64
102 Comments

I'm an ex-Google engineer turned full-time indie hacker. I just hit $10,000 ARR in B2B sales on a product I created 2 months ago. AMA.

I worked at Google for 7 years as a partner engineer (a cross between engineering and sales).

6 months ago I quit to live the dream of building and selling software. My goal: earn enough cash that I can spend my time learning, creating, and feeding my brain.

When I quit, I had $500 MRR from spelltrackerapp.com, a freemium app for nerds like me who play Pathfinder (a game similar to Dungeons & Dragons). It took me 3 years of side project dedication to get from $0 to $500 MRR, and I don't really believe the app could ever support me to ramen profitability.

So why quit? To get mental space and find the REAL opportunities I knew must be out there.

Fast forward 6 months. I still have $500 MRR from Spell Tracker. But in January, I closed my first $10k ARR of B2B revenue from a new product: observant.app.
And it's not slowing down. I currently expect to hit ramen profitability before the end of March.

So, if you're interested in...

  • Getting hired by Google and what it's like to work there
  • Quitting a high paying job to choose my own adventure (without a plan)
  • Getting my first B2C sales in 2017
  • Getting my first B2C subscribers in 2018
  • The pivot from B2C hobby app to B2B software
  • Learning to close four figure B2B sales as an indie hacker

I'm your guy.

ASK ME ANYTHING!

  1. 12

    What's your tech stack?

    1. 12

      The MVP I used for my first sales pitch was built in Sapper, the Svelte framework for SSR, routing, etc.

      It was showing hardcoded JSON data, had no authentication, and was demo'd live from localhost via npm run dev...

      But I made the sale.

      Before I invoiced them and delivered the product, I obviously had to improve things a little. It's still Sapper, but now:

      • Everything is hosted on render.com (which is amazing)
      • The backend routes talk to Firebase and gets the JSON from Firestore (via firebase-admin)
      • Authentication is via passport-js (with in-memory sessions)
        Analytics is via plausible.io (because @markosaric and @ukutaht are amazing)
      • Chat is via crisp.chat.
      • The valuable data in Firestore comes from the YouTube Reporting API, is heavily processed by a bunch of scripts on my local machines, and then get uploaded via firestore-admin

      The next work-in-progress version is moving from Firebase to Postgres. More of the data heavy-lifting will also take place in Postgres itself.

      1. 3

        Well, they call a MVP minimal for a reason 😀

        Thanks, I'm not familiar with most of the tools as I focus on Python and I'm just a hobby programmer.

      2. 3

        This is a huge milestone Ben! I'm glad Render can play a small role in your amazing journey.

        1. 3

          Render is an incredible product. I love it!

      3. 2

        Can you share us what is the reason for moving from Firebase-Firestore to Postgres ?

        Thanks.

        1. 6

          I frequently need aggregates, joins, and filters. Doing that in a document store like Firebase means recomputing a ton of documents whenever data changes, or reading and writing a ton of documents way too often. That means I have to add code complexity or pay expensive bills.

          Postgres requires neither of these things.

          1. 1

            I got it.

            Thank you.

      4. 1

        Did you look into supabase.io as an alternative to firebase which is built on top of opensource and postgres?

        1. 3

          It was recommended to me, but:

          • I actually found myself wanting to use raw SQL
          • I don’t really need most of the features of Firebase (I was using it more as a low cost hosted mongo alternative)

          So I decided to keep it simple and use pure postgres. Makes it easier and cheaper to use render to host it, too.

            1. 2

              No, but I need Google OAuth
              scopes anyway so there would be no benefit in my case.

  2. 4

    Congrats for your achievements.

    How much working on a Big Tech has helped you on your Indie Hacker journey? Do you believe working for Google has given your some sort of "Unfair Advantage" when it comes to building indie products?

    1. 10

      Thank you!

      Honestly, yes, I think it's given me an unfair advantage.

      1. I have instant credibility in sales calls (much like when people say they're Ivy League). People are impressed by Googlers, and I didn't earn that reputation — I inherited it from my employer.
      2. I had an amazing education in business development, negotiation, and sales by watching my accomplished colleagues at Google for 7 years.
      3. I have a big enough savings account that I can take my time to find success and I don't need to get another job for quite a few years if I'm frugal. That removes the pressure to commit and succeed immediately.
      1. 6

        Third one has been a curse for me. I also had a savings acc for years, spent 4-5 years figuring out side projects and switching between many things. It wasn't until my savings started to run out when I really stuck to one project and made it work.

