September 16, 2020

It All Started as a YouTube Channel

John Saddington @8bit

I got a email notification yesterday that created a flood of emotion as I reflected on how far we've come as a startup over the last 3 years; it also reminded me of how many times I've thought about quitting because the challenges felt too big and too scary — I'm glad I didn't.

3 years ago on September 15, 2017 my brother and I registered a new domain and URL: This would be our new brand and YouTube Channel that would eventually grow fast enough to warrant raising a little bit of venture capital to take advantage of what we thought was "lightning in a bottle".

The #defi and blockchain industry, at the time, was going absolutely bonkers and we were riding a growing wave of enthusiasm (aka "bubble") that would soon pop and effectively annihilate our forward momentum and progress. In short, we had to pivot our focus away from building a media-driven company to a product-centric one.

Since then, we've had another pivot which puts us where we are today but not before raising another, larger round of venture financing. The bar (and pressure), as they say, has continued to rise ever since.

I was an entirely different person three years ago, someone that I can barely recognize now. I had no idea, at the time, of where we were going to head and the ups and downs and side-to-sides that I'd have to walk through to get to where we are now — many of those moments were heartbreaking but I was married to our mission to help early-stage projects, like ourselves, survive.

I had discovered, through the long and meandering path, YEN's reason for existing and I am more excited about building a future where more startups survive because of our technology.

And to think that it all started with a $44.00 purchase and a free YouTube channel! Onwards and upwards.

  1. 2

    I loved this post and have enjoyed reading about your journey. Your line "I was an entirely different person three years ago, someone that I can barely recognize now" totally resonates with me. I've been an "indie hacker" for 4 years now, and was a completely different person when I started. I think that's what's so gratifying about this path – the personal transformation and growth. (But I guess that's also what makes it hard.)

    1. 1

      good seeing and hearing from you steven! really fortunate to have gotten to know you... and you've seen some pretty crazy changes, even this year!

      let's keep going.

      1. 2


        1. 1

          i mentioned you today:

          1. 2

            Cool 🙂 New hairstyle? Looks different from when I last saw it.

            1. 1

              just kept growing it out. it's a fucking mess!

              1. 2

                Looks great to me. Mine's finally starting to thin and recede with old age (not to mention the stress of 3 kids and the state of the world in general). I'm jealous!

                1. 1

                  lol. male pattern baldness... it's coming.

  2. 2

    Hey John - so awesome to read this today! Wow! 3 yrs ago

    1. 1

      i know, right?

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