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I built RevSync in 10 days and made $1600 sales in the first month. AMA!

Last year, I quit my full-time job to become an entrepreneur (again...)

It has been an amazing year with so many ups and downs! Last week, I made more in a month than I did as a consultant🎉

Here are my Projects:⬇⬇⬇

• 📧 RevSync
An easy way for creators to turn their Twitter followers into Newsletter subscribers. $1600 in sales in the first month.
• 🤖24 Hours of NFT
Sell every second of the day to NFT artists. They can display their work on the seconds bought! 8079 seconds have been claimed by 200+ artists.
• 🦊FocusFox
A chrome extension that redirects you from distracting sites to sites you actually want to go to. 175 people have been using it for the last 9 months.
• 🧠 Braincaps
A nootropics business that develops and sells supplements to enhance cognitive functions like concentration, memory, and mood. $195.000 revenue in the first 2 years with 10.000+ customers. Left after 3 years.

Storytime
When I was just a little boy, I told my father that I wanted to become my own boss and not work for anybody else. Just like he did!

Wouldn't we all?

But I actually followed through and founded my first "successful" business in my first year of uni, where we reached $195k revenue in the first 2 year.

Not bad for a busy student right?

I loved being an entrepreneur. I got to meet some of the most amazing people. I learned a lot about business and myself, but I hated my product. So I decided to try something else.

And that's where the fuckup happened🤦‍♂️

I wanted to learn something about bigger internal business and their challenges, so I finished my MBA and got a job as a digital innovation consultant/project manager at an amazing young and fast-growing company.

I learned a lot but struggled even more...

The little boy in me became bored and unsatisfied. I felt very stuck and started to really doubt myself and the path I was on. But I am not the type to just sit around.

So I saved some money and quit my job👋

The first half-year was though. I struggled to find something that excited me. I started to feel really depressed and struggled with my mental health for a while.

That's when I decided to learn something new!

I started to code. I have always been interested in it and knew I would be great at it. I got so involved that I even started to dream in Javascript.

Now I just needed some like-minded people to share this with🤔

So together with my girlfriend, I grabbed my bags, left Amsterdam, and moved to indie hackers paradise Bali to meet an old friend of mine.

Now let's get to work!

First I made 24 Hours of NFT, where NFT artists can buy seconds of the day to have their art displayed on. Forever!

Today, over 8000 seconds have been claimed by 200+ artists

Next, I built RevSync in just 10 days! I have learned so much from my previous project.

So I launched it on ProductHunt and became #3 of the day!

Today, I looked at last month's revenue and realized I made more in a month than I did as an employee! My stress level is way down, my head is full of ideas and I just feel like myself again.

The little boy in me is proud again.

To be continued

Feel free to ask anything about tech, business, work/life balance, etc.

And follow my journey on Twitter

  1. 2

    Congrats!

    • Why you went with Vue.js instead of React
    • How are you marketing your product
    • 3 people you would recommend everyone to follow
    • 3 books that helped you in the journey
    • How does your typical day look like now (as you have validated your idea and have a responsibility to build a better product)
    1. 1

      Hey! Thanks for the questions. Happy to answer!

      • Honestly, I really don't care about what framework I use. It's just a means to an end. I got recommended Nuxt by some friends when I started to learn how to code and I took their advice. Vue and Nuxt were easy for me to learn, the community is great and it is more than enough for any projects I want to do. React would probably be fine too.

      • It's still an early phase, so I do a lot of personal outreach. I like to build some relations with my customers and really understand them. I think this is very important and valuable!
        I also started using paid ads, which have been giving me great returns so far.

      • I am relatively new to Twitter and the Indiehacker space! These three accounts gave me a really good introduction: Julian Shapiro, Shaan Puri, and Pieter Levels. Not the most original, but very good solid knowledge and advice!

      • I read A LOT.
        I loved Hooked by Nir Eyal. A very clear model for making great products.
        Start with Why is a classic that always makes me reconsider how I phrase my messages.
        Think Like a Freak is a very fun read on thinking outside of the box.
        Atomic Habits is a great way to optimize your day.
        Who Moved my Cheese is a very amazing small novel about the need for innovation and change.
        Man's Search for Meaning offers a great view of human motivation. Must read!
        A Brief History of Time was a book that really kept me awake at night.
        And you have to read the works of Tolkien at least once! They are amazing.

      • I first take a look at all developments of last night. Reply to questions and help customers. And check up on traffic, ads, etc.
        Then I set a single goal of the day. The one thing that will make this day a success. This One Big Thing is the only thing I focus on!

      1. 2

        Thanks for answering!
        I like the way you summarised the books in a short sentence. I am currently reading “Hooked”, loving it so far. Adding these books to my wishlist.
        Good luck!

  2. 2

    Hey David, great to see how it's working out.

    I just left my job as Head of Product and Growth in a small startup 2 months ago, to start a company.

    My technical cofounder left and now I'm learning to code on Free Code Camp.

    Your experience really resonates with me, I'd love to know a couple of things.

    • What resources did you use to learn to code?
    • How long did you learn before you started building?
    1. 2

      That's great! Congrats on taking that step.

      I just did 3 courses on Udemy. Vue, Nuxt and NodeJS.

