Why should I be subjected to the taste of my own cooking when there's lots of people in my city and my community who would absolutely love to cook and can make a living doing that for me and everybody else who doesn't really want to?
Why should I have to design my apartment when there's people who love interior design and are way better at it than I am? I can use the internet to find them and look at reviews and pick the best people, whereas before that would have been impossible.
It's almost the exact opposite of a sort of dystopian society where everybody's a gig worker. It's kind of a utopian society when everyone kind of does these things they love and other people who aren't that good at it would the happily pay them to do a variety of things. Every one of these things is probably a different idea that a different indie hacker could run with. Maybe create a platform, get some people on it in your local town and then grow from there.
Totally. Yeah. That's my vision of the future. I really hope it comes to fruition.
This is why I’ve christened you the patron saint of the passion economy.
Let's talk about how you got here. From my vantage point, and obviously there's a lot of history before this, but the first thing that I ever saw involving you in the passionate economy was this blog post that you wrote a year and a half ago called “The Passion Economy and the Future of Work.” You publish this on A16Z’s blog; A16Z is one of the premier venture capital firms in Silicon Valley.
How did you come to write that blog post?
I think there were a lot of factors leading up to that that led to all of these thoughts swirling in my mind that then turned into this blog post. One is the fact that I grew up studying art. My parents put me in art classes from a very young age and always, really encouraged me to pursue this hobby. I had a private art teacher that I would go to on the weekends, and I just spent so many hours of my childhood developing this passion.
Painting and drawing? What kind of art?
Painting, sculpture, sketching, oil painting, yeah, everything.
But the crazy thing was when I turned 17 and started applying to college, they put their foot down and expressly told me like, “You are not allowed to go to art school. You will throw away your entire future. You're so smart. How could you, you can't, you can't go be an artist. You have so much to offer the world.”
They just painted such a dire picture of what my life was going to be if I pursued this passion of mine. You know, the rest is history. I went to Harvard, I'm now a venture capitalist. But I always thought like this is so crazy that someone could love doing something so much and spend so many years of their life devoted to this hobby and be recognized as being really good at it and still not have a path to being able to make their financial lives work if they were to try and pursue that full-time.
That's just such a shame that so many of people's passions go to waste. So, that was in my mind. I had spent four years at the Andreessen consumer team, studying marketplaces and investing in marketplace companies.
On the consumer team there, we loved network effects businesses. So, any sort of multi-sided platform was really in our sweet spot. I spent a ton of time meeting with marketplace startups and marketplaces are an example of a type of business where everyone is coming onto the platform without any gatekeeper and able to sell a product or service and to be able to monetize that.
Over the years, I saw hundreds of these different companies who were enabling people to get access to customers and get access to dollars and transactions across various different industries and fields. I saw this evolution from the gig economy to the passion economy in front of my eyes over those four years.
When I joined the firm in 2016, I was still being pitched a lot of like we’re Uber for X, we’re Uber for pet care, on demand, whatever, coming to your door. Then slowly, there was definitely this palpable shift of we're not just completely devoted to offering the most convenient service on demand to customers and just making sure that customers have the most amazing, smooth experience and abstracting the way the provider from the transaction in order to generate liquidity. There was the shift towards platforms that were also helping the worker monetize very differentiated skills and things that they really enjoy doing.
There was a moment where I was meeting with the founder of Outschool, Amir. Outschool is this online platform for children's education, where anyone can sign up to be a teacher, create their own curriculum for a completely custom class of their own choosing and offer it to be taken by students all around the country. You can really brainstorm up any topic that you love and offer it for sale to these little kids who then take your live class.
He was telling me during this meeting, he was like, yeah, Outschool for our demographic of teachers who are generally like stay-at-home moms, Outschool represents one of the only ways they can make extra income by leveraging their education and their creativity. The other alternatives are driving for Uber or delivering groceries or delivering restaurant food for someone.
I thought to myself, that is so powerful. If someone had these two options on the table for how they were to monetize, I think most people would choose the one that let you express yourselves creatively and that actually exercised your imagination.
And it's not surprising to me that you were the person to really notice this trend and start writing about it. Because, I mean, obviously there's probably a lot of analysts working in at lots of VC firms who were looking at all these companies that were like Uber for X or Lyft for Y.
But you were the one who kind of saw, well, you know, it's not really, these companies are kind of different than the gig economy companies because you had this childhood where you wanted to follow your passions and your parents said that's not a viable route to go. And suddenly you could see some of these marketplaces aren't gigs, they actually are passion projects.
Yes, yes. I just tweeted this a couple of days ago. I wrote this tweet. I said, “All of the things that I love doing growing up that were dismissed as wasting time are now activities that actually have value, where platforms have been created to help people monetize those things.”
And those things are writing fan fiction. Wattpad just got acquired for like $600 million. Painting and making crafts, that's Etsy. I used to spend all day talking to my internet friends, and now people can monetize that through paid Discord channels and a bunch of other community software community platforms. Lastly, blogging. I spent a ton of time using the early blogging platforms and just writing in public and now people are doing Substack or creating paid newsletters or monetizing that through being a venture capitalist. But that act of writing in public also now has value.
