Pilot project with a fellow-indie hacker

Long story short both myself and a fellow-indie hacker decided to first do a small pilot project together. We both know from experience that starting a business together is not a matter to take lightly so opted for a try out instead.

Because we both just recently decided to learn how to code we wanted to do something simple that served two purposes: 1) accelerate our learning process for learning how to code and 2) see how we work together.

The entire process took roughly 6 weeks, which was about two weeks longer than we planned for. Part of this was because we both ended up moving which had caused some delays in the process.
Overall I have to say that it was a very insightful process. Not only did we found out that we work together very well, we also have complementary interests and natural skill sets. That made working together pretty smooth sailing.

I can honestly recommend anyone to first go for a pilot project with a potential cofounder just to see how you work together and whether you are on the same page. That might seem obvious, but you'd be surprised how often people are not compatible but have already founded a company together. Yes, I speak from experience ;)

As for the project itself; we will be promoting it a bit the upcoming two weeks: the idea was to have a site for all sorts of top 100s, starting with the net worth of individuals. We also added a fun little calculator where you can check out how often someone could pay off your student loans.

Check it out over here:

Again, not rocket science, but good lessons in finding a potential cofounder for a business and accelerating the learning process together while getting to know someone.

  1. 3

    Yes, very much so!

    I recommend this to everyone. Work together first. Experiment with projects. Pay people if that makes sense.

    I did this with the CEO of Ministry of Testing, hired him first on a freelance basis and once I was confident that he was the right person he took on a bigger role and part ownership.

  2. 2

    Was a pleasure working with you! It think we both learnt a lot and are in a better situations now compared to 6 weeks ago 😃

    1. 1

      Likewise Alex! I definitely agree it was a great experience and project to work on.

  3. 1

    Nice.. Try pilot project with the potential co-founder. New learning for me

  4. 1

    sweet! thanks for sharing!

    what's the goal? where are you taking this project?

    1. 1

      For now we will leave it at this but we might pick it up later. We will be promoting it a bit the upcoming time though.

      1. 1

        cool! keep going!

  5. 1

    Working together first is one way. Another way is just setting up a cliff (see also https://medium.com/@alain94040/founder-vesting-c214e86c59b0). Working with a cliff really saved my ass, when people didn't fit/deliver.

    1. 1

      Yea I am familiar with cliffs (had a VC backed venture). But you still have the problem of 1 year commitment with people you might not be compatible with. To each their own I guess.

      1. 1

        I didn't handle cliffs that way. Basically within the cliff period I just kicked people from the project if they were not a fit. I don't really have to commit any specific timeframe. Did I do that "wrong"?

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