      I just loved it since the second I started! I did nothing else for 4-6 weeks. I did the courses, read the forums and watched the YouTube videos.
      After that I just started building! I think it was important to get the basics down and taking the time to focus on that, but I am glad I didn't try to perfect it and just started shipping!

      Good luck on your journey man. If you have any questions or need help, just ask! Would love to be kept up to date

      1. 2

        Thanks alot David, I've been learning for a couple of weeks now and I'm loving the process.

        By seeing you doing in such a short time just confirms (or bias) to me that I can make it happen sooner rather than later.

        And you bet! I'll let you know once I get something out there.

  3. 2

    What is the avg cost per day of living in Bali in $$? Is it cheaper then NYC, NY or Boston, MA ;) Sounds like it'd be a cool experience. Are you sub-leasing or leasing a spot there for the year and what was that process like?

    1. 1

      Bali is an amazing to place to live. The people are really nice, the nature is amazing and it got everything you need.

      Bali can be really cheap, but you can also easily make it just as expensive as living in one of those cities.

      Personally, we applied for a businesses visa. We live in a very nice but also cheap place ($120 p/m!) But spend a little more on daily food and trips.

      In total saying $30 per day is very possible. We are a round that number.

      1. 2

        What was it like applying for a business visa there? and not sure if you've applied in other countries but how did the process differ.

        Was there anything specific you did to get to #3 on PH?

        Cheers to the journey, man. seems like you're enjoying it and on your way.

        1. 1

          Thanks Seth!

          Applying for the business visa was a pretty straight forward process. We contacted an agent here and they guided us through the process. There is some basic paperwork, but mostly just a lot of waiting...

          To launch on ProductHunt, I just made sure that the timing was exactly right! You have to launch at like 00:01 am in SF.
          Then I made sure I had a group of experienced producthunters who I could show my launch to and get likes, comments etc. That raised me to the 1st place for quite some time!
          After that, I just made sure I talk about the launch everywhere I could and shared it with everybody who might be interested. It's a lot of work haha, but with a good product you will get there.

          1. 2

            What do you see as the value of having a producthunter? Where could people evaluate find them?

            I know some founders who've used them and some who haven't. seems like mixed results.

            And 00:01 am in SF PST time?

            😭

            1. 1

              I didn't have a hunter myself. Just a lot of people who are active on PH who were willing to look at my launch, provide feedback before launching, and commented and liked minutes after launching!

              If you don't have these people, I would say that looking at a hunter would be valuable!

              And yes 00:01 AM in San Fransisco haha

  4. 2

    bold move quitting the 9-5 to go ft indie, that's the dream.

    • What were some of the tactics you used to get your first biz to 195K profit and are you using similar marketing strategies to promote RevSync/FocusFox?
    1. 1

      I wanted to escape to 9-5, so now I work 24-7 😅

      All joking aside, I love every second of it and wouldn't have it any other way! I have always worked hard and a lot for the thing I wanted so it feels very natural to me.

      The growth of Braincaps was really focused on getting a lot of media attention first. Which was quite easy with such a "shocking" product. We decided not to reach any mayor news outlet directly, as we didn't have any track record. But we aimed at getting at the front page of smaller local news, in the hope of it getting picked up by the national news. And that strategy worked like a charm!

      After that, we had so much traffic and data that we could run really optimized ads on social media. ROI on those were very high and could nearly scale forever.

      Reaching the news is not directly my goal with the current projects, as I guess they are less "newsworthy" and will lead to less of an initial Kickstart. Instead, I focus on building my own following! Was really never active on Twitter for example, but grew from 40 to 240 followers in 2 weeks.

      And the paid ads are not going to work any more, as I got immediately banned from using Facebook ads once I tried to run some from Bali🤬
      I probably got flagged as it was from an unusual and high risk location, but my repeals were automatically denied and ofcourse nobody could be reached at FB.

      I really hate how I spend tens of thousands of dollars on ads, but still cannot speak to any real human to discuss any issues...

      So I need to get a bit more creative and find alternative marketing channels.

      1. 2

        What did you say to local media to get their attention? And you spent several thousand on online ads for nootropics of your SaaS's or both - not sure I read that right.

        1. 1

          For the local news, I just got into contact with a journalist I knew through a friend of mine. I told him about my product and that we launched in his city. He was quite eager to know more about the strange topic of Nootropics! This was 6 years ago and nobody really knew it at that time. So quite a scoop for him!

          And yes thousands for the Nootropics.

      2. 2

        That's weird, they do have a Facebook for business messenger chat support. I've talked with a real human a bunch of times .

        Although, right now, facebook seems to be down 😅.

        1. 1

          Haha maybe not the best timing😅 But I have searched high and low for any contact!

          Do you know where I could find that chat support??

          1. 2

            Go to messenger and search for Facebook Business Support. It should show up first.

            1. 1

              Thanks Kev! Will try that

              1. 2

                Anytime! Let us know how it goes :D

  5. 2

    Thanks, David for the AMA:

    • Did you build RevSync completely with Javascript? We're any other languages used?
    • Did you build the code from scratch or did you leverage existing code?
    1. 3

      Hey!
      Here is the techstack I used:
      Frontend is build on Nuxt with TailwindCSS. I used Tailwind components from Tailory.io

      Backend is all NodeJs, Express and MongoDB

      I borrowed some code from earlier projects, but that was really minimal as I don't have a lot of earlier projects yet haha. 99% is written from scratch.

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