April 12, 2019

How can other indie hackers help you this month?

We're almost halfway through April! 馃槵

Earlier this month, many of you shared what you're working on. Now it's time to share your skills, your learnings, your time, or simply become an accountability partner to someone else who wants to build their indie startup.

There are lots of smart talented people here, so let's help each other!

What do you need help with?

What help/advice/service can you offer to others?

If you request help, please reply to someone else and help them out! 馃槆

#ask-ih

  1. 13

    I was thinking of blocking 3-4 hours this weekend to help fellow Indiehackers by designing as many simple but strong logos in one sitting. I really believe have a strong but simple identity early on can make your project looks so much more cooler. At the same time I can practice my design-skills :)

    If I find the time will definitely create a post for it! Also, in the spirit of validation: Would this be helpful for the community?

    1. 1

      Hello @robert. This would be perfect if you want to try out a game company logo. We already have one but I would love to have a cartoonish game related logo. Thanks for being this much helpful! If you have a place for one more count me in.

      1. 1

        Can you post a comment here answering the questions? Thx! (and please upvote the post)

    2. 1

      Hey @robert, I don't know if you want to pick for a more robust project. But I just launched Astratu (astratu.com). Astratu is focused on the Brazilian community and it's a website 100% automated summarized articles from multiple Brazilian News outlet.

      1. 1

        Would love to! Can you post a comment here answering the questions? Thx! (and please upvote the post)

    3. 1

      Created a post here feel free to upvote so people don't miss out.

      @tyrelj13 @rlfrahm @ukutaht @nunodonato can you post your little briefing in the comments there? 馃檶

    4. 1

      This would be super helpful! If you still have an open spot for this, I'd love to have one made for ShotCrew.

      1. 1

        Can answering the questions here and comment on it?

    5. 1

      馃憢yes please @robert . I have a new project that needs some identity.

    6. 1

      This would be amazing. I'm planning to launch plausible.io soon and I'd love to have a proper identity. As a developer I really struggle with this.

      1. 2

        @ukutaht I really like your landing page! Did you design that or is it based off a template?

        1. 2

          I agree! Doesn't look that bad, should be proud of it!

        2. 1

          Thanks! Yeah I designed it :)

          1. 1

            I don't mind giving it a try, can you post a comment here answering the questions? Thx! (and please upvote the post)

    7. 1

      count me in for that :D

      1. 1

        Cool! Can you post a comment here answering the questions? Thx! (and please upvote the post)

        1. 1

          done!

  2. 5

    IH as a website is fairly slow. This is one of many items on my to-do list that I work to improve every month, but I could use some help! If anyone wants to run some audits and send me technical suggestions where they think I could get the most bang for my buck with performance improvements, email me! (cc @tnolet)

    Some technical info: The site is an Ember.js app. It's static, so your request just hits a CDN that serves you the HTML for the index page. (This is the loading screen you see with the quote.) Then the JS for the app is loaded and run in your browser. I'm using Firebase for both authentication and data retrieval/storage, and logging you into Firebase is part of the app's boot-up time.

    1. 2

      Let me block some time this week and look at some possible areas of improvement. Happy to help out.

    2. 2

      Never noticed that its slow - the messages displayed during loading are actually a nice feature.

      1. 2

        I get a lot of mixed feedback on it. 50-50 love vs hate.

        Same with the dark theme of the site, tbh.

        1. 1

          I also agree. The dark theme is great!

        2. 1

          don't even touch the dark theme, lol

    3. 1

      @csallen

      Finally had some time. Two things jumped out:

      1. vendor-xxx.js and indie-hackers-xxx.js take 2+ seconds to load and only cached for 7 days. TTFB is really bad (500ms+). Cloudfront should do < 100 ms. For anyone visiting weekly this is almost 4 seconds on initial load just for the JS bulk. Also, the files are quite big at ~200kb. Try cutting some of the dependencies.

      As a comparison, my SaaS is a fairly large Vue app. Vendor and app .js files load with a TTFB of < 80ms and load under 500ms.

      1. Seems there is some kind of artificial delay when clicking a post. I click, the loading bar runs till halfway, only then do I see activity (XHR calls etc) and then the page displays the post. No idea what this is, but might be caused by some parameter in the routing component.
      1. 1

        Looking into both of these very soon. Thanks Tim!!

