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I decided to quit my job and switch to indie-hacking for the next 12 months. I will share my journey on a weekly basis!

Hey people!

I quit my job 2 days ago and decided to take the leap and focus on becoming an indie-hacker. I used to be the design lead of TicketSwap, a pretty successful product with more than 5 million registered users and before that I built Befoolish, a small design studio based in Amsterdam.

I decided to do this as a 12 months experiment and see what happens. I will invest some of my savings into buying me time to keep my focus on indie-hacking until June 2021.

In the meantime I will share every week what happened and what I learned. I've no clue what kind of product I am going to build yet. Figuring this out is also part of my journey. If you feel you'll learn something new, feel free to subscribe and I'll be happy to discuss more with you by email.

You can follow my journey here: https://www.getrevue.co/profile/jimzarkadas

Let me know what you think!

Much love from Netherlands! 🇳🇱

  1. 1

    Will you also repost on IH? I just don't want to subscribe to yet another blog

    1. 1

      I am reposting some of the articles that I write in my journal as posts in indiehackers.com but I don’t put the full journal issues cause they feel a bit spammy / self promotion. They are also all public here https://www.getrevue.co/profile/jimzarkadas

      Ideally how would you like me to share them in IH? I am looking into it since it makes sense that people don’t want to receive just another newsletter 😅

      1. 1

        Some users appear to be more shameless Than others at time to post in IH. Maybe a monthly summary is enough

        1. 1

          Cool thanks for the feedback I ll experiment a bit with it :-)

  2. 1

    It will be exactly one year end of this month for me.
    It's exciting and scary at the same time :)
    Best of luck, it's totally worth it.
    Look forward to seeing what you build!

    1. 2

      Thank you a lot! How was it for you so far ?

  3. 1

    Amazing! Best of luck Jim. Will definitely follow your journey!

    1. 1

      Thank you, much appreciated! I hope it's going to be useful :)

    1. 1

      Thank you a lot! 😀

  4. 1

    I'm 2 months into a similar journey man, best of luck with it! I'm just about to release my second product. Will be cool to see what you get up to

    1. 2

      Thank you a lot man! Wish you all the best as well :-) I saw your website and that you are doing a 12 products in 12 months challenge. Looks cool - nice design, apps and content as well!

      1. 1

        Thanks! Heaps of cool stuff coming soon 🤙

        It'd be cool to get to know others through this journey so if you're ever keen to chat let me know!

        1. 1

          Sure would be nice to keep in touch! I subscribed to your mailing list to keep an eye on your journey as well 🙂

  5. 1

    Amazing! I have made the same but for 8 months!

    1. 2

      wish you all the best 💪

  6. 1

    Best of luck on this journey! Can’t wait to follow along.

    1. 1

      Thank you a lot 😀 I hope it's going to be helpful!

  7. 1

    Congrats on taking that step! Looking forward to reading more :)

    1. 1

      Thank you! I just read your post for the 200$ Shopify experiment you did. Simple and inspirational idea for the ones that don't believe it's possible. Well played 😀

  8. 1

    Awesome Jim! I made a similar leap earlier this year :) All the best and look forward to seeing your journey!

    Have you decided on what you'll be working on first?

    1. 2

      Thank you and wish you all the best as well! How is it going for you so far?

      In my first email I described my process on finding out what to work on first. For now, my plan is to make a super simple and free app for surfers in Netherlands about weather reports. This way I can contribute to the community and focus on becoming more integrated. After that I can find out what are the opportunities for a paid product as well :)

      I've no idea if this is a good plan we will find out in the next emails 😜

      1. 1

        Well you got my subscribe! By the way, I love the Toy Story figurines and your overall work station!

        So far for me the experience has had a lot of ups and downs! I've realized that there is a lot that I don't know on the sales and marketing side of things, so I'm trying to learn and put into practice at the same time. Me and my partner built ReactLibraries.com and Viyo.io mostly for ourselves, so we didn't really have a good plan for how to market it. So now we're working backwards and focusing on Viyo because it has the most traction (500+ users and 2 subscriptions) and trying to grow it.

