Bootstrapped, revenue-focused, and working remotely: this blog post is about the lessons learned from our most recent project, which we created in just 2 weeks, grew to $12k MRR in 5 months, and ended up shutting down following legal threats.
Before I get into the lessons learned from Profile Hopper, here’s a quick recap.
Harry and I have now spent 2 years working together. During this time we’ve been working remotely, completely bootstrapped, and focusing on revenue.
We’ve now built and launched over 10 products — and 2 years into our journey seems like a good point to reflect on what we’ve learned. In this post I want to go over our 4 main products we’ve launched, and one significant take-away that came from each one.
Side note: if you’re interested in our other products then leave a comment below. We’re happy to share what we built and why it didn’t work out —…
We originally started writing on Medium to document our journey to our first $1000 in monthly recurring revenue. Now that we’re well past that goal, it seems appropriate to create a new publication — but the central theme will remain the same.
Welcome to our new Medium blog, The Naked Startup. Bootstrapped, revenue-focused and remote — we’ll be sharing everything!
Last summer Harry and I were essentially broke. We’d spent 5 months working on Hey Press, a searchable database of startup journalists. It proved to be very popular with startups, but we had very few paying customers and a dismal monthly recurring revenue of $55.17.
If you’d like to follow along as we aim for $10k MRR with Profile Hopper, sign up here. …
As a B2B startup, we’ve found LinkedIn really powerful in pin-pointing new potential customers. Where LinkedIn falls down is actually connecting with those people (does anybody actually read their LinkedIn messages?… mine is just filled with InMail spam from recruiters). Fortunately we’ve worked out a couple of tricks:
UPDATE: Having used ReplyApp.io for a while and tried out countless competitors, we've built a competitor called If No Reply. Fundamentally it works in a similar way, but we wanted to create something that was better in 2 distinct ways: 1) simplicity, and 2) personalisation. If No Reply sits within Gmail (or…
Since Harry and I have been working together we’ve built a lot of different products — from a bitcoin wallet to a gesture-based iOS 8 keyboard to a tool that finds your most influential upvoters on Product Hunt. It’s been a lot of fun, but we’ve been all-over-the-place. It’s not even clear what our company does or why we exist… and it feels like we now need a better sense of company direction if we’re to reach our goal of becoming profitable.
If you’re like me, you might think it seems redundant at first. Just the words ‘vision statement’ conjure…
Suffice to say, we’re lucky to have you guys — with little marketing effort on our part, Hey Press now boasts over 4000 signed-up users, and the majority of the top UK PR agencies are subscribed to JournoRequests.com. This can only be down to word-of-mouth referrals from you guys, our subscribers! (and a massive thanks to Product Hunt for kickstarting this!)
As a thank-you, we’ll be switching our focus away from revenue for now… ‘why?’ I hear you ask. Well, we’ve spent the last couple of months listening to your feedback. …
I’ve now been building products for a couple of years — of which 1 year has been alongside Harry. While we’ve built a lot of cool tools like Product Friends (a tool to engage with your Product Hunt upvoters), QWERKY (an iOS 8 Keyboard featured by Apple), and Wyre (a Bitcoin wallet which won a national enterprise competition), we felt none of them were sustainable as a business, and in hindsight we shouldn’t have sunk so many hours into building them.
Harry and I have found the last couple of months really enjoyable — as well as building products we love, people actually want them and are buying them! Granted, $1111.67/mo is a bad salary for 2 software developers, but we’re growing fast in the right direction.
Already $2k or $5k or $10k/mo seems attainable, so in the meantime we just have to keep our heads above water.
So what’s the next goal? Well, what we’re doing is working — so it’s simple: hit $2k/mo (in less time than it took us to hit $1k).
Make it rain! Drinks on us! #StartupLife… or not ಥ_ಥ
On the bright side, with $121 we can buy this creepy horse mask, or this cowboy squirrel wall mount, or even this Thundercats Lion-o with working eyes. However, on our current trajectory, we will starve to death. Let’s break this thing down:
Hey Press is loved by startups — just read our Twitter stream. However, as far as business models go, we’ve learned that it’s a bad idea for us to target other small startups. …
Always Be Coding