PODCAST

Indie Bites

James McKinven

Short, bite-sized conversations with indie hackers that have started small, profitable and bootstrapped businesses. You'll learn how they come up with ideas, what they do to validate, find those first customers and make a sustainable income. Episodes every Tuesday and Friday.

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Indie Bites Trailer - what's it all about?
Sep 4 2020
Indie Bites Trailer - what's it all about?
I'm your host James McKinven, I'm the founder of a podcasting company called Striqo and passionate indie hacker.Now I love long podcasts and what Courtland Allen has done with the Indie Hackers show, but this podcast will just supplement that. With less commuting, we now have less time to listen to podcasts and those long, albeit interesting, backstories. I'll aim to cut to the chase and find out what it really takes to build a sustainable, profitable business on the side.I'm James, I run a podcast company called Striqo and I love hearing about the ups and downs of what it takes to be an indie hacker.I'm a fellow indie hacker and side-project-starter and I love hearing the stories of other makers who have started their businesses while working a full-time job.Whether that's a small little earner on the side or something that has grown into tens of thousands of ££ income that means you could quit your job.Having started many of my own side-projects I know how hard it is to get it off the ground and generate revenue. I wouldn't have been able to make progress on any of my projects if it wasn't for the kindness and support I've received from everyone in the Indie Hackers community.Everyone has a story to tell, advice they can give and lessons to teach - I want to share them with as many people as I can.I hope you can join me for this podcast talking to our favourite indie hackers.If you like the sound of this, please subscribe to the podcast and tweet me which indie hacker you'd like me to feature.
Why you need a single focus (and ditch your portfolio of projects) - Chris Frantz, Loops
May 28 2022
Why you need a single focus (and ditch your portfolio of projects) - Chris Frantz, Loops
Chris Frantz is the co-founder of Loops, YC backed email tool for startups. Chris is one of those people who just knows how to run a SaaS business, having founded and sold Snazzy AI, acquired by Unbounce last year. Chris has been living rent free in my brain after a conversation we had a few weeks ago about my multiple projects. A lot of you are going to have multiple projects too, and wondering why you’re not getting anywhere with them. In this episode, Chris is going to explain why.What we cover in this episodeSome of Chris previous bootstrapped projectsPH profile How Chris started and sold Snazzy.aiSelling article Tackling email with Loops.so Making the chef’s knife of emailWhy you should have a single focusWhy having a portfolio of small bets doesn’t workDoing the hard thingsHaving hobby projects vs a businessRecommendationsBook: Atomic Habits Podcast: The Vergecast Indie Hacker: Sahil Bloom Follow ChrisTwitterPersonal siteFollow Me👉 Listen to my new podcast, No More Mondays.TwitterIndie Bites TwitterPersonal WebsiteBuy A Wallet2 Hour Podcast Course PodPanda (hire me to edit your podcast)Sponsor - Ramen ClubMy favourite community has just got a significant upgrade as it rebrands to Ramen Club, the best community to help you get to Ramen Profitability.Ramen club has 4 remote coworking sessions a week, masterminds, accountability calls, live AMAs, a fractional CFO, in-house VA, discounts and so much more. But most of all, the founder Charlie has done a wonderful job at cultivating a wonderfully friendly and supportive community.To join the world's most supportive community for bootstrapped founders to reach ramen profitable and beyond, head to ramenclub.so and use code "INDIEBITES" to let Charlie know I sent you and get 50% off your first month.
Growing Dependabot to $14k MRR before selling to Github - Grey Baker, Dependabot
May 14 2022
Growing Dependabot to $14k MRR before selling to Github - Grey Baker, Dependabot
Grey Baker is the co-founder of Dependabot, which is a bot that makes it easy for developers to keep the third party dependencies up to date, which grew to $14k MRR before being acquired by Github in 2019. Grey’s story is a long an interesting one, so there is an extended version of this podcast available on the indie feast membership. But the best bits are here about he started out at McKinsey, before being a pivotal early employee at London FinTech GoCardless, to then cycling around the world and then coming back to accidentally launch Dependabot.👉 Extended version available on the Indie Feast membership here.What we covered in this episodeLanding a gig at consulting firm, McKinseyLearning how to code in 6 monthsJoining VC-backed GoCardless as employee 6Growing GoCardless to 100 employeesWhy Grey left after 4.5 yearsCycling around the worldEating a petrol-ey snickers barStarting Dependabot as a side projectA failed launchDoing things that don't scaleThe growth inflection point - GitHub marketplaceAdvice for bootstrappersRecommendationsBook: The Design of Everyday Things Podcast: N/AIndie Hacker: Pete Hamilton Follow GreyTwitterFollow Me👉 Listen to my new podcast, No More Mondays.TwitterIndie Bites TwitterPersonal WebsiteBuy A Wallet2 Hour Podcast Course PodPanda (hire me to edit your podcast)Sponsor - Tiiny HostTiiny Host is the simplest way to host and share your web project online. It's loved by thousands of freelancers, agencies & developers across the world to quickly upload demos, landing pages or websites. Just drag & drop your web files or even a PDF to share it with the world in seconds. 👉 Try it here
r/SaaS moderator making $6k MRR with his own SaaS - CH Daniel, Simple.ink
May 7 2022
r/SaaS moderator making $6k MRR with his own SaaS - CH Daniel, Simple.ink
