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I've been an indie hacker for 2.5 years, made $0 and every mistake possible, AMA

I've been an indie hacker since September 2018, when I quit my job.
Since then I've read all the bizness books, built a bunch of apps, sites, landing pages, did several hard pivots, interviewed a bunch of "customers", and experimentd with all the social platforms. Here's a little history on what I've done. AMA

I started in September 2018 building consumer products.
I built a SMS based budgeting app that became an iPhone app and went nowhere and I eventually removed it from the App store in 2020.

I then made a social music app called Tastephone. I basically jsut use it with a couple friends. I built an IG audience for it but never converted anyone to a user. It's still in the app store.

I tried to make an AI based credit card review site. It worked, but even when it told me the card I should get I was like "Nah, I'm not gonna get that card". I built a small IG audience but it never went anywhere and I shut it down.

Then, last May, I decided to start focusing on B2B products.

I interview 1 IT/WiFi industry person and decided to build a backup solution for Unifi based WiFi networks. I didn't verify my hypothesis with anyone before building and when I launched and emailed that 1 person, they never replied

In the fall of 2020. I started interviewing Newsletter Creators and conducted about 50 interviews to date.

After those converstations I made CrowdMagnet to help newsletter creators with cross promotion. It has a small but growing userbase but it's a free product.

And I just released another tool for newsletter creators. It's called TweetSpacer and it's a distraction-free tweet scheduler. It's a paid product but I haven't had any signups yet.

  1. 8

    Thanks for posting this! I've been trying the indie hacking thing since around 2014 with no success yet. A good 5-ish products I've built, tons of lessons learned, but no solid concept of any system that seems like a great way to start a business. 30x500 sounds the best, but never jumped into it.

    I feel like I make a little more progress on each app, and really happy to have found a cofounder (with marketing experience!) on IndieHackers for my current project. Crossing my fingers for both you and me :)

    1. 3

      Thanks Andrew and good luck with your latest venture! It's always good to have a cofounder with complementary experience

      1. 1

        Yeah! It has really changed my perspective quite a bit having a cofounder!

        • While I help with marketing, it's great to have someone with that as their focus.
        • It's really great to have someone to bounce ideas off of (esp when user feedback feels like pulling teeth at times!)
        • It has helped me keep focus and work on priorities. He can tell me when my UI is really bad. And we work together on deciding what's important.
        • We get to feed off of each other's positive energy.

        It's just been an all-around win, but we still need to work on getting that first paying user!

        1. 2

          That's great. Keep on keepin' on!

  2. 5

    You need to get away from the mindset of creating something first and then figuring out how to monetize it... and flip it into "what can I make money with... and then create it"

    1. 1

      That's definitely good advice and something I've definitely learned although I don't always make good on it. Sinking a lot of time into a project that you don't have a lot of feedback on is very risky (both financially and emotionally). So it's always good to talk to people first or make a landing page with a pre-launch email signup or soemthing. Anything to get more information before you commit to building.

      I didn't take that advice when I built TweetSpacer. I had some validation since there's similar products in the market and I see people scheduling tweets so that they're posting throughout the day, but I should have gotten more validation before building. I justified it by saying "It's only going to take 4-6 weeks to build and it'll be fun". 🤷‍♂️

      It's much easier to learn the correct thing to do than actually doing it. Human beings are tricky beasts 🙂

  3. 3

    In all seriousness, I truly have to ask, and please don't take this the wrong way. Is this a joke?

    1. 2

      Interesting. What led you to believe it might be a joke?

      1. 1

        The way you wrote some of it made me laugh a little like you were trying to be funny. e.g., you said "I tried to make an AI based credit card review site. It worked, but even when it told me the card I should get I was like "Nah, I'm not gonna get that card".

        That's just funny stuff. Good comedy writing.

