Pressto

Learn journalism skills while building a newspaper.

Under 10 Employees
Founders Don't Code
Solo Founder
Education
SaaS
Writing

We are building the new generation of journalists. While I was working at Brooklyn Mag I tried to volunteer at student newspapers in NYC and learned that many closed. This was my inspiration for creating Pressto.

November 26, 2020 Launched!

The closed beta launched today. Lots of work and gratitude for so many people that gave encouragement along the way! The most important thing that I learned was to (1) discuss specs (2) write them down , and (3) pick a deadline. And when obstacles occurred, we reduced the specs, but we made the deadline. I couldn't be more proud of the team or happier with the result. None of this would have happened (nor the idea itself) without the inspiration from the community here at IndieHackers.

November 20, 2020 Enthusiasm off-the-charts

Major excitement for MVP to launch.

Most improved primary metric?
Huge excitement and soft endorsement from star journalist. Developers working well together and making progress: API fits nicely into front end. Had fun making paper prototypes with my kids. Encouraging call with educational non-profit. Organic signups keep rolling in with minimal effort.

Biggest obstacle?
Managing time. A/B testing marketing messages. Announcement strategy?

November 15, 2020 Prototype kicks ass

I was able to condense the MVP requirements down to something feasible and quick. We have an MVP that will launch before Thanksgiving and have a waiting list, so we'll have user feedback immediately. Also have had some very encouraging calls with advisors and potential enterprise customers.

October 31, 2020 Draft of Deck

I've spent so much time working on the product / interviewing customers / learning tools like Figma and pull all-nighters to work on prototype / building landing pages with MailChimp / A/B testing FB ads, twitter ads (broken) and google ads (totally useless).... Finally got back to my 4-month old deck to make some changes! One problem - with my core group of friends & fam, they think it is universally terrible.

October 23, 2020 Five organic signups

I launched three landing pages with MailChimp, and I've used a combination of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Google Ads to promote the three. So far, I've spent less than $100 total, and I think all of the signups have come from Facebook. I haven't been able to connect FB and MailChimp, but I can move them manually, for now. Soon I will probably use another CRM.

October 20, 2020 Launched Landing Pages

I used MailChimp and created three landing pages. I am A/B testing them each with Facebook/Instagram Ads, Twitter Ads and Google Ads. So far I have five organic customers, and I'm keeping it still super stealth. I have spent less than $100, and it seems like all of the customers are coming from Facebook.

September 20, 2020 Published failure letter

I ran a business that accomplished great things due to the tremendous work of a huge number of people. It was acquired and then ran into financial trouble. When a business like that fails, a lot of people get hurt. I had a difficult time separating my personal identity from my professional identity. I also loved the business and the people. I held on for too long, and after a long time keeping this all inside, I published my failure letter here.

https://danielstedman.medium.com/seven-lessons-from-my-failure-16177ad39d3b

May 24, 2020 Wrote Business Plan

I used a simple FormSwift template and pull all of my ideas into the business plan. Very simple goals, which, if achieved, could be scalable. Hope to test this in Beta with three customers and then bring to-market. Intend to keep pricing as low as possible, like $10/month.

We are building the new generation of journalists. While I was working at Brooklyn Mag I tried to volunteer at student newspapers in NYC and learned that many closed. This was my inspiration for creating Pressto.