Ch Daniel is the co-founder of Legit Check, an app that authenticates luxury items, that grew to $6k MRR in just a few weeks. He’s also building simple.ink, which is a simple way to make a website from Notion, it got #1 product of the day and got 1,300 users in the first month. He’s also got his finger in many SaaS pies, running the r/SaaS subreddit where he arranges AMAs and facilitates discussions with some of the biggest SaaS founders out there. As for podcasting, Daniel’s dipped in there too, with his show The Usual SaaSpects an extension of his brand. Most recently, Dan acquired Emojics.comWhat we covered in this episode:Making $200k with an authenticator businessHow does one fall into authenticating luxury items?How Legit Check became legitTurning a one-time purchase business to a subscriptionTaking over the r/SaaS community on RedditFavourite AMA with Sabba and Tim from VEED The real reason he started his podcast, The Usual SaaSpectsJames interview on The Usual SaaSpects Does the world need another Notion web builder?Pre-launching to build a list of 5,000Acuiring Emojics.com Should more indie hackers acquire businesses?RecommendationsBook: Power of Now Podcast: Prof G Show, Succession Pod Indie Hacker: CH David Follow DanielTwitterPersonal siteFollow Me👉 Listen to my new podcast, No More Mondays.TwitterIndie Bites TwitterPersonal WebsiteBuy A Wallet2 Hour Podcast Course PodPanda (hire me to edit your podcast)Sponsor - Tiiny HostTiiny Host is the simplest way to host and share your web project online. It's loved by thousands of freelancers, agencies & developers across the world to quickly upload demos, landing pages or websites. Just drag & drop your web files or even a PDF to share it with the world in seconds. 👉 Try it here
Multiple successful exits to making lemonade - JR Farr, Lemon Squeezy
May 3 2022
Multiple successful exits to making lemonade - JR Farr, Lemon Squeezy
JR Farr is the co-founder of Make Lemonade, a product studio behind Lemon Squeezy (a platform to sell digital products), Dunked (to showcase your portfolio) and Iconic (a set of cracking looking apps). But this isn’t JR’s first foray into entrepreneurship. Back in 2008 he sold his first startup, College Connecting, before starting and selling another, MOJO marketplace back in 2012. From here he worked at the acquiring company for 5 years, before starting ANOTHER startup, called Weav, a product to help with customer retention. I could list out JR’s CV in more detail, but you can tell that this chap a seasoned entrepreneur.What we covered in this episode:JR's entrepreneurship backgroundBuilding Mojo (Wordpress marketplace)Mojo getting acquired in 2012Why JR stayed for 5 years in a big companyGetting a mini MBASpending $75k on a domain for a failed companyMeeting the Make Lemonade folksOrman ClarkGilbert PellegromJason Schuller Should more founders band together?Building Lemon SqueezyTaking on the digital products spaceGoing into a crowded marketAdvice for entreprenuersRecommendationsBook: The Hard Thing About Hard Things Podcast: My First Million Indie Hacker: Jon Yonfook Follow JRTwitterPersonal siteMake Lemonade PodcastFollow Me👉 Listen to my new podcast, No More Mondays.TwitterIndie Bites TwitterPersonal WebsiteBuy A Wallet2 Hour Podcast Course PodPanda (hire me to edit your podcast)Sponsor - Ramen ClubMy favourite community has just got a significant upgrade as it rebrands to Ramen Club, the best community to help you get to Ramen Profitability.Ramen club has 4 remote coworking sessions a week, masterminds, accountability calls, live AMAs, a fractional CFO, in-house VA, discounts and so much more. But most of all, the founder Charlie has done a wonderful job at cultivating a wonderfully friendly and supportive community.To join the world's most supportive community for bootstrapped founders to reach ramen profitable and beyond, head to ramenclub.so and use code "INDIEBITES" to let Charlie know I sent you and get 50% off your first month.
Behind the success of Trends.vc - Dru Riley, Trends
Apr 29 2022
Behind the success of Trends.vc - Dru Riley, Trends
Dru Riley is the founder of Trends.vc which at its core helps people discover new ideas and markets through expertly researched reports. Trends is a bootstrapped company that makes money through it’s Trends Pro reports and community.In 2017, Dru took on a mini-retirement, sold a second home and set out with 3-5 years of savings to strike out on his own. After launching various newsletters, products and even book he eventually landed on Trends, which didn’t actually make any money for the first few months. But just 6 short months later, he was at over $20k MRR and growing fast.Now, Dru is working through the challenges of scaling a rapidly growing business and even hiring people to take over that juicy core. The reports. Here's a link to the Indie Hackers episode he did where he talks more about what went into that growth.What we covered in this episode:Hiring for the core competency of the business, the reportsWhat Dru’s day-to-day looks likeChallenges with context switchingStarting Trends for funThe idea behind framework based researchThe first Trends report on cloud kitchens How does Dru decide on topics for TrendsChoosing to persevere with TrendsLaunching a communityHow comfort challenges led to Trends successWhen to stop projectsWhat Dru does for funRecommendationsBook: Sapiens, Caste Podcast: Founders Indie Hacker: Pat Walls Follow DruTwitterPersonal siteFollow Me👉 Listen to my new podcast, No More Mondays.TwitterIndie Bites TwitterPersonal WebsiteBuy A Wallet2 Hour Podcast Course PodPanda (hire me to edit your podcast)Sponsor - AhrefsThank you to Ahrefs for sponsoring Indie Bites. Ahrefs is the most complete and valuable SEO tool on the market. Bootstrapped companies such as VEED and Transistor have used Ahrefs extensively to understand how to craft their SEO strategies, which have been such a pivotal part of their growth.If you want to get more traffic from Google on your side-project, I’d recommend first trying out Ahrefs Webmaster Tools for free. You’ll see what keywords your pages are ranking for, understand how Google sees your content and discover what changes you need to improve your search ranking. You should also check out their YouTube channel to understand both the basics of SEO and some more advanced techniques.To try out Ahrefs Webmaster Tools, head to ahrefs.com/awt.