Super cool. So, tell me about Wattpad a little bit, cause I don't know anything about this, but like it got acquired for $600 million and it helps people write fan fiction?
Yeah. I'm sure there's some listeners who are really familiar with fan fiction and probably others that have no idea what I'm talking about. Fan fiction is this genre of writing where people who are just really into a certain book will take that cast of characters and create their own piece of fiction around it.
I was really into Harry Potter fan fiction, which meant that I was part of this community of folks online writing Harry Potter fan fiction, taking all the cast of characters from Harry Potter and inventing our own stories and writing our own stories and publishing them online. All of the plots and things where things that we completely made up just in our own minds, because we love these characters and we wanted to make them do things that were not captured in the original books.
There's this entire world of fan fiction for all of these different books and Wattpad is a platform for people to be able to publish fanfiction, to read it, to monetize fan fiction. I think they're also partnering with movie studios and TV studios to adopt some of the fan fiction that’s user-generated into actual television and movies. Wattpad recently was just acquired, I think, by a South Korean company for about $600 million.
That’s huge. I'm looking at the traffic on SimilarWeb. It's like top 150 website on Earth. It's close to 200 million unique visitors a month, which is insane. It's a lot of people reading fan fiction.
This is all super fascinating to me. I love this. It just reiterates the point you were talking about earlier, which is people are doing things that they love to do. Apparently, they're making money and the people who are helping them do it are also making money by building these platforms.
You're doing pretty much everything. I know very few people who have dipped their hands into the passion economy as much as you have. Just to give the listener sort of a snapshot of just a few of the things you do. You've got a podcast called “Means of Creation,” where you talk to people who were sort of making it in the passion economy. You go on a lot of other people's podcasts like this one, which takes a lot of time to prep and just to show up.
You've got a Substack newsletter that you put up now. I'm not sure how many subscribers you have, but you've got a lot of engagement. All of your posts have lots of comments, so it seems very popular.
You write a ton and blog a ton. So, you just had a guest post on the Harvard Business Review, besides in addition to what you've written for A16Z, and what you've done on your Substack newsletter.
You've got at least two different passionate economy platforms and projects that you are working on yourself that we are going to get to, sort of your indie hacker projects. This is just a tip of the iceberg. How are you so prolific?
And I invest.
And you invest. How are you so prolific? Cause I know so many people who want to get stuff done, who don't get even one of these five or six things done. What do you know that they don't know?
Oh, my gosh. Well, first of all, that's too kind and I don't think I know anything that they don't know. I think I just probably have a more imbalanced work-life balance than they do.
I am just working all the time. I know this is probably really mentally unhealthy. So, sometimes I force myself to take days off and I’ll block out time on Saturday afternoon where I'm like, don't do anything, don't open your computer, but then I don't even know what to do with myself.
It's really cold here. I'm in Pittsburgh. I can't go outside. It's freezing. I can't go to a restaurant or go shopping. I just don't know what to do and so I end up just working more. That contributes to a lot of the output that you see publicly.
The thing is I know a lot of people who work a ton and also aren't nearly as prolific as you. I have some random theories; you tell me if they're accurate or not.
Just from knowing you and talking to you, I think a lot of the work that you do it's very varied. You not just banging out code all day. Obviously if you were to do that, you'd be super burned out by now. But, before this call, you told me you've got like 15 calls tomorrow or next week or something, which is super social.
I don't have 15 calls next week, but you're gonna be talking to interesting people and learning from them. Often meetings can feel like work if there's a lot of drudge, but if it's just talking to people and learning their stories, those meetings can actually be really energizing.
You also are doing stuff on passionate economy platforms, which means arguably you're engaging in your passions. So, hopefully a lot of the essays and the things that you write, you're writing them because you love them.
My brother is an amateur novelist. He’s self-published a couple novels. He loved writing his novels. It didn't feel like work to him. He had to pull himself away because he was addicted to it. Which is kind of the cool thing of the passion economy, where like your hobby can kind of become your job and the thing that you will want to do all day, you can suddenly make money from.
Yes. I agree with all of that. I think I constantly have so many different projects going on. Yes, I do have a full-time job technically, and that's my investing, but I also spend time doing a bajillion other things.
I think that's just the nature of work now. For most ambitious folks who are trying to build something or make something, there's always so many different projects going on in parallel and all of those, switching between them gives me energy and prevents me from getting too tired of any one, monotonous thing. That's one thing.
Secondly, yes, I'm using these platforms. I'm working, I'm doing work on a lot of the passion economy platforms. The newsletter I write is on Substack. The course that I'm creating is on a new platform that I invested in.
All of these things are being aided by new technology platforms so that I actually don't have to do as much work as I would have had to do like 10 years ago if these platforms didn't exist. If I wanted to blog online and create a newsletter that automatically got sent out at a certain time to my email list, I think that would have been much more challenging before.
