December 14, 2019

First. Paying. Customer. BOOYAH!

Jayber Tan @simplisticallysimple

It wasn't easy. I'm not cool like most people here. I'm a huge laggard, but I'm glad to finally join the club.

I started coding my first product around November last year. I took 6 months just to build and release it. Big mistake. And then I quit my job cold turkey to go at it full time. Another big mistake. And then 3 painful months followed when I tried to sell it to my target market relentlessly, I did everything I could and tried everything possible, but I just couldn't close a single damn sale. I guess I'm really not built for B2B, not to mention the pressures of not having any income really got to me as I became more desperate the more savings I burned for what hitherto still was a $0 side project.

I abandoned the product and looked for another job again. The product is still online by the way (https://www.OKDentalPlans.com). Then I went into search mode again to look for my next idea. Decided to scratch my own itch (I'm practically addicted to Twitter), this time I launched my MVP in under a month (https://Zlappo.com). It's basically Buffer on steroids, but Twitter-specific. Started getting users right away, iterated on feedback, and a little under 3 months later, on Friday the 13th no less, I got my first paying customer.

Literally screamed my lungs out when I saw the Stripe transaction email where it said "Congratulations, ..."

It has been a long journey. More than a year from my first idea to my first dollar. Holy Christ. Honestly it was super-demoralizing whenever I read milestone posts on Indie Hackers where people were making thousands in MRR while I struggled so bloody hard to close one goddamned sale. It really tested my resolve, and I was so close to tossing in the towel at several junctures.

Fortunately I kept in mind something my friend told me:

"Don't give up. If you're tired, learn to rest. Then try again."

That's what I did. I took breaks. I went out of town. I turned off my laptop for one whole week. And then I tried again.

I feel like all my hard work and more importantly my idea has been validated. It's really harder than it looks; I had to do everything myself, being a solo founder and all. Worst of all, I have no support system, as I keep my endeavors secret (so that I don't embarrass myself should I fail).

Today has been a good day. I'll keep working on my product and really get it off the ground. Just wanted to share my happiness with you guys and also say THANK YOU for being here for me.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

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