Bootstrapped founder running 3 profitable businesses - Monica Lent, Affilimate
Apr 26 2022
Bootstrapped founder running 3 profitable businesses - Monica Lent, Affilimate
Monica Lent is a founder running 3 profitable indie businesses after leaving her full time job 2 years ago. She runs Affilimate, a SaaS product which allows you to manage and track affiliate commissions, the Blogging for Devs newsletter and paid community for developers looking to grow an audience and finally, Not a Nomad, a travel blog that accounted for almost 50% of Monica’s revenue last year, as she grew her portfolio of projects from $30k to over $100k.What we covered in this episode:How Monica splits time between her projectsIs it detrimental having split attention?Delegating and outsourcing as an indie hackerHow content and SEO ties her projects togetherBenefits of a VAStarting a blog that makes thousandsHaving a travel blog during covidStarting a community for developersHow to start your own successful blogThe downsides of sharing revenue numbersIs Monica having fun?RecommendationsBook: Founding Sales Podcast: Tropical MBA Indie Hacker: Josh Ho Follow MonicaTwitter2021 Retro on personal siteSEO CourseFollow Me👉 Listen to my new podcast, No More Mondays.TwitterIndie Bites TwitterPersonal WebsiteBuy A Wallet2 Hour Podcast Course PodPanda (hire me to edit your podcast)Sponsor - AhrefsThank you to Ahrefs for sponsoring Indie Bites. Ahrefs is the most complete and valuable SEO tool on the market. Bootstrapped companies such as VEED and Transistor have used Ahrefs extensively to understand how to craft their SEO strategies, which have been such a pivotal part of their growth.If you want to get more traffic from Google on your side-project, I’d recommend first trying out Ahrefs Webmaster Tools for free. You’ll see what keywords your pages are ranking for, understand how Google sees your content and discover what changes you need to improve your search ranking. You should also check out their YouTube channel to understand both the basics of SEO and some more advanced techniques.To try out Ahrefs Webmaster Tools, head to ahrefs.com/awt.
Growing ScrapingBee to $1m ARR - Pierre De Wulf, ScrapingBee
Apr 22 2022
Growing ScrapingBee to $1m ARR - Pierre De Wulf, ScrapingBee
Pierre De Wulf is the co-founder of ScrapingBee a web scraping API that grew to $1M ARR in 2 years. Before starting ScrapingBee, Pierre and his co-founder Kevin had quit their jobs to follow the indie dream. 9 months later, their product PricingBot couldn’t generate the traction they were hoping for so they sold the business and pivoted to ScrapingBee.What we covered in this episode:Pierre's background; inspiration from his fatherRunning a business within World of WarcraftMeeting his co-founder, KevinStarting a project for his girlfriendLeaving his job to work on something for 9 monthsKnowing when to stop and move onStarting and selling PricingBotHow to sell a failed companyUsing SEO as a marketing channelHow to write SEO content effectivelyStarting ScrapingBeeHow ScrapingBee grew so quicklyTaking TinySeed fundingRecommendationsBook: Hello Startup Podcast: My First Million Indie Hacker: Matt Wensing Follow PierreTwitterPersonal siteFollow Me👉 Listen to my new podcast, No More Mondays.TwitterIndie Bites TwitterPersonal WebsiteBuy A Wallet2 Hour Podcast Course PodPanda (hire me to edit your podcast)Sponsor - AhrefsThank you to Ahrefs for sponsoring Indie Bites. Ahrefs is the most complete and valuable SEO tool on the market. Bootstrapped companies such as VEED and Transistor have used Ahrefs extensively to understand how to craft their SEO strategies, which have been such a pivotal part of their growth.If you want to get more traffic from Google on your side-project, I’d recommend first trying out Ahrefs Webmaster Tools for free. You’ll see what keywords your pages are ranking for, understand how Google sees your content and discover what changes you need to improve your search ranking. You should also check out their YouTube channel to understand both the basics of SEO and some more advanced techniques.To try out Ahrefs Webmaster Tools, head to ahrefs.com/awt.
