Growth October 30, 2020

Where were you this time last year?

Rosie Sherry @rosiesherry

Sometimes to see growth you have to picture yourself at a point in time and compare the results to today.

How are you doing today compared to a year ago?

  1. 9

    For Rosieland I started by newsletter around September 2019:

    • it took me six months to get to 100 subscribers
    • I now have 1250 free ones and 111 paid.
    • I'm due to move away from Substack shortly, I've opted to go for a more community and custom built approach.

    Other stuff:

    • I've roughly added 5k Twitter followers
    • I've started to lose track of the number of podcasts and talks I've done
    • I still (co)own Ministry of Testing, but am pleased to not be really spending any time on it
    • very much feel more in my element these days

    And of course, I'm still here doing my Indie Hackers thing:

    • Activity has roughly tripled in the past year
    • I've doubled the Twitter following
    • Community groups were fairly new at this time last year, I was busy managing a few of them, now there are many more run by indie hackers.
    1. 1

      It's been really inspiring seeing you help grow this IH community while also chasing your own personal projects with Rosieland. 👏

  2. 4

    One year ago, I was still a student, finishing my masters, freaking out because I didn't know what to do with my life...
    A year later, things have been crazy, but I managed to get a few freelancing gigs and I'm launching my first product on Gumroad soon ! 🙌

    1. 2

      Thanks for choosing Gumroad!

      1. 1

        Your 14DayProduct challenge was the reason I even considered launching something, so thank you ! :)

    2. 1

      I still don't know what I am doing, keep up the positivity and creativity, and have fun :)

      1. 1

        Thanks ! Feels nice to see that I'm not only lost soul out here haha

  3. 3

    I love this kind of questions, it makes me reflect on my journey.

    This time last year I didn’t use Twitter, no project of my own, didn’t know about Indie Hackers, had no idea what to produce and lack of motivation.

    Now I’m being an indie hacker crating my own project and definitely enjoy the journey.

  4. 3

    One year ago:

    • Joined the Indie Hackers Vancouver Meetup.
    • I had recorded nine podcast episodes with @thdaraujo for the hexdevs podcast. We have almost twenty published episodes so far. A new one coming next week :)
    • Mostly focused on my first full time job as a Software Developer in a local company.
    • Co-organized the first Rails Girls Workshop in Vancouver, BC.
  5. 3

    Whoa, this is a great question, Rosie!!

    I was wrapping up a novel-writing class, getting ready to write a book proposal to submit to a book publisher. I was nervous, unsure if I could write a book, but I desperately wanted to do it.

    Today, I've self-published two eBooks, which have sold more than 1,000 copies. I've since started a service and product business geared toward developers (I launched my first service program this month). I'm so glad I took the leap. :)

    1. 1

      congrats! I've heard great feedback about your work :)

  6. 2


    • Fulltime job
    • ~150 Twitter followers (I was innactive)


    • Fulltime job
    • 620 Twitter Followers
    • Shared personal stories ‪(I was really afraid of doing it)‬
    • Took care of IH Twitter account for 2 weeks ♥️
    1. 1

      That's great Twitter growth! If I get 20 in a year I'm happy haha

      1. 1

        Thanks. The more important to me is to have some good conversations on Twitter

  7. 2

    For Divjoy I had just recent launched on Hacker News (it went well) and after that initial traffic spike was seeing around 300 people hit the site a day and 50 people export codebases (wasn't yet charging). It essentially just gave you a landing page with Firebase auth integration. A few months later I added a paywall and started seeing $500/month revenue.

    Now I'm seeing $5k/month on average and the product gives you a full SaaS app. Auth, database, Stripe payments, Bulma and Bootstrap UI kits, and lots of small integration details that are annoying to build yourself. My traffic is about half of what it was a year ago, but I've double the price and the conversion rate is significantly better.

    1. 2

      Nice. This is similar to railsbytes for react.

  8. 1

    Planet Earth. It was quite nice actually. Good food, lovely people. 10/10 recommend.

  9. 1

    Last year - $0 MRR.
    This year - $4K+ MRR.

  10. 1

    Last year, I was sitting comfortably at my day job and daydreaming about becoming a Indie Devleoper.

    Now, I have released two apps on the App Store, got my first paying customer (out of only two till now) and working on two more apps. All on the weekends.

    Most importantly, I've learned that building a great app is only a part (maybe a small part) of the Indie journey and starting to focus more on building audience now.

    Also, I have got back to writing and published around one article per month on Medium. Now I'm looking to improve that to a biweekly cycle.

    1. 1

      You're a rockstar dude

      1. 2

        Thanks for the encouraging words!

        But I've barely scratched the surface! There's a long way to go...

  11. 1

    A student and a full-time software engineer. These days was both fun and challenging, I had to shut down my first startup like 2 weeks before that. I got promoted to tech lead 2 months later, but now I quit and start working for myself.

  12. 1

    I was very optimistic. I'd just finished 30x500 and done a first "launch" in August and made far more money from Alchemist Camp than I had previously. I was planning my first Black Friday promotion and was feeling very optimistic. I was enthusiastically listening to TechZing's entire podcast archive.

    Now, I'm in a better spot but have less optimism:

    • The screen business has grown by about 60%
    • I've launched a 2nd product (in alpha, aiming to get it to beta by Black Friday)
    • I'm doing a podcast with Justin from TechZing.
    • I've broadened my technical skills into Rust and WASM

    My skill in both the material I teach and in teaching it have grown a bit but growth has slowed. I may be suffering from the small size of the niche and the large number of cheaper competitors. I don't think it will get me the MRR high enough for me to my own angel investor for the startup I dream of restarting.

