February 1, 2019

What's it like to bootstrap a business before it can financially support you?

Getting a new business off the ground is hard. Paraphrasing @ joshkaufman from The Personal MBA, you have to (1) create something of value that (2) other people want or need (3) at a price they’re willing to pay, in a way that (4) satisfies your needs and expectations and (5) provides the business sufficient revenue to make it worthwhile for you to continue operation.

Most entrepreneurs really enjoy these challenges. The real problem is that we're limited by how much cash we have on hand. If we run out of the funds we're using to cover our business expenses, it's all over. The pressure of this constraint can take a real emotional toll on us — especially for indie founders who bootstrap their businesses.

But we don't have often talk about what it's actually like emotionally to bootstrap businesses.

Enter this round table. I asked several founders what it was like bootstrapping their businesses in the months and years before their revenues covered their living expenses. Indie hackers bootstrap in three ways. They:

  1. limit their business ideas to ideas that will generate revenue immediately
  2. jump into their businesses full time and burn through their savings in hopes the revenue will cover them before they hit the red
  3. run their businesses on the side while paying the bills with day jobs

Check out what their experiences are like below.

Generating revenue immediately

👤 Rob Fitzpatrick, author of 🇪🇸 The Mom Test ($10,000/mo)

I've tried a bunch of options:

  • Cross-subsidy, where you have a high-earning, part-time profession and limit yourself to working X days per week.
  • Save and burn, where you accumulate a pile of cash to buy yourself X months of runway.
  • Idea selection, where you only agree to work on ideas which have the potential to deliver rapid profits.

I quite enjoyed this last one, and we had $50K in committed sales within the first week, before we had really done anything other than ask folks if they wanted to give us money. This was fun and easy and paid the bills from day zero. I'd do it again if paying the bills was a top concern. The hard part is rejecting lots of wonderfully "good" ideas just because they don't fit the constraints that you happen to be enduring at this particular moment.

Bootstrapping is only stressful before you have a working business, so the "strategy" should be in either creating enough free finances to allow yourself to casually survive that stage regardless of how long it takes, or in picking ideas with an extremely quick and reliable payback period. Once the business is working, then it's no more or less stressful than having any other job.

P.S. You also need to be willing to fail gracefully, for example by admitting it early enough that you're able to give your employees fair warning, help them find excellent new jobs, and transition your customers onto a competitor's product. If you aren't able to acknowledge your own failure, then you're going to have a pretty miserable time through much of the bootstrapping process, and will end up causing a lot of preventable damage to both yourself and the people you care about. I did a bad job of this in my first company and have tried to handle it better since then.

Using personal savings to fund your business

👤 Slav Ivanov, co-founder of 🇧🇬 Encharge ($140/mo)

I've supported myself with savings while bootstrapping Encharge. Also, there's a bit of passive income that takes care of about 1/3 of my monthly expenses. I still have enough cash for another year and a half. Hopefully, we'll get to profitability by that point.

However, I underestimated the time it would take for a startup to get going (based on previous experience). That's taking a toll emotionally. We've pivoted several times, and we're still looking for product-market fit.

My co-founder does consulting to pay his own bills at the moment.

👤 Amir Rajan, founder of 🇺🇸 A Dark Room iOS ($7,500/mo)

My company financially supports me full time. It was established "accidentally" in 2014 when a mobile game I built hit the number one spot in the App Store (A Dark Room). With the extra runway, I developed four more games, and just a few months ago released ADR to the Nintendo Switch. I am now working on a game engine based off of everything I've learned over the past five years (DragonRuby Game Toolkit).

Financially and emotionally it continues to be a rollercoaster. Primarily because I can't "forget" what it feels like to work on something you enjoy and find meaningful. Sure, I have enough money for, say, the next five years. But what about the next forty years? This is kind of what keeps me up at night: there is no guarantee that I'll be able to keep doing this "forever" (given how quickly technology changes).

Ignorance is indeed bliss at times.

👤 Rodolphe Dutel, founder of 🇫🇷 Remotive.io ($15,000/mo)

I always loved side projects. Tumblrs, newsletters, blogs, startup weekends, etc. None of my projects gained significant traction or made good money, but I learned a ton. That is, until the day I started Remotive.io and people started tuning in. Launched in 2014 as a side project; went part time in 2017; then full time in 2019. And I'm still at it.

I started it while working at Buffer. (They publish salaries; I made over $100K/yr.) At the end of 2016, I realized I'd probably be able to make over $50k in 2017 through Remotive + consulting + severance. That covered my expenses, so I left my job at Buffer to work on Remotive… PART TIME!