Bootstrapping Testimonial to $13k MRR after many failed products - Damon Chen, Testimonial
Apr 19 2022
Bootstrapping Testimonial to $13k MRR after many failed products - Damon Chen, Testimonial
Damon Chen, who is the founder of Testimonial, a product that collects video testimonials that he launched back in December 2020, and has grown it to $13k MRR since then. Damon quit his stable job of 8 years at Cisco to pursue his dream of building a better life for himself as an indie hacker. This didn’t come easily for Damon, as he launched several products which made 0 revenue before hitting big with Testimonial. He’s also built some other fantastic products, such as embed.so and channel.so, as well as acquiring Supportman off fellow Indie Hacker Noah Bragg.What we covered in this episode:Damon's failed startup attemptsWhy he builds for funQuitting his job and pivoting to TestimonialUsing code from other projectsHow he went from 0 to 3k in 3 daysDamon's approach to validationGrowth tactics used to get to $13k MRRHaving other projects for fun (Embed and Channel)Acquiring SupportmanGrowing his Twitter to 30kRecommendationsBook: Getting Acquired Podcast: My First Million Indie Hacker: Pieter Levels Follow DamonTwitterDamon's blogFollow Me👉 Listen to my new podcast, No More Mondays.TwitterIndie Bites TwitterPersonal WebsiteBuy A Wallet2 Hour Podcast CourseSponsor - PodQueueThis podcast is brought to you by PodQueue. Don't you hate when you find something you just want to bookmark and listen to later as a podcast, but there's no easy way to do it? Try PodQueue, and you can save audio from anywhere around the web and easily listen to it later in the podcast app you already use. PodQueue works with links from YouTube, Soundcloud, Apple Podcasts, NPR, the BBC, and more! There’s a 15-day free trial, and it’s just $5 per month afterwards, with no credit card required at signup. Use promo code “INDIEBITES” at signup to get an extra month free!👉 Try it here
Building a mentorship platform to $1m GMV - Dominic Monn, MentorCruise
Apr 15 2022
Building a mentorship platform to $1m GMV - Dominic Monn, MentorCruise
Dominic Monn is the founder of MentorCruise, a marketplace that connect mentors and mentees in Tech, which is currently doing $15k in monthly revenue and processed over $1m through the platform. Previously, Domm was a Machine Learning engineer at Doist, a job that he left in Feb '22 to pursue MentorCruise full time.What we covered in this episode:Why Dom left his full-time job at DoistHow going full-time has impacted MentorCruiseWhat Dom’s day-to-day looks likeNot feeling guilty about unproductive hobbiesHow Dom’s discovered mentorship through UdacityTaking 5 months to build an MVPWhy validation wouldn’t work for MentorCruiseHow it took 3 months to get his first paying customerWhy he decided to push through regardlessHow persistence pays offWhy building a business is like building a muscleHow programmatic SEO worksRecommendationsBook: Built to Sell Podcast: My First Million Indie Hacker: Julian Canlas Follow DomTwitterHire him as a mentorPersonal siteFollow Me👉 Listen to my new podcast, No More Mondays.TwitterIndie Bites TwitterPersonal WebsiteBuy A Wallet2 Hour Podcast CourseSponsor - AhrefsThank you to Ahrefs for sponsoring Indie Bites. Ahrefs is the most complete and valuable SEO tool on the market. Bootstrapped companies such as VEED and Transistor have used Ahrefs extensively to understand how to craft their SEO strategies, which have been such a pivotal part of their growth.If you want to get more traffic from Google on your side-project, I’d recommend first trying out Ahrefs Webmaster Tools for free. You’ll see what keywords your pages are ranking for, understand how Google sees your content and discover what changes you need to improve your search ranking. You should also check out their YouTube channel to understand both the basics of SEO and some more advanced techniques.To try out Ahrefs Webmaster Tools, head to ahrefs.com/awt.
Bootstrapping vs venture capital & lessons from a veteran - Spencer Fry, Podia
Apr 12 2022
Bootstrapping vs venture capital & lessons from a veteran - Spencer Fry, Podia
Today I’m joined by Spencer Fry, founder of Podia, a platform helping creators make a living online through selling courses, digital downloads, webinars and more. 7 years in, they have a 35 person team and have an awesome product for creators. But this isn’t Spencer’s first rodeo, bootstrapping and exiting 3 businesses between 2003 and 2014, notably Carbonmade and TypeFrag. What’s interesting about Spencer is that he's actually raised funding for Podia, and I wanted to find out why a seasoned bootstrapper like Spencer went down this route, and if it’s a an option that more indie hackers should consider.👉 50 minute version of this conversation.What we covered in this episode:Why Spencer raised funding for PodiaWhy you should look at funding as a toolBeer ≠ funding3 interesting predictions on the creator economy Spencer’s article with those predictionsBonus: Spencer’s famous vodka pasta dish Opportunities to build in the creator economyWhy entrepreneurs are different gravySolo founder vs co-founderRecommendationsBook: Ben Horowitz Book 1 / Book 2 Podcast: Axios Today / All In Pod Indie Hacker / entrepreneur: Tobi Lutke Follow SpencerTwitterPersonal BlogFollow Me👉 Listen to my new podcast, No More Mondays.TwitterIndie Bites TwitterPersonal WebsiteBuy A Wallet2 Hour Podcast CourseSponsor - AhrefsThank you to Ahrefs for sponsoring Indie Bites. Ahrefs is the most complete and valuable SEO tool on the market. Bootstrapped companies such as VEED and Transistor have used Ahrefs extensively to understand how to craft their SEO strategies, which have been such a pivotal part of their growth.If you want to get more traffic from Google on your side-project, I’d recommend first trying out Ahrefs Webmaster Tools for free. You’ll see what keywords your pages are ranking for, understand how Google sees your content and discover what changes you need to improve your search ranking. You should also check out their YouTube channel to understand both the basics of SEO and some more advanced techniques.To try out Ahrefs Webmaster Tools, head to ahrefs.com/awt.