    4. 1

      Are you using any caching or do you query Firebase every time? Serverside rendering would help a lot too. You could probably also use local storage to store the data across page loads and only refresh the delta asynchronously, that would be super fast :)

      1. 1

        Querying Firebase every time. I need to do a bit more to understand the long initial load time. Part of it is loading data from Firebase for sure, but part of it is also loading JS libs and CSS, etc.

        I'm thinking that I might have to go back to server-side rendering whether I like it or not, because without it I don't have any Twitter card tags or Facebook Open Graph tags, which is unfortunate. But another benefit could be caching. Caching is just a bit tricky with a social site like this one where pages change often due to upvotes etc, but at the very least I should be doing it for our long-form content pages.

        The local storage trick seems鈥 ambitious haha.

        Thanks for the suggestions!

        1. 1

          Hey, I've just quit my job as a senior dev @ Shopify to start working on my startup. I'm using IH to help us starting up, the least I can do is to return the favour. Let me know if you're still looking for some eyes on your setup.

    5. 1

      Do you need to log in during the boot up? Could it log in asynchronously and load the content first? I use Firebase for my mobile apps and this is what I do. There's a small few seconds that preforming certain actions will prompt you to log in (before becoming authenticated) but it's a hit I'm willing to take for a better overall experience

      1. 1

        That's a great suggestion. I'll add it to my list of things to attempt. I'm curious how long the auth process takes anyway. Hopefully a full second or two ;-)

        Thanks for the suggestions!

  3. 3

    Help with product market fit is my current issue. Anything anyone can provide would be great. Currently, I am out having coffee with potential customers and asking them questions.

    1. 3

      What's your product, who's your market, and what problem does your product solve for them? What are customers saying about it when you talk to them over coffee? You should make a post on IH about this and tag me (@csallen).

      Kudos for talking to customers btw!

  4. 3

    If anyone needs some advice on partnership, sales and business development, feel free to hit me up!

  5. 3

    I'd love to know if there is anything we can do for Indie Women.

    I'm also generally happy to offer advice on community & marketing stuff. Either tag me in discussion to bring it to my attention or feel free to get in contact directly.

  6. 2

    @csallen

    The Product is custom Datasets on demand.

    The Market is AI Developers but want to make this more specific.

    The Product solves the problem of having to create datasets for AI Models.

    Customers say looks nice but so far have offered little more. 13 of them want to try it but no one says anything close to this is awesome, I need this.

    1. 1

      Could you, please, share what exactly do you mean by creating dataset: Is it scraping, labeling, help in the setup of Mechanical Turk?

      1. 1

        Sure, we have a Deep Learning solution that builds, cleans, and labels datasets. These datasets are loaded into a secure data warehouse where people QA and run experiments as needed.

        1. 1

          It still not clear what is the origin of data. What "builds" stands for?

          You say that DL model labels dataset. I'm not sure if I got the point. Usually, people labeling dataset to train a model afterward.

          Could you please explain more details and give a couple examples?

          Now, I am do all the stuff related to dataset myself. So, I might need it at some point.

          1. 1

            So sorry. By build we mean either web scraping, licensing from a third-party source, obtaining via API, directly from the client, or some combination. It is the process of taking the data and making it ready for a model. We work with the model team to ensure the data is what they need using a semi-automated process. Expected to be a fully automated process by the end of the year.

            For example, a client needing augmented reality to show potential customers how their backyard could look with hardscape services needed a dataset to train a model to determine what is concrete and what is not from the iPad camera. This image data was scraped from the web, labeled as concrete, grass, rock, tree, landscape from both human and automated means. Thus it needed labeling before the model could be trained.

            In contrast, you could just have data that is cleaned for missing records and erroneous details first. However, most of our clients are small business and are asking for a feature or application. We are usually brought in by the development agency and told what is needed before the dataset is created.

            The model builders have access to the data from record 1, ensuring it is what is needed as early as possible through viewing and data science experiments from the model team. Currently, we are open to building what the client needs. As we automate more of the process, it will become more defined what we will and will not do. However, we are still working on product / market fit.

            The deliverable is a secure data warehouse with their dataset(s). The choice of data warehouse is the clients. Hope this helps.

    2. 1

      Could be a case of the wrong market, i.e. the wrong subset of AI developers. Are these people making money from their AI work? What do they tell you about their problems? How much time/money are they currently investing to solve those problems?