  3. 4

    Congrats on your milestone! What is observant.app? The website only has a login and no info.

    1. 4

      Observant is B2B product that finds and prioritizes missed revenue opportunities for YouTube content owners.

      If that elevator pitch doesn’t mean anything to you, don’t worry — I’m targeting a super niche audience!

      1. 2

        Thanks for the Twitter link, that was informative.

  4. 3

    If you could have "skipped" working at Google to get to this point would you have been an Indie Hacker since the beginning?

    1. 1

      No. I learned an incredible amount working there, especially with the people. I wouldn’t sacrifice that experience.

      But I’m glad my time has come to make the move.

  5. 3

    I am currently working for a big well known tech company and am making a great salary but I want nothing more than to quit to strike it out on my own. I am really struggling with the practicalities of when its the right time to take the leap. I am working on a promising MVP but I still have a lot to do before launching. I spend basically all my spare time and energy on it and feel like I don't have enough hours in the day to work my demanding day job and make significant progress on my idea. I keep talking myself in circles debating when to quit. Do you have any practical advice about what needs to be in place before I quit?

    1. 3

      Or another option...Have you considered using your current salary to fund the development of your software? Instead of building it yourself, hire a dev firm with a successful track record and use your current salary to pay for the project.

      Keep your job with a purpose for now, no more killing yourself after work, establish hard dates instead of uncertain timelines building it yourself, and then you can quit when you're ready with polished software built by senior level pros.

      Hiring a good dev firm will also increase your chances of success exponentially because they do this every day and they know what works and what doesn't to a degree.

      After outsourcing the project, if you still want to invest your spare time, you can focus your time on marketing/sales, content, blogging, finding a traction channel through experimenting/testing, etc.

      This applies to an MVP or complete app.

      If you discover a profitable marketing channel, you quit your job. Otherwise you stay with your employer and aggressively use all of your salary on marketing expenses until you figure out how to generate consistent new sales through marketing.

      I think this is a practical way to quit.

    2. 2

      I asked myself the question: why am I staying at my job?

      • I didn't need the money. I had 3+ years of savings if we were frugal with our spending.
      • I didn't need the career progression. I had learned a lot, but I had no interest in climbing the corporate ladder any further.
      • I didn't enjoy the job anymore. I'd done the same job for a very long time, and I wasn't really learning anything new.

      So in the end, I had no good reason to stay. I knew I should get a new job or go full-time indie hacker.

      I also knew that there was no real danger if I became an indie hacker, because I had Google on my CV and I was confident in my ability to get hired at a later date.

      So ask yourself: is there a good reason for you to stay in your job?

      • Do you have a very long runway thanks to a lot of savings and a frugal lifestyle?
      • Are you getting anything from your career, or could progression at your current company offer you anything you want?
      • Are you enjoying the job or learning new skills?
      • Could you get another job easily enough if you needed to in the future?
      • If you spend all your savings and have nothing to show but failure and a good story, will that matter to you?

      If you have the cash, if you are confident you could get hired in the future, if you don't need the stability of a job, and if you don't mind risking your savings... well, I think the risk of quitting is not as big a risk as you think.

  6. 2

    That is awesome! Congrats!

    And in case it's not blindingly obvious to IHers, being an ex-Google employee doesn't give you a ticket to successful businesses. I left Google 7 years ago and am still working to create my first :-P What it did do is give me the runway to take my time and try a lot of different ideas.

  7. 2

    "Internal Server Error" from your server

  8. 2

    What does observant.app do? I tried logging in, it requested YouTube permissions before hitting an internal error.

    1. 1

      Observant is B2B product that finds and prioritizes missed revenue opportunities for YouTube content owners.
      If that elevator pitch doesn’t mean anything to you, don’t worry — I’m targeting a super niche audience!

  9. 2

    Congrats on the success! Since no one has asked this already, how much were you making at Google before you quit?

    1. 3

      Not afraid to ask the personal questions, eh? 😅

      £90k in salary, £20k-£30k in bonus, £70-100k in stock (mostly due to price increases during the vesting period).

      Insane money for a working class Brit.

  10. 2

    What's the one thing that has helped you the most with growth without even having a landing page?

