Small Tech Business #12 - Common bootstrapper mistakes, Simple audience growth, Podcast API, Product Hunt launch tips

Week of 11/22/2020

Small Tech Business is a curated newsletter for people looking for inspiration and learning around starting their own small internet or technology business.

1) Breaking Through Plateaus, Entrepreneurship for Kids, Common Bootstrapper Mistakes, and More Listener Questions (Episode 523)

by Rob Walling via Startups for the Rest of Us - Podcast 🎧 (29 min)

Rob Walling has been helping people bootstrap their online businesses for over a decade now. He answers a bunch of rapid-fire questions in this 30 minute episode and there is just so much jam-packed good advice in this episode - I highly recommend checking it out!

2) Six months of Tiny Projects

by Ben Stokes - Blog Post 📰 (6 min)

Ben embarked on an ambitious goal of launching one project every week. While he hasn’t quite lived up to that exhausting pace, his resulting write-ups are both entertaining and insightful. One of the most interesting projects he launched is Earlyname, a tool where users can reserve handles like “@ben” on new social media platforms.

“Running Earlyname is so much fun. I get to talk with founders, try out new products, do a bit of web scraping/automation, and find rare usernames for people.

The only downside is that it requires my input every month to produce a new email. I'm anxious for the month I can't find any new social platforms.”

3) The Two Ways To Grow Your Audience: Do More or Do Less

by Josh Spector - Article 📰 (5 min)

Building an audience online can be incredibly nuanced and difficult to replicate. There are a lot of great courses online, my favorite being Daniel Vassallo’s Twitter Audience course, but most advice usually does not map directly as building your online audience should be personalized to your strengths and interests. Josh’s advice in this article preaches a balanced approach to building an audience in a way that applies generally.

“Build a habit.

Consistency is key to audience growth and if you can’t hold yourself to a schedule, you’re not doing enough.”

4) How to strategically launch and achieve top 4 in product hunt

by Vaibhav Namburi - Blog Post 📰 (4 min)

If you are nearing or considering a launch on Product Hunt, this is a great post with a lot of actionable advice on how to ensure that it is successful.

“Also lastly to be honest, don't stress on it. To my first point, there are MANY MANY very successful companies who didn't even make it to the first page when they launched. Just use this as a good exercise to get some extra users, otherwise it should be business as usual.”

5) Listen API: Podcast Search & Directory API

by Wenbin Fang via Listen Notes - Product 📦

Podcasts are a booming industry that has become one of the primary modes of consumption for many of us. If you have been considering building a product around podcasts, then this API might be worth checking out - plus you’d be supporting a fellow indie founder!

Small Tech Spotlight: Mailbrew

🔗 Link:

👤 Founder: Fabrizio Rinaldi & Francesco Di Lorenzo

💰 Revenue: $4.1K MRR

📦 Product: “Your favorite feeds, writers, and newsletters in a single email digest, and a beautiful web app."

This week we shine the light on Mailbrew, which is a product I personally use everyday as it helps me organize a lot of the content I consume - it really helps with me curate for this newsletter. Aside from all that, Mailbrew is an incredibly lean small tech business.

The most impressive part of Mailbrew is its landing page. Simply put, it is a work of beauty:

  • Clear and descriptive messaging, despite being a fairly novel product.

  • A very prominent and simple call-to-action.

  • Probably the best product demo I have ever seen on a landing page. It captures the functionality and value of their product immediately and in an extremely interactive way, versus just screenshots or videos.

  • Eye-catching visuals and animations that don’t cross the line into becoming gaudy distractions.

Mailbrew also tackles the difficult prospect of building a consumer-targeted SaaS product. They overcome this obstacle by doing the following:

  • Relevant use cases where value is clear (sourcing content for a blog, automating newsletter for your existing audience)

  • Testimonials from influential members of their target audience

  • Free trial that allows users to see the value first hand before committing

In the News:

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Written and curated by Justin Chu (@jstnchu)