October 23, 2019

$5000 MRR - Ramen Profitability

Sabba keynejad @sabba

In just 4 months and 14 days since we have started charging for our product and about 13 months since our online video editor went live, we have hit an important milestone...

WE HAVE HIT RAMEN PROFITABILITY !!!! WOOP

VEED MRR

As of mid October 2019 passed $5000 in monthly recurring revenue, VEED now pays for two full-time founders (myself and Tim) and two part-time developers (Mate and Veljko... Love you guys)

VEED MRR

We have hustled pretty f****** hard to get here and learned a LOT along the way. There were a couple of moments where we thought it was all over, like the time we ran out of money and had to get contract work, or the time when we were kicked out of our office.

Oh and time our first two developers quit working for us on the same day. But through all these drastic highs and lows, we have continued to move forward and grow.

Ramen profitability is a huge milestone and also marks the start of the next big phase of our startup journey. As we are moving towards finding product-market fit and starting to scale our product to thousands of monthly paid users.

I have created a complete breakdown of the journey in a blog post titled "The journey to ramen profitability" If you are an early-stage founder, this might be worth checking out.

Thanks Yall, Sabba

  1. 10

    I like this idea a lot, and your approach.

    Who are your competitors?

    ---

    Some notes on the landing page (maybe you have tried some of these? Would be interested to hear about what you've tried so far):

    ---

    1. Move your example videos above the fold

    "Show don't tell": showing your user the end product is always more valuable than a simple screenshot.

    You already have a great video lower on your page .. I would emphasize this by moving it above the fold.

    1. Instead of "Subtitle videos, edit great content and grow your audience online."

    "Making engaging videos that grow your audience.
    in minutes, not hours"

    I would talk to your users (great for getting testimonials) and see what the key benefits are, and stress those.

    I would guess that learning a new software is a big negative for them.
    I would guess that time is a big issue for them.

    Use words specific to your benefits, i.e. "engaging videos"

    "Engaging videos that get more clicks" might be a good one to test.

    1. Use "TRY IT FREE" instead of "more upload options"

    Again, focus on the main drivers for getting someone to click your CTA.

    1. Move the container with the social proof above the fold

    Social proof above the fold will create more interest

    Outcome: https://imgur.com/a/3PkXy0T
    (I would format the video so that it's larger, but not so large that it crowds the page)

    --

    "Simple, Yet Powerful Tools

    Instead focus on the positive:

    "Simple AND Powerful"

    "Perfect for simple video editing tasks online.
    You dont need an arts degree to use VEED."

    Instead, simplify your text and focus on outcomes. As a user I don't want to "use veed" I want to make amazing videos.

    "Edit your videos online.
    You don't need an arts degree or hours to make amazing videos"

    ---

    1. Add user testimonials -- creatives will be most swayed by emotional appeals

    ---

    1. The feature list is overwhelming for most users. Would cut it down to 8-10 and the "see all of our features" button for users who are looking for specific features

    ---

    1. Instead of "join mailing list" (why would I join?) add another "upload now" or "add it to your calendar for later" type CTA.

    ---

    1. 2

      Wow, lots of great points here. Your approach really reminds me of the "Jobs to be done" framework. I just finished the lean startup and really keep to apply the testing framework with your idea. Thanks again! Sabba

      1. 2

        Yup, I love jobs to be done. Super effective when used correctly, but sometimes people (including me :P) can go overboard with it.

        If you're ever looking for some outside help on product (think you've done a good job so far though, and seems like you really understand the user need), feel free to hit me up.

    2. 2

      You sound like the kind of person I'd want to look at my website for marketing points 🙂.
      Great stuff!

      1. 1

        Thanks!

        I'm intrigued by flookup.

        How is your marketing going? Who are your main users / what kind of users are subscribing to the paid plan?

        1. 1

          I've tried to focus on Twitter and Reddit for my marketing efforts. Twitter has been a total waste of time, if I'm to go by Google analytics stats. I have a few followers (5 to be precise) and some of my tweets have been "seen" by thousands of people but that seems to count for nothing.
          Reddit has had mixed results but the posts have helped me rank well in Google.
          Another good place I advertised Flookup in is Product Hunt... It's by far the best place to attract new users because, once again, my post there ranks highly on Google.
          As you've probably guessed by now, my biggest source of traffic is Google (and Bing).
          I'm really focusing on SEO now... posting on social media networks looks like a waste of time. I'll probably try Facebook but I don't have much hope in that.
          Flookup has had a paid option for 23 days now so I'll only be able to give a solid report at the end of the month.