      1. 1

        How do you know they have the same problem you have?

        1. 1

          Ah — it's not a problem I have. It's a problem they have, and that they have previously paid me to to help them with as part of a freelance consulting gig. So have other companies in the same industry.

          So cold hard cash had already taught me this is a problem that people care about.

      2. 0

        How did you earn their trust? Can you share how you warmed them up?

        1. 1

          I made use of my existing career capital: I was selling to companies I had already served as part of my day job.

          My first customers were people I had advised from inside Google, and done a good job for. When I quit, they asked me to do some freelance consulting for them, so I did, and again I did a good job for them.

          So they trusted me when I offered a product to solve their problems.

  11. 2

    I am workign on my idea at the moment (templatean.com) which is primarily B2B tool. Would be great if you could roast the idea :)

    1. 1

      The landing page didn't really help me grok the value. It says it will save me money, make me more productive, etc. But how? Why? Who else uses it?

      Office 365 must have some template management built-in, right?

      So how is this different? What value does it add? Why would I use this instead of what Microsoft already built?

      There might be good answers to all of these questions and you might have an amazing product, but I couldn't figure it out from your site.

      Then again, I don't use Office. Maybe I'm not your target audience?

      Hope some of that helps, though... and best of luck with it!

      1. 1

        I really appreciate your feedback. Landing page is something i am still working on.. The product indeed focuses on heavy office users.

  12. 1

    I got "Internal Server Error" when I sign up! May be something you should look at?

  13. 1

    How do you monetize Spell tracker? :)

    1. 2

      Premium subscription for a few nice to have features.

  14. 1

    Are you still in touch with your old Google coworkers? What do they think of your journey?

  15. 1

    actually i am interested in all topics that you worked on it , it will be great if you give us more details at every single topic .

  16. 1

    Congratulations sir.

    I've the most urgent question, so be ready.

    So you're playing pathfinder. Are you aware of the video game? Is it good?

    You see, I'm a big fan of Baldur's gate (the video game), so I was wondering. Also: what would you advice for somebody like me to go into tabletop RPG? AD&D?

    No other questions.

    1. 2

      I love it when Indie Hacker and Twitter followers collide! 😎

      I haven’t tried the video game so can’t comment. But if you want to get into TTRPG I’d recommend Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition. Highest number of players, slightly simpler and more fun rules, easier to get started,

      Try it with some friends!

  17. 1

    I am interested in "getting hired at google" however I'm interviewing people who worked with Dana Analytics and machine learning. Do you have any knowledge on Google's hiring process for roles in that realm?

    1. 1

      The process is pretty similar for most roles.

      Your best bet is always to get someone who works there to refer you, if at all possible. It might not make any difference to the hiring process itself, but it nearly guarantees that someone will look at your CV. That isn’t always isn’t true if you are applying to a super popular role as an unknown applicant.

  18. 1

    So you're not gonna tell us what observant.app does? Must we login first?

    1. 1

      Observant is B2B product that finds and prioritizes missed revenue opportunities for YouTube content owners.
      If that elevator pitch doesn’t mean anything to you, don’t worry — I’m targeting a super niche audience!

  19. 1

    What problem do observant.app solve ?

    1. 1

      Observant is B2B product that finds and prioritizes missed revenue opportunities for YouTube content owners.
      If that elevator pitch doesn’t mean anything to you, don’t worry — I’m targeting a super niche audience!

      1. 1

        Do you have a marketing site for this app ?

        How are you planning to target super niche audience with such a broad pitch ?

        1. 1

          I'm making my initial sales via email and video calls to people I already know, and who I know already have the problem I'm solving.

          I haven't yet started using social networks, SEO, or landing pages, and I don't expect to do that until I pass $250k ARR. Why? Because I expect to continue making good use of existing connections and asking for introductions.

          And trust me - it’s not as broad a pitch as it sounds. If you’re part of the niche I’m targeting, the phrase “YouTube content owners” is a technical term that means something very specific.

          1. 1

            Yes you are specific about your customer segment but not specific about the problem you solve for them.

            So basically 2 things will happen. Either YouTube Content Owners get in touch with you out of curiosity or they just ignore you and move on.

            Right now you are completely outbound sales. Selling to people who you know. They are listening to you because they know you. Not because of your sales pitch.

