Daily Stand-up March 29, 2020

Another week and another week without revenue

Daniel Legut @DevManDan

Pre-revenue bootstrapping is anything but boring. However, I feel like I am really close to getting to somewhere significant. Here is my weekly reflection that I do. It helps me more than it helps others at this point. Maybe it will help others at some point. I don't feel comfortable sharing every detail just yet because I am in the midst of on-boarding a co-founder. I want to be respectful of his privacy and just because I am open about things doesn't mean he will be. I need to probably ask him about this sooner rather than later. I think it may be restricting my blog posts lately.

https://devmandan.com/yet-another-reflection-of-this-past-week/

Feel free to ask me questions. It may help me keep things fresh and I may append to the post or something. I don't know. I'm just spitballing here.

  1. 7

    Hi There Daniel

    I read the post as the headline caught my attention.

    "Another week and another week without revenue" - sounds interesting doesn't it ?

    I was thinking here is an Indie Hacker struggling to make revenue, let's see what he is doing and how he is managing the situation, it also sounded like you were on the verge of a breakthrough as you said were "getting to somewhere significant" That's gotta be an interesting read, right ?

    That is what I was thinking.

    But no, even after clicking your link and heading over to read the article on your your blog I am more confused trying to figure out why you posted here with a heading, "Another week and another week without revenue"

    You spoke about a few things such as switching from a REST API to a regular HTTP API and after reading it all, I have no clue what you do or what your project is about. Sure I could probably find out reading more but ya lost me Daniel.

    Can I propose and I am proposing politely, that in your next reflection you consider finding more meaningful post headings :-)

    Wish you well and thanks for sharing,

    1. 1

      Thanks for advice/criticism. I always appreciate feedback. Goodk, bad, or ugly. The only bad feedback to me is none. It seems to me that this post has received the most qualitative engagement on IH. So maybe I have chosen a meaningful post heading? Maybe the lesson here is clickbaity title worked but I need to satisfy people's curiosity better after they click on it.

      1. 2

        Hey Dan The Man :-)

        Thank you also for a cool response. For sure the clickbaity title worked and it might even work a few more times before your reputation would be damaged

        I think your conclusion is bang on the button, if your next catchy title delivers what it says on the tin, you are on to a winner and the community will appreciate it.

        Now I am so curious what will Dan The Man's headline be next week ?

        Cheers for now Dan, I will be keeping an eye out for your next post

        1. 1

          We'll see what happens. You'll have to wait until next weekend ;). I usually post them then. I'm just glad some people read it this week. Makes me want to put in more effort into next week's.

  2. 2

    Your post talks only about the technical challenge you had moving from REST API to Http API, and that without any technical details for the post to be interesting for others. If you're writing this purely for your self-reflection, then do it as a bullet list of things you've done rather than something with quotes but no content.

    If you've spent a week optimizing the code and your hosting expenses without having any clients, this feels like wasted time. Without any users who are you optimizing for?

    How much time did you spent on marketing this week? What did you do for that? Did you write any content? Did you do anything for SEO?

    I am in a similar boat as you are, ie no revenue so far. But I think that's just the numbers game. In the past 6 months the website visits have grown steadily, bounce rate is decreasing, and user engagement in the app is increasing. I'm always monitoring Hotjar recordings to improve the UX. People went from plain abandoning the app after the signup to some spending 20-40 minutes.

    1. 1

      Thanks. Great questions! Non-technical things I did this past week included:
      -Venture Deals online course and received feedback about pitch deck + investor research
      -Weekly meeting with cofounder who is youtuber with 150k+ subscribers (he's the go-to-market strategy for initial users and I am currently on-boarding him while also getting to know him)
      -He has also lined up 5 youtubers as early access users/testers for after April 3rd, they're all in the resale business full-time
      -Tentative launch for slow rollout is still May 1st

      You're right about the optimization being potentially for no one. That's why I ended with the quotes that I did. It's what I came to realize by reflecting.

  3. 1

    Do you have a product you're working towards? It wasn't very clear in your blog post.

    The weeks really do go by quickly. It's cool that you condense and reflect. I find when I don't take the time to think where I'm headed, months just evaporate. It's also really easy to lose a couple of hours to inane questions.

    Great quotes to pick out - in terms of battling perfection, I find it essential to remember that you can't become an expert without being the novice. Feeling all lost and jumbled up means you're doing new things, you're on a new path. Paul Graham had some quick thoughts on it.
    http://www.paulgraham.com/noob.html

    Also, why do you use Ghost? I'm curious whether you have that self-hosted or not.