Why part time? The reason I bootstrapped was to control my time. As soon as I covered my living expenses, growth didn't matter. I wrote a novel in French. It's on Amazon. Took me a year and a half. Every morning, I wrote; every afternoon, I worked on Remotive. I'd rather live with less money and no strings attached!

Remotive is more of a service business than a SaaS company, and less than 15% of the revenue is recurring. For the stressful bad months, I'd always tell myself I could do some consulting.

I finally went full time in early 2019. I also welcomed a CTO. And even though Remotive is now my main gig, I still run side projects! :)

Working a day job until business profits support you

👤 Matt Verlaque, co-founder of 🇺🇸 UpLaunch ($103,000/mo)

My co-founder and I worked part-time as firefighters while bootstrapping our business for over a year before it got serious enough to consider leaving. The trigger point for both of us was that our CTO went full time before we did. As a leader, that felt wrong and didn't sit well with me. If we couldn't bet on ourselves, how could we ask anyone else to bet on us?

Jake and I were still making precisely zero dollars at that point. It was still a gamble, but it was one that we had to make. We planned out ahead of time to tighten our belts, but also set a hard deadline: if we weren't personally making at least $40K a full year after leaving the fire department, we would figure out the next move.

Shocker, we didn't hit that mark — but luckily, the momentum was heading in the right direction and we decided to keep pushing. Everyone always says things like "people quit right before they're about to succeed." There are two sides to that, because I also think people will keep doing things that don't work forever because they're blind to the fact that it's not working. However, in this case, we just needed a little more time and a few more adjustments and we started to hit our stride.

There was a decent amount of surprise from the fire department. Jake and I were both company officers with bright futures, and no one really expected us to go another direction.

Oh well… SURPRISE!

👤 Matt Sencenbaugh, founder of 🇺🇸 Postcard Panda ($400/mo)

I'm in the midst of it now. I'm mostly happy with my progress, but continually struggle with maintaining my patience. I also struggle mentally with the molds and wisdom of the bootstrapping community.

In the spring of 2016 I worked backwards from my anticipated monthly expenses, then set out to find freelance work that would cover it. One of the first conversations I had was with a friend of mine who was looking for his first engineering hire at the local office. I accepted a three-day-a-week job. That has turned out to be infinitely better and something I'd recommend to others.

Based on my low expenses (a situation I know not everyone has) I've been able to live a fairly comfortable life, continue to sock away money in my IRA, and save for a down payment for a modest house in about three years. My partner and I don't live extravagantly. We cook all of our meals and trend fairly hard toward hermit-like introversion on the weekends, which helps keep the bills down.

The steady job is an infinite runway since I have a software- and mobile-engineering background to bring to the table. Since incorporating the LLC, I have probably put $15K in cash into the business. I expect to make a small profit for the first time since I broke ground on the code in November 2016.

Financially, I think this strategy has been the right fit. In many ways, though, I feel like a fraud, as if "indie hacker" or "bootstrapper" means you need to be some sort of starving artist (which is also a harmful self-identity, I think). Emotionally, though I've had a lot of ups and downs, I've been relatively even keel.

👤 Paul Joseph Cox, founder of 🇺🇸 The Church Co. ($28,000/mo)

The hardest part about bootstrapping is being patient. If you don't quit your day job you have an infinite runway to work with. At over $16K MRR I still haven't gone full time, but not because I couldn't. I've just chosen to bring on other people to run other parts of the business.

When I started The Church Co, the expenses were relatively low. I paid $30 a month for AWS and $50 a month for Intercom. That and my time were the only investment. The Church Co is a do-it-yourself website builder for churches and nonprofits. I ran it in beta for a year for free before turning on payments in July 2017. I sent out the email letting my 17 customers know that they needed to put in their credit card, and eight of them quit right away.

It's been two and a half years since turning on payments. I'm at $16,300 MRR and I'm still working full time at my day job. Discipline has been key during this time. Every morning I would wake up at 5am and work from a cafe until 9. After work, I would walk home and answer my customer support tickets. Each weekend I would do around 10 hours on bugs and new features. It was honestly the hardest few years of my life. Just this month I decided to bring on some support. I hired five contractors and distributed all of the work between them. It's another delay in going full time, but it sets the company up to scale more efficiently.

I'll likely go full time on The Church Co eventually. I don't regret the way I've done it. When I finally take the leap I'll have all of our systems in place to allow me to run the business effectively.