Why your product needs marketing - Dagobert Renouf, Logology
Apr 8 2022
Why your product needs marketing - Dagobert Renouf, Logology
Dagobert Renouf is the founder of Logoloy, a logo and brand design service that he started with his wife, doing around $3k in monthly revenue. This is an awesome story. Dago started building Logoloy in September 2018, then completely failed the launch after building for almost 2 years. It wasn't until May 21 that Dago realised he actually needed to find a marketing channel that worked for him -which was Twitter. Dago went for 15 years chasing money, but then realised that wasn’t the course to happiness. So after a turbulent few years, he’s now in a place of fulfilment, with plenty of the journey to go.👉 Extended episode here.What we covered in this episode:Making his first internet money in high schoolGetting a cease and desist at 15 years oldThe dangers of being focused on moneyFinding the idea for LogologyTaking 1.5 years to launch his startupHaving a failed launch after 1.5 years of buildingMarketing when you don’t want to do marketingDiscovering a distribution channel that works - TwitterGrowing to $3k per monthRecommendationsBook: Zero to One by Peter Thiel Podcast: Wannabe Entreprenuer Indie Hacker: Tony Dihn Follow DagoTwitterLogologyFollow Me👉 Listen to my new podcast, No More Mondays.TwitterIndie Bites TwitterPersonal WebsiteBuy A Wallet2 Hour Podcast CourseSponsor - AhrefsThank you to Ahrefs for sponsoring Indie Bites. Ahrefs is the most complete and valuable SEO tool on the market. Bootstrapped companies such as VEED and Transistor have used Ahrefs extensively to understand how to craft their SEO strategies, which have been such a pivotal part of their growth.If you want to get more traffic from Google on your side-project, I’d recommend first trying out Ahrefs Webmaster Tools for free. You’ll see what keywords your pages are ranking for, understand how Google sees your content and discover what changes you need to improve your search ranking. You should also check out their YouTube channel to understand both the basics of SEO and some more advanced techniques.To try out Ahrefs Webmaster Tools, head to ahrefs.com/awt.
Bootstrapping a portfolio of SaaS products to $3k MRR - Jim Raptis, BrandBird
Apr 4 2022
Bootstrapping a portfolio of SaaS products to $3k MRR - Jim Raptis, BrandBird
Jim Raptis, an indie hacker from Greece who is working full-time on his portfolio of projects, including BrandBird and Magic Pattern, which are both doing $1,500 MRR. If you’ve seen those cool screenshots on Twitter with the nice drop shadow and gradient background, those are made with Brand Bird. What we covered in this episodeQuitting running a funded startup for indie hackingEarning that first dollarLearning design as an engineerLaunching a product with less than 300 followersChoosing to do a portfolio of small betsSplitting time between multiple projectsHow Jim went grew from 300 to 9k Twitter followersWhat do to do when things aren’t going so wellRecommendationsBook: Traction by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares Podcast: Flow State Indie Hacker: Peter Levels Follow JimTwitterPersonal SiteFollow Me👉 Listen to my new podcast, No More Mondays.TwitterIndie Bites TwitterPersonal WebsiteBuy A Wallet2 Hour Podcast CourseSponsor - TestimonialTestimonial allows you to easily collect testimonials from your customers and automatically embeds them on your landing page.You might have seen a wall of love with a bunch of supportive Tweets and videos on various products you’ve signed up for. That wall is created using Damon Chen’s product Testimonial. All you have to do is sign up, paste the nice things people have said about you and it will generate a beautiful set of testimonials that you can easily embed on your site or share online.Head to Testimonial.to o to create your Twitter wall of love for free. If you want to sign up for a paid plan, get a whopping 25% off for 12 months with the code “INDIEBITES” at checkout.