Now that's much easier. The podcast, too. We just spit up a Zoom thing and it gets automatically recorded. We have the video, the audio, so we can put on YouTube, a podcast. I feel like I, as a person who has a lot of projects going on, I have a lot more leverage than I would have otherwise.
And then thirdly, absolutely it's driven by passion. I think it's impossible to be this productive unless you actually love everything that you're doing and genuinely enjoy it and feel energized by it. Every day, I feel blessed to be able to do what I do for work. I kind of can't believe that I'd even get to do this job.
Everything that I do is related in some way to this mission of economic empowerment, increasing entrepreneurship, aiding people in taking charge of their own financial futures, helping grow the middle class in America. Everything I do ties back to that mission, and that mission keeps me going.
It's the driving force behind all of it. I think if I didn't feel so passionately about that mission it would be really hard to do all of these little mini projects to push that forward.
I love that. I was someone who was very utilitarian when I first started starting companies, I was like, you know what I want to do. I want to achieve this revenue goal and that's it. I don't care about the mission. I'll worry about that later once I'm financially independent.
I got super lucky that I started Indie Hackers, which happened to be a huge passion of mine. Literally like, Hey, I want to figure out how I can be financially independent. Other people are doing that. I think they're the coolest people in the world. I was very unconsidered in my approach and I just sort of lucked into something that I love doing.
I think people can do what you've done and just take a minute to think about, what do I actually like to do? What do I care strongly about? Let me start a company where I get to do that and work toward that mission. Often people don't do that because there's sort of a scarcity mindset where you think, well, it's so hard to come up with a good idea anyway, how could I possibly add this additional constraint of not only having to have a profitable business idea, but also it has to be something that aligns with my passion.
But what I found is that actually having more constraints helps you come up with ideas because it narrows the scope of what you're searching and allows you to search deeper in that area. Then all the ideas there are the very least aligned with their passion.
I like the way that you've done it. I hope more founders do it. I get very sad whenever I meet people who've literally created their own job because they’re an indie hacker and a founder, they could have done anything and they created a job that they don't like.
It doesn't make very much sense, so I get energized when I see people doing what you're doing where you can work all day every day and you're actually going to happy because you're doing the thing you love doing.
Yeah. I think also, my impression is that having money as your primary motivator isn't as effective as having true passion for doing what you're doing.
I think if you are providing real value and doing something that you really enjoy, money will be an outcome of that. Setting out just to create a company or build a product for the goal of making money, or because you think this is a fruitful industry and you'll make money from it, I don't think that's the motivation enough for most people.
It's not. And what I found is most people who think they're motivated by money are usually motivated by freedom and independence. They think they want a lot of money, but you ask them what they would do with it and they're like I would stop working for the man. What else would you do? I don't know. It's was like, okay, what you really want, you really are motivated by freedom, right? And they’re like, Oh yeah, that's true.
I mean, obviously there are people who get to the point of financial freedom and they still only care about making money. I think that's, that's not money for money's sake. That's money for the sake of status, trying to sort of increase your perceived status in other's eyes, which is probably not a smart game to play in the long-term. But there are all sorts of other, I think, more justifiable reasons to care about making money, right?
Maybe you want to use the money to accrue enough power in the world to change something that you're really passionate about. Or you can use money as a resource to allow you to work on things that you're curious about or have all sorts of interesting adventures or a bunch of other stuff.
One thing I've seen from just talking to so many indie hackers who often don't live in a place like Silicon Valley, where everyone's kind of already keyed into this, is that when they tell people around them what they're doing, it's really inspirational. Other people can see that dollar amount, like, Hey, you're making 10 grand a month from your web app, how are you doing that?
They care because they can easily see how that money could transform their lives in similar ways. Suddenly you have a lot more people who are interested in being founders and starting their own stuff on the internet than before, which I think is super good for them. It's good for the world, even though most people aren't going to succeed right out of the gate.
Which brings me to your blog post. You wrote a very interesting blog post that's called “The Creator Economy Needs a Middle Class.” You basically noted that there's a power law distribution on a lot of these passion economy platforms where a very small percentage of the people on the platforms end up making the vast majority of the money.
Some of the examples you gave are that on Spotify, something like the top one, one and a half percent of artists make 90% of the money. I know that's true on dozens of other platforms. Why do you think that is and is this a problem?
Yeah. This piece really came out of me exploring the topic of why is the middle class in America shrinking overall and what are the contributors to that and how can we help to mitigate that?
It's really big topic, I think that I will save for a book. I scoped it down to just technology platforms and how they can help enable the middle class and specifically create our platforms. As for why I think this phenomenon holds across a lot of different platforms, there's a few reasons.
In particular, I noted one of the papers in the blog post, which was written by this economist at the University of Chicago, like 40 years ago. His name is Sherwin Rosen, he wrote a paper about superstar economics and talked about how in fields with heterogeneity in providers - in other words, not all providers are the same, they're all heterogeneous - consumers have different preferences for different people.