  1. 14

    @csallen and I are working on Indie Hackers. On the content side, which I manage, we've got great new narratives coming to our Stories series on Instagram as well as an entirely new educational series on the docket.

    You'll also have noticed the big UX changes to the online community here on the site, and we've got improvements and more innovations to make in this department as well.

    Can't believe it's already February! 😅

    1. 2

      It keeps getting better and better, nice work! I also love the stories, very inspirational :-)

    2. 2

      Really looking forward to more Instagram stories. I find it so inspiring to learn from others and love hearing about their stories and backgrounds.

    3. 1

      With the educational series be available to those of us not on Instagram? I love that idea!

    4. 1

      Please fix keyboard-based scrolling. These new modal overlay posts have broken it!

    5. 1

      Nice. good improvements on the website.

    6. 1

      Please work on site performance!

      1. 1

        Loud and clear. We made many performance improvements last month and plan to keep them coming in February.

    7. 1

      The site looks even better after the changes.👌 Curious to know more about the educational series

    8. 1

      Ooh interesting. Can you talk more about the educational series?

      1. 2

        The vision is to publish a steady stream of quality articles on various entrepreneurship topics, and create a page on the site that makes it easy for readers to find the articles that address their current challenges.

        That's the "what." The "how" is still a work in progress. We're working with multiple founders and domain experts to get the essays written, and we're building the new tag page where you'll find all these new pieces.

    9. 1

      These are some big UX changes! How are you measuring the impact of the changes? Do you have one key metric you try to improve around?

  2. 7

    We're working on a new feature in https://seodity.com that will show a simple list of on-site issues which you should fix

  3. 5

    Now my product - Reviewdrop is launched, I have been starting to drive sales via Adwords and various email campaigns to our clients.

    If anyone is looking to add and collect reviews about your business, check us out - https://reviewdrop.io

    1. 2

      Looking great! How are the ads working out? I've found them to be really hit-and-miss in the past

      1. 1

        Only just started them yesterday. Got a few sign ups from it on the free plan. Had more success targeting our clients at our design agency. What are you trying at the moment?

        1. 1

          I tried ads as well, with varying amounts of success. Facebook ads didn't work at all, while LinkedIn ads worked fairly well. I guess it depends on your target audience.

          1. 1

            Very interesting to hear about LinkedIn success... my feeling with the platform is me declining random spam connects haha. I'm a developer first, marketing your product is a whole new game!

  4. 4

    I'm working on https://www.pricingbot.co a competitor price monitoring software for E-commerce.

    This month we are trying to get approved on the Shopify app store which is not an easy task, lots of guidelines etc!

    1. 1

      Nice work -- me and a friend almost did something in this space. Good luck getting on shopify, I'm sure that'll be a huge integration, and is likely where your future customers are.

      1. 1

        Thanks Joel :)

        By the way I'm a big fan of Chromeless, congrats on your recent milestones!

        When I read your IH interview it was kind of funny because at this time I was launching ShopToList with my partner which seems to be exactly the wishlist app you talked about.

        Kevin

  5. 4
    1. Formico - Software Development Agency

    We're helping healthcare startups build full stack web applications.

    1. Indie Hackers | Worldwide

    Global & remote meetup group for Indie Hackers (meetup #2 coming up in <2 weeks)

    1. Climate Score

    A website that helps people understand weather events and natural disaster risk.

    1. 2

      I like the idea of Indie Hackers | Worldwide, I will try to participate on the next call :)

    2. 2

      Interesting.

      Does Formico also do compliance?

      1. 1

        We will

  6. 3

    I'm building SpaceReference.org

    Not a business, just a site that combines a wide range of astronomy data and useful visualizations. All open source. The main visualization engine is available at https://github.com/typpo/spacekit

    Also, I'm still running my outgoing SMS API.

  7. 3

    I'm working on Founder Stuff. I launched version 2.0 today. It includes upcoming startup events, accelerators to apply to, and over 165 resources for founders.

    https://founderstuff.xyz

    1. 1

      Nice work!

      One note, I think the buttons under the events could somehow made to look more clickable/prominent? What you think?

      Also, do you think these might be helpful to add to your directory? :)

      https://nugget.one/ideas

      https://nugget.one/academy

      1. 1

        Thank you :)

        One note, I think the buttons under the events could somehow made to look more clickable/prominent? What you think?

        Fair point. I'll make some changes

        Also, do you think these might be helpful to add to your directory? :)

        Definitely! Thanks for suggesting. I'll add both to the site soon.

        However, can you tell me more about the incubator program (dates, duration, etc.)? I wasn't able to view the page with details due to a server error.