      1. 1

        Yes, they are making money from AI. All are director or higher in AI for large companies. They have an issue with needing allot of data. One is spending $30 million on a single project. They just are not sure about a new company providing the solution. I think I need to target smaller companies.

        1. 1

          It's been about 4 months, just curious if you landed the client. Why or why not?

  7. 2

    This is yet another reason I love Indie Hackers 鈥 it鈥檚 a community that鈥檚 all about helping each other and giving back :)

    How I can help:

    On the tech side, I鈥檇 love to help answer any Vue questions (vuex, vue-router, component frameworks like Vuetify), Stripe questions, or AWS (Route 53, S3, Cloudfront, EC2, basic Lambda + Serverless). Also hit me with any general HTML, CSS, and JS questions!

    On the design side, I鈥檓 happy to give advice on how you could improve design consistency and navigation (I can take a look at your landing page or any other pages you鈥檙e unsure about).

    How you can help:

    I just started content marketing by writing tech tutorials 鈥 I would love to hear 1. if/how content marketing has helped you/other early-stage SaaS businesses (some metrics could be helpful), 2. where you typically post those tutorials (I鈥檓 using Twitter to promote my blog site and plan to cross-post on Medium), and 3. how often you recommend posting (most people say 1 post every 1-2 weeks).

    It鈥檇 also be great to hear about other Indie Hackers鈥 experiences with paid ads (good and bad). I鈥檓 personally a bit hesitant to take this approach 鈥 mainly because I know a few people who didn鈥檛 have any conversions after running their ad campaign.

    1. 2

      I don't know if my experience is exactly what you are looking for but I have been blogging here - https://pbpython.com/ for a while. I can share my traffic numbers and what drives traffic for me. I have also done limited affiliate marketing (amazon) but have not ever paid for ads so can't give you much perspective there. Let me know if anything would be useful.

      1. 1

        Hey Chris, thanks for the reply!

        Great site 鈥 I think hearing about your blogging experience would be pretty helpful, especially since it seems like you鈥檝e been blogging for a while. I would definitely love to know the traffic numbers and what channels you use to drive traffic. Feel free to reply here or email me (email is listed in my IH profile).

        Thanks again, and please let me know if I can help you with anything tech or design related.

  8. 2

    Any Gatsby experts out there? I'd love a 1 hour consultation about how to optimize my set up!

  9. 1

    I have a lot of hardware experience and would be happy to help someone who is building hardware product.

  10. 1

    I offer free 30 minutes coaching session for those who feel stuck because of lack of motivation, unclear vision, or productivity issues.

    Also if anyone wants to develop listening skills or skill of asking questions I can give some advice on that.

  11. 1

    Hello IHs, I'm building a productivity app with flutter and as a beginner it's tough. If anyone has experience with flutter or app architecture, I could use some guidance/advice.

    I don't have professional/technical experience, but I have great problem solving skills. I think things through and have a deeper understanding. So, if you need some brainpower, I could spend an hour or two helping out.

    1. 2

      My latest app is built with Flutter. Happy to answer questions and share experience.

      1. 1

        Thanks. In general, I don't know how to architect my app: what pages should I have, how to arrange them etc.

        Today, I'm figuring out how to make firebase auth check for logged in user.

        Do you have any advice from your experience ?

        1. 2

          If I understand correctly, you're not asking about software architecture, but rather UI/UX design (which is OK, I wouldn't worry about software architecture at this point). This part doesn't really depend on the framework you use (i.e. whether it's Flutter or something else). Personally, I would start by trying out various existing apps that have a similar set of features (the more popular the better) and see how they are constructed. Then choose what you think works the best for your needs. For the UI to be intuitive it's generally better to stick to existing patterns (navigation, icons etc.) that users already know. It's really hard to get users to try your app and you don't want to annoy them with unintuitive UI that they need to learn first.

          As for Flutter, if this is your first app, I guess I would start prototyping by finding a sample app that is closest to what you think you need (then remove what you don't need, modify and build on top of that). For example here: https://github.com/flutter/samples/blob/master/INDEX.md

          1. 1

            Thanks, that's helpful.

            I've been browsing flutter repos but most are about how to use specific widget etc, I will now look for complete apps to understand the flow between the pages.

  12. 1

    I need help to find companies that are using chat as a medium for customer support that are big enough to have a few agents. I'd like to get an interview and know about your experience with current softwares and processes that are used. Thanks!