In those kinds of industries, there's going to be a power law that emerges because if you have a surgeon who's 10% better at surgery and saves 10% more lives, he's not just going to get 10% more demand. He's going to get like a hundred percent of the demand.
If you're listening between two artists and one of them is a really bad musician and the other one is really good, listening to 10 times as much music that's bad is not going to add up to a really good song.
He basically talked about how this preference function is not going to be linear across all providers and furthermore, technology was going to exacerbate this because technology meant that those best providers in any given field can serve a lot more consumers than they used to be able to serve.
So instead of the best opera singer only being able to perform for a concert hall full of people, she can now perform to the entire world on Spotify and accrue all of the consumer attention and all of the demand.
I think that's what we're seeing play out in the content creator landscape today. There's vast differences in quality between all of the content. I think content also does actually have some network effects where you want to consume the same content that all of your friends are consuming. In order to participate in the discussion, you sort of get into their stories and you feel invested in them and they're switching costs from that.
I think about that with pop culture often where you're looking at sports, music, TV shows, movies, and to some degree there could be a movie that you’re not excited to see, but you want to be able to talk to your friends about it. So, you just go see it, which means that everyone is sort of incentivized to coalesce to the few most popular options, even if they aren't necessarily higher quality, just so you have something to connect with friends and strangers over.
So, you end up with this power law where maybe the best winners aren't even all that deserving. Maybe Marvel movies aren't even all that great, but it's what everybody's talking about. So, if you want to not feel left out, you just go watch it.
A hundred percent. Yeah. I think this is also related to the phenomenon of the most watched show on Netflix being “The Office.”
It's just familiar, you know exactly what you're going to get. Rather than take a risk on something that might be bad, you just stick with the thing where you already know all the cast of characters. You know you're going to have a pretty good experience watching it. So, you just continue to watch “The Office,” even though there's so many different options.
So basically, we're saying Marvel movies and “The Office” are bad.
No, I love “The Office.” I haven't seen any of the Marvel movies though.
Another aspects of this I think is the inspiration bit. I think about this a lot with Indie Hackers. My goal is really, I want more people to start companies. What I found works the best is just telling inspiring stories. The inspiring stories are almost always the outliers.
If I have someone who comes on the podcast and in three months, they've gone from zero to $50,000 a month in revenue and they quit their job. That's not the average indie hacker case, that's the outlier, but it's also the story that gets the most people to want to take action.
When I look at these platforms like YouTube, who's inspiring people to want to be YouTubers? It's the most unrealistic, popular channels possible. But that has a really huge effect.
Even in startups, YC, you know, the best YC startups come out and put those stories out, everybody watches them in movies and read a blog post about them and then they all want to basically become startup founders. Is that worth basically the inequality? Do you think that, the inspiration?
I think so. I think it's inspiration as well as in a world with so many consumer choices and a finite amount of time, all of these platforms do have to put their most compelling offering in front of consumers in order to grab their attention.
If you're a Netflix and someone goes to netflix.com, you have that one chance to show something really good to the consumer. Otherwise, they might churn next time and not come back. So, you're not probably going to lead them to the long tail thing just for the sake of supplier equality. You're going to show them the blockbuster, “The Crown,” that you've invested over a hundred million dollars into and you know there's a high chance they're going to enjoy it.
I think the same is true of TikTok, the YouTube homepage, they're all going to try and compete for the consumer's attention with the best quality content and the most compelling content creator. That exacerbates inequality.
To be honest, I'm not entirely sure where this ends up and how to mitigate it. I think for the long tail, I think what is going to more realistically happen and what I think is the path for them, is to not expect their whole entire income to come from just a single platform, but instead to layer and piece it together from various different platforms.
If you're a long tail YouTuber and you only have a thousand subscribers and you're not making that much from ad revenue, that's okay. You can have your YouTube AdSense revenue, plus set up a Patreon, plus sell a course, plus do consulting or coaching or whatever in order to cobble together your full income.
I don't think it's realistic to expect these platforms to shift consumer attention to the long tail and take all of their revenue and split it equally among everyone. I think that would kind of be platform suicide for a lot of these companies. But instead, I think we're moving to this world in which one's income is really just a portfolio of different revenue sources, rather than earning everything from a single company, which it used to be.
Yeah. Some of the most inspirational platforms to me are the ones that are passion economy rather than the gig economy, but also still very service based and so the jobs don't scale that well, just because I suspect they'll be able to create the most jobs.
So, assuming Shef gets really big, there can be a lot of people who won’t make a lot of money on Shef versus if Substack is really big, the best content creators are going to rise to the top because their content can reach everybody.
The same with course platforms, if one person puts out a course, it could probably reach millions of people and that's super inspirational, but probably the top 1% of course creators are going to take all the money. Versus if there's a mentorship platform that connects you one-on-one, you can only really mentor so many people. So even if you’re the top mentor, ultimately your day and your week fills up and lots of other mentors can basically share sort of some of the pie. That'll be a little bit more equitable.