        Also, I'll add TechZing as well ;)

        1. 1

          Ah, ok, I've fixed that now. To answer your question you can join and start any time.

          Scroll down the main academy home page for full details!

        2. 1

          Can you tell me where you went to see that server error, not supposed to be happening!

    2. 1

      Nice! Added to bookmarks.

      1. 1

        🙌🙏

    3. 1

      Just went through the book list, some good stuff in there.

      1. 1

        Agreed - love the book list

        1. 1

          🙏

      2. 1

        Thanks :)

  8. 3

    Ill be updating the Support page for my app http://www.ghostnoteapp.com

    1. 1

      looks very interesting. I just downloaded it.

  9. 3

    @channingallen glad to see the iteration on design and the continued work on the narrative side. That's some of what keeps me coming back.

    My stretch for February is to launch AutomatedApi.com. I've realized I can get enough infrastructure in place to allow me to manually submit user yaml definitions and expose the services for use without all the additional work of building a self-service solution for customers. I'm thinking of it as a 'concierge backend builder' for now, wherein I'll do some things that won't scale, then invest the time to automate that bit in March/April.

  10. 2

    My main goal for Feb is to launch another 1-2 batches of founders in the Nugget Startup Academy:

    https://nugget.one/academy

    1. 1

      I like the name, I will remember it in any cases!

      I like the approach. I think most of the time, a company starts as a side project.

      It's very difficult to accumulate 2 jobs without knowing what you're doing.

      I started my project when I had a full time job. If I had not had a first client very quickly, the project would have ended up as a side-side project ...

  11. 2

    Hey! Here @ flpbk.io , 1.5 months after the launch, I will spend the whole February communicating with existing customers, trying to get as much feedback as possible in order to prepare better for version 2.0, that will be developed in March.

  12. 2
    1. 2

      When I was checking your product page I got confused with the initial section:

      Model wears size "M".

      Measurements: Height - 185cm. Chest - 97cm. Waist - 79cm. Hips - 99cm.

      Becase it was not reacting to my switching sizes, so I have no clue what they represents.

      1. 1

        Very good point!

        The copy is meant to say that the model in the images (the dude) wears a size M and is with the following measurements, to give na idea of how you can compare.

        But note taken, the copy will be changed and made more clear.

        Thanks for your time!

    2. 2

      I know I'm late to the party, but I will give those shirts a whirl in February 😀

      1. 1

        You're welcome to the party at any time, it's not ending soon :) Thanks for checking out the product!

  13. 2

    I just launched the landing page for: https://www.amplifydocs.com/

    It automatically hosts your styleguide (from Storybook, Styleguidist, etc), and lets you give access to people in your own company, or your clients. It keeps track of style versions, and allows back and forth comments between designers and developers.

    The beta is almost working, we have people who actually want to try it (and pay for it!) So my big goal for February is to get one person actually paying :)

    1. 2

      Hey there, I've just written some legal styleguides this week (at least the basics) for something I'm working on at https://www.iubenda.com in February. Truly an important topic. I've just skimmed your landing page and the first thing I'm missing immediately is a demo view of what you're offering.

      Myself, other than the iubenda work, I'm definitely trying to launch a 2.0 version of my iOS language app 🤓🌎🌍🌏 https://www.learnjiapp.com - I'm moving to an in-app purchase model and would like to improve some of the sharing features.

      1. 1

        Damn, both projects look interesting! I just sent Learnji to my wife, as she's trying to improve her spanish. :D Good stuff!

        1. 1

          Thanks a bunch Marcel, tell her to leave a favourable rating ;) I'd say with iubenda we're sort of past the IH phase, been working on it for 6y soon :)

      2. 1

        Ah - interesting (legal styleguides); that's not something I've really looked at before - what's different about a "legal" styleguide?

        Yeah - a demo view is on the short list of things to do! Our software is currently in a bunch of pieces, and the work this weekend is to put it all together (so I can actually get screenshots of it :) ). Thanks for the feedback - it's good to know that someone else feels like it's a priority too.

        And I like your app! I hadn't considered learning with emojis before... that's fun

        1. 1

          Yep, it's not related to any programming styleguides, but to what it sounds like. Do's and dont's of writing legal documents, grammar, style, choice of words, definitions etc. etc.

          Another example is DO NOT WRITE UPPERCASE for limitation of liability clauses etc. :)

          And thanks, yeh, Learnji is fun, people generally love it, but it needs some work to be worth more time on. Finding life on the App Store tough.