  4. 3

    I interview 1 IT/WiFi industry person and decided to build a backup solution for Unifi based WiFi networks. I didn't verify my hypothesis with anyone before building and when I launched and emailed that 1 person, they never replied

    And then you abandoned the project? I think that you expect your "idea" to explode on initial launch, which is a fallacy.

    1. 1

      Totally. That's something I've struggled with a lot. Being able to stick it out after the initial launch.

      I abondoned that target customer because when I was honest with myself I realized that I didn't want to serve WiFi/IT guys and I wasn't the person to do it anyway, so I decided to cut my loses. Was it the right decision? I'll never know :)

  5. 2

    If you haven't made any money, can you call yourself an entrepreneur?

    LOL. I'm just kidding of course, in all seriousness I do appreciate your openness to share. I've had some similar experiences, and I'm sure many others have too.

    One question - how have you been able to fund these past 3 years? Was it through savings, investment, loans, credit cards, etc?

    1. 1

      Good question. I was able to support myself through a combination of drawing down some of the savings I built up when I was a full time employee. And I also do part-time freelancing, it's varied between 5-25 hours per week over the past year. Right now I'm doing about 10 hours a week of freelancing.

      1. 1

        That's great! Many wouldn't have the skills to sustain themselves for so long without a salary.

  6. 2

    Thanks for sharing Adam! I find it super motivating seeing your determination to make something happen.

    It came at a great time for me to read this because I've been feeling low due to "failure" of my last project.

    Let's make it happen on the next one!! :)

    1. 1

      Definitely. Don't give up, and don't think that just because you had a failure that that means that you are a failure. I've found treating things like an experiment makes it a little easier when they fail. Just make sure you keep learning and interating. Don't expect to repeat the same mistakes and expect a different result.

  7. 2

    Seems like you need to focus. You've done way too many things in too short of a time.

    1. 1

      Yes. That's true. I have a hard time committing to things. I tend to give up too easily and move on. Especially when I didn't have a well defined target customer. It was easy to build a budgeting app that didn't have a well defined target and when that didn't work, move to a music sharing app that also didn't have a well defined target.

      That said, I'm glad I abondoned those consumer products and moved to B2B products and more specifically to products for newsletter creators. Maybe I could have made the budgeting app work if I stuck it out, but I think B2B is generally a better fit for IndieHackers and B2C is better for VC backed startups.

  8. 2

    Thanks a lot for sharing this @adamlangsner. Like so many others have said we usually just get the success-stories but this i great to "come back to earth".

    How much of validation did you do on your projects? If you did a lot what kind of feedback did you get to still build out the project without any users?

    What I'm trying to get at is how long should you stick with it if for example the first 15 potential customers that you show a prototype for isn't interested? Feels like there is a fine balance between not giving up to fast and also not plowing down time on something that your "validation" has shown not to be sought after.

    Hope you understand what I'm trying to ask.

    Best of luck to you and with your determination I have a feeling that you will hit it right at one point.

    1. 2

      Good question. For my early projects I definitely didn't do any validation, and when I did speak to users I asked the wrong questions. I asked about the product and what they thought instead of asking jsut about them and their current behavior.

      When I pivoted to newsletter creators in the fall, that's when I really started prioritizing information gathering and validation over building product. I promised to not do any coding for a while (end up being 3 months) and I just interviewed people.

      In terms of how long you should stick with a prototype. It's a tough call. It's possible you have the wrong market or the wrong product. Has the feedback you've gotten from your 15 leads made you think of changing the product or the value proposition or doing a soft pivot?

      Thinking about it more from the numbers side though, I like to think about how many people do I need to sell to for your conversion rate to reveal itself. Let me explain. Let's say that somehow I magically knew that my conversion rate on sales was 10%. That means that I know I can sell to about 10 people and expect 1 of them will buy. If the first 3 people say no, then that doesn't bother me because I'm prepared for 9 Nos total, so the first 3 are fine. But if I didn't magically know about 10% I might get discouraged after 3. I might think I have a 0% conversion rate and say it's not worth it. The problem is I didn't give myself a large enough denominator to see the conversion rate shine through.