    1. 1

      I suggest doing a search for "intercom," clicking the "interviews" tab, and then emailing founders who've done interviews where they say they've used Intercom and their emails are public on their IH profiles. I'm sure you'll get at least a few people who agree to an interview.

      Here are my tips for sending a good email:

      • Keep it very short, 6 sentences or less. Every sentence you add is putting more work on a busy person's plate. You will have every urge to type a longer email, but fight it.

      • Acknowledge that you are asking them for help. Nothing is worse than getting an email from someone asking for help but pretending they aren't. But if you're upfront about it, many people are happy to help. (e.g. "I'm an indie hacker trying to start a business, and I could use your help validating my idea.")

      • Also, make it clear what you want. Nobody wants to agree to give up their time if they don't know what the meeting specifically about. (e.g. "Can I interview you for 15 minutes about how you do customer service?")

      • Be nice. Thank them.

      1. 1

        This is amazing advice. I didn't know about the interview section. Just like you said, a quick search about intercom brings up relevant information.

  13. 1

    I鈥檓 starting on a project where I explore the motivations and lives of successful entrepreneurs. Practically, this involves me asking 3 questions (via DMs), then posting the responses on my Instagram page (@footsteps_official).

    Looking for entrepreneurs who would be interested in getting featured, and also open to suggestions on how I can make this more valuable to everyone!

    1. 1

      A good tip for finding people to interview is to reach out to those who've done interviews with others in the past. It's hard to get inbound interview requests until you're big/popular, but outreach can be really effective. Just gotta be willing to send lots of emails!

      1. 1

        Will continue trying - thank you for the advice Courtland!

  14. 1

    For my Sales For Founders course which I'm putting together, I need to make sure I understand exactly what early stage founders find difficult about sales/growth.

    So - if you're struggling to...

    • ... find a business problem worth solving

    • ... create a product people want to pay for

    • ... acquire your first paying customers

    Then I'm happy to answer any questions you have!

    (shoot me an email or comment here)

    1. 1

      If you make an #ask-ih post about this, I'd bet lots of people will respond! Happy to put it in the newsletter, too.

      I'm imagining something along the lines of, "Early-stage founders: what's your biggest struggle?" Or it could even be a different post for each question, spread out over time. 馃

  15. 1

    Please improve redablity..Light color theme would be easy on eyes

    1. 1

      One day鈥 馃槆

      1. 1

        Going back to what you mention above (or below?) about 50/50 liking/hating the colors...I much prefer to read on the dark theme than a light theme. So if you change it please have a toggle to go back and forth.

        Thanks!

  16. 1

    For any of you that have a company with at least 5 employees, are located in the US, and are not already taking advantage of the R&D tax credit - I'm happy to help you with this.

    This is a very effective way to lower your tax bill every year, or get refunds on past tax years).

    We can have a phone/Skype call where I'll walk you through how this tax credit works, the qualification requirements (east for technology companies), and the estimated credits you should be able to get.

    I know how helpful extra capital is especially if it doesn't come at the cost of equity, which is why I want to spread awareness about this tax credit.

    If you're interested in chatting about this, let me know.

  17. 1

    If you or someone you know is using AWS EC2 or RDS and wants to save some money on it, I'd really love some signups on Sunshower.io. The more eyeballs we get on it while it's still free, the better. And still welcoming ideas on how to get it in front of folks.

    On my side, I'm happy to look at anything that needs a UX eye on it, since that's my background.

    1. 2

      The big purple CTA on https://docs.sunshower.io/ goes to https://docs.sunshower.io/pages/en/guide/ which is just a blank screen. https://docs.sunshower.io/pages/en/guide/introduction.html wouldn't be a bad spot to send them.

      1. 1

        Thanks for spotting that -- it's new as of Thursday, so it's still rough around the edges

    2. 2

      I thought the hover-overs on the landing page were clickable. Seems they are not.

      1. 2

        That's fair -- originally they were, but we don't have enough content for it ... yet 馃槀SOON! We're building out a bunch more content currently.

  18. 1

    Happy to give UI design advice, just reach out!

    Would also love some feedback on my post here: https://www.indiehackers.com/alfred/post/8137f347d7

    1. 1

      Just responded to your post!

      1. 1

        馃檹

  19. 1

    This comment was deleted 5 months ago.

  20. 1

    This comment was deleted 5 months ago.