Exactly, and that is historically the nature of the middle class in America. If you look at the most common jobs in that middle income band for Americans, historically, it has been truck drivers, nurses, primary school teachers, all of these kinds of non-scalable jobs, where there's a natural ceiling to your earnings because there's a natural ceiling to how much work you can do.
So, I agree. I think there's definitely room for more platforms that facilitate people to offer services. I think that'll naturally create a lot more jobs than content creation platforms.
Totally. If you're an indie hacker thinking about what to make and you want to have an impact, do something that creates service, non-scalable jobs.
You probably don't want to work those jobs. If you’re an indie hacker who wants to get your start on a creative platform, you probably want to go to the ones that are super scalable and strive to be better than everybody else. But if you wanna create a platform, I like the service ones.
Let's talk about some of this stuff that you've done, because you've actually created your own platform. I think someone called it a platform of platforms, which is super cool. Stripe has also been called the same thing, so you're in good company. It's called Side Hustle Stack. Tell us about Side Hustle Stack. What is that?
That's right. Yes. Side Hustle Stack is a website that I built a couple of months ago, maybe just one month ago. It's a platform of platforms that helps people find platform-based work.
The backdrop of this is there are so many new companies and platforms getting started that are helping people to get access to income opportunities, whether that's in the gig economy or that's in the passion economy, or whether that's a platform that helps them to start a small business.
There's just so many new platforms today that help people earn extra income. It was getting really hard for me to keep track of these.
I would say the V1 of Side Hustle Stack was actually a chart that I would include in some of my past blog posts that had basically a grid of type of work as the first column. Then all of the rows were like platforms that were supporting that type of work. It would be like podcaster and then all of the different podcasting platforms that help people monetize being a podcaster and so on and so forth.
I would publish blog posts where I would update this chart. Every time I included this updated chart, founders would reach out to me either, expressing like, hey, you forgot me, can you include me? This is what our platform does, too. Sometimes angry messages being like, hey, we just chatted, why did you leave me off? I would get dozens of these every single time I updated the chart.
I just thought, this is not scalable. I need to just open source this market map and make it such that people can submit their own information and just have it grow over time. That was the genesis of Side Hustle Stack.
That's what we did, we created a website that compiles all of these different platforms for various types of work, ranging from content creators to podcasters to video course instructors to grocery shoppers. Anyone who's looking for a flexible income earning opportunity can go to sidehustlestack.co and browse what are all of the options that I can use and leverage in order to earn some extra money.
I built this with a couple of folks have been helping me, Brandon Handoko, Lila Shroff, and Avi Sheffman have been working a lot behind the scenes to keep the website up and running. It's been going crazy well so far, beyond my wildest imaginations.
We launched the website on Product Hunt at the beginning of December and now have about 2.5 million monthly page views. That is driven a lot by Gen Z. Turns out that Gen Z love side hustles and are really into how can they avoid printing out a resume and applying to a normal job.
I was talking to a friend about TikTok the other day, and neither of us really use it. We've sort of dabbled, but we haven't made posts. We’ve just kind of read it. And we're like, is TikTok useful? Is it worth investing time and effort in? Is it a good marketing channel?
The way TikTok works is they've got this for you feed that's customized to what you like or what you watch. I'm not going to share what’s on my for you feed; let's just say it's certainly not educational. So, I'm kind of thinking is anyone actually learning anything on TikTok? Or sharing anything useful?
I kept my eyes open and I think maybe a few days after I had that conversation with my friend, I discovered that you were crushing it on TikTok. You told me I think that Side Hustle Stack had 2 million page views in its first month. I was like how's that possible? The answer was tick-tock.
Yes, exactly. There's so many different niche facets of TikTok. It's definitely not just dance videos and lip synching. There's a big niche around personal finance, small business tips. I think there's a burgeoning indie hacker community.
Honestly, if you were to get on TikTok and create an Indie Hackers account and put out content related to starting a business and being independent, the youth would go wild.
Crazy. I mean, who doesn't like stories about how to make money and make a living doing something that you like doing? I don't think any age group doesn't enjoy that.
Totally, totally true. Yes. But I think this next generation especially loves that because I think they've just lived through such a huge sea change in what work looks like. When they were born, we were still under this mindset of I remember my parents telling me, just get a good job at a good company that's stable and stay there forever.
Right. Go be a doctor, be a lawyer. Retire after working at this company for 50 years. That is not our generation and certainly it's not what Gen Z thinks about.
Totally. And that's just doesn't really exist anymore. So, I think they're really interested in how to be independent, how to have financial freedom, how to make money.
They don't want to struggle like the millennials did and not be able to afford our own house, even when we're this age. So, I think they really prioritize taking control over their own financial lives.
There’s a bunch of things I think about Side Hustle Stack that are really smart and that are lessons that probably every indie hacker should take away when they're trying to build their own business.
The first, you have to deal with what motivates people to use something. It's pretty, I don't want to say it's easy to build something, but it's much harder to find people to use the thing that you've made it is to make the thing in most situations.
