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I built Tweet Hunter's MVP in 2 weeks. 4 months later it grew to $150k ARR. AMA.

Hello Indie Hackers

I’m Tibo and I co-founded Tweet Hunter, and I’m here to answer any questions you have!

But first, a quick summary of my journey so far:

  • Tom and I worked together on a startup 5 years ago. And back in January, we decided it was time to try again
  • We created Pony Express, a product studio aiming to help makers and creators grow and find more users
  • After a few attempts, we realized every time we made sales, it was coming from my Twitter followers
  • So we made Tweet Hunter, which started out as a searchable library of viral tweets to help people figure out what to tweet
  • It has now grown into an AI-powered tweet inspiration machine paired with a powerful scheduler, and it’s making $150K ARR.
  • Granted the $1M valuation may be a stretch, but typically it’s a 3-7 multiple on ARR, so anywhere between $500K and $1M sounds about right.

AMA!

Edit: My previous title was “$1M valuation” instead of “$150K ARR”. Some people here raised the fact that was an ambitious valuation compared to the revenue made, so I changed the title for something completely factual and can’t be subject to debate.

  1. 16

    Maybe it's just me, but I really dislike the product and what it stands for. I understand that follower growth hacks on Twitter are already about saying the same popular things over and over, bragging, and shallow encouragements - but this just isn't valuable for me. I wish there was a way to mute all tweets from Tweethunter.

    This is an example from today, of the type of content people copy: https://twitter.com/SeaCatBiz/status/1445235642628075525

    1. 5

      Although op says they're not using GPT-3 it's interesting to note tweet generation is against GPT-3 terms.

      1. 2

        My guess is that they wanted to avoid a situation like this (AI taking over content generation and decreasing the signal to noise ratio).

      2. 1

        Where does it state that it is against the terms? I think it's fine as long as the application does not post directly on a User's behalf without requiring them to review the content (or stating explicitly it was generated by GPT-3).
        Edit: ahh I see it now.

    2. 2

      Totally understand your point, it's legit.

      Unfortunately, copycats are the price to pay for beautiful innovation. Yep, I do believe this.

      Let me explain my point.

      Everything we do comes from what we watch, read or hear. IMO, 99.9% of what we produce is a tiny incremental innovation from something that's already here. This is how our brain works.

      Tweet Hunter helps you in this process. It helps you making connections between ideas so you can tweak them and come up with new ones.

      Of course, it will be misused, like a lot of great products. A bunch of people will probably copy-paste. But I believe Twitter people will punish them for doing so.

    3. 2

      Wow, those people are lazy!!!

      But, do you punish the tool or the person abusing the tool? Do you arrest the hammer for someone using it to bang a person in the head?

      1. 2

        Maybe it's like with Facebook - some people get value from it, but there are large side effects on society. Nobody is turning Facebook off.

        Personally, I'm much happier not seeing any Tweethunter content at all. That's all I wanted to say.

      2. 1

        What I mean by lazy...

        TH offers tweets to provide inspiration. But, it looks like some lazy folks are just copying them directly.

        Lazy.

      3. 1

        Yep good point! Like every tool, there are good and bad ways of using Tweet Hunter.

  2. 9

    « Granted the $1M valuation may be a stretch, but typically it’s a 3-7 multiple on ARR, so anywhere between $500K and $1M sounds about right. »

    Nice clickbait title though :))

    1. 15

      The company is only 4 months old and the founder is giving it an optimistic 7x multiple at the $150K ARR range to create this ridiculous click-bait title.

      Churn is unknown and the main customer acquisition engine seems to be an existing (possibly exhausted) Twitter audience.

      You've done something cool, built a nice product. Like be genuine and stop with these lame tactics that are making this place even more insufferable by the day.

      1. 0

        The markets are crazy man - enjoy it while it lasts

        Public markets are having a blast - why shouldn't we as well?

        Tibo (OP) - you've done nothing wrong. If you were clickbaiting without addressing it... maybe. I'm not even mad for the clickbait

        1. 7

          Even though the clickbait was addressed in the post I still think it's wrong.

          IndieHackers is a breath of fresh air because it has mostly been genuine, nowadays it's getting polluted with posts like this.

          Getting to $12K MRR is a significant achievement that should be celebrated, there is literally no reason to lie and put a crazy valuation for some clicks.