    2. 1

      It automatically hosts your styleguide

      Hi, can you explain what it means? I looked through your website and still didn't get what's that about :(

      1. 1

        That in itself is good feedback! Heh - clearly I need to work on the messaging there.

        So - if you make a styleguide with storybookjs, or DocZ, etc, then it only lives in your repo (and so on your machine).

        Once you connect that repo to us, it makes your styleguide accessible on the web. Then you can invite your teammates or clients to see it and comment on it.

        Does that help? What could I do to improve the wording / message to make it more clear? Thanks!

        1. 1

          Thanks for your reply!

          Oh, I finally got it. Haha the problem was I really used styleguide but kind of rather informally.

          Maybe you need to specify on your site who is your service for? Like for designers or whoever.

          Another question is if I don't use style guide, maybe it's time to start because the idea looks pretty promising but some people still need to be educated. Like for example, my product is for advanced developers but I'm going to provide the series of docs or tutorials for noobs to make them my TA later.

          1. 1

            Yeah, part of our long term plan is to have a lot of content around what a style guide is, why you should have one, how to make one, etc; I think those could drive a lot of traffic, and also educate people about what the product is and why it's useful.

            A "Who is this for?" section is a great idea. Thanks

  14. 1

    We are working on a slackbot to help developers to handle pull requests to review efficiently. Coming soon!

    https://www.poolrequest.com/

    We are looking for a lot of feedback to improve the product!

  15. 1

    I'm rebuilding my personal site/blog from scratch with Gatsby.js and trying to make some more interesting posts. It's been fun so far, excited to see where it goes :)

    https://victorzhou.com

  16. 1

    I'm working on Statictastic. I launched it this week and for the next weeks I am mostly focusing on content marketing and small features.

  17. 1

    Not a product but still much work to do !

    I am working on making my somewhat temporary freelance situation into something more serious looking and permanent.

    The goal is to rework on my online image. Also got started in creating free video content to share my coding knowledge and build an audience for future projects.

  18. 1

    I am working on www.boxycrm.io - Simple CRM software for small business.

  19. 1

    Hi, community! This month a group of friends and I launched https://180agile.com We have vast experience helping organizations in Agile processes, such as Management 3.0, SAFe, Lean, etc. So, we decided to create 180agile, surrounded by talented agilest and to continue making the things happen for many entrepreneurs, managers, and innovators that want to see their product or initiative born. We are a group of passionate technologist and agilest finding help all kind of organizations to embrace an agile mindset.

  20. 1

    My biggest task this month is to grow traffic to my classifieds site www.zimexapp.co.zw especially sellers . I have done some design changes, if any one has suggestions on how i can improve it more please comment.

  21. 1

    I'm working on

    • Finding more sponsors for my influencer marketing newsletter: http://influenceweekly.co

    • Building a brand new growth tracking product for influencers at http://influence.directory

    • Looking for co-founders or project buddies to work on more products for creators / influencers and the influencer marketing industry.

    1. 1

      I am interested, just ping me at [email protected]

  22. 1

    I am working on the backend of a product that is going to make people more productive if they are offering support over skype/forums/emails, it's like a canned response, but you are not limited to your helpdesk/livechat.

    I want to release it by the end of February, even sooner.

  23. 1

    I'm working on https://deviate.travel, a TaskRabbit for independent travel planning. The site is live but is somewhere around steadily improving MVP stage.

    In February, I need to onboard some "Travel Pros" (which provide the supply of custom travel plans) and get my very first paying customer.

  24. 1

    This month I have decided to give another try to my pet project - Brain - https://socialmind.ai/ - that I am using for collecting and analysing data from multiple Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts.

    I have built it for my personal use but I believe that this could be useful for other people as well. Few people per month are able to find it but they do not do to much because there is no guidance how to start.

    If you have multiple websites that you want to keep track of you can give it a try and let me know where you got stuck. :)

  25. 1

    Working on for February: To up my weekly active users of my Chrome Extension Workspace Manager (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/workspace-manager/cpfchfkodgnkhfmndmmkecbihmdahpia) to 1k and to collect direct feedback from users.

    My Extension allows saving tabs as 'workspaces' so it is easier to organize and return to in the future. Imagine saving a set of tabs for your yearly taxes which you only want once a year for example.

  26. 1

    Aside from working on my two main businesses (a few hours a week atm).

    I'm pushing to get past 50 customers (almost there) and adding a ton of new features for Sjabloon.

    Also some outreach for project 2/4, 3/4 and 4/4 (latter two to be build yet).