      So you have 0/15 sales. Let's say you got 1 sale that'd be 1/16 which is a 6% conversion rate. It's hard to say if 6% is good or not. That's where your judgment comes in. Should you keep going? If you optimize your sales and get better at targeting good leads mayeb you can boost it to 10% or 20%. But you're starting around 6% so it's unlikely you'll boost to 50% or 60% purely through optimization.

      1. 2

        Thanks for an amazing answer.

        I'm a software developer so I've had to stop myself a few times now to not just go and build out the product and instead talk to my potential customers.

        It's a great advice that you asked the wrong questions in the beginning and asked more about the product and not their behavior. I've been drafting a few questions that I want to ask the target market and this refined them a bit. I want to see if the buyer persona exists and then I can start asking about a solution to that problem and finally show them my solution (the prototype).

        Having a conversion rate would be of much benefit as you say. The thing is just to give yourself that large denominator and what that would be. Say that I should talk to 25 people and if I have 0 sales do a pivot or something else. Just so you have a clear mark of not running with an idea for 2 years that nobody wants.

        Although I like clear rulesets of these things I feel like it's a lot like you say that my judgement will have to come in to say that this is not an idea to pursue or that you're on to something here and should keep going.

  9. 2

    Refreshing to read a more humble take on how hard this stuff actually is.

    Good luck, looks like you're learning the right things along the way. 🤙

  10. 2

    The pattern is that you start from 0 every time... You should iterate and build products based on the knowledge you have acquired. You could spend the rest of your life starting very different projects from scratch...

    1. 2

      This is very good advice and definitely something I learned.

      Early on I would pivot to a totally different target customer. But what's worse is that I didn't take the time to ever really define thsoe customers or learn more about them.

      In the fall of 2020 I realized that I can't keep starting from zero. So I picked a target (newsletter creators) and said "I'm going to serve these customers. I may pivot and iterate on products (solutions) but I have to keep the target (aka their problems) as a constant because otherwise I'll be starting from zero again".

      1. 1

        Good, if you accumulate knowledge on a specific domain you will become an expert and eventually find something that works.

  11. 2

    Showing up every day is what matters. Kudos to you for doing that. Your grit is commendable. Thank you for sharing and good luck!

    I just looked at TweetSpacer and it looks gr8. I may not be the right audience (yet) , but I understand what TweetSpacer does in just one glance.

    I am having a hard time finding early users myself and just curious to know what avenues have your pursued for finding first 10 customers? What are people telling you? How many people did you reach out to and what channels?

    TIA for sharing your story. I will also share this on my twitter in the hope of spreading the word.

    Thanks!

    1. 1

      Thanks! In terms of getting early users, I don't know if I have great advice sine I'm in a similar place to you, but I'll say this:

      For CrowdMagnet, I got my first 10 customers in the following steps

      1. in September, I decided I wanted to target newsletter creators
      2. I spent a lot of time finding newsletter creators online and emailing them. I mostly used IndieHackers and a few newsletter directories and google, but I managed to get a bunch of emails out of some internet sleuthing
      3. I reached out to these people to ask for an interview. For my first batch I must have sent out 100 emails and ended up doing 30 interviews.
      4. I took notes during the interviews and summarized the notes after each interview.
      5. I kept interviewing and ketp searching for something that they needed.
      6. A lot of people mentioned cross promotion, so I figure it's worth the risk to invest in a cross promo product and see if I can get sign ups.
      7. I made a basic landing page to collect email addresses. I emailed some of the interviewees who mentioned cross promo to invite them (Good thing I had those notes so I knew who was interested in cross promo). I also posted about it in a few places (IndieHackers, Newsletter Crew, the Newsletter Creator FB Group) and got a few more sign ups. I ended up getting like 20 or so leads.
      8. I decided to build it for real. This took about a month. Then I emailed my pre-launch list and got about 5-6 or signups.
      9. I ran some twitter ads. Spent $200 over the course of a week and got a few more signups.
      10. I still post about CrowdMagnet occasionally and I've gotten a trickle of a few customers each week.
  12. 2

    Very tough story to hear for sure. I’ve been there too. I started doing the audience first approach and was able to get projects off the group much quicker.