          Yes, the markets are crazy, we should enjoy it, but I can't see this product getting a 7x multiple this early.

          Beyond it being too early, the reason is simple: platform risk.

          As @pha pointed out below, this product is polluting Twitter and it seems to be pissing off genuine content creators, so there is significant risk that Twitter pulls the plug on it.

          Beyond that, I think the AI content generator is powered by GPT-3, if that's the case, their use-case is strictly prohibited[0] by OpenAI.

          [0] https://beta.openai.com/docs/use-case-guidelines

          1. 1

            I understand the feeling about clickbait titles. Sorry -_-

            However, we're genuinely looking to sell Tweet Hunter at this multiple. And we think we might succeed.

            Why?

            • we maintain a consistent 15% weekly growth over the last 4 months. Constant & strong growth is the #1 factor for high ARR multiple
            • our acquisition channels are scalable (it doesn't rely on our Twitter audience anymore)
            • the market is huge

            Let's see how it goes

            Oh and btw, we're not using GPT3

            1. 2

              Oh and btw, we're not using GPT3

              What do you use then? Really curious!

    1. -2

      This comment has been voted down. Click to show.

      1. 8

        mm... no, I won't signup, I want to see before the pricing.

        Thank you Tibo.

        1. -1

          This comment has been voted down. Click to show.

          1. 2

            Fair enough, sounds good. Thank you

  3. 2

    What's a good strategy to get started on Twitter? :)

    1. 0

      Some ideas:

      • Engage with people to make real connections, so these people engage with your content and it tells the Twitter algo your content is interesting
      • be here every day, it's difficult at first but it's necessary (that's partly why we created Tweet Hunter)
      • consume great content outside of Twitter so you know what to tweet about
  4. 2

    Wishing you continued success.

    What is the road map for tweet hunter ? (what new features are you adding ?
    Black fiday deal or LTD?)

    1. 0

      We're currently adding a lot, next is a stronger queue system.
      And we have a lot of AI-based features in mind.
      Also, we're wondering how to leverage our public collections, ideas welcome.

  5. 2

    Well done guys. Would you consider running a white label of it?

    1. 1

      We actually do!
      Feel free to DM me on Twitter if you want to talk about it

      1. 1

        That's great, thanks Tibo! I'll DM later on.

        Any chance I could ask another AMA?

        I've seen a lot of (a few?) companies in AI text gen business (copy.ai / jarvis / and so on) - what do you use for the AI text gen? It is an interesting area in tech #NewToThis

    1. 0

      Good question!
      We will try to scale it to 50k MRR and see if there are any buyers interested (we're very focused on the early stages and do think there are better people than us to scale further).
      We also want to go further with AI but that's another story.

  6. 2

    What stack did you use for the MVP and why?

    1. 1

      I chose everything that could help me go faster which are: Vercel, Firestore, React with NextJS, Next Auth, Chakra UI. I regret some now (I am thinking about moving from Firestore to MongoDB) but I still believe it was right to start with just to go faster.

      Also, I paid for every service or APIs I could use to go faster. I strongly believe speed is the most important in the early stages.

      1. 3

        Could you explain why you are thinking about moving away from Firebase? I'm in the early stage of building my product so I'm still hesitating between developing a conventional backend with node vs using Firebase and ship as fast as possible.

        1. 2

          Check out Supabase. Firebase like powers but on a conventional database (Postgres).

          1. 2

            Oh I know about Supabase. But the product is not mature enough. Personally, I would not be confident using it in prod

            1. 1

              Thanks for telling me, I was thinking about using it in future projects.

              1. 1

                Supabase is built on all open source tools, most if which have been around for a while. Another option is Hasura, which I'm using in production.

        2. 0

          Because of their pricing model where they bill per storage and per usage. It seems we could get lower prices with MongoDB.
          Also, Firestore lets you start fast but it lacks some features MongoDB has.

      2. 1

        Firebase seems slow to me. What advantage you see in MongoDB among other choices?

        1. 0

          Price is the first reason. I don't know that much about speed. Do you think Mongo is faster?

          1. 1

            NoSQL databases like mongodb are very fast. However, it’s not for every use cases especially when extensive relational schema is required.

  7. 2

    Congrats! What was your idea validation process like?

    1. 3

      Great question!