So, you want to build something that people are extremely motivated to use. Two of the biggest motivations are making money and marketing, finding users. So, first of all, making money, if you build something that helps people make money, guaranteed they're going to be very motivated to use your thing and you're going to find it much easier to get users and customers for your app than anybody else.
So, with Side Hustle Stack it's very obvious that people can make money. These Gen Zers who are looking for jobs and gigs, they can come to Side Hustle Stack to find out how to make a living and your website promises to help them do that efficiently and maybe with more of their own individual passion than any other place.
It’s no wonder that a lot of people like what you've built and it's easier for you to drum up interest in what you've done than a lot of other people, because you're helping people make money. So, if you're an indie hacker, you could easily just look at what you're doing and say, is it extremely obvious and clear how this helps people make a living? And if not, maybe redirect or steer yourself in that direction.
Number two, marketing and distribution. I often ask founders and companies what are your biggest challenges? It's almost always growth. How do I get more users? If you can build something that helps companies get more users and customers, they'll also be very motivated to use your thing because indirectly again, that helps them make money.
With Side Hustle Stack, it's not just the people looking for jobs who are coming to your website, but it's also a bunch of people who have these passion economy platforms who are like, we want more people in our platform. Can you list us on Side Hustle Stack? Thank you so much for listing as here. I've seen them on Twitter shouting you out because you're driving traffic to them. You're like an actual source of distribution.
Totally. You mentioned that a lot of indie hackers are great at building products, but not so great at distribution. I would say I'm the opposite. I'm really great at distribution.
I don't have the time right now to build products. So, if anyone is interested in working on Side Hustle Stack with me and joining the team and building a bit more and extending the platform, definitely reach out to me cause I think it has a ton of potential.
How did they get in contact with you?
They can DM me on Twitter. L-J-I-N-18 is my handle. My DMS are open or you can email me, [email protected]
Cool. So, there's a third thing that I think is super smart about the way you did Side Hustle Stack, which is it doesn't matter if you're not the world's premier software engineer. You didn't set out to build the world's most advanced product, hire a team of engineers.
Most people in your position who have a ton of connections in the VC industry, they wouldn't do it the way that you did it. They would be like, I'm going to go out and raise $20 million to build my like AI-powered social app on the blockchain, right? You're like, no, I'm going to create a database on Notion and I'm going to use, I think you use Super to host it on its own domain.
That doesn't mean it's super, super easy, but it's way easier than building everything from scratch. You just got started that way and that allows you to get momentum, to launch on Product Hunt, to figure it that TikTok was a great distribution channel for you and to amass 2.5 page views in a month.
You don't need a ton of engineering shops to do any of this stuff. You don't need any. I wish more indie hackers would start small like this. My advice is usually people should start one level below where they think they should start.
So, if you're a software engineer, don't write code, do something that people who are obsessed with no code would do. Or if you're someone who's obsessed with all these no code tools, don't try to hack together some SaaS app using no-code tools; do something a content creator would do, but then make it better with no code tools. If you're full time, don't try to build some ambitious six-month project, build a side project. Or if you're working a job, trying to work a side project, don't do a side project, do a weekend project.
If you start one level below, I think you just have much more time and energy and resources to make it really, really great, versus if you start like at about the level of skill and ability that you have, I think you end up beyond her wits end, stretched way too thin. It's really hard to make something great cause he's just struggling to finish it.
Totally. I am a hundred percent of this mindset. The the V1 of Side Hustle Stack was literally a chart that I created in Excel and I put into my blog post and I tweeted that chart and that chart got a thousand likes or something. People kept emailing me about how to get at it. I just realized that there was something here.
V2 is now this Notion doc, which is no code, took $0 to make. I think V3 can become something more, but every step there was this validation of do people care about this? Let me validate it in a super lightweight way before I invest further time and resources into it.
I think we are now in a culture where it's very sexy and celebrated to amass a ton of resources really early on in terms of financial capital and investment. Most businesses don't need to do that in order to succeed. The vast majority of startups in America are not venture-backed. They're, self-funded bootstrapped like SMBs.
I am fully of the mindset that people should test things out with side hustles and side projects. Then those side projects can become a full project and the side hustles can become a full hustle, but you don't need to go all out, like quit your job, raise VC money, $3 million just to find out something's not even, you know, there's no customer for it.
I think people should start small and, and just take it step by step and continue validating various hypotheses before proceeding.
Way better to start small, you can move much faster. You're much less likely to quit if you can finish something in a weekend or a month than if it takes you a year. You don't have to ask anybody for permission. You can just get started right now. It's more fun, I think, and you can do a better job.
There's so many stories. I'm pretty sure Sahil Lavingia built Gumroad in a weekend. That was his MVP and he launched it on Hacker News. That was good enough for him to get started. Obviously, later on he raised a bunch of money and built the team, et cetera, et cetera. Now he's redefining the future of work. He started super, super small and a lot of the most successful people I know have started small.