    1. 1

      Yep! When you focus on a specific target and you start to listen and learn from them, everything gets much easier because you start to learn what your target wants instead of guessing endlessly in a vaccuum.

      I have to say I'm continually impressed by what you're doing with Newsletter Crew. I personally have gotten a lot of value out of that community.

  13. 2

    I love the spirit of this post. thanks for sharing!

  14. 2

    Thanks for posting this, you're a brave soul who's not afraid to reflect on your journey. That in itself is inspiring, I'm not sure if I would have the same courage to share about my mildly depressing journey.

    Like you, I've build two products in the past. One had a sizeable audience - 20K insta audience (it's a marketplace that reached 10K GMV at its peak) but we had no idea how to monetize it.

    I also run a content website with 10K twitter followers, and it's not monetized yet because we're not sure how best to make it work. At the end of the day an audience with no monetization methods would be the same as having no audience. I'm still working on profitability, but that's also the most difficult part of any business really.

    From your journey, it does seem like you've also started prioritising profitability and that's a great thing. Small steps first, like you I'll also be (hoping) to get there soon. Keep up with that determination and drive!

    1. 1

      Thanks! I don't know if I think about it as Brave, I'm just trying to be honest and have fun with it :). To be honest, I'd be much more afriad to write a "I'm awesome look at me" post than a "I'm not doing so great post".

      Agree about audiences, If you don't know what you want your audience to do or to buy, then you run the risk of attracting an audience that just wants to watch. But it's very hard to nail down your target customer. I've found figuring out that is like walking around a dark room with a flashlight that only works intermittently. It's tough, but stick with it :)

  15. 2

    As others have said, thanks for sharing this! It helps paint a more complete picture, vs. people who only share when they have massive successes.

    I know you mentioned reading a lot of books, so I hate to recommend another one, but have you read Jeff Walker's “Launch”? It's a bit over-the-top marketing, but I've been using some of the strategies from it, and early signals are strong (I just pre-sold about $1000 worth of an upcoming product over the weekend, exclusively to people who reached out asking if they could buy it before the launch)

    Also, TweetSpacer seems like a great product. I was super close to buying it, because I have exactly that problem (not being able to schedule threads, and always being scared of Twitter losing my drafts). The thing that stopped me is that I don't see a way to attach gifs/mp4s to the threads, and pretty much all of my tweets use videos/gifs. I realize that it's probably a hard problem, since they're typically uploaded to Twitter… but yeah, just some feedback in case it helps! If that feature does exist, plz let me know and I'll buy it right now!

    1. 1

      Thanks Josh! I haven't read "Launch" yet but I just bought it.

      Glad to hear you're interested in TweetSpacer. I punted on video/gif uploads to get the MVP out faster. But you can expect videos/gifs uploads to be available in a week or two. (since I already built image uploads, it's not much extra work to support videos/gifs. Just wanna make sure I do it robustly and with a legit UX)

      1. 1

        Awesome — picked it up, looking forward to the update =)

  16. 2

    So when can we expect a post about your failure with CrowdMagnet? Just kidding :)

    For some people it takes just 1 project to be really successful, and you hear those stories a lot like they were the norm. It’s more interesting to hear about all the troubles to build a business and all the failures trying to do that because it’s more likely that’s going to be the path most of us will be going through.

    So thank you for the refreshing view of reality. I hope you can finally find success this year.

    1. 6

      So when can we expect a post about your failure with CrowdMagnet?

      Not cool.