    In terms of next steps, I'm continuing the screencasting work and deciding what to add to it. I'm considering two options:

    1. Making one-off courses for another, less niche topic I can teach
    2. Building a SaaS, ideally one with more technical than market challenge
  13. 1

    One year ago, I was recovering from my business failure (linked) and went for a singlehanded (solo) sail around Long Island on my Pearson 26'. It took me eight days to go from Brooklyn around the Atlantic side of Long Island, around Montauk, and into Sag Harbor. It saved me.

  14. 1

    One year ago, I was struggling to make ends meet. My daughter was 1.5 years and she demanded a lot of attention, balancing work and life was so difficult that I thought of giving up everything even though my partner supported me a lot.

    Then I found a really good job with awesome team mates and such relaxed environment that I've started slowly pursuing my passions again and currently learning app development. Relation between me, my partner and daughter has improved drastically and I'm more happy than I was a year ago :)

  15. 1

    Thanks for the question, Rosie - made me reflect and realize how far I've come.
    Last year in November I was annoyed by a side project that i worked for many months without creating a single Cent.

    In December I thought about what to do next. I started 2 new projects in January, both of which recently crossed €10k in revenue and are around 800€ MRR. Further than I ever though I'd come this year.

    Excited about 2021

  16. 1

    I was just starting the last job, as a programming mentor.

  17. 1

    I had just quit my job in October 2019. Took some time to recoup from the burnout I experienced from my job. I was also thinking of ways to solve the gender inequity in tech.

    Today I’ve recorded 20 episodes with amazing women in STEM for Women Decode STEM, started a newsletter and community :)

  18. 1

    I actually just saw a memory from a year ago where I hit 200 paid subscribers in Happyfeed

    Today it's at 366 active subscribers, so it definitely feels like good progress 😄

  19. 1


    • Made my first dollar with our first product, Theme Scheduler Pro.
    • Started building our second product, to help address the larger problem around running promotions & scheduling content.
    • Trasitioned newclick from "fun" side project to "commited" side project.

    For me

    • Wife and I announced we're having our first baby girl.
    • Embraced sobriety, exercise and mental health (getting better, but still working on this)
    • Getting ready to move from our apartment in DTLA to nice house in Pasadena, CA.
  20. 1

    Thanks for this prompt, Rosie, it was almost therapeutic to stop and see how far I have come!

    Last year (around Q3 2019):

    • Mostly focused on my full-time job, I had recently became tech lead for a growing team at my company
    • Had just joined Twitter to start "dabbling" in building in public
    • Met @csallen at a Seattle IH meetup, and we actually all play-tested an early prototype of one of my games from


    • I recently switched to a part-time role at my day job, to give myself more time to launch my side projects (I was also briefly a dev manager for a few months)
    • Around 250 followers on Twitter (many came after I helped give a lot of CS career advice on Reddit)
    • I got over 300 beta sign-ups for my first beta game for (Beta launch was in April 2020)
    • I am really close to officially launching that first game, aiming to have it out in early November!
    • Started a curated newsletter that surfaces inspiring content for indie founders, Small Tech Business
    • Most importantly, learned a lot about mental health. I even started seeing a therapist to help me improve my stress levels and also help grow the important relationships in my life.
  21. 1
    • I stopped working over a year ago. It feels recent.
    • I went on some memorable trips.
    • Moved to a home closer to my kids' school
    • Started a side project about Offices... that I abandoned when people stopped working in offices.
    • Consulted for a bit.

    Overall, I'm doing much better than a year ago. I don't really enjoy the remote-schooling nonsense of the pandemic (hard to tinker with ideas while you are trying to get kids on Zoom), but I like the freedom I otherwise have with how I spend my time.

  22. 1

    Well, since you ask, last year at this time I was at the conference in Bucharest, How To Web. Heck, the date was 30.10.19. I wasn't really in the product making back then. Went to support my two colleagues who were giving a speech there.

    I had a chance to meet and listen some "big names", like April Dunford and Bob Moesta. Even had a 1-1 chat with Bob.

    At that time I find out that my idea won at the internal company challenge for innovations and I've been granted with 3 months of budget to work on it.

    This is where my journey started, converting from guy who develops into a guy who thinks about products. From Jan till Jun 2020 I had a chance to work on that product and get into all the story related to making a product from the scratch.

    Later that year I started selling info products on Gumroad and started doing even podcast in August. So, if I take a look back, a lot of things changed. I've changed.

    1. 1

      And where you are now is an improvement to that? 🤓

  23. 1

    Last year I was doing remote job & freelancing.

    This year

    • Incorporated in UK called Inoryum Ltd
    • Build two ghost themes one is open source
    • Building a ghost blog managed platform
    • Validating new idea with a US company (b2b) for a new join venture
    • Paused Freelancing
    • Remote job Continues
  24. 1

    Exactly one year ago I started working on my product.

    I got zero followers
    No idea what is solo founders, acquisition channels, HN, IH, PH etc.

    Year results:

    • PH launch got #1 place
    • Started writing a book
    • Got many friends
    • Engaged in few communities
  25. 1

    I was actually working on another product called Yoloplan ( which was a tool for researching and organising your trips. And then, of course, Covid happened. Bummer.

  26. 1

    I was in a hostel room by myself as I had started studying for Post-Graduation. I was wondering about what to do with my dream of building an agency which seemed to me to be fading away.

    Lockdown made me realise a lot of things. Self-realisation kicked in, reconfigured everything and made a pivot which was much needed.

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