            1. 2

              So basically 2 things will happen. Either YouTube Content Owners get in touch with you out of curiosity or they just ignore you and move on.

              Actually, I expect a third thing to happen: they won't find me at all. And I'm okay with that. I don't want or need inbound traffic yet.

              Right now you are completely outbound sales. Selling to people who you know. They are listening to you because they know you. Not because of your sales pitch.

              Yes, you're right. And that will probably be true until I pass $250k ARR. And that's okay for me.

              I'm deliberately not worrying about inbound marketing and honing a public pitch yet. I'm waiting until after I've made the most of my existing network, after I've polished the product, after I've proven the value, and after I've honed my pitch in meetings with those early customers.

              For now, it would be wrong to waste time trying to drive traffic from an audience of <10,000 people worldwide when I could just get in touch with so many of the biggest players directly.

  20. 1

    I am a bit a Svelte fan and in the process of learning it with a view to incorporating it into my existing SaaS. I see you use Sapper, so what is your take on Richard's recent announcement that Sapper will be sunset in lieu of SvelteKit replacing it?

    From what I hear, it won't be a smooth "like for like" transition, so do you expect to re-build it using SvelteKit best practices, or continue with Sapper for the time being?

    1. 3

      I tried the prerelease of Sveltekit already and it solves a lot of my problems with Sapper - specifically slow build times with Tailwind. I’ll switch to it provided the migration isn’t too painful.

      Very excited for it, TBH.

      1. 2

        Sveltekit replace Rollup with Snowpack resulting in faster build time

    2. 2

      People building Svelte, Sapper, and svelte-kit are all basically the same people. Also SvelteKit in its early code (npm init svelte@next) has heavily been extracted from Sapper. This will ensure a smooth migration if not even automated, but not a big issue.

      Looking at what they did so far with Svelte/Sapper and how they "already" disrupted JS reactivity landscape, I trust they'll come out with the best solution in the field and lead the future of web development.

      The only question is how fast and how consistently because they are mainly volunteers with other daily jobs.

      Forget about Angular, React and even the better Vue.js, in the years to come every new webdev guy is gonna go for Svelte!

      May be as IHs, we should sustain their project as we can, financially or contributing opensource, because their mindset looks at least isomorphic to our IHs mindset in term of leanness, agility and effectiveness.

  21. 1

    If you were to do it all over again - would you target B2C or B2B?

    1. 2

      B2B. My first B2B sale literally doubled lifetime company revenue?

  22. 1

    How is your pricing structured and is the churn high?

    It "sounds like" once your customers apply the insights that your tool gives them they would no longer have a reason to continue to pay for it.

    1. 1

      Very insightful comment!

      Yes, all the initial/historical value is unlocked on day one, so I charge 12 months upfront. But over time the product will identify new opportunities as the user’s business continues to operate. I expect the year 2 value to be 20-40% of year 1, with prices renegotiated accordingly.

  23. 1

    Hey Ben,

    Can you explain how you find, price, and close a deal in a B2B?
    I felt that social networks, like Facebook pages and Instagram, were useless for that, and that networking and Linkedin are more promising but feel that there is something more that I'm not seen.
    I have worked in a company that sales were B2B enterprise and they did a lot of presentations, attend events and lots of stuff that I even know exist.

    Could you explain your approach?

    1. 3

      I talk about this in a recent Twitter thread, but it basically comes down to this:

      I'm making my initial sales via email and video calls to people I already know, and who I know already have the problem I'm solving.

      I haven't yet started using social networks, SEO, or landing pages, and I don't expect to do that until I pass $250k ARR. Why? Because I expect to continue making good use of existing connections and asking for introductions.

      If you're selling B2B, hopefully you do (or did) great work at your job. Hopefully there are already business people who already know you're smart, capable, and effective. Make your first sales easy. Pitch to those people first.

      In terms of pricing: I use value-based pricing. Every time I book a demo, I ask prospects to share confidential data beforehand, process it, and load it into my product. The first thing they see in a demo is how much cash they're leaving on the table. For example:

      "Last month, you earned $184k in ad revenue. But you missed out on an estimated $51k due to [BLAH BLAH]. Fixing those issues could increase your monthly ad revenue by 27.4%."

      That makes it easy for me to ask for e.g. $12k ARR, because I know they will be making $50k if they use my product.

