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First week of indie hacking - Here are the results

G'day!

A week ago, more than a year since lurking indie hackers and other related forums, I decided to start working on my own side hustles. Over the years, I've gathered more than 150 different ideas, all written down on my Google Keep, so there is plenty of validation to do.

For a little over 7 years, I've been working full-time as a backend developer and still do, so get more time working on my side hustles I set up to do it before my normal workdays begin. To me, this means working between 6 AM - 8:30 AM.

The first idea I picked for validation from my neverending list of untouched ideas is an idea for a paid live streaming platform. The idea is simple: you schedule a live stream, choose a "pay-per-view" price for it and viewers will pay to watch it. I decided to name the platform Hudle.

So, to validate this idea I quickly did the following:

  • A landing page, ~10 hours of work (look here: https://www.hudle.live)
  • A serverless backend to collect visitor emails to google sheets, ~1h of work (also made this generic so I can re-use it anywhere)
  • Bought a domain, 1 hour of work (mostly by coming up the name)
  • Set up google tag manager with GA4, 2 hours of work
  • Wrote about the idea and linked the landing page on indiehackers and hacker news, 2 hours of work

Total work time of 16 hours. Not that much to get started.

A week has passed, here are the results:

Indie hackers post

Here on indiehackers I did this post: https://www.indiehackers.com/post/new-me-new-plans-my-first-idea-for-validation-fc9a360043

  • 108 views
  • 10 comments (half of them are my replies)

Hacker news

Post can be found here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24927700

Not much to say here, one comment with hard criticism. But that's what I'm asking so it's really valuable feedback.

Google analytics

Analytics

  • 75 total users in one week
  • 10 of the website visitors clicked my CTA button
  • 0 of the visitors subscribed with an email

Direct Instagram messages

I also DM'd 5 people on Instagram about the idea and asked for their willingness to beta test the platform. This is something I thought I would never do, I think it's a bit too pushy. But hell, I did it anyway 😁

  • 5 direct contacts in total
  • 2 answers (this was actually quite surprising)

Details about the accounts that answered:
The first answer was from an account belonging to a guy who does public speaking here. He has 4500 followers. He told me he's working for a bigger company with multiple speakers and told me to contact their CEO for questions like this. A really nice dude overall.

The second answer was from a guy who does fitness-related stuff (workouts, rehab, etc). He has 440 000 followers. The answer was that he has already begun working with a company that does a similar type of thing, paid live/VOD so because of that he cannot participate in beta testing. Nice guy also, polite and informative.

Lessons learned

  • Direct messaging might work extremely well if the idea is good and you reach the right people.
  • Prepare to answer questions once you do post about your ideas somewhere
  • Starting without an audience will slow you down, but it should not stop you.
  • Do planned things fast if you're not a full-time indie hacker. You have a limited schedule, so spend it wisely.

What's next

I've got plenty of ideas in the bank so I will go on to the next one. Then again, I'm not going to kill Hudle just yet, I'll try to contact some more people directly to get their feedback on the idea.

I hope this post helps some others who are just starting up.

You can also follow me on Twitter here https://twitter.com/zengouu

  1. 3

    Awesome post Joonas.

    Here's another product idea.

    Sell your list of 150+ ideas for a dollar on Gumroad 😅

    1. 1

      You beat me to it!

      1. 1

        Thanks @AthosBlade

        Question for the both of you: If I actually did put my ideas for sale on Gumroad, how much would you be willing to pay for it?

        1. 1

          I personally wouldn't buy, but I think many would.

          Consider looking at products like Submit Juice by @Jaisalr. It a similar concept tbh - saves you time doing something you could do alone.

          He made good money on his launch month!

          1. 1

            Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I appreciate it.

            Submit Juice was a new one to me, ill most definitely check it out when actually launching something.

        2. 1

          As I said, a dollar.

          Depends if you've done some work to valifate them. Then they'd be worth more to me.

          If not, they're not worth that much.

          You can checkout Software Ideas by @Kevcon80 for inspiration.

          1. 1

            Dollar ain't bad money for just ideas. Of course they would need to be polished if I'd want to charge more.

            I've actually followed @Kevcon80 and his Software Ideas for a while now. It's partly why I thought to validate my idea of a live-streaming platform. It could bring value to people like him and his audience, as he also provides paid videos with his newsletter.

            1. 1

              Glad I'm inspiring people to validate ideas in advance! That's really cool to hear.

              1. 1

                You sure do! Keep up the good work

  2. 2

    Hi man!
    Nice to see your results ;)

    I have something interesting for you:
    https://www.indiehackers.com/post/1125-mrr-in-3-months-after-launch-so-happy-a18096292b

    Remember me? We had similar landing pages last week :D
    Last week I did a landing page refresh and proceed with paid google ads.
    After that I wrote direct emails to registered users, asking them for feedback.

    You can try to evaluate these steps and try to move forward in this direction.

    1. 1

      What's up dude!

      Of course I remember you :P

      And yeah, thanks for reading. Week is a short period to get detailed highly analyzed results but decided to post them anyway. There's a lot more work to be done with the validation.

      Nice work with your landing page redesign! Did it improve something you were after? More visitors? Lower bounce rate? Please share :)

      By the way, how many registered users did you get and in what time period? And where did you share your landing page?

      Nice link, I'll have to try steps described there

      1. 1

        On "Did it improve something you were after? More visitors? Lower bounce rate?"

        • Luckily I started the Ads Campaign after I did the redesign simply because I understood that before I go with paid ads - I need to bring the landing to a new level to make it more distinguishable and readable.
          So I removed as much as I could - fewer colors, less content, clear message.

        I had a peak ad show and click on this Monday, but just to understand - google ads may have low CTR (Click-through rate), It may also depend on your ad description.

        Bounce rate? Lower, simply because the ad targeted my potential auditory.

        New users? +10 on Monday evening. After that - the ad show/click was much lower.

        Since the campaign started (Nov, 1st) I have ±2400 Ad view / 56 Ad click / 16 Signups.

        I will continue reaching registered users and ask them for feedback. (Still, nobody replied back)

        1. 1

          To me it seems you've done nice work and I like the new landing page. Much clearer and professional looking.

          I'm not an expert on the subject by any means but 56 clicks and 16 signups seem very good to me.

          How finished is your product if people actually sign up for it?

          1. 1

            To be honest, it's just a "slick" MVP, it just shows a concept which was polished for months just because I enjoyed the process of making and maybe didn't had in mind that it will go public one day.

            When I'm looking now, I guess it's 20% of what it could became.

            I'm not sure why people are signing up, maybe because they look at the landing and think that it can't be a just a MVP, maybe they just want to play with it, I have no Idea, will find out when somebody will respond to the email :)

            1. 1

              Hmm, people signing up, at least to me is a clear indication that they have some sort of willingness to use the product. Otherwise, they would not dedicate their time to go through the signup process.

              If I were you, I would next try to validate their willingness to pay for the service. Maybe in the signup flow, add a step where they need to insert payment details. If that change drives your new signups to zero, then you need to reassess. If people still sign up, begin coding the platform ASAP :)

  3. 1

    @Penguin this is great! It's amazing to see how you took action and tested your idea.

    I'm curious: What did you use to build that landing page?
    Looks pretty neat!

    1. 1

      Thanks for following btw!

    2. 1

      Thanks, to be honest, it's never easy to take the first steps but glad I did.

      It's a tailwind css landing page template that I modified a bit. Can't seem to find the exact URL anymore but I came across it when browsing CSS guides.

      But I'd say do the landing page yourself if you got the time and skills for it!

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