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15 Comments

How We Made $49 in 3 months

Back in February, @Kshilov and I began working on Coldlytics.

This morning, I woke up to the most beautiful email I’ve laid eyes on - our first paid subscriber 🎉.

Despite the title, I won’t detail how we spent every evening & weekend coding, how we ran countless demos & strategy sessions to get our first beta users, or how we drastically pivoted twice. Instead, I want to convey what that $49 means to us.

The past few weeks were tough. Having finished our Stripe integration, the party was ready to go and we patiently awaited our guests. Some turned up but the conversation wasn’t great. In spite of our efforts to provide a high-touch experience, they drank the punch and left. We found ourselves in the trough of sorrow, or perhaps even the crash of ineptitude.

See the thing is, we’re both technical co-founders. We’ll throw up a serverless app before you can say Asymptotic Notation — that’s our zone and it’s where we prefer to hang.

But last week, following our futile attempts to find a 3rd co-founder, we closed down our IDEs and embraced the world of growth. Then boom (or ding?) — the email from Stripe arrives.

That $49 is not money. It’s an energy source. It’s given us newfound motivation to continue building our business. It’s reignited our ambitious vision and reenergized our discussions.

So next time you happen upon an early-stage, indie product, consider what the subscription fee means to them. Their product may not be perfect now, but it damn well could be one day, and your $49 might make or break it.

  1. 2

    I can relate to this feeling. Welcome to the club!

    1. 2

      Thank you, and congrats to you too 👍👍

  2. 2

    Congrats! that must be an amazing feeling

  3. 2

    Congratz! Love your landing page desing.

    1. 1

      Hey, thanks a lot! Yeah, I threw that up with Webflow and got pretty deep into the animations, etc. Although it definitely needs a re-jig to include pricing & FAQs at least!

      1. 1

        Wow, no-code has come a long way!

        1. 1

          For sure - I'm a dev and for any landing pages (or perhaps MVPs) now I would definitely go for no-code 👍

          Gotta say, with Webflow specifically, it does help a lot if you have the HTML/CSS basics down though.

          1. 1

            Oh interesting. Do you prefer that over a tool like unicorn for the added flexibility?

  4. 2

    Nice work, congrats!

  5. 2

    Inspiring post! I'm also part of the serverless app throwers club ^^.
    Any noticeable change in your sales strategy (demo, presentation, follow-up conversation or others) that contributed to this first paying customer?

    1. 1

      Haha, awesome! Good question - and yes, we did switch up our approach recently.

      • Swapped Roles. My co-founder was leading the push up until a couple of weeks back, then we swapped over. He did a great job, was demoing every day, and honestly I’m not sure why we didn’t get our first customer then. My only hypothesis is that he is a non English speaker and culturally his sales approach is perhaps more direct. Perhaps it had an effect, or perhaps not.
      • Intensity. As mentioned, we were in the “trough of sorrow” for a while. Then I posted something in a Facebook group and got a really positive response. I started engaging with people and kinda got hooked on the buzz of it all. I also started writing personalized strategies for everyone who signed up.
      • Broader Approach. Previously we were running automated email outreach, stepping in when someone replied, and booking demos. This was a pretty narrow approach and didn’t result in that many “genuine” conversations. Since then, we’ve been engaging a lot more on social media, having discussions (like this), and generally writing more content. We focused on giving, rather than promoting our product!
      1. 2

        Good insights!
        I am also struggling as a non native English speaker but I'm meeting many awesome people on Twitter. I'll keep doing as you did on "Broader Approach"

        1. 1

          Great! Yeah, I’m clearly no expert but it does definitely seem to be working for us. Keep engaging with people, keep having genuine conversations and providing others with value, aside from just promoting your product. Good luck 💪

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