December 3, 2019

Trennd was acquired!!

Josh Howarth @jhowarth15

UPDATE: This is the full story written up:

Hey guys,

Trennd was acquired by Brian Dean of Backlinko!!

It’s so crazy… And it’s thanks to you fellow Indie Hackers showing me that it’s possible to build stuff without funding/team and slowly grow an audience around it.


I hadn’t monetized yet and I was incredibly lucky with how things worked out.


But when I started reading Indie Hackers two years ago, I never thought this would be possible.

I’m writing up the whole story (including acquisition details) which I will post later today.

We’ve got a fresh new look, name and focus now too - Exploding Topics (much easier to remember and easy to spell.) 💃

And we’re launching on Product Hunt today. Both Brian and I will be there replying to comments all day! 🤗



  1. 5
  2. 4

    Nice, well done, Josh.

    I've always been a huge fan of Brian and his content. Great guy, and always pumps out actionable content.

    Looking forward to your acquisition post later today!

    PS: Rand Fishkin just tweeted about it, that's a "you made it" in my book! ->

    1. 1

      Thanks Frank! Yeah - it's fantastic he tweeted us, Rand is huge!! 😛

  3. 3

    Product looks great, refined, and quality. I'm disappointed you let it go as soon as it started getting traction for so cheap, but I'm sure you've considered the strategy behind your decision.

    I understand the idea behind "niche-ing" down - to try and get as much market share as possible within a domain you can compete in and then scale from there, but I am skeptical of the "professional bloggers" attack strategy.

    I am 100% in agreement with you about,
    "The problem is there are so many different potential customers: indie makers like me looking for their next project idea, investors looking for a company stock pick, affiliates seeking the next hot product or people just seeking to feed their curiosity."

    I think that is the right direction 100%.

    Philosophically, I think a large part of your success is like what Peter levels was saying, once you become big like Brian or he is, you become jaded, and your judgement isn't as great or focused as an up and coming entrepreneur who has to make it or break it in Japan. So trust your instincts!

    1. 1

      I think it's a win-win for both me and Brian :)

      Glad you agree on niching down, we'll see how pro bloggers respond and we can always pivot to another customer segment.

      And absolutely have to trust your instincts and see what people respond to :)

  4. 3


    Will you be staying on long term?

    1. 3

      Thanks man!!

      Yeah I'm going to be staying on as a co-founder and consultant. I still have a revenue stake which is awesome! 😊

    2. 1

      I am interested to hear the answer to this too. Will you stay on and still do product development or consulting? Or is this a 'walk away' acquisition?

  5. 2

    Woohoo - currently number 1 on PH nice job! I love the name... it reminds me of the game Exploding Kittens and everyone loves exploding kittens.

    1. 1

      Ahah that's true - exploding kittens rocks! Hopefully we live up to the name/adjective too :)

      And yeah 💃 #1 for the moment... hoping we can hold onto that lead!

  6. 2

    I like the fresh look/name. Congrats!

    1. 1

      Thank you Rosie!! 😄

  7. 1

    Congratulations! Right now am working on and will be very grateful to get your feedback on the idea and the landing page. Thank you

  8. 1

    Awesome new Josh 🤗
    What you going to do next?

  9. 1

    Well done man! Love it and just upvoted it on PH

    1. 1

      Thank you! :D

  10. 1

    Congrats, Josh. Really pleased for you!

    1. 1

      Thank you Matt! 😄

  11. 1

    Fantastic stuff Josh. Very inspirational

    1. 1

      Thank you!

  12. 1

    Congrats Josh!

    1. 1

      Cheers John!

  13. 1

    Congratulations Josh! I saw this on PH and thought it was an awesome tool. Well done. :)

    1. 1

      It seems I have congratulated you twice. Well, you deserve it three times over. :)

      1. 1

        Hahaha :D Much appreciated! 🙌🙌

  14. 1

    I saw this on Product Hunt this morning and loved it. Great job, and congratulations on the sale!

    1. 1

      Glad you liked it Sam! :)

  15. 1

    Awesome story bro! In less than 2 minutes I've seen you in 3 places: my mailbox (Brian Dean newsletter), Product Hunt and here. You're killing it! Congrats 🔥

    1. 1

      Hahaha, yeah we hit everywhere up at the same time 😁

  16. 1

    Awesome write up, thanks for sharing - and congrats 🎉!