    1. 1

      I do have a product. Ghost is self-hosted on a free ec2 tier instance. I think that's the micro one. I self-hosted to avoid any recurring costs besides my domain name.

  4. 1

    @rosiesherry alright, I've seen you like some of my posts. However, I feel like you owe me a comment because likes/upvotes can only go so far. This is an arbitrary demand and I look forward to having it fulfilled with some engagement. I have summoned your presence.

    Proceeds to light pyre of copies of The Lean Startup, and Zero to One

    Alright, I've completed the ritual to make you comment.

    No, but seriously - shoot me a question or something.

    1. 3

      The scrutiny and negativity puzzles me.

      This is posted in a Daily Stand Up group, people need to take that into consideration. People show up every single, posting random bits of what they are up to.

      Take that and the headline/title into consideration, I felt it was relevant, timely to people in general: another week of not making money, I feel, is a summary of where @DevManDan is at and the thoughts that are going through his head.

      I don't think it is clickbaity if you take into consideration the context:

      • that he has been posting on a very consistent basis
      • a quick browse of his site shows the regular updates
      • a quick browse on Daily Stand Up shows that he shows up

      I admire everyone who shows up consistently at Daily Stand Up. It's something I keep wanting to do, but never find the discipline.

      The world needs kindness and empathy right now.

      Tagging people who have commented:
      @Massi @dozo @AidanJ @artjom

      1. 1

        How am I exactly now part of this group?

        1. 1

          You're not really, I just tagged in everyone, trying to be helpful 'n' what not.

      2. 1

        I didn't intend any negativity if it seemed that way from what I posted.

        And I share the same admiration of consistently showing up to share what you've been up to :)

      3. 1

        Ayyyy my ritual worked. :D

        No worries. I'm good with people sharing their thoughts. I'd rather have some negative feedback than none. Its at-least a change of pace from the usual.

        1. 2

          It did work! :D

          I just feel it's important for people to take the full picture into account. ☮️

          Also, a lesson to take from this, more interesting posts do get a 'rosie blessing' (and as a consequence more visibility). I'm not sure the Daily Standup posts are designed for this, but occasionally they are worth giving the extra visibility.

          1. 1

            Yeah, I mostly find myself posting stand ups once a week. I do appreciate the extra visibility. Soon enough I hope to be posting more than just stand ups. However, I don't feel compelled to write about anything else just yet.

      4. 0

        Rosie, are you telling me how to have an opinion ? Is your tagging me like a public scolding from a moderator or what ?

        Seriously, the guy, Dan admitted it was clickbaity and it absolutely is clickbaity.

        We had a good constructive, healthy and respectful exchange - I gave my honest opinion, is that allowed ?

    2. 2

      I think he has some valid points. I don't know what he wants to know. I do have a couple of questions:

      • What is your business about? How is reducing the cost of your infrastructure gonna add more value today than getting your first customer, for example?
      • Thanks for sharing your insights.
      1. 1

        What is your business about?
        It uses sales data from eBay to help making buying decisions for sourcing goods intended for resale. That's the short of it. I can go into it at length, but I don't think it's worth it at this point. There are competitors in this space but I don't see them as competition for varying reasons. I've previously posted about this in other posts on my blog.

        How is reducing the cost of your infrastructure gonna add more value today than getting your first customer, for example?
        I am working on the login system. The login system is easier to integrate into the HTTP API rather than the REST API in my opinion. I thought it was worth spending the time on switching over finally. Users/testers I've got to test before this were just not signing in at all. Couldn't quantify engagement. I've had 10+ people test. One stuck around and still uses it seldomly. My go-to-market strategy is my cofounder who I have recently offloaded the responsibility of marketing to. He is a strategic partner due to his built-in audience of 150k+ youtube subscribers. He also has arranged 5 early alpha testers who are all youtubers with varying subscriber counts. All of them do resale full time and are authority figures amongst their audiences. If I can get them to all to like it, then I think I can possibly have massive growth early on. Optimizing may be worth it now to prevent costs accruing quickly.

        1. 1

          Thanks for replying! I think to worry about costs is definitely some good habit to have. I'd say premature optimization compounds a lot more that one might think.

          Having facts to validate if you are working on the top 1 priority task is preferable.

          Other than this, keep on the hard work! Good luck