      1. 1

        Thanks Man,

        It was really useful for me :)

        Right now I'm not working on B2B, but planning to do that soon.

  24. 1

    This is seriously impressive. Big, big congratulations on the amazing early traction.

    A couple questions:

    1. Where are your sales pages? What is your product? All I see on https://observant.app is a sign in button – is that you or somebody else's site?
    2. How are you landing your clients?
    3. How many clients do you have?
    1. 1

      Thanks John!

      1. I don't have a sales page yet. All my sales so far are coming via direct email and video calls with people I already know, and who I already know have the problem I'm solving. That is my site, but I won't prioritize the landing page until I run out of warm leads.
      2. Email and calls with existing connections, or people that my existing connections can introduce me to. Use your career capital. Use the respect and trust you've earned by doing good work in your day job.
      3. Single digits, but growing fast. And the ones I have are introducing me to more of their sister companies and to others in their industry.
      1. 1

        re: #3 Intro's - a surprise for me is how much people move around different employers in a niche. I've often seen the same person purchase something of mine whilst working at 2/3/4 different employers over a decade. The tighter the niche the greater this effect I suspect.

  25. 1

    Congrats Ben! Super inspiring!

    Just wondering how you prioritised your time and compromised between building products, lead gen and marketing, all while working full-time?

    1. 1

      I'm extremely privileged — I didn't work on this product until I had already quit my job, so I could work full-time on this B2B opportunity. I split my time 25/25/50 between lead gen, sales and development.

      While I was still working full-time I was working on my B2C app, spelltrackerapp.com, so I could do 75 dev/25 marketing but only had a few hours per week to spend.

  26. 1

    Hey Ben! Thanks for doing this AMA

    If you could go back in time and tell your 18 year-old self just one thing, what would it be? Would you do anything differently?

    1. 2

      I’d say “You’re on the right track. Just don’t stop coding, learning, and trying to build a business.”

      Honestly I love my life, I’m grateful for so much and there’s very little I’d change.

      1. 1

        That's amazing @benbarbersmith! You love to see it <3

  27. 1

    @benbarbersmith Congratulations on your journey so far. I recently left my engineering job at Hubspot to work on a consulting business.

    Curious, did you end up moving once you quit (or before)? If you are out in the valley, I'm assuming that lifestyle would be harder to maintain without working than somewhere cheaper. For me, I moved away from Boston to NH, and found that my cash burn rate decreased quite a bit.

    Also, can you elaborate a bit more on what caused you to take the leap? I know firsthand that it can seem strange to your peers why you'd leave a cushy well-paying job to risk starting your own business. I love hearing other answers to this.

    1. 5

      Congrats! How are you finding the consulting?

      I already lived in a town called Reading outside of London. I used to commute into the Google office in London each day on a 90 minute journey. The reason I did that was to save money on housing — my monthly mortgage on a 3 bed house with a garden is less than most of my ex-colleagues spent on a 1 bed apartment.

      So I didn't move, but I didn't need to — my life is already frugal and cheap.

      What caused me to make the leap?

      Well, I wrote a very long and very personal document about that for my family and friends.

      Here's the Twitter thread summary. But I guess Indie Hackers might relate to a more personal version...

      I’ve been setting goals for myself for decades, and I’ve been very successful at achieving most of them. But I had one major life goal that is still out of reach: to become financially independent by building a software business.

      Wouldn’t it be wonderful to work full-time on building my own business? Imagine being able to set my own priorities, work on whatever I think is most important or interesting, constantly push myself to learn and develop my skills, take on new challenges, and reap the rewards of the effort I put in…

      I’ve dreamed of doing that since I was ten years old. I wanted to write computer games and sell them on floppy disks from a trestle table outside my house, then spend the money on games consoles.

      Then after my first child was born, I found myself with a new dream: to spend several hours of quality time with her every single day.

      Wouldn’t it be incredible to keep spending time with my daughter like I did on paternity leave? Imagine if I could get her up in the morning when she wakes, eat three meals per day with her, play with her before work, play with her after lunch, play with her after dinner, and enjoy our bedtime routine together…

      Life is short. My daughter is growing up fast. Before I know it, she’ll be at school. These first few years of her life are precious, and this is the only time I’ll be able to experience them. It was really important to me that I could do that.

      Wouldn’t it be amazing to life a live which is dedicated to realizing those two dreams?