A lot of the most frustrated people I know started really, really big cause they think they have to just kind of start. There is another recurring theme on the podcast that I love that despite your position, like despite the fact that you probably could have started as big as you wanted to you, you started pretty small with Side Hustle Stack.
Yeah. I think it really takes being in VC to realize that VC is not suited for every business. Most founders don't realize all of the repercussions of raising VC money. It means that your destiny is not entirely your own anymore.
You don't own a hundred percent of that business. There's another stakeholder whose voice you have to take into account. The expectation is that you build it into a unicorn or more. If it's not that, then it's a failure and you should go give up and pivot and do something else.
I actually don't think that that model works for the vast majority of ideas or businesses. I'm all in favor of people building really lightweight products with very little resources that they own completely, and that are totally independent and they can just run as a sustainable lifestyle business.
That is the nature of these passion economy platforms. All of the participants on the passion economy platforms are like indie hackers. They're people who are leveraging these platforms to create a business for themselves that they can own and grow and it can represent an income for themselves sustainably over time. They're not trying to build a billion-dollar business, but they have a comfortable lifestyle from it and they own it and it's entirely theirs.
Every now and then I think, should I bring an investor on Indie Hackers? And I'm like, no, that's kind of the antithesis of like the Indie Hacker spirit. Then I bring you on and you're an investor who is an indie hacker, who has all these cool projects and it can sort of tell it like it is. I'm glad you've been on.
Let's do one more of your indie hacker projects if you have time. I guess by the time this is out, this will be announced to the world, but right now it hasn't been. You're actually creating a course for the creator economy, which I think is super interesting because one of your 10 points for how do we increase the sort of middle class of the creator economy and the passionate economy that is we should educate and teach people so they can be better.
Tell me about, about the course you're going to launch, or we'll have launched, by the time the show is out and why you're launching it.
Yeah. I think this is the first time I've talked about it publicly, but I am building and teaching and launching a course all about building for the creator economy.
It's a cohort-based course. It's called the Creator Economy Course, and you can find it at creatoreconomycourse.com. In it, I've basically distilled all of my lessons from studying the space really closely talking to hundreds of startups and actively investing in these startups.
I'll teach all about creator psychology, creators’ needs, pain points, how they evaluate different platforms to use. It's really designed for operators, builders, founders, and anyone who finds the creator economy really interesting. It's a very tactical, builder-centric course for how to think about and pick apart products geared towards creators.
Love it. You've executed this sort of like stair-step approach so perfectly where it's early in your career, you're just gathering a ton of knowledge and use that knowledge to write basically viral blog posts about trends that you were seeing, the pattern, the emergence of the passionate economy that no one else really saw because they didn't have the knowledge and the patterns that you saw.
You leverage that, you created a very specific term that became associated with you. I think as a result of that, you just have a lot more networking opportunities and connections, and you've sort of stayed with it. You've done your own passion economy platforms. You've invested. Now you have so much street credit that you're the best person to teach people how to get started. So, if somebody wants to start a passionate economy platform, why on earth would they want to learn about this space from anybody besides you? And how much does it cost?
It's going to cost $1,200, which I think is such a steal for this content because it's content that has never been published.
I spent my Christmas break talking to a bunch of companies and compiling information that is totally original. This is stuff that I've never written about before. I never spoken on any podcast about before. There's entirely new frameworks that I'm introducing for the first time in this course. Students are going to be like the first people in the world to ever hear some of this content, which I think is really magical.
I think $1,200 is a steal. I mean, people are paying $40,000 to go to art school, which your parents stopped you from doing; this is $1,200.
I consistently talk to founders and I ask them, what's your secret weapon? How are you able to do what you did? I got to talk to Jordan O'Connor who created Closet Tools, which is sort of a tool built on top of Poshmark, just another sort of passion economy platform. He's making like 40 or 50 grand a month as a solo founder. His answer to the best thing that he did was that he took a course on SEO.
He literally went into credit card debt and paid $2,000 just take a course in SEO. I don't recommend people go into credit card debt but he learned so much. That’s how he grew his app; it helped him make much more money in the future.
If I was trying to make a living, do I want to pay for school? Do I want to pay $10,000 for a coding bootcamp? Or do I want to pay $1,200 for a course that's going to tell me exactly how to do this specific thing? It seems to me like a no brainer to pay for courses like this.
Thank you. I'm really excited for it. I hope people are excited for it. We're purposely keeping it pretty small because it's, it's a live course. A lot of it is going to be community-based. It's application based so I encourage people to apply soon.
. What's your strategy for launching a course like this? Cause I know people who tear their hair out trying to have like the most perfectly orchestrated course launch in the world. How are you gonna launch Creator Economy Course?
Oh my gosh. Well, I'm definitely leaning on the team behind this platform to help me do a lot of the actual public facing marketing stuff.
So, you built the course on top of a platform that's for creating courses.
