AMAs February 23, 2021

I shipped 10+ side-projects before building a startup! AMA 👇🏼

Sharath Kuruganty @5harath

Hey there 👋

I'm Sharath! I'm a maker turned founder who shipped more than 10+ projects using no-code tools in the last 2.5yrs. Currently, I'm the co-founder at Shoutout 🚀

I shipped projects like:

The Angel Philosopher which helped people to discover Naval Ravikant's content and gave me an opportunity to work with him. The project was on his Twitter bio for more than a year served more than 30k-40k people every month.

Request for Product, a project I shipped in 8hrs which won runners-up spot on ProductHunt Makers Festival!

Really Good Questions, which is a curation of amazingly curious questions on Twitter. It was the #5 product of the day on Product Hunt!

And recently started working on Shoutout, a platform that helps creators, startups leverage the social proof they get on Twitter. We have creators like Jack Butcher, Julian Shapiro, Lenny Rachitsky and startups like Knowable, On Deck using Shoutout. We recently launched it to the public and made it to the #3 product of the day on Product Hunt. We made $200 MRR so far and growing faster day-by-day!

I'm here to share my lessons and experience on why side-projects are important and hope to help fellow makers, founders with questions about founder-mindset, #buildinpublic, how to use Twitter, B2C products, community building, growth, no-code etc.

AMA 👇🏼

  1. 3

    Thanks for making the AMA post @5harath!

    Firstly, I loved reading Naval's twitter feed, so thanks for sharing about him haha!

    Secondly, you've got some great list of projects! It's a lot of experience packed inside one person. Here are some of the things I would like to ask you in reference to my product ruttl -

    1. Did you ever try using Twitter as a growth channel for these projects? If yes, how did you go about it? I find twitter growth bit difficult than other platforms lately.

    2. How did you get your first paying customer online? What kind of marketing tactics you used that might have worked at that time? It's cool if you don't wanna share details obviously, but just trying to learn more about it since I am in the same stage right now

    3. Any particular things to ensure that the product hunt launch is successful for my product too?

    Hope you can answer these questions!

  2. 2

    Hey Sharath, why did you start so many projects? In hindsight would you spend extra time persisting through and working on one and take it as far as possible?

    1. 1

      There are so many reasons why we need to do multiple side-projects. To me, building leverage, community, and skin in the game are important.

      You will switch many hats like design, product, marketing, customer success, copywriting, basically everything. That level of skin in the game is very important. And a great man(Naval) once said build many projects before building a startup.

      I would do that again with startups. One last thing is I take every project to the end. I only moved on if I find another interesting idea to work on.

  3. 2

    You have been building projects on on no code can you tell me if its possible to build financial app on no code taking aside security risks?

    1. 1

      You absolutely can. But it all depends on what level of security you are talking about. For an MVP you can use Bubble.

  4. 2

    Hey Sharath, wondering if you can walk through your no code "tools of the trade" to build the projects / products you have created?

    1. 1

      Some tools:

      Airtable for database
      Table2site for curation projects
      Carrd.co for the landing page
      Notion for product management stuff
      Bubble for functional projects
      Glide for a mobile project
      Zapier/Integromat for automation

  5. 2

    Hi Sharath, thanks for doing this. I’m a newbie to no code. Where would you suggest I start learning about no code implementations.

    1. 2

      There are so many out there that will help you learn about no-code but my particular favorite one is this: https://nocodecheatsheet.com/

      It gives you everything from 101 to advance tools, examples and playbooks.

  6. 2

    Are those side projects you mentioned above actively maintained ?
    When do you decide to retire it ?

    1. 2

      They are all alive but I'm not focusing on them anymore. Whenever I had a new, interesting, curious idea that I wanted to pursue, that is the moment I retire from these projects.

  7. 2

    What's your (growth marketing) plan to build and scale the current momentum that Shoutout has received ?
    (Say 6 months down the line what would you be doing marketing wise)

    1. 1

      We are in growth mode right now and are actively launching/planning so many growth initiatives.

      Fundamentally, if you want to build momentum, I highly recommend doing everything in public. It organically draws the community's attention and there is no budget whatsoever. I intended to build Shoutout in public since the inception.

      Some of the future plans would be launching our own podcast, affiliate system, Twitter campaigns celebrating community etc.

  8. 2

    Which of the projects was your favorite to build and why?

    Which was the most difficult for you and why?

    1. 2

      All of my projects are problems I solved for myself so I love all of them. But if you insist 😃then I have two for you:

      1. The Angel Philosopher - Got a chance to serve thousands, worked with Naval who I admire, respect, look up to and I learned how to talk to many people on Twitter!

      2. Shoutout - I saw real potential for this to become a startup and learning so much from the founder's perspective like growth, marketing, custom onboarding, and so on.

      The most difficult one was Shoutout's MVP which I built using a no-code called Bubble. I had to learn how APIs work and used Twitter V1 API to ship the initial version. But it all worked out and got some amazing feedback which lead me to scale it, found my co-founder, and launched it to the public.

  9. 1

    Hi Sharath, I really like shoutout and your branding! Can't wait to use it for my own project.

    My questions are:

    1. What no code tools did you use for the current version of shoutout?

    2. What are your reasons for having a community around your product?

    3. Do you feel that every product should have a community?

    Thanks in advance 🙂

  10. 1

    Hi Sharath, thanks for sharing this. I’m a newbie to no code. Do you have any suggestions where I should start my learning about no code implementations?

  11. 1

    Interesting projects, you have there. I have a question. How did you know that you have completed the project and its time to move to the next one?

    At what moment working on your project, did you find the "finish" point?

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