      It sounded like an impossible dream, but it wasn’t. I just needed to stop working 40 hours per week on somebody else’s schedule, following somebody else’s direction, for somebody else’s profit. I just needed to quit my job.

      1. 1

        Loved your Twitter thread. Followed you there. I like your priorities and your expectations. You're not saying you expect instant fame and fortune.

        1. 3

          Thank you Josh! 🙏

          Yes, 💯. This is not about becoming a millionaire or being famous, it’s about the freedom to spend my precious time as I please with my family and my friends, learning and creating.

      2. 1

        Then after my first child was born, I found myself with a new dream: to spend several hours of quality time with her every single day.

        Wouldn’t it be incredible to keep spending time with my daughter like I did on paternity leave? Imagine if I could get her up in the morning when she wakes, eat three meals per day with her, play with her before work, play with her after lunch, play with her after dinner, and enjoy our bedtime routine together…

        Life is short. My daughter is growing up fast. Before I know it, she’ll be at school. These first few years of her life are precious, and this is the only time I’ll be able to experience them. It was really important to me that I could do that.

        Wouldn’t it be amazing to life a live which is dedicated to realizing those two dreams?

        It sounded like an impossible dream, but it wasn’t. I just needed to stop working 40 hours per week on somebody else’s schedule, following somebody else’s direction, for somebody else’s profit. I just needed to quit my job.

        This gave me goosebumps. What you said here is what I want to achieve. Wife and I work a lot, she more than I. Its hard to not only spend the time with kids but to also enjoy that time (deadlines or work things seems to stay top of mind sometimes).

        Learning code is freaking hard, I tend to bang my head on the wall, plenty, sometimes I don't have the brain power to continue.

        Do you have any advice of learning while lack of time and burnout?

        1. 1

          One more internet random with some advice... haha

          I think when I really care about learning something, I do this:

          Easy step: Try to follow a guide instead of self-paced learning.

          Hard step: Hire a "trainer." When I was excited about being better at drums, I paid for a lesson. When I really wanted to learn a language, I took a class.

          The idea is to trade your money for someone else's time. I'm a pretty good programmer, but I've been learning, self-directed, for 20+ years! There's nothing better than 1-on-1 time with someone who is going to tell you exactly what you need to know :)

        2. 1

          Sorry for my injection here @Paolo, my 2 cents if I could say: simplify, simplify, simplify, code more fulfilling tools (like Svelte).Complexity is our enemy, no matter how much smart you are it's going to smash you in the face (like Angular and React). If you ask, "am I burnout" and you feel mental fatigue, it's time to stop, let go for a while, release any needs, prioritise your relationship and the people you love, you'll be able to come back when ready.

          1. 1

            Hey, I appreciate your input. Sometimes life can be overwhelming, I agree with breaks to reset sort of speak. Thanks again!

        3. 1

          I'm glad my post resonates!

          Its hard to not only spend the time with kids but to also enjoy that time (deadlines or work things seems to stay top of mind sometimes).

          Yes, I totally feel that! It's really challenging.

          Honestly I don't have a lot of good advice on how to learn while having a lack of time. It's HARD. Doubly so with kids.

          When I was full-time employed, I got most of my learning and building done during my 45 minute train journey each morning and evening. In the new WFH world, I genuinely don't know how I would fit so much in.

          Either you work when the kids are asleep (sacrificing time with your partner) or you work while they're awake (sacrificing time with them). I don't know how to balance that. My only suggestion would be to try and work fewer hours on your day job, if it's at all feasible.

      3. 1

        Thanks for this really detailed response, Ben. Your reason for quitting really resonated with me, so thanks for sharing. I am a life-long learner, and I started to feel it stagnate once the income grew and I got comfortable. The perks were great, but I had lost the meaning along the way. While I don't have kids, yet I totally get the perspective of just wanting to run things your own way. It almost makes you feel like a kid again.

        I haven't yet launched the consulting business. I'm spending this next month or two diving deep into Machine Learning, and my hope is to use it as my niche for freelancing/consulting work. I'm also working on building a personal brand; something I have neglected for the past few years.

        Congratulations on maintaining a frugal lifestyle while you were there. I found it very rare in the industry to not eat out all the time, get expensive apartments, etc.

        Sounds like you're playing the long-game with your overall well-being, nice work.