Candle dealer builds $5k MRR software to solve own problem - Dianna Allen & Jeremy Blalock, Inventora
Mar 27 2022
Candle dealer builds $5k MRR software to solve own problem - Dianna Allen & Jeremy Blalock, Inventora
In this episode I’ve got my first ever returning guest with Dianna Allen and first ever double act as we’re joined by her fiance Jeremy Blalock. I spoke to Dianna about a year ago after growing her handmade candle business from $100 to $50k in that year. Since then Dianna is still running TERRA and doubled the revenue in 2021, but has also co-founded Inventora which has just hit $5k MRR. Inventora is inventory tracking system for handmade businesses, solving Dianna’s own problem with TERRA.👉 Join the Indie Feast membership here.What we covered in this episode:How TERRA is goingHandmade business vs SaaS business. Which is better?Solving her own problem with TERRA to build InventoraSpreadsheet to SaaSAsking Jeremy (Dianna’s partner) to build the productGrowing without paying for adsLeveraging existing relationshipsChoosing to raise a small funding roundWhy raise money if you’re an indie hacker?Spending $25,000 on a domainTactics for growing to $5k MRRHiring a videographer to make a documentary RecommendationsBooks: The Innovation Stack, The Gardeners Almanack Podcasts: Acquired, The Product Boss Indie Hackers: Elon Musk, Jon Yongfook Follow Dianna & JeremyDianna's TwitterJeremy's TwitterInventora InstagramTERRA InstagramFollow Me👉 Listen to my new podcast, No More Mondays.TwitterIndie Bites TwitterPersonal WebsiteBuy A Wallet2 Hour Podcast CourseSponsor - AhrefsThank you to Ahrefs for sponsoring Indie Bites. Ahrefs is the most complete and valuable SEO tool on the market. Bootstrapped companies such as VEED and Transistor have used Ahrefs extensively to understand how to craft their SEO strategies, which have been such a pivotal part of their growth.If you want to get more traffic from Google on your side-project, I’d recommend first trying out Ahrefs Webmaster Tools for free. You’ll see what keywords your pages are ranking for, understand how Google sees your content and discover what changes you need to improve your search ranking. You should also check out their YouTube channel to understand both the basics of SEO and some more advanced techniques.To try out Ahrefs Webmaster Tools, head to ahrefs.com/awt.
Gumroad founder's framework for a bootstrapped business - Sahil Lavingia, Gumroad
Mar 16 2022
Gumroad founder's framework for a bootstrapped business - Sahil Lavingia, Gumroad
Sahil Lavingia is the founder of Gumroad, the platform that allows creators to sell products online. The beating heart of the creator economy. You'll likely have heard Sahil's story about his failure to build a billion dollar company with an article that went viral, but let me summarise for those that haven't.Sahil founded Gumroad in 2011, aiming to build the next unicorn, leaving Pinterest where he was employee #2. He raised $1.1m from angels, then $7m more in 2012. Things started growing, then they didn't. Sahil laid off 75% of the company to keep the product alive, moved to Provo, Utah to figure where to take Gumroad from that point. Almost a decade later Gumroad is growing quicker than ever, making millions in revenue and helping creators make a living online.Sahil has just launched his book, The Minimalist Entrepreneur, where he shares a decade of learnings on how to build a profitable, sustainable business and how entrepreneurs can do more with less to make more impact on the world.👉 I'm giving away 5 copies of Sahil's book on Twitter, enter here.What we covered on this episode:Sahil’s approach to fundingBootstrapping vs VCWhy Gumroad runs so differently to most companiesWhy longevity has helped GumroadSahil’s book: The Minimalist Entrepreneur Building a project in a weekend: Verification Letters Livestream of building Verification LettersThe framework for starting a businessWhy you should start and then learnBarriers people have to starting their businessFear of failureImportance of writingRecommendationsBook: Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely Podcast: All-In Podcast Indie Hacker: Naval Follow SahilTwitterWebsiteFollow Me👉 Listen to my new podcast, No More Mondays.TwitterIndie Bites TwitterPersonal WebsiteBuy A Wallet2 Hour Podcast CourseSponsor - ilo AnalyticsSahil has 280k followers on Twitter and he sure knows the tweets that will engage his audience. If you too want to get a deeper understanding of what engages your followers on Twitter, you should check out ilo Analytics.ilo helps you easily see which kind of tweets get more impressions, likes, profile clicks and more so you can get grow your Twitter audience. ilo's has beautiful graphs for the most important metrics for both tweets and threads will be sure to help you build your following.Head to ilo.so or hit the link in the show notes and use the code INDIEBITES to get 25% off your ilo subscription for life.
A solo $130k MRR productized design service - Brett Williams, Designjoy
Mar 14 2022
A solo $130k MRR productized design service - Brett Williams, Designjoy
Brett Williams is the founder of Designjoy, a one-man productised design service that is doing over $130k MRR, charging clients up to $5k a month for unlimited design. You indeed hear that right, Brett is running a million dollar business solo with over 40 clients.What we covered in this episode:$50k per year with a Tumblr blogDropping out of college and getting a regular jobHow Brett started DesignjoyBeing inspired by Design PickleLaunching DesignjoyTaking 3 years to get to $10k MRRNon-traditional marketing and growth methodsLaunching Scribbles, a side projectWhat does into a good landing page?Different routes to successWaiting till $80k to quit his jobShould entrepreneurs be more risk-adverse?How run a successful 1-man productised service?RecommendationsBook: Company of One Podcast: The Dave Ramsey Show Indie Hacker: Suhail Follow BrettTwitterInstagramFollow Me👉 Listen to my new podcast, No More Mondays.TwitterIndie Bites TwitterPersonal WebsiteBuy A Wallet2 Hour Podcast CourseSponsor - AhrefsThank you to Ahrefs for sponsoring Indie Bites. Ahrefs is the most complete and valuable SEO tool on the market. Bootstrapped companies such as VEED and Transistor have used Ahrefs extensively to understand how to craft their SEO strategies, which have been such a pivotal part of their growth.If you want to get more traffic from Google on your side-project, I’d recommend first trying out Ahrefs Webmaster Tools for free. You’ll see what keywords your pages are ranking for, understand how Google sees your content and discover what changes you need to improve your search ranking. You should also check out their YouTube channel to understand both the basics of SEO and some more advanced techniques.To try out Ahrefs Webmaster Tools, head to ahrefs.com/awt.