    Also launching project 3/4 and project 4/4 of my 4 weeks/4 projects-project. The idea is to show how it easy and quick it is to build successful web products with Sjabloon, while at the same time gaining new insights and ideas to add to it. :)

    Project 1: www.doship.today

    Project 2: www.faruno.co

    Project 3: About teams and third-party tools

    Project 4: Service for 1:1 dev help

  27. 1

    swissdevjobs.ch - A job board with Software Developer jobs in Switzerland.

    The cool stuff:

    1. A map with the hiring companies and job postings

    2. Salary brackets and all essential info like: technologies, required languages, responsibilities and perks

    I would love to hear your feedback to make it even better :)

  28. 1

    This month we are focusing on extending the array of our services by providing Design + Code using Elementor for WordPress for Draftss (http://draftss.com)

    On the feedback we are trying to include App UI/UX & Dashboard UI/UX feedback in the list of services for GetFeedback (http://draftss.com/getfeedback)

  29. 1

    My wife and I are working on Foodie Advice. She is making researches and filling content and I am working on following features.

    • Implementation for custom avatars like IH.

    • Research and implementation for E-mail marketing. For sending users weekly or monthly emails to keep users updated about latest added content.

    • SEO Improvements.

    • Website speed improvements.

    • Creating new pages like top 10 best foods in the world.

  30. 1

    Completely re-writing one of my plugins https://jem-products.com/woocommerce-export-orders-pro-plugin/

    A competitor recently came in and is kicking my butt :(

  31. 1

    I'm working on growing www.Feastflow.com which delivers handcrafted freelance leads for fullstack developers. We are launching a v2 very soon that will expand our leads to include Frontend and Design clients so we are very excited.

    We are also planning to raise the prices because currently if a subscriber lands a single job with us it pays for the subscription for 7 years. So I think we might be undervaluing ourselves.

  32. 1

    I making a tool for publishers to discover new books to translate.

    https://www.indiehackers.com/product/izdamknigu

    This month my goal is to get from POC I currently have to MVP and to the first paying customer.

  33. 1

    I'm working on https://www.joinapricot.com, a service to collect daily feedback from employees.

    This month I am working on improving survey's analytics by adding metrics (such as engagement, satisfaction, ...) and automatically generating action items based on them.

  34. 1

    I'm working on https://pidro.online , an iOS/Android card game (currently $1100 MRR) and https://wearebold.af , a snappy video cms. Fun times!!! :D

    1. 2

      It would be really cool if the area when page changes its background would really match those letters instead of just rectangle.

      1. 1

        Hah, that would be really cool, yes! I will think about it! 👍 I even played around with some neon effects and stuff, but then discarded it and instead use the time on the system itself and not the domain placeholder. 😀

        1. 1

          @marcelfahle: This is also my thinking that it is most likely not woth the effort to update placeholder. :)

  35. 1

    I'm moving to 20 hrs/wk in my day job and am very excited to use this freed up time to speak with more potential customers for techjobsforgood.com. I made my first sale last month, so I would like to get revenue up to $500, which I think is fairly modest.

  36. 1

    I'll be focusing on three things for https://fab.fitness in February:

    • Releasing v2 where we've overhauled the entire experience from the ground up

    • filming 15 new classes

    • refocusing efforts on engaging with unconverted customers and begin some new marketing work

  37. 1

    I am taking in a new client this month for a web application/site project/existing project, for freelance work. My portfolio can be found here : http://www.mrassili.com

    If interested email me (check my profile) and let's talk

  38. 1

    I'll be working on www.issachallenge.fun where we give you a new challenge you can incorporate into your day.

  39. 1

    Going to try doing some basic content marketing for https://frequently.io

    I haven't done this for a SaaS project before so I'd love any suggestions!

    1. 4

      After having done some of this for browserless.io, I'll say the following:

      • Definitely be truthful about what you're blogging about. I think a lot of times folks get a little hasty in writing content that converts to sales (important), but good honest content will pay back in terms of SEO and direct traffic -- this pays out much more in the long run but takes time and patience.

      • Write content that does target an audience that's a potential customer. Where are folks in their journey when they ideally would find your product? Write content that meets them there.

      • Don't write for the sake of writing, write when something needs to be written. It's pretty obvious when content-marketing is purely that, and often times writing just to write becomes that, so only write when the creative ideas are there. Otherwise it'll get lost in the sea of other marketing pieces.

      Hope that's somewhat helpful, and I'd love to hear how it goes!

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        Thank you for the great feedback! I'll definitely keep this in mind.

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    Awesome work @csallen and @channingallen! I really dig the new IG stories as they feel very human.

