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Logojoy: AI-powered logo creator (indiehackers.com)
1113 points by csallen on Nov 29, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 329 comments

I'm curious about how the $15k/mo figure is computed.

The story reads as though Logojoy more or less launched on Producthunt, which was 7 days ago. And all posts on the blog are dated Nov 15th. Finally the domain itself seems to have been listed on HugeDomains as of Oct 8th [1].

Now maybe I'm missing something, but it seems like the revenue figure is extrapolated from a small window which includes a wave of initial traffic from PH.

I'm hoping that the revenue figure is an actual ongoing sustained amount for Dawson's sake (as it is great looking & functioning product, solves a need that I've faced, and for full disclosure I've been putting together something along these lines on the backburner for awhile), but I can't help but feel this is a bit sensationalized based on what I'm seeing here.

[1] https://web.archive.org/web/20161008092541/http://logojoy.co...

That does seem dodgy, so we took the 15k/month bit out of the title. I guess we'll leave "AI-powered" so as not to leave it completely naked. Or should it just say "Logo Creator"?

I noticed that https://news.ycombinator.com/from?site=indiehackers.com constantly uses this trick of revenue numbers in titles. That's annoying clickbait in an HN context, but on the other hand, we need more good stories about startups, entrepreneurs, and projects, and dodgy stories are the price one pays for good ones. So I think the answer here is continued community vigilance.

Usually we'd see a point like this before 11 hours had gone by, but clearly not always, so everybody: if you notice something misleading on HN, especially if it doesn't get fixed right away, please alert us at hn@ycombinator.com. We can't read all the comments but we do read and reply to emails.

This was my fault. I tell companies not to submit for an interview unless they're at least a few months old, otherwise they won't have much to say. Because of that + Dawson's reported $15k/mo figure + the fact that Logojoy's story is inherently interesting, I blindly assumed the business was started earlier in the year than it was.

Go figure that the interview in which this happens is also the one that gets to the top of HN for the longest time. In the future, I'll do more to verify the launch dates so I don't end up with another interview where the average revenue is such an extrapolation.

As for including revenue numbers in titles, I agree it is a bit clickbaity (or at least very enticing). But at the same time the entire point of these interviews is transparency, and highlighting the revenue numbers adds crucial context. I'm happy not to include revenue numbers in titles, though, if HNers or mods don't want to see those.

I can't speak for the mods, but I for one am in favour of highlighting the revenue numbers, provided they're accurate.

And on a meta-point, I appreciate the effort, honesty and transparency you put into IndieHackers, it's a great resource for me.

It's little more complex than just "highlighting the numbers"; in my opinion, there really needs to be a definition of what is being counted and how that's universal within Indie Hackers presentation of startups.

For example, three identical startups using different accounting methods (cash vs accrual), time periods, etc. would have at face value potential vastly different numbers, though the reality is they are identical in every way.

Given HN is a huge source of traffic for you, if it were me, I'd do a blog post today on it, post it to HN and try to get feedback on the topic.

For example, I really like how Inc 500 applications are structured and verified [1], but others just like hearing the startup stories.

By posting a single blog post and liSting it HN, feel like the feedback would provide a better source for understanding the issue.

Really do enjoy Indie Hackers, thank you!

[1] http://www.inc.com/inc5000apply/faqs.html

Since the users who commented feel that the revenue numbers are a good thing as long as they're not misleading, we can bend the rules to allow them.

When it is true, I believe the $X/month title is useful. It gives an Idea of the order of magnitude and some insight on what is achievable

That initial wave got them this blog post and now #1 on HN. In 2 more days they'll be up to $30k/mo, with a 4 day doubling rate!!!

In all honesty, the press -> growth -> press loop caught me up on on my first launch. When it stops, the real work starts.

I don't have exp in startups, but I did experience this watching the traffic of an FOSS book I have written, when the surge started, the repo was trending on Github for two days! Now it has 1.1k stars, steadily increasing over the time.

I do not count the stars as a metric of the book's quality, I value user feedback!

Feel like IndieHacker isn't requiring any proof of revenue.

Does anyone know what, if any, fact checking process Indie Hackers has to verify the claims by made by a startup?

I've had my interview on Indie Hackers [1]. There is no fact checking involved. (But to be fair, I don't think it would really be feasible.)

1: https://www.indiehackers.com/businesses/terminerinnerung

I enjoy reading Indie Hackers, but yes, the math on the monthly revenue is almost always fuzzy. I find it's best to just enjoy the content of the interview and ignore the "stats."

That should have been made clearer. I totally thought he had launched a year ago.

Still, it's a very impressive achievement.

I just flagged this post for what clearly is a very dishonest title. The title should be changed at least, and maybe the entire post taken down, for the dishonesty.

If that is accurate and the number is based on 7 days of revenue at about $500 per day average this smells a lot like growth hacking nonsense.

Nonsense on stilts. Extrapolating $3500 in your first week of media-driven traffic into a $15k/mo run rate is ridiculous. Calling it "AI-powered" is a whopper too.

Extrapolation aside, making decisions automatically based off of incoming data points _is_ AI.

If the interview is to be believed, almost anything you consider "AI-powered" is within one degree of what is happening here. At least on a conceptual level.

AI doesn't need to be magic, it just needs to be making decisions :)

I wholly disagree with your post. By your definition, any logic gate could be considered an 'AI'.

You're stretching the term to the point that it no longer holds any meaning.

It's not just his definition. Many AI courses will teach you pathfinding algorithms as examples of AI, along with