      1. 4

        I actually thought it was pretty funny :). And he has a point though. I think one of the main lessons I learned in the last 2.5 years is that you (I) need to be more patient and flexible with projects that I start. Sometimes I have the expectation that if it doesn't garner a certain amount of users or traffic or whatever in a short period of time then I should just give up and move on. It's much harder to stick it out and be open minded enough to embrace soft or medium pivots.

        The hard thing is that sometimes it is time to call it quits and do a hard pivot but I think that quiting at the right time is later rather than sooner.

        1. 1

          I was recently considering a change to SaaS, because it seems they have it easier monetizing their products. The thing is, as some people told me, it doesn’t get easier with SaaS, you need to build a great product anyway.

          The reason I decided to stick with desktop apps is, even if I’m not very successful right now, I’m actually improving both my financials and my products. It needs time. SaaS products usually have a lot of operating expenses and so they need to grow fast or else loose a lot of money on servers and services. I don’t loose much if I stop working, I don’t have those expenses, so I can take my time to grow. I actually prefer it that way, it’s less stressful. So I won’t quit, I’ll keep working on products I already have to make them better.

          About quitting and pivoting, you’ll know for sure when the time comes. Some products need love and time. If you let them die, why would people pay for them?

      2. 2

        It was a joke. I even explained it ahead of time for people that don’t have a sense of humor (like you) putting a “Just kidding” at the end of the sentence. What else did I miss for humorless people? More emojis?

    2. 1

      Thanks! Yeah I think there's definitely survivorship bias. Not just on IndieHackers but in life in general. Success sells and it's usually more interesting than failure (apart from, perhaps, epic failure, which is well....epic)

  17. 2

    this is so funny, i do the same shit for 3 years!

    1. 1

      I think a lot of people do. It's almost trial by fire. Is there any one learning that sticks out in your mind as significant from those 3 years?

      1. 3

        it sounds cliche but you need to add value. if you can add value then its worth something. also don't keep abandoning projects...

  18. 2

    Hey @adamlangsner! You’re a super intelligent individual dude, so you’ll get what you want out of this eventually.

    What’s your userbase on crowdmagnet?

    1. 2

      Right now we have 46 members. Launched it about 2 months ago

        1. 1

          Thanks! Just sent you a welcome email

  19. 2

    First off - thanks for sharing. I don't know if it was easy or hard for you but it's a nice change of pace from how much this person is crushing it.

    For CrowdMagnet, that's great you have a growing userbase....has the feedback on the product been good?

    If you're up for it, would love to share some of my learnings from the past 12 months in a Zoom/Whereby meeting.

    1. 1

      Thanks for the comment.

      On a scale of 1 - 10 of how difficult it was to share this failure post, I'd put it at a 3? maybe a 2.875? So not that hard I guess.

      I have been getting some good feedback from CrowdMagnet users, I try not to bug people too much to ask them for feedback though for better or worse. But CrowdMagnet members do seem to be actively using the product and making connections with each other. So, as long as it's providing value to the users, I'm happy.

      I'd be happy to schedule a call, feel free to email me at [email protected] and we can set something up.

      1. 2

        Well I'd love to see more failure posts and I think you're doing a good thing for the IH community.

        That's great about CrowdMagnet. The nice thing is that now that you have a little traction....you can start leaning in on social media to the newsletter crowd.

  20. 1

    Ahoy Adam,

    I feel what you're writing, I have had many ideas over the years I've implemented that have gone no-where... mostly because I think I get addicted to the 'build' phase.

    However, with 55 KNOTS my recent business venture it was the only time I made it a do-or-die situation (i.e I quit my job with no clients or prospects) and made it very clear I would only focus on the one thing and give it time. This made me hustle...quite hard. (although I am not a believer in long time hustling)

    It's now supporting me and 16 other people and it's only now after my second anniversary I am launching a new product.

    I would question with your current ventures if you can give it more time before you decide its a failure and move onto the next shiny object.

    Choose something you're passionate about with a clear monetised strategy and give it at least a year of dedication.

    Just a thought, but love that you're an innovate and keen striver of things!

