Small Tech Business #9 - Lifestyle-first approach, Onboarding 101, Consulting tips, Indie Bites spotlight

Week of 10/25/2020

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

Content of the Week:

1) Mastering the Lifestyle-First Approach to Indie Hacking with Daniel Vassallo

by Courtland Allen via the Indie Hackers Podcast - Podcast 🎧 (1 hr 12 min)

Daniel Vassallo has been a big inspiration among indie founders, he has found success with self-published eBooks, info products, as well as a growing SaaS business (Userbase). These are two of my favorite people to follow online, combined into one excellent podcast episode - tons of really thoughtful advice and learnings.

2) Product Hunt's New CEO: Josh Buckley

by Ryan Hoover - Blog Post 📰 (5 min)

Most of you are likely familiar with of Product Hunt - one of the best communities to help launch small tech businesses. Ryan Hoover founded Product Hunt in 2013 and has been running it ever since. This post is relevant in that Product Hunt is an important resource for many founders, but also marks a key decision from an indie founder.

“One of our cultural values at Product Hunt is authenticity. Last year I realized I had stopped being true to this value. I wasn't being my authentic self. The motivation and happiness that fueled my work started to fade, replaced with a growing cloud of depression and burnout.”

3) Onboarding 101

by Gaby Goldberg - Article 📰 (7 min)

Another great writeup by Gaby that dives into best practices for onboarding customers to your product. She includes examples from popular products like Headspace and Duolingo. Highly recommend this piece for anyone working on consumer-facing products.

“Onboarding matters because it touches just about everyone: every single user goes through the flow. As I’ve written about previously, customers have more choice and less patience than ever before: last year, 25% of apps were only accessed once after their initial download.”

4) How I Made $30,000 on My First Self-Published Book

by Randall Kanna - Blog Post 📰 (8 min)

Randall Kanna is one of the most helpful people on Twitter that I have had the pleasure of interacting with. She is constantly posting valuable guidance to developers on how they can advance their careers. This piece covers how she built an audience and then leveraged that audience to launch a successful info product.

5) Advice on Becoming a Consultant

by edem - Hacker News Thread 🌐

Freelancing or consulting a great way to generate income as you work to become your own boss. This HN thread is full of great advice on how you can start down that path!

6) Story of an Encyclopedia Salesman

by /u/skumati99 - Reddit Post 🌐 (2 min)

Many tech-focused founders have a fear of being perceived as a “sleazy salesman”, this quick post helps show the difference between an effective salesman and a sleazy one.

Small Tech Spotlight: Indie Bites

🔗 Link:

👤 Founder: James McKinven (@jmckinven)

💰 MRR: $300 (in less than 2 months!)

📦 Product: “Short, bite-sized conversations (15 mins) with indie hackers that have started small, profitable and bootstrapped businesses."

Last week we spotlit Leave Me Alone, this week we have a very nascent small tech business, Indie Bites. James has already seen incredible growth after just 6 weeks. I wanted to spotlight Indie Bites for two reasons:

1. It is a great example of a small internet business that has been profitable from day one.
2. The podcast is a fantastic source of learning and inspiration for small tech founders.

As a bonus, we have an quick interview with Indie Bites’ founder, James:

How large is your listener audience?

“1,200 monthly listeners (so far)”

What is one tip you would give to someone wanting to start a small tech business?

“Spend time exploring ideas and learning new skills. Running a small business is hard, so figuring out what you truly love to do will help immensely.”

What is one book you would recommend?

“Company of One - Paul Jarvis, completely changed my opinion on starting a business”

What is one person you would recommend following?

Harry Dry - the dude is absolutely killing it with Marketing Examples”

In the News:

From the Archives:

How Kevin McArdle Quit His Job and Bought 28 Businesses in Two Years

by Courtland Allen via the Indie Hackers Podcast - Podcast 🎧 (1 hr 7 min)

One of my favorite episodes of the IH Podcast where Kevin discusses his journey from a successful 9-5 career to becoming an indie founder after redefining what success ultimately meant to him. His journey of buying several small businesses shows a more unique path towards running you own profitable small tech business.

“No matter how successful somebody is, I believe there's a point in every day, you know, falling asleep every night or waking up every morning, where we have those self-doubts, so if you are able to surround yourself with people who are encouraging the best behavior and the best parts of you and not encouraging thew self-doubt, your chances of success will go way up.”

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Written and curated by Justin Chu (@jstnchu)