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How I found a supportive Indie Hacker who helped me get back on track — an Indie Hacker bromance ❤️

TLDR: I was a bit lost and exhausted after shipping 15 @unbundlingreddit analysis reports in a couple of months. One user agreed to provide detailed feedback and was adamant that we meet one month later. It helped me get back on track and motivated me like nothing else.

This special user is a fellow Indie Hacker @ozten — Austin King behind Opsdrill — keep his name in mind. This story is about gratitude.

Situation

  • Since June, I have been offering on-demand subreddit analyses for entrepreneurs. The report provides a rapid understanding of what people do, talk about, and appreciate in a given subreddit. It helps product builders who lost track of their user target to engage within the subreddit with success or simply to identify new business opportunities.
  • In August, I got a notification for a report request on r/SRE, a subreddit for site reliability engineers. 15th reports, I know what to do. I contacted the requester and warned about the deliverability delay of the report (yep, to this date, it still requires about 5 hours for me to compute a report of quality — including reading 100 posts one by one 😅).
  • I ship the report — and ask for feedback through a Typeform link.
  • Feedback doesn't look great - only a 7/10 on an NPS score.
  • However, Austin wants to meet for a 1-to-1 feedback session. I am intrigued. I accept with pleasure.
  • Austin prepared the feedback, and it appeared that he was not looking for data to crunch but for an already synthetic and interpreted result from me — someone who spent so many hours reading Reddit.
  • Also, even if he was not satisfied with the report, Austin decided to pay because he trusted me and wanted to support my hustle. This was a clear sign that he was a specific, rare kind of power user for Unbundling Reddit.
  • And Austin asked that we plan a new meeting in one month. Retrospectively, I think that this is what radically changed my approach.

Actions

  • For one month, I paused my work on other reports and instead focused on what Austin told me. Somewhat, it echoed with other Typeform feedbacks, but Austin's testimonial clarified it all up. I needed that time to soak in.
  • I decided to change the format drastically. I replaced the Google Datastudio report with an easy-to-read Notion bullet points document.
  • And, when finally I thought it would be ready — one week before our follow-up meeting — I sent him the new report.

Results

  • It resulted in a rapid iteration of the report. I probably would not have been able to iterate so quickly if not for meeting the follow-up deadline. You can see at the end of the article, how the report changed. [^1]
  • Austin rated the new report with an NPS of 10/10 - a substantial improvement from the last report NPS.
  • According to Austin, the new report was perfect. And therefore, we focused this follow-up meeting on the next steps I could go for to develop Unbundling Reddit further. It resulted in the release of the new Unbundling Reddit landing page — and in a clearer vision about what the Unbundling Reddit project is about.

Lessons learned

  • Take time to ponder — when a meeting focuses on constructive feedback on what you need to correct, it can feel a lot, and most of the time, it is. Be sure to allocate enough time.
  • Be resilient — it took 15 users and reports before meeting Austin. And when you find supportive users like him, trust them.

Annex: Report - Before/After

Report - before and after

❤️ If you liked this short story, please upvote and/or share on Twitter - it is incredibly helpful to find more Austins 😂

  1. 5

    Wow, I am floored. I am so happy that our discussions have helped you.

    I found the new format much easier to consume, so I gave it a 10/10. I didn't give you that because you did exactly what I said to do (I wasn't that detailed). I guess I would add that you have to take what a single customer says with a grain of salt and balance it against other data.

    Anywhoos congrats on moving forward with a major change to your product Ben!

    1. 2

      Definitely, your detailed feedback really crystalized the other feedback I got from previous users. It suddenly made sense. When we talked together.

  2. 2

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful story Ben 🔥

  3. 2

    Hey @ben_cotte . Keep on keeping on as they say. I'm surprised I hadn't heard of Unbundling Reddit before. I'm usually onto reports newsletter/services straight away.

    Anyhow I've just signed up. Is there a way to see past reports?

    1. 1

      Yep, you can view the list of the past reports that have been done on-demand here: seats.unbundlingreddit.com
      Now I plan to publish the monthly reports on IH and to set up some voting on the comments of the report for what will be the next one. How does this sound?

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