This project has grown faster than I could have imagined! I've written a lot about why I think this project has grown so quickly and so successfully before, and I'm currently working on a series of content (some free, some subscriber-only) where I'll deep-dive into specific methods I did to get such fast growth.
But here's the three "big-picture" things that I've learned or done that has helped the project grow the most:
(I wrote about these when I hit $2k, but I think this is some of the better advice I've given, so I'm writing it again!)
It's so easy to focus on an idea that feels like pushing a boulder uphill. Every lead is a battle, and every sale feels like a miracle.
Once you've really nailed a problem space, it feels different. You don't really need to convince people to buy. Instead, a lot of the work is just in figuring out who fits your ideal customer persona. If they do, all you need to do is tell them about it and they'll buy.
I know it's tough to decide when to pivot, when to stay the course, and when to give up entirely. I don't have great advice on how to choose.
But if you've been pushing a boulder uphill for a while now, you should consider finding a new path.
If you're just starting out with a new product, I urge you to build the smallest thing possible that you can get in front of people (this may just be wireframes or a google doc!) and ask for money upfront.
I think pre-sales is a lost art, and I want to bring it back. So many founders build things that people think are "cool", but they don't want to spend money to fix.
By pre-selling $200 of my newsletter before I committed to the idea, I learned who my best-fit customer was and how much they were willing to pay before I even had a product!
I think IndieHackers are a super motivated group of founders. For a lot of people, the biggest risk with starting a side-project is that they won't finish. I don't think that's the case with Indie Hackers.
For IndieHackers, the biggest risk is that you'll build something that people won't pay for.
You can do all the customer validation you want. Get all the positive responses in the world, even have people telling you that your idea is the greatest and they can't wait to pay!.. But unless they are handing you money, you won't know for sure that you're on the right track.
How much MRR do you get per customer? For me, it's $19. That means I need to do just over 500 sales to get to $10k.
That number seems small, until you start thinking about it deeply. If you did one sale per day, which I think is great if you're able to do, it would take nearly two years to hit that goal.
To unlock growth like getting to $2k in a month, it means that I couldn't have just one sale per day. It needed to be three or four per day.
This is where the importance of having reliable channels comes in. A lot of businesses fail not because the idea doesn't solve a pain, but because they can't reach the people it solves a pain for.
You need more leads than you think, so make sure you prove those channels early on.
Happy to answer any questions below!
PS: If you want to check out Software Ideas yourself, head to www.softwareideas.io