How My Tiny Startup Is Making $55k/month Four Months After Its Launch

Meet Marc, a 30-year-old entrepreneur living in Bali. He’s launched 20 startups; most didn’t work out, but 7 did make money. His biggest hit? ShipFast, pulling in about $55,000 a month. Let’s find out how he did it.

What’s your backstory, and how did you come up with the idea?

I graduated from Computer Science in 2016 and didn’t apply for a job. Instead, I believe I was Mark Zuckerberg and built a secret app for a year. I never launched it. 

I felt terrible, so I moved to South Korea and created a VC-backed startup with a friend. We raised $100,000 to predict the price of flight tickets (reverse engineering ticket pricing). It was another flop.

Bored of big ideas, I started mini-projects to hopefully make a living on the internet in 2018. I created a SaaS that still pays the bills today after 5 years (about $600/month).

I moved to Bali and kept working on tiny projects but it wasn’t growing. I was making about $1,500 in 2020. 

In late 2021, I discovered Indie Hackers, and my life was transformed. I’ve always felt alone building apps in the dark. Discovering the community of makers who build in public was a big turning point.

In the last 2 years, I shipped startups like a madman (16 startups). Doing the same thing over and over, I realized I could sell my startup codebase to ship faster. That’s how I created ShipFast.

Describe the process of launching and growing the business.

Now I have over 50,000 followers on Twitter, product launches get more attention but the process is always the same

1. Make a unique launch video, like this one.

2. Create a Product Hunt launch

3. On launch day, make a tweet with the video and link to Product Hunt.

4. On launch day, launch everywhere else (Reddit, Indie Hackers, Hackers News). I made some guides for these platforms in my newsletter

Nothing fancy. Rinse and repeat.

What has worked to attract new customers?

1. Viral launch videos like the one above

2. Engineering-as-marketing: free no-signup tools that promote the main product

3. A damn good headline on the landing page

What are your plans for the future, and what are you currently working on?

I’m working full-time on ShipFast and ByeDispute. I’m also preparing a course to help makers create viral launch videos.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

My $60,000/month solopreneur business costs $183/mo:

– Hosting → Vercel $20/mo
– Database → MongoDB $7/mo
– Analytics → Plausible $30/mo
– Newsletter → Beehiiv $99/mo
– Assistant → Co-Pilot $10/mo
– Marketing → Twitter + Typefully $17/mo

Do you have any advice for other entrepreneurs who are just starting out or want to get started?

1. Avoid SaaS, subscriptions and free plans

2. Build a very small version of your startup and launch it with a buy button, users will build the rest of the product

3. Document everything on Twitter, because if your startup flops, you’ll still grow an audience. That will help you for future projects.

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