    1. 1

      Thanks Zayne 🙌

  17. 1

    wow, congrats! Pieter was just telling me about this recently.

    I think we are all interested in how much you got for it 😀

    1. 1

      Thank you Pete! 😁

  18. 1


    1. 1

      Thanks Johan!

  19. 1

    Fantastic. Just read the medium post, thanks for being so open about the whole process and best of luck going forward!

    1. 1

      Really glad you liked it Tomas! 👍👍

  20. 1

    Oh awesome. Really chuffed for you man. Big congrats

    1. 1

      Cheers Harry

  21. 1

    Wow - huge - congrats!!

    1. 1

      Thanks Pat!

  22. 1

    LOL I wish you put a disclaimer at the top saying "I'm not telling you how much I sold it for" - Woulda saved me 10 mins :-)

    1. 1

      Haha! Sorry about that ;)

  23. 1

    I gotta say...looking at what you have build here I realised thats the exact reason why I wanna learn how to create something useful in a relatively short amount of time. Thanks...gave me some motivation to keep learning JS.

    1. 1

      Yeah keep it up man!

  24. 1

    This is absolutely fantastic to hear! Congrats!

    1. 1

      Thank you! :)

  25. 1

    Nice one! Congratz! :) Did he take over the product or are you working on it together?

    Haven't talked to Brian in a while but it seems he's venturing out of the SEO space. Pretty cool :)

    1. 1

      nevermind, just saw that the question has been answered already. anyway, good luck! Brian is a smart guy and I am sure you guys will build something huge together!

      1. 1

        Thank you Sebastian! Yeah Brian really knows his stuff - so it's awesome to be working with him on it.

  26. 1

    Congratulations pal :)

    1. 1

      Thanks man! :D

  27. 1

    Well done thats great, were you activity looking to sell or did it come out of the blue?

    1. 1

      Thank you :)

      It came out of the blue - super lucky!

  28. 1

    Congrats ! Can't wait to read your article :D

    1. 1

      Thanks Max! 😊

  29. 1

    Fantastic news. Congrats. Product looks great.

    Did I see your ads in unreadit? Looks familiar.

    1. 1

      Thank you!

      And yeah, we did an ad swap back in September 😁

  30. 1

    This comment was deleted 7 months ago.

    1. 1

      Cheers Luke!

  31. 1

    This comment was deleted 9 months ago.

  32. 1

    This comment was deleted 4 months ago.

    1. 1

      Appreciate it! :)

      1. 1

        This comment was deleted 4 months ago.

        1. 1

          Cheers Alex - appreciate it! 🙌 Yeah it's kinda the secret sauce, but we do use Google trends data for the charts 😜

Today's Top Milestones
  • Reached $1000 on Plant My Forest
    We just plant more than 333 trees ! with 28 customers :) ---- Plant My Forest, a place where you plant a forest, for real! 🌳 Plant trees to stop clim
  • Same names. New look.
    Product Names looks different!? For those following the project, I recently updated the color scheme and logo. I wanted more simplicity in the design
  • Interview on Indie Hackers
    We did a text interview with Indie Hackers today! We talked about how we got started, what our journey has been like, and our goals for the future, as
  • 2nd Birthday & Launched New SaaS Boilerplate
    I'm super excited to be celebrating Gravity's second birthday today with the launch of v6. I launched Gravity as a side-project two years ago today ri
  • Released version 1.2
    For various reasons, I neglected Estipad for well over a year. I’m very excited to announce v1.2, which includes many improvements. They’re mainly foc
  • Best Booking Forms Templates For your Business
    Booking forms are one of the most resourceful forms you can have on your business. They are practical and can collect any essential information you ne
  • Beta-launched
    I have launched the Beta version of KitDB ( with its bare minimal functions. I hope to complete building the database within the ne
  • 200K podcast downloads in 5 months
    This morning I checked my analytics and saw that Creative Elements broke 200K downloads! It took a little over four months to break 100K, and then tha
  • 1st paying member of Recoon!
    Yes, we did it, we got the first paying member in Recoon community. Also a small retrospective on our Producthunt launch yesterday. - we went to 10th
  • Launched on No Code Founders
    I launched on No Code Founders in two ways... - Added a startup listing to the site's directory. - [I