Growth January 17, 2020

AMA We made nearly $10K in 2 months with a macOS app

Hans Pagel @hanspagel

Hi IH! We made nearly $10K in revenue with a small macOS app. Numbers are available here:

I always find this kind of stories motivating. It shows that it's worth to run an indie business. 😊If you're already working on something: Keep on going!

Anything you want to know?

  1. 3

    Where is the home page of floatie? When I try to go directly to it just gets to your app's stats.

    Is this another project you're working on that wasn't yet released?

    1. 1

      Yes! We built this for the launch of Mouseless to make all metrics public. We're working on it one the side (like a side side project) and plan to release it for free for the maker community.

      And yes, we have a few dashboards but no homepage. 😁 Here is the floatie board for floatie:

  2. 2

    Congrats! I really like the design of the floatie summary and also the mouseless landing page, they look very clean and modern and show the info you want to see, no bulls**t.

    Do you play on growing the mouseless app or are focused more on floatie now?

    1. 2

      Hi XCS! Thank you so much! 🙌

      We plan to release 10 apps until end of year, Mouseless has been #1. I don't like talking about "growth", and I don't think we're working very strategically, but yes, we hope to generate a small, but sustainable income from Mouseless. We hoped for $1K/month for the first year, but hit $10K in 2 months already, which is crazy.

      There are a few things we're trying.

      For example we started to add (mostly auto-generated) landingpages for the keyboard shortcuts we add (manually) to Mouseless anyway. Here is an example: We hope to get some Google traffic as we add more and more content to those pages.

      And the obvious thing is to add more exercises for new apps. We have a list of 52 requested apps that we want to add on a regular basis.

      But regarding Floatie: We want to improve it with every product launch and the plan is to launch it for free at some point. If you're into this idea, be sure to subscribe to floatie on the dashboard:

      1. 1

        Thanks for the detailed response, good luck with creating and releasing your next apps 🥳

  3. 2

    This is really great, worth the price. Reminds me of linux CLI commands or Divvy... does one thing well. Love it.

    1. 1

      Thanks! 🙌

  4. 2

    Congratulations! The idea is genius :)

    1. 3

      Thanks! The idea was in my notes app for more than a year. Started as a community/game thing idea, changed the scope every month. 😁

      1. 1

        So interesting to hear this context, thanks for sharing. I have so many ideas and just keep finding problems with all of them. Good to know not all ideas seem urgent at first

  5. 1

    Both Floatie and Moueseless are very interesting. @hanspagel

    What was your biggest mistake? And how did you overcome?

    I'm also interested to illustrate data for my silly passion project, I would love to use Floatie. Any quick start guide?

    1. 1

      Hi Felix! Thanks! Can't think of a big mistake, everything went surprisingly well. We thought about stopping in the middle, that would have been a big mistake though.

      We estimated to work 80 h on it. After around 150 h we faced major technical issues regarding keyboard shortcuts. Turned out it’s a pretty complex topic.

      We took a break for a weak or so than. After the break we decided to keep going. :) We found pragmatic ways to work around the technical limitations and launched after 220 h.

      Regarding Floatie, it’s not ready yet. Add your email to the mailing list in the footer: ✌️

      1. 1

        Subscribed just now. Excited to use!

  6. 1

    Awesome, looks great! What tool do you use for the discount (countdown and knowing what celebration is going on today or on another day), I've seen it elsewhere and would like to implement it

    1. 1

      We're using this one: (for Vue.js only)

      There are a ton of countdown plugins out there though. Depending on the platform you're using, just google e. g. "wordpress countdown" or "react countdown". I bet you'll find a ton of solutions. ✌️

      1. 1

        Awesome, thanks.

  7. 1

    Do you think that the fact that it's well designed contributed to it's success? I'm a designer... questioning my contributions to indie hackers projects!

    1. 1

      I think a good design can improve every product: easier to use, more accessible, more fun to use ...

      Maybe design shouldn't be a top priority for every indie project, but definitely helps to improve the (percieved) value for a macOS app.

      Do what you can do best! Design is amazing. :)

  8. 1

    Congrats that’s amazing! Do you recommend having a free/paid version?

    1. 1

      We don't have a free version, not even a trial. Implementing a trial woud have taken too much time. We decided to add a 30 days money back guarantee instead. People ask constanly for a trial though, but people always prefer to have something for free. So I'm not sure what I would recommend.

  9. 1

    How did you build your MacOS app? Do you code yourself or did you hire on Fiverr or Upwork? If the later, how did you vet that they were good programmers and not a pain to work with?

    How did you decide the price for your app as well?

    1. 2

      Yes, we're a team of two and we work together for 7 years or so. Very experienced in frontend and Vue.js development. While I don't think the experience is needed for most ideas, but it was very valuable for this thing. Shortcuts and localisation are damn complex. Took us around 200 hours.

      1. 1

        Okay, thanks for the feedback. So you two know code and you leveraged that to get your app out there.

  10. 1

    How did you get your initial traffic and customers? Where did you post/share to? Did you pay for any advertising/marketing?

    1. 2

      I tweet a lot about everything I do (@hanspagel) and promoted a pre-launch page that didn't had much more than the title. Got around 300 subscribers from it and launched it on Nov 21 with a tweet, an email and on PH. ✌️

  11. 1

    Congratulations! Are these the first 2 months since launch?

    1. 1

      Yes! We launched on Nov 21. Didn't tell anyone what it does before, but had a mailing list with 300 subscribers that didn't know much more than the title.

  12. 2

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