That's right. That's right. Yes. It still does not even have a name. The company is TBD unnamed, but it's a new startup from Gagan Biyani, who used to be the co-founder of Udemy. Wes Kao, who was one of the co-founders of altMBA and also Bhaumik Patel is helping me a lot with this course; he also works at that startup. I'm leveraging them a lot for how to help me launch.
They've all launched successful courses before. The strategy is, I think we're going to do a big announcement, which by the time this podcast airs, we'll be live and then talking about it to folks. I've already done a lot of socialization about these topics and this course itself to folks at various companies. So, I've kind of drummed up like excitement inside of various companies already.
I love the idea. A lot of indie hackers just want to charge like $5 or $10 for something that took them a year to build. A course, it's like you can charge $1,200 for something that I mean, obviously it's based on years of knowledge and conversations, but in terms of actually putting it together, there's already a platform that you built this on. If you're going to limit the number of people who can take it, not only does that increase the quality of the course, but it also makes it way easier for you to hit your revenue goals.
Where somebody who's charging like $5 a month needs to find thousands of customers to get to profitability, you could find 10 people who took this course and make 10 grand. It's just such an advantage to create something that's super valuable and then charge what it's worth. Since you’re working together with these other people, because you're an early adopter on their platform and they probably really want you to succeed, you've got other people sort of pushing your direction to help you. You're not doing it all by yourself.
Yeah. I think the course model works really well for folks who have very specialized knowledge and that knowledge has really high ROI for the folks who want to access it. They're basically pretty much price insensitive to whatever the price is because it's such valuable information that is definitely going to pay itself back.
I think courses are the right model for a very specific subset of the creator economy. Definitely it's a very high effort thing to create a course, but I think it's also very high reward, especially relative to some of the micro-tipping and donation-based platforms.
So I'm super curious, what your master plan is. You have so many balls in the air with your podcast and you're writing a newsletter, a super cool course, and this platform of platforms tell people find work on the creator economy. Where do you see all of this leading, you know, are these independent projects? Are they working towards some sort of bigger goal?
Because I know people who just love putting out tons, little projects. And I also know people who are super strategic and they're like, no, every project is one step of my master plan. Where do you want to be in, you know, a year or two from now?
I just want to rebuild the middle class and I want to help people live better lives and have more paths to economic empowerment and do work that is fulfilling and meaningful to themselves rather than exploited it.
That's the broad mission of my life and everything that I do tease up to that. As for the specific projects that I have in mind for the future, all of that is I think TBD, and I sort of grasp on to opportunities as they come. But I'm very much guided by that North Star goal of how do I rebuild the middle class in America and promote economic advancement for people.
Wow. It's super, that’s super ambitious. Honestly, I wish more people had ambitious life missions like that because you can kind of break down everything you're doing into the components along the path to that larger goal. It's much easier I bet to stay motivated when you can say, okay, I'm working on this side project right now, but here's how this gets me to step three out of 15 to bringing back the middle class in America.
Best of luck, I'm a fan. It's obviously a very worthwhile goal. You've been working in tech and startups and investing, and now the passion economy for quite some time, what's something that indie hackers should take away from everything that you've learned?
I would encourage everyone to just pursue their interests and be very closely attuned to what is giving them energy and what is something that they look forward to doing and just keep following that.
I never had a master plan for my life or my career. I didn't even use to know that VC existed. When I graduated from college, I had no idea VC existed. I didn't know what a PM was. I didn't know all the roles inside startups. I just took step-by-step chunks of my career and every single step of my career, I didn't really know what was next. I just followed my interest and I followed my gut. That intuitive approach has always worked pretty well for me and I don't think people should overthink things, just, just follow your heart. That's what I want to tell people.
How does somebody who is following their heart make sure that they're making the right moves so that they can actually find some success to you because there are so many people who follow their heart and also end up doing something that doesn't provide any economic value to anybody else. What would be your advice there?
Well, I think we're all on this like personal goal of product market fit, where we are the product and there is a market out there. Whatever we pursue and have a passion about, either we have to be sure that there is a market for this or we have to by ourselves create the market.
Maybe if there is no market, you can first create it, which is a much bigger task, obviously, but it involves educating people for why they should even be interested in what the thing is that you're passionate about.
Love it. So, basically if no one cares about your passion, educate them and maybe your passion start off as educating people about why it's important and valuable for them.
Li Jin, thanks a ton for coming on the show. Can you let listeners know where they can go to find out more about all your different projects, how they can help on a Side Hustle Stack and where they can go to read your writing?
Yeah. You can find my course at creatoreconomycourse.com. The application link is on the page. You can find Side Hustle Stack at sidehustlestack.co. You can follow me on Twitter, I'm pretty active there; ljin18 is my handle. I also have a TikTok account, sidehustlestack is the handle; we don't really know what we're doing, but we're having a lot of fun with that. You can follow us there.
If you want to chat about the course about Side Hustle Stack and how you can help us on it, or if you have a startup and you no longer want to be an indie hacker, but wanna raise VC money, you can contact me. I'm [email protected] That's my email. And so yeah, anyone can feel free to reach out. Thank you so much for having me.
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