          1. 1

            For a starting point I would try to make your homepage more similar to the gsuite marketplace -- those screenshots are much more beneficial for users to see vs the current text imo.

            Who would need this product and know that they need it, and be willing to pay for it? Seems like you have a huge user base on gsuite marketplace?

            How do people find you on google?

            1. 1

              People find me on Google by using specific keywords that I rank highly on; that's all down to SEO.

    3. 1

      great feedback - sending you my positive energy

    4. 1

      Wow @sobbuh. A lot of value provided here for all those who need a landing page that converts 🙂.
      Are you a UX designer)?

      1. 1

        Thanks :)

        No, I'm a product manager so I do a little bit of everything.

  2. 3

    I'm not Veed.io user as I don't really do video editing stuff but I'm a huge fan of you guys. Definitely one of the most genuine group of founders/entrepreneurs I've ever read about.

    Really loving your blog posts by the way. Keep it up, Sabba!

    Edit: Oh, and congratulations on reaching this milestone!

    1. 2

      Hey Qabil, Thank is super kind of you to say.

      I think entrepreneurship can be presented in a glossy light, yet the reality is that it is a hard slog. We try to present a mix of both. Also, just checked out One Profile, looks super cool! Let me know if I can help in any way.

      1. 2

        Not at all, you guys are truly inspirational. The story where you guys made money over the weekend after the YC interview email rejection was amazing (the part where you accidentally used Stripe test key in production was really funny too 🤣)

        Yes, I completely agree. I'm at my very early stage at the moment with One Profile and getting users is the most difficult part right now. Reading your stories motivates me and the tips you shared were really useful when implemented.

        Thank you for checking out One Profile! And thank you for offering to help. A shoutout would be great but only if you really like it. If you don't, a feedback would be equally rad. Otherwise, I'm completely fine with nothing. Hoping we could meet up one day!

        Rooting for you guys, always!

  3. 2

    HI @sabba - I like this story and I think it's definitely should be republished at Hackernoon. I'm an editor there and can help you - tell me if you are interested.
    And good luck with your project! Go Go Go!

    1. 1

      Oh WOW, thanks Arthur! I am 100000% interested. How do we take it from here?

      1. 1
        1. you just need to create an account at Hackernoon
        2. create a cool story that the tech community will adore to read
        3. submit it to review
  4. 2

    Well done, Sabba! 😊 And bravo momci! (Mate & Veljko) 🚀💪

  5. 2

    Awesome work you guys!

    Keep hustling and building the momentum.

  6. 1

    I would love to see an update from you! Seems like you have had some awesome growth!

    1. 1

      Just posted on for you now Tyler :)

  7. 1

    Congratulations and thank you for the great post
    I'm launching passportlist.co version one this week. WIll be very grateful for your quick feedback on how to improve it and grow.
    Tnx

  8. 1

    Good job guys and thank you for the insights into your journey. Keep it going!

  9. 1

    Hello Sabba & Tim -

    I read through the linked blog post, and was humbled & inspired by your journey. Congrats on the milestone, and best wishes for the future.

    Can you talk about how you went from 0 to 20K (free) users. Many here would love to learn about your growth tactics.

    Best!

  10. 1

    This is absolutely incredible and I love the article cover photo! Thank you for sharing the whole journey, including all of the downs and lessons learned to get where you are :)

    1. 1

      Hi Danielle, thank you for your kind words. I recently listed to the IH podcast about your product Leave Me Alone. You guys have a really cool story and its super impressive to see how much it has grown in the last month! Since hearing your story, I am super tempted to try nomad life myself too.

      1. 1

        That's awesome! Thank you so much for listening ^_^ - it really has grown a tonne in the last month or so, I hope it keeps growing so we can reach ramen profitability too!