  21. 1

    Hello Adam, I am sure you will have great success in the near future. Keep working. We are here to support you. I took few minutes to feature your product on ProductStartups.

    https://www.productstartups.com/tweetspacer-tweet-scheduler/

    Good luck and keep in touch

    Venkat

  22. 1

    Hi Adam,
    Thanks for your transparent post! It seems like you may have a good iterable product in the TweetSpacer. What kind of competition exists? Also, what's your promotion plan? I think it will be hard to grow without some for of promotion. Also, it appears you aren't very active on twitter where many newsletter creators are (me). Also, I agree with some of the others here. Pick an audience you are obsessed with and it's fine to pivot, but stick within the realm of serving one general audience so you each project you do compounds your understanding of their needs. My two cents. Also I have a great ebook on product-market fit that was really eye opening to me so if you ping me I can send it to you.

    1. 1

      There's plenty of competition on the tweet scheduling space. For the longest time I shyed away from crowded markets because I thought "It's been done" and "I have to do something really unique". I think that's generally wrong, it's better to go where there's alreayd money trading hands.

      I don't know if i have a well thought out promotion plan. I'm going to try a little paid advertising just to see what the numbers end up being and then I think i'll try just posting more in communities and on twitter to build up and audience.

  23. 1

    Kudos to you - it was 4 years after starting my first blog, and trying various things out, that I made my first dollars from my indie stuff. The journey of discovering what was the business I wanted to build (and, perhaps more importantly, what wasn't), as well as the things I learned along the way, were - looking back - crucial to my getting to where I eventually got to, and being where I am today. The journey continues 🙃

    1. 2

      Yeah, it takes a suprising amount of time to figure it out and get your head straight, I don't think I'm even there yet. I still have a lot to learn. But you're right, the journey continues and I don't think it ever ends.

      1. 1

        Yeah - you're infinitely ahead of where you were 2.5 years ago, in both ways you realise and don't realise. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other :)

  24. 1

    Thanks for sharing. The learning experience around building a product is also something that one benefits from. What is in your experience the factors that influence success / failure of a product ? Does luck plays a factor ?
    What is the right balance between waiting until you have a full working product, and announcing your idea to the public without having this concrete implementation ?

    1. 2

      Great questions!

      What is in your experience the factors that influence success / failure of a product ? Does luck plays a factor ?
      I'm not sure I can come up with a list of factors, but I think the key thing that I learned / mistake I made, was that you need to pick a target market and learn about their needs before thinking about your product. One quote I remember from the book Strategic Marketing Management is: "Marketing is not about selling a product, but rather, figuring out what product to sell." You need to create feedback loops between you and your customer or potential customers so that you can build things that serve them. There may be luck involved in initial success, but if you want to build something sustainable that generates revenue long term, luck becomes less and less of a factor.

      What is the right balance between waiting until you have a full working product, and announcing your idea to the public without having this concrete implementation ?
      I'm really bad at this. I think it's always better to air on the side of early announcement because it allows you to get more information earlier. Building a full product takes time, so you don't want to commit to that unless you know it's going to work. You can't know 100% beforeahand but you can de-risk by gathering more information from people that are attracted to your early announcement. The key is, you have to speak with them. Don't pitch your product, but instead ask them questions about their current behavior.

      1. 1

        Thanks for the info. Marketing can be tough on the web. My conception of it is that you have to keep people coming to your product although they don't subscribe. Eventually a small amount of those will get interested. Exactly like having a shop somewhere on a street where not all the passers-by enter your shop, only a fraction of them, and only some of them actually will buy. As a software engineer and geek, I find it hard to deal with this part myself. I wish I could spend all the time developing.

        In my case, I waited until I have a full product and then launched it. It's a risk to take, Let's see how it goes.

        Best of luck for your new product.

  25. 1

    bruh...you will make it... I believe in you..