  28. 1

    Hey Ben, congras for your success.
    I used to work as a programmer in an agency . i really wants to start a B2B company so i can leave high pressure job to work on my own time.

    but i really struggle to find any idea/ what i problem i solve . because i don't have much experience in B2B .
    I really trying to find out a solution but can't find any.
    i live a third world country where people are not happy to pay for consumer level product
    do you have any suggestions ?

    1. 2

      Start by looking at what you do in your full-time job.

      • What problems do you solve over and over again?
      • Are you doing the same kind of work for each client at your agency?
      • Do any of your agency clients require similar deliverables?
      • Do you find yourself copy pasting a lot, or doing the same setup over and over again?

      These are all potential sources of ideas for products that you could sell to your agency, to similar agencies, or to the end clients.

      If you want to get started in B2B on easy mode, solve the problems you already solve at work!

  29. 1

    What kind of services indie hackers can provide to google employees for which they will be ready pay say $49 - $99 or more per month?

    1. 4

      For employees to use at work, I'm not sure there's a good answer. Google has "Not Invented Here" syndrome pretty bad, and they will build whatever they can themselves. On top of that, there are very strict policies around putting any corporate data into 3rd party platforms, including personal notes you make while you work. So unless you're making enterprise sales to the teams who run Salesforce, HR tools, etc. then you'll be fighting an uphill battle.

      For employees to use in their spare time, pretty much anything you'd sell to similarly situated developers with high disposable income! Something to make the meetings while working from home less unbearable, perhaps?

      1. 1

        Thnx for your quick response. I am more interested in services for Google employees to use in their spare time i.e B2C.

        Any more ideas based on your experience with Google?

        1. 2

          Honestly, with 100k employees the answer is basically "whatever other indie hackers would want, except they might have more cash to spend".

          There are many people who work for Google, and with a surprising amount of diversity, so almost every interest is represented. But the majority will look like your stereotypical developer, with the same stereotypical interests.

          1. 1

            That's great. So say self improvement services like short courses on copywriting, powerpoint presentations, communication skills, persuasion skills etc will sellable to them?

            1. 1

              Yes! I bought many negotiation books over the years while I worked there and we also attended several courses by external facilitators.

              You may also have success encouraging Googlers to buy such a book or course and expense it, or share it with their team in a book club.

              1. 1

                Hey Ben, I just saw your reply on an another thread.
                "I had an amazing education in business development, negotiation, and sales by watching my accomplished colleagues at Google for 7 years."

                Since you have got an unique opportunity to learn from the best abt business development, negotiations, Sales etc.. Do you think an "in death courses" covering these areas are sellable to google employees?

                Also, could you pls suggest few best books you referred on these subjects. It would be a great help for Indie community.

                PS - My sincere apologize for asking too many selfish questions

                1. 1

                  Since you have got an unique opportunity to learn from the best abt business development, negotiations, Sales etc.. Do you think an "in death courses" covering these areas are sellable to google employees?

                  Yes! Our team paid for several such courses over the years as part of off-sites and team building.

                  Also, could you pls suggest few best books you referred on these subjects. It would be a great help for Indie community.

                  The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick, Getting More by Stuart Diamond, Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss.

                  1. 1

                    WOW! Great. Thanks a lot for all the insightful answers.

                    I read "The Mom Test". It's amazinng. Looks like other 2 books are on negotiations hence added to my "Must Read Books List".

                    The last question. Any specific books on Sales/Marketing/Business Development which you want to recommend to Indie community or recommended to you by your colleagues/mentors/Managers/External consultants/Trainers etc at Google

                    1. 1

                      @benbarbersmith - Awaiting for your response.

                      Many thanks in advance for your support to the indie community.

  30. 0

    What is your MRR for the app that’s 10k ARR?

    Also why refer to one on MRR and the other in ARR. curious if there’s a perceived difference in how we should be communicating our numbers.

Trending on Indie Hackers
I got 1400% traffic, 950% sign-ups, Product Hunt #2 and only 1 SALE! What do I do now? 35 comments I've earned $100,000 on a portfolio of products as a solopreneur. AMA! 23 comments 14 eBook pre-orders in the last 48 hours! 5 comments How do you define "growth marketer"? 3 comments Best Advice I've Read On Validating Ideas 2 comments Jiruto: Startup School meets Substack. Pro Community Tools. 1 comment