    I'm working on Cronhub. I have a couple of goals I want to accomplish in February.

    • Monitor tagging. This will make it easy to group monitors by tags.

    • I want to improve the monitor overview page and display more useful cron related data.

    • I finally want to start doing sales. I'm new to sales but still excited to give it a try and see how it works for Cronhub.

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    Working at integrating the payment gateway to Gimbalst because it's time to do so.

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    I work on a e-commerce platform for the last couple of month. I wanted to launch my product on Monday for beta users (for free and without limiting who can sign up), but due to beta user feedback, I changed plans. I'll keep iterating with invited beta users, twist it, and add more selected beta users before launching it. Then, I'll launch with a paid plan, instead of a free one. Let's see how that turns out.

    So, getting the product ready to provide enough goodness for paid plans will be my number one goal for this short month.

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    For propertyments.com I'm finally building video content (tutorials, walkthroughs, etc..) I sat in on a few of my competitors webinars and found them super helpful to understand their product better. I think I can do the same for mine to hopefully ease the concern of onboarding a new platform. Writing scripts as we speak!

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    Hello,

    thanks Channing and Courtland for this post!

    I'm working on rebranding my SaaS development kit.

    First of all, I redesign everything and it was not easy because I'm not a designer at all! I'm rebranding from www.saasidea.io to www.caravelkit.io

    Secondly, I decided to move to AWS platform and I should admit it's sooo hard to use it! I will probably write an article about my experience.

    Then I create the whole infrastructure of apps and it was hard too because there are currently 6 apps (not including the github version) and it's still a little bit messy haha :)

    Finally, I keep creating and sending new emails with ideas of SaaS apps! I've sent already 13 emails, you can subscribe here https://www.caravelkit.com/saasideaweekly if you are interested.

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    I am integrating text-to-speech for my quotes management application livekuotes.com. It should be up in a week. You will be able to just click and hear the quote you added. I want to also see if this drives some unknown market as well.

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    Can't believe it's already February!

    I'm working on two projects this month:

    PostPerk is my main project - we help ecommerce brands partner up with similar brands to reach more customers.

    We had a great January and are ramping up sales in Feb!

    ---

    The Social Proof Handbook is a course I'm putting together to help companies boost their sales with social proof optimisation.

    I didn't do enough actual writing this month, but have 3 case study video interviews I now need to edit, and have put together over $1000 worth of exclusive discounts on tools for people who buy the course. I need to work more on audience building to make sure I don't launch to crickets.

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      BTW, Link is broken

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        Good catch, thanks!

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      Cool two projects. How do you balance working on both? Are you working on them full-time? I also work on a product, and next to it build an info product as well. As it's only as a side hustle, I find it difficult to work on both simultaneously.

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        Thanks!

        I talk about it a bit in a blog post on my goals for 2019.

        I'm working on PostPerk full time, and the handbook on the side. I have quantified goals I set for PostPerk (and the handbook) each day, and don't work on the handbook until I've achieved my PostPerk goals...

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          Thanks. Interesting read.

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    I'm starting back on my programming video tutorials (screencasts), after having launched a full new site for it at the end of last month.

    https://www.programmingtil.com/

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      I'd really be interested to hearing your feedback on how that all goes. I'm thinking about doing some screencasts myself, but the process is intimidating.

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    February is the month of content creation, PR and marketing for 2 of my ongoing projects. Fun!

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      How will you go about it? Blogging, advertising or other means?

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    Right now, mostly of the time is learning how to be a better person. The time that I've left is creating a filter of data that I'm working on for my platform @stokednomads. Is growing naturally quite OK. But, have learnt some ways this days to improve much more my SEO.

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      It's very interesting for me:

      How do you approach learning to be a better person?

      On the product:

      I didn't understand if there any people at my location at all. Could I narrow down the context to locations around me?

      However, It feels that I'm not at your TA.

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        Hi Dmitry!

        Well, first trying to not compare myself to others and more to myself. Trying to be a little better today than yesterday. Also improving my daily exercise doing sports and learning. Started to program a year ago after y broke my leg and left the job (now in love with python, databases, leaflet, OpenStreetMap,...) . I've being working as a horsehoer for 9 years and also as a blacksmith forging knives, axes, sculptures,... I've realized the importance to enjoy fully the opportunity to be alive so my goal never stops. Love the idea to complete freedom of movement to experience everything what I can. That's why I started to learn to code and started developing ideas. Creation, one solo man and minimalism its what inspires me. Have seen that is possible after building some tools for eco-agriculture projects in Spain and creating an e-commerce. The only thing is that still needed a workshop. So, I've got to go deeply in programming and create a 100% virtual product.