      1. Build a carrd.co landing page with "request access" form and post it on Reddit
      2. Build a 1-week MVP with only the most important feature
      3. Ask for payment right away
      4. Share on Twitter and with the people in the waiting list

      We believe payment is the ultimate form of validation. It's easy to "your tool is awesome" but paying for it means only one thing.

      1. 5

        Awesome, thanks for sharing...how did you not get banned when sharing a product on reddit? :D

        1. 2

          Stepping in here (I'm Tibo's co-founder):

          What we did is we took inspiration from posts that were doing well. If you can, my suggestion is to make a screen recording, people love that.

          We actually made a free resource called "100 self promotion posts on Reddit" so others could find inspiration too (get it here https://yespromo.me/)

        1. 1

          Yep, it's how you do it that will make a difference

  8. 2

    How did you build an audience on twitter ?

    1. 0

      That was long. During a few months, I felt I was tweeting and no one was reading.
      To build an audience, I really think you need a 2 super important things:

      • make real connections, so these people engage with your content and it tells the Twitter algo your content is interesting
      • be here every day, it's difficult at first but it's necessary (that's partly why we created Tweet Hunter)
      1. 4

        But how do you get those first people to even see your posts? I have no audience, so tweeting feels like screaming in a ghost town.

        1. 3

          So in addition of tweeting, what I recommend is you also engage with people, meaning reply to their tweets. But not 'nice but boring' stuff like "great tweet" or "love this". Make meaningful replies to tweets written by people you want to get noticed by. Don't target for the big people, aim for people with 1k to 5k followers. And try to make friends.

          Another thing you can do is write the tweets and then direct traffic to them. For example, I have seen people on Indie Hackers just posting a tweet. This way people from IH go and interact with you on Twitter.

          Lastly, it helps if you know a few people on Twitter who are keen on retweeting you once in a while.

          This should get the ball rolling for you!

          1. 2

            @madleclef I'm one of those ppl just posting a tweet and it works really really well

            you just need to make the message match the appropriate group and you'll get some traction!

            1. 1

              Very true, most people just post random thoughts. But if you succeed in understanding your target audience, you'll be unstoppable.

        2. 2

          I need answer of that question too! I have two followers and they are my brothers, LOL!

          1. 0

            I've just remembered Tweet Hunter has a mini-Twitter course included when you sign up, I hope it can help

            1. 2

              thank you very much I appriciate you, DO you think that purchasing power parity can be problem to internet SAAS, Like if I made software in India, and I target my audience from europe?

              1. 1

                I think that's totally doable

                1. 2

                  Well I am from india, I have seen engineers here searching for jobs, common people running for govt. jobs(security), to be frank every thing here is atleast 7X cheaper than US, making SAAS is easy too! people fear too much here!

  9. 2

    What's the business model?

    1. 0

      Quite classical, the Saas is subscription-based with a few different plans.
      One interesting move was that we chose to not have any free plan and it's working well.

  10. 1

    Hey! Congrats on a great product! Definitely going to try it. Have a question, what AI tech did you use to launch so quickly?

  11. 1

    Congrats Tibo!

    First, I'm a customer and need to defend the product. It's best use is to deconstruct the tweet / idea / rhetorical device and inject your take. For instance, I may take a tweet about politics, copy its structure, and tell you about what I'm building today.

    For my question, what financial arrangements do you make with influencers? Is it affiliate style? And how do you scale them?

    1. 0

      We have closely partnered with @OneJKMolina. We actually gave him shares of the products so he's part of the team now as a co-founder. I love his involvement and his ghostwriting knowledge is very valuable.

      On the side, we also have an affiliate program where we give 30% of the subscription revenue to anyone referring us. Funny thing, the affiliate program is taking off. right now.

      1. 1

        How did make people aware of the affiliate program? Is it just anyone using tweet hunter?

  12. 1

    I just signed up! Gonna start using it right away. Have been trying to grow my Twitter for a few weeks now but it's hard to stay consistent. I hope Tweethunter will help with that and ultimately grow my newsletter/podcast.

    1. 0

      Glad you give it a try. Tweet Hunter has been made for this exact purpose, helping creator grow their audience so they can promote their product, newsletter, podcast ...
      Feel free to DM me on Twitter if I can do anything to help in the process.

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