        Nomad life isn't for everyone and doesn't come without it's own challenges, but for me I love it. I have found the perfect balance between work and travel that lets me see the world and still build products I love. I wrote about our journey to remote work and the realities/challenges of nomad life on our Squarecat blog if you're interested in reading more - it's a 3 part series :)

  11. 1

    Congrats @sabba & Tim!

    Would love to reconnect with you guys -- it's been awhile since we last talked 😀

    1. 1

      Yo dude, yeah for sure!

    2. 1

      Hey Travis, I would love to catch up again, hope your well :)

  12. 1

    Do people know they need your service? Who are your competitors?

    1. 1

      Used by Social media marketers and SME's. I think there is a lot of people saying VIDEO in the marketing space, so they are eager to lean. Lots of competitors from adobe to apple and also well funded startups too.

  13. 1

    Your site looks super sleek!

    What template do you use?

    1. 2

      Custom, altho the blog was made by @johnonolan product Ghost. Really incredible platform, we are huge fans.

  14. 1

    First, get your ramen. Next, get your bread! Congrats

    1. 2

      I'm really looking forward to a steak sandwich

      1. 1

        Dream big my friend

  15. 1

    This space is so hot, whoever can create just the right balance of simplicity and useful features is going to make a ton'a chedda' . I dream of automations that create images and video perfect for the platfrom I am uploading to with ease and a professional feel to the media quality.

    1. 1

      Simplicity + Power is something I am always really considered about and something Canva did extremely well.

  16. 1

    Congrats again Sabba, really inspirational stuff, this sort of insight into your journey really does so much to motivate. Best of luck continuing to grow!!

    1. 1

      Thank you so much Simon

  17. 1

    What does Ramen Profitability mean?

  18. 1

    Congratulations guys! I read your article a few days ago about being rejected by Ycombinator.

    Keep the hustle going, these numbers are growing pretty fast :)

    1. 1

      I hope we can keep the growth up. I am spending as much time as I can talking to users and working on growth. We really need to try on growth product too.

  19. 1

    There 's a typo in the following sentence from the Features page "Want to sugest a tool?". It should be "suggest". Congrats on the milestone.

  20. 1

    Massive achievement, well done guys!

  21. 1

    Huge! I remember us first meeting on the very first week you guys started charging back in June. Genuinely awesome to see how far you've come. Great stuff.

    1. 1

      Thanks Harry, great to see marketing example fly too!

  22. 1

    What a cool article Sabba!
    Congrats for this amazing journey, can't wait to read about your next milestone.

    1. 1

      Really pleased you like it, we will keep the updates coming!

  23. 1

    Hi Sabba,

    Many congrats on your achievement.
    May I know the tool that you use for the sales projection. I want to know from which tool the screenshot that you have used on your post was taken from.

    1. 1

      Thank you! This is a screenshot taken from profitwell

  24. 1

    Hey Sabba,

    Congrats on the new milestones for VEED.

    I'm wondering how much does it cost to hire a partime developer as I'm looking to get one.

    1. 1

      Thank you! Interns of hiring developers, it is hard to say. The price of developers changes depending on their experience, experiences what country they are in.

  25. 1

    Great story !
    mind what your tech stack and cloud setup?

    1. 1

      Front end: React, WebGL
      Backend: C++, Docker, OpenGL

      1. 1

        Nice ! What hosting ?

        1. 1

          GCS - The have a good startup program for credits

  26. 1

    Congrats!!!

    What's your plan to scale your product to thousands of users?

    1. 1

      Content marketing is working well for us at the moment. But we are also experimenting with other channels too. For example, we now have a high lifetime value per user, allowing us to experiment with advertising, something we would not consider if we had no MRR. We don't know if it is going to work until we try. I will let you know when we find out :)

  27. 1

    This comment was deleted 8 months ago.

    1. 2

      We have a Trello, we all assign tasks and have catch up calls every other week.

      We have a lot of trust in our team, so we don't look over the shoulders, we just let them get on with it and we don't count hours.

      We don't push deadlines or point fingers, we are all in this together. This has worked well for us and we have an amazing culture that I am really proud of. I might do a blog post on this...

      1. 1

        This comment was deleted 8 months ago.

  28. 1

    This comment was deleted 7 months ago.

    1. 1

      Hey, thank you. Yea, it is strange and totally unexpected. I think making the product more stable over time make a big impact on this too.