Growing an online card tool to $23k a month - Valentin Hinov, Thankbox
Mar 7 2022
Growing an online card tool to $23k a month - Valentin Hinov, Thankbox
Val Hinov is the founder of Thankbox an online group card tool that grew to $20k p/m throughout lockdown. Now Val is facing the challenges of what to do when your product scales, what to do when the wave that brought you success starts to slow and when your product has one-time purchase pricing model.What we covered in this episode:Where the idea for Thankbox came from?Lessons learned from a failed startupHow he built Thankbox in 2 monthsHow he got his first users for ThankboxBuilding a virality modelUsing Google Ads to grow quicklyAdvice for people apprehensive of using adsWhy social ads didn’t workThe effect of a one-off purchase pricing modelHaving a big drop in usersIndie Hackers Pod The seasonality of online cardsOutsourcing vs soloWhen to go full-timeRecommendationsBook: Atomic Habits Podcast: The Revolutions Podcast Indie Hacker: Andrea Bosoni Follow ValTwitterPersonalSiteThankboxFollow Me👉 Listen to my new podcast, No More Mondays.TwitterIndie Bites TwitterPersonal WebsiteBuy A Wallet2 Hour Podcast CourseSponsor - 4dayweek.ioAs indie hackers we’re always trying to squeeze extra hours in our day to work on our side projects. What about if you had a whole extra day to work on your projects, while still getting a full-time salary?4dayweek.io is the place to get a Software Job with a better work-life balance. All jobs have a 4 day work week contract and most are only 32 hours per week. Find the best remote tech jobs from companies with a great work-life balance at 4dayweek.io or hit the link in the show notes.👉 Try it here.
Building a $15m GMV side-project at 15 years old - Che Sampat, SuperPay
Feb 25 2022
Building a $15m GMV side-project at 15 years old - Che Sampat, SuperPay
Che Sampat is an 18 year old Indie Hacker who built SuperPay in 2019 when he was 15 years old, an app that lets you generate easy payment links through Stripe and Square. Since then he's grown it to 5k users, $6k in revenue and processed a whopping $15m in payments. Che has also been working at some cool companies since he was young, recently joining the payments startup Fast to focus on his career, therefore stepping back from SuperPay.What we covered in this episodeHow Che got into codingBuilding his first app in year 9 computer scienceHow Che learnt to code with YouTubeThe story of building SuperPayStarting his first company at 15Balancing indie hacking and schoolSuccess without idea validationLaunching on Product Hunt with no planHow did Che get his first usersGrowing to $15m GMVDid Che buy himself anything nice?Getting in trouble with Stripe building SuperPortal Challenges of being an 18yr old indie hackerWhy Che got himself an engineering job instead of pursuing SuperPayRecommendationsBook: Clean Code Podcast: Software Engineering Daily Indie Hacker: Peter Grillet Follow CheTwitterFollow Me👉 Listen to my new podcast, No More Mondays.TwitterIndie Bites TwitterPersonal WebsiteBuy A Wallet2 Hour Podcast CourseSponsor - Reel.soReel lets you create these short teaser videos (called audiograms), with animated subtitles, waveforms and a ton of beautiful templates to choose from. Save time and set your podcast clips aside from the rest by creating these sharable snippets that grab your audience's attention as they scroll through their feed. even without sound.I've used Reel myself for Indie Bites and it's been a game changer for me. If you want to give it a go for yourself, head to reel.so or click the link in your show notes and use the code INDIEBITES for 20% off.👉 Try it here.
Mental health as a founder and the importance of community - Tom Ross, Design Cuts
Feb 8 2022
Mental health as a founder and the importance of community - Tom Ross, Design Cuts
In this episode we’re joined by Tom Ross, who is the founder of Design Cuts, a marketplace and community for creatives which he’s grown to a team of 20 over the past decade. Tom is also a seasoned podcaster, co-hosting The Honest Designer's Show and Biz Buds which have been downloaded millions of times.It's not all been plain sailing for Tom as he ran into severe burnout working 18 hour days, 7 days a week for 18 months, leading to him being hospitalised. In this episode we're going to find out more about Tom's story, some of his successes and failures in business, along advice he'd give to founders from his experiences.👉 Get the extended version of this podcast on membership, available for £4 a month.What we covered in this episode:Tom’s backstoryLink to pod episode Starting an Interpol forumEarning more money at home at 16 than in his jobGrowing a design blog to 15 million visitorsGrowing Design Cuts in the early days10 years later, 20 employees, millions of revenueMental health and burnout as a founderLink to Tom’s burnout story How to build good routines to avoid burnoutHow community can help with your mental healthWhy community is so importantHow to build a communityRecommendationsBook: Thank You Economy by Gary VeePodcast: Diary of a CEO Indie Hacker: Rosie Sherry Follow TomTwitterInstagramLinkedInWebsiteFollow Me👉 Listen to my new podcast, No More Mondays.TwitterIndie Bites TwitterPersonal WebsiteBuy A Wallet2 Hour Podcast CourseSponsor - AhrefsThank you to Ahrefs for sponsoring Indie Bites. Ahrefs is the most complete and valuable SEO tool on the market. Bootstrapped companies such as VEED and Transistor have used Ahrefs extensively to understand how to craft their SEO strategies, which have been such a pivotal part of their growth.If you want to get more traffic from Google on your side-project, I’d recommend first trying out Ahrefs Webmaster Tools for free. You’ll see what keywords your pages are ranking for, understand how Google sees your content and discover what changes you need to improve your search ranking. You should also check out their YouTube channel to understand both the basics of SEO and some more advanced techniques.To try out Ahrefs Webmaster Tools, head to ahrefs.com/awt.