        1. 2

          Thank you, much appreciated! Haha you are the first one noticing the Toy Story figurines, they are pretty awesome right? 😝

          It's nice that you build products for yourselves - I strongly believe personally that there is an audience out there with the same problems with you and that is willing to pay for your solutions. So I would say it's a matter of time and experimentation 😀 Good luck!

  9. 1

    Bold move. Good Luck!

  10. 1

    Nice, I just gave my notice yesterday. It feels good.

    1. 2

      Nice! Just read your post well done and wish you all the best :-) Also Draft looks pretty cool it's smart to "productise" services and not be paid per hour. Less stress and more creativity. I tried to do this by selling workshops back when I had my own design studio but I failed 😅 I am happy it works well for you!

  11. 1

    Aye man! Good luck for the great journey ahead, I've got a lot to learn yet. If you have a twitter, I would love to follow you there too as I'm most active there. I hope to get a bunch of insights from your journey!

    1. 1

      Thank you a lot for the wishes, I hope it will be helpful for you, I will try my best! My twitter is https://twitter.com/jimzarkadas feel free to follow me there :)

  12. 1

    Exciting times! I've subscribed. Creating a newsletter for your journey is a great idea. I've just started working on a new idea and decided to do it publicly too, but didn't think about a newsletter. I think I'll start one too. Thanks for the inspiration :).

    1. 1

      Thank you a lot for the support, glad you liked it! Nice that you also follow the public approach it's super nice to help each other and embrace a culture of sharing :-) For the newsletter what I love is that it's structured with standard frequency. Also it's personal since anybody can reply to my email and start a private discussion immediately there. Maybe you should give it a try ;)

      1. 1

        Done. farez.substack.com. Would be great to compare experiences:). Thanks for the inspiration.

        1. 1

          For sure, just subscribed 😄 Wish you all the best man!

          1. 1

            Thank you! And you too man.

  13. 1

    Good luck, I've subscribed and looking forward to your journey! Greetings from NL also ;)

    1. 1

      Hoi! Thank you a lot I hope it's going to be helpful, I ll try my best :)

  14. 1

    Good luck man! That's very courageous! 😁
    Will be following you, for sure 😊

    1. 1

      Thank you a lot man, much appreciated! I hope it's going to be useful 🙃

  15. 1

    I will follow you, already subscribed to your newsletter. Good luck!

    1. 1

      Thank you a lot! Much appreciated!

  16. 1

    Good luck! Giving you a follow and wishing you the best. Hoping to get there someday soon myself!

    1. 1

      Thank you a lot much appreciated :-) I hope my learnings will be useful and will help you get to that point as well!

  17. 1

    Awesome, good luck! Will be following.

    1. 1

      Thank you a lot much appreciated!

  18. 1

    Having tried this several times myself, the one thing i recommend is to have some sort of part-time income using your existing skillset/knowledge. Two good reasons for this are (1) You increase your runway so that these 12 months can last a lot longer (12 months is not enough to build something sustainable) and (2) having some work on the side can actually be a good source of ideas.

    That being said, good luck!

    1. 1

      Thank you a lot for the wishes! I totally agree on what you suggested it's all about finding the balance and buying enough time to keep peace of mind.

      I've been employed full time for 2 years now and I have a pretty poor network so the first 6 months I will focus a lot on developing a wider network alongside with my products and then my plan is to do a bit of freelancing to buy some time and keep the stress levels low 😅

  19. 1

    Amazing and inspirational! Takes some courage to do this and I wish I could do the same. I'm desperate to get away from employment!
    Looking forward to following your journey.

    1. 1

      Thank you a lot! I hope I will help you through my journey to get to that point :-) Wish you all the best!

  20. 1

    Woahh.. so exciting, can't wait for the progress, because I'm also thinking the same to quit my job and focus on indie hacking :)

    Subscribed btw!