        Stoked Nomads:

        is launched since end of November. This are extreme sport lovers and yogis. Mostly searching for jobs, but there are digital nomads, travelers, writers,... I geolocate the users and from their activities they get notifications about jobs, trips, courses (in the future products also) from other users posts. All is geolocated and they also get notifications if other users are nearby (150 km). Right now I'm trying to restructure the web adding info about spots, camps, centers from all the world send by people and as public content for non registered users.

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    I'm continuing to build out the new platform for Frontend Mentor. I'm aiming to launch the beta version by the end of the month.

    Users will be able to sign up and submit solutions on the platform for feedback by the community.

    So I'd say my biggest goal is the get the beta launched 🚀

    Hope everyone has a great month!

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      Looks amazing. Is there any way I can give a brief / project and offer a monetary reward to a "winner". I have a few projects that really need some creative ideas. Would love to see if you have some people who could tackle these issues in a competitive fashion.

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        Thanks Andrew! Not yet, but that's definitely a route I'm going to be looking to validate as a potential business model.

        Would you mind if I sent you an email? It would be great to talk further about this.

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          Would love to email: [email protected]

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      Looks cool, I could definitely up my front end design chops, I signed up for the email list and will keep it in mind for later

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        Great! I hope you find the challenges useful in the future.

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      I like your landing page design! And I think it's a neat take at the coder education market. Good luck!

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        Thanks Chris! I managed to rope a friend in to do the overall website design. He did a great job!

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      Your site looks nice! I'm a big fan of mentorship things, so will be excited to see how yours goes.

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        Thanks David!

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    I'm working on getting my little whimsical bookmarking tool launched https://getfavor.it. I just moved to a new city and the search for housing has been all consuming, so much so that I've essentially lost the entire month of January (important lesson learned), so I'm really hoping to be able to focus on actual development this month.

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      Nice work! I think it's better to do launching type work when you're not distracted since there's a lot of manual tasks that can go by the wayside. Once you're in a good spot launching your site will be a lot easier.

      Best of luck on your launch!

  52. 1

    I'm working on growing Page Flows, it's been almost a year since getting my first paying customers for it and it's chugging along nicely - version 2 is on PH today (https://www.producthunt.com/posts/page-flows-2-0)

    I'm also exploring some other ideas - while Page Flows is going well, I can't think of a way to grow it into something bigger - although I'll continue to try by speaking with users and looking for adjacent areas I can help in.

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      Congrats on the anniversary and the growth! Have you thought about casting a wider-net (more than just landing pages?). Seems like there's an opportunity for things like sign-up pages and more. As much as landing pages are important, so are the conversion pages! I'm sure you've probably thought of this, but thought I'd throw it out there as a point of feedback :)

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        Interesting - that's essentially the point of Page Flows - it's full user flow videos of full flows like onboarding or inviting friends. Plus screenshots and the emails sent during the flows. What gave you the impression it was just landing pages? I obviously need to make it more clear it's not!

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          I (honestly) just took a quick look at your Product Hunt page, and for some reason "landing page" stuck in my head (could be my sub-conscious).

          I know monetizing a mailing list is a tough thing to do sometimes. Do you actively tweet or post things on social media? Seems like leveraging existing networks out there to broaden your network effects might come in handy!

  53. 1

    I'm working on launching quarterly plans for https://www.checkbot.io/, my Chrome extension that checks 100s of pages in a click for SEO, speed and security issues. 😄

    I have some work to do setting up the payment plans, subscription activation code and updating the pricing section. I only have annual plans at the moment. Quarterly plans should give some interesting conversion data to look over later.

    @jpusateri Sounds interesting, do you have a link for more about your project?

    1. 2

      Holy moly your addon is great man ! I gave it a try and can see that it would help greatly in some cases, also the speed is quite impressive. Best of luck for your quaterly plans setup 👍

      1. 1

        I gave it a try and can see that it would help greatly in some cases, also the speed is quite impressive

        Thanks, optimising is fun. 😄Part of the lure as well is it beats waiting for days to for Google Search Console to let you know a problem has been live for a while.

    2. 1

      yup, thanks for asking too, updated the above item.

      AutomatedApi.com

      I've got some major updates to do in the coming week or so to reorient toward selling now instead of signing up for future notifications. Figure I can just treat early adopters like kings and queens instead of streamlining the whole pipeline up front.

      Could save me 1k hours of up front time and cost in exchange for a better project in the end.

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      That's kinda cool.

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