  26. 1

    thanks for sharing this, @adamlangsner! all of the projects you launch get you closer to your goal. with this approach, it's just the question of time how soon you are going to cross your $100/$1k/$100k MRR 🔥

    my question is which stack did you use for your projects? for example, what did you use for building TweetSpacer?
    thanks!

    1. 1

      I use Ruby on Rails for all my projects. (And Swift if I'm building an iOS client) I've worked in a lot of different languages / frameworks over my career as a software dev, but I love love love Ruby on Rails and I've been able to get faster and faster and faster at building things with it.

  27. 1

    Don't worry, you're not alone @adamlangsner.

    I've posted an article in January to relate my own adventures. My story is somewhat similar to yours: https://medium.com/swlh/20-months-in-2k-hours-spent-and-200k-lost-a-story-about-resilience-and-the-sunk-cost-fallacy-69fd4f61ef59
    And an update a few days ago: https://medium.datadriveninvestor.com/21-months-in-and-80k-views-later-a01eb8a05898

    Enjoy your journey, no matter what ;-)

    1. 1

      Thanks! Yeah it's tough out there and everyone goes through some version of the same thing. So long as you're learning along the way I think it's ok. You don't want to be Einstein's definition of insane (doing the same thing and expecting different results). I probably was insane in 2018, 2019 and the first half of 2020. But once I learned about starting with a target, learning about them first before building anything, it felt like things had really changed and I was on the right path.

  28. 1

    Curious: Why you don't have any signup for TweetSpacer? How much marketing effort you've put into it till now?

    1. 2

      I just launched Tweet Spacer on Monday March 1st. I actually got my first 2 signups today because of this very post which is kind of ironic.

      I haven't done much marketing prior to launch, I posted 1 demo video of TweetSpacer few weeks ago.

      I did TweetSpacer the wrong way. I had some validation from existing products in the market and behaviors I saw on twitter, but I definitely could have interviewed people and done a pre-launch list to get more validation. It was only a 6 week build, so I figured what the heck. I do plan on doing more marketing for it now that the MVP is out.

  29. 1

    This shit is fucking difficult. Thanks for sharing. Here were my failure posts. A lot of years, but best to be upbeat and continue moving on.

    1. 1

      Definitely! It can take a real emotional toll when you keep trying and coming up short. But if you take the time to learn and grow and understand how business works and how marketing works eventually you'll have enough pieces that you can put together to have some sort of success even if it's just mild success.

      The biggest change in behavior I think I've had is: "stop coding and start talking to people" It's way more valuable to get information than it is to work on a project in a vaccuum.

      1. 2

        I’m with you on the not working in a vacuum front. Avoid vacuums if you can :)

        I think it’s worth recognising that each person’s situation is different. Humans are social creatures so it’s important to have contact with others.

        But also every person’s situation is different, where they are located geographically, the people surrounding them etc

        Choose the right approach for your situation, you have to weight the options yourself, there might very well be situations where coding on your own for a while is the better approach.

  30. 1

    Thanks a lot for your sharing. You point out the reality that each of us must go through on the path to success. You at least tried and failed. For me, I planned to build my own e-commerce business but never make it happen because I'm afraid of failure. I understand that "Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.". However, I don't even know where to start.

    1. 2

      Exactly. This always reminds me of that Teddy Roosevelt quote: specifically the part: "There is no effort without error."

      Full Quote:
      It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

  31. 1

    CrowdMagnet seems like a great idea, but could you pivot it to something like Upstart.me?

    Just let it be a directory of newsletter owners who want to seek sponsors, so potential sponsors can find worthy newsletters to promote their products/services.

    I think it opens up a much bigger market where there isn't a good solution yet.

    No comment on TweetSpacer as it's a competitor to my product, Zlappo. ;)

    1. 2

      That's a good idea. I've definitely thought about opening it to sponsors and there are some people in that space: swapstack and letterhead come to mind.
      Maybe I'll do that in the future.

  32. 1

    This comment was deleted 2 months ago.

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