    1. 1

      Thank you a lot! I hope it's going to be helpful and inspiring enough, wish you all the best!

  21. 1

    Great post. Thanks for sharing your journey. I admire what you just did, something that I am aiming to do as well. Surfer and entrepreneur as well, with lots of fresh ideas, let me know if you would like to connect. From Costa Rica, but living in New Zealand at the moment.

    1. 1

      Thanks a lot man! I mainly use twitter https://twitter.com/jimzarkadas let's connect and discuss there 🙂

      1. 1

        Great, sure, I will send you a message on there. Talk to you soon.

  22. 1

    Big deal and very exciting!
    Lots of good luck in your jurney and enjoy it!!

    1. 1

      Thank you a lot wish you all the best as well!

  23. 1

    Good luck ! I also want to take the leap and becoming an indie-hacker this summer after 3 years as a developer. Looking forward to see your product !

    1. 1

      Thank you a lot! I hope it's going to be useful, wish you all the best :)

  24. 1

    Sounds like a great idea @jimzarkadas. Best of luck with the journey!!

  25. 1

    Subcribed. Really liked your first post! Good luck with pursuing your dream and looking forward to see your first product.
    Heb er vertrouwen in 💪🇳🇱

    1. 1

      Dank u wel! Very happy you liked my first issue :) wish you all the best as well!

  26. 1

    Good luck! I recently moved to Amsterdam, can you recommend any good startup communities here? :D

    1. 1

      Thanks a lot man! For communities to be honest I am not an active member of any so far. I tried the TNW spaces co-working space and met some people there. I also joined some events on https://www.meetup.com, it's a nice website to find also communities :)

  27. 1

    Hi Jim!

    I've signed up. That first blog post is brilliantly written, looking forward to more of the same.

    1. 1

      Hey Dave! Thank you a lot much appreciated :) I am happy you like my writing style, my goal is to keep it as much original as possible and say everything the way I feel it. Also this way I can really show the behind the scenes and all of my frustrations that can be helpful to fellow indiehackers since it's part of the journey :)

  28. 1

    Hey man! Subscribed. Looking forward to follow the journey - from a fellow surfer in the nordic 🤙

    1. 1

      Yoo! Thanks a lot man much appreciated! Btw I checked your website and the minimal surf illustration looks dope 😄 Also your product startday looks pretty cool and mature, well done!

  29. 1

    All the best Jim! You took a huge step that many of us still couldn't yet achieve, congrats yourself for that first.

    Looking forward for your successful journey.

    1. 1

      Thank you a lot for your kind words, really appreciate it! I hope my journey will be helpful for others as well 😀

  30. 1

    Hi Jim! Congrats on taking the leap. I jumped into a very similar situation just a few months ago. Also, thanks for posting about your experience - I've shared a lot of the sentiment you express in your post. Your approach to choosing a project is awesome. I've learned that talking to potential users, understanding pain points, and using passion as fuel are some of the most effective ways to determine what to build. Best of luck!

    1. 1

      Thank you a lot!! It's something I also learned along the way that it's better to talk with people first and then start something, it's the first time I try to follow this approach of not rushing to build something. Curious to see how it will go :)

      Wish you all the best as well!

  31. 1

    Welcome to the club ✌️Good luck man. Looking forward to seeing your first product!
    I lost my job and sold all my stocks to become an indie hacker

    1. 2

      Thank you a lot man!! I am looking forward to it as well :-D I really liked what you wrote "I knew that if I want to conquer a new land I need to burn the ships first and forget about going back."

      Wish you best of luck as well!

  32. 1

    Hey ....congrats on the journey. I would love to connect and offer some help if I can.

    1. 1

      Thanks a lot man! Really appreciate it :-) Feel free to subscribe to my mailing list and we can keep in touch by email as well. I will also post here in the indiehackers website, requests for design testing etc.

  33. 1

    I admire your courage! Hope this works out for you. Looking forward to using your indie product :)

  34. 1

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