Growing to $8.5k MRR in 1 year - Marie Martens, Tally.so
Feb 3 2022
Growing to $8.5k MRR in 1 year - Marie Martens, Tally.so
Marie Martens the co-founder of Tally, an easy way to create forms online. She left her stable marketing job to start Tally with her partner in crime Filip and became an indie hacker. Since then they've grown Tally to over 16,000 users almost $10k MRR as they work towards becoming default alive. Through a mix of manual prospecting, a successful product hunt launch and product-led growth, they’ve turned Tally into an exceptional indie success story.-> Subscribe to my brand new podcast, No More Mondays, co-hosted with Dan Rowden here.What we covered in this episode:The origin story of TallyIndie Hackers episode A failed startup, HotspotHow COVID crushed their first startupHow Tally got their first few usersDoing things that don’t scaleHow I became Tally’s first paying customerBiggest source of sign ups for tallyThe benefits of product-led growthHow to do an effective PH launchGoing from 3,000 - 12,000 users without paid adsWhy Marie quit her job to bootstrapWould she ever go back to a jobWhat it’s like building your dream startupRecommendationsBook: Intercom on Marketing Podcast: Indie Hackers Indie Hacker: Davis Baer Follow MarieTwitterFollow MeTwitterIndie Bites TwitterPersonal WebsiteBuy A Wallet2 Hour Podcast CourseSponsor - AhrefsThank you to Ahrefs for sponsoring Indie Bites. Ahrefs is the most complete and valuable SEO tool on the market. Bootstrapped companies such as VEED and Transistor have used Ahrefs extensively to understand how to craft their SEO strategies, which have been such a pivotal part of their growth.If you want to get more traffic from Google on your side-project, I’d recommend first trying out Ahrefs Webmaster Tools for free. You’ll see what keywords your pages are ranking for, understand how Google sees your content and discover what changes you need to improve your search ranking. You should also check out their YouTube channel to understand both the basics of SEO and some more advanced techniques.To try out Ahrefs Webmaster Tools, head to ahrefs.com/awt.
Growing to $4m+ despite Apple cloning their product - Matt Ronge, Astropad
Jan 29 2022
Growing to $4m+ despite Apple cloning their product - Matt Ronge, Astropad
Matt Ronge is the co-founder and CEO at Astropad, a product that turns your iPad into a second screen both on Windows and Mac, started back in 2015. Back in 2019, their business was almost destroyed when Apple launched a feature that almost made Astropad defunct. What did this lead Matt and his team to do? Pivot and find a new idea? Lay off the team? Absolutely not. They doubled down on their product. Through challenges with big tech, raising kickstarter funding and building physical products, Matt has been on quite the journey with Astropad and we’re going to dive into all of that today, along with a mini-masterclass on PR.What we covered in this episode:Origins of AstropadHaving two technical co-foundersHow they tackled marketing with no prior knowledgeMost useful books to learn the basics22 Immutable Laws of MarketingBurned Out Blogger's Guide to PR How Matt leveraged PR in the early daysHow indie hackers can use PR for their projectsSize of Astropad in 2022Why they built a hardware productHow to get into building hardwareThe benefits of hardware productsHow Apple stole their productHow they saved their business after being crushed by AppleRecommendationsBook: Radical Candour, The Making of a Manager Podcast: Dithering Indie Hacker: Monica Lent Follow MattTwitterAstropad PodcastFollow MeTwitterIndie Bites TwitterPersonal WebsiteBuy A Wallet2 Hour Podcast CourseSponsor - AhrefsThank you to Ahrefs for sponsoring Indie Bites. Ahrefs is the most complete and valuable SEO tool on the market. Bootstrapped companies such as VEED and Transistor have used Ahrefs extensively to understand how to craft their SEO strategies, which have been such a pivotal part of their growth.If you want to get more traffic from Google on your side-project, I’d recommend first trying out Ahrefs Webmaster Tools for free. You’ll see what keywords your pages are ranking for, understand how Google sees your content and discover what changes you need to improve your search ranking. You should also check out their YouTube channel to understand both the basics of SEO and some more advanced techniques.To try out Ahrefs Webmaster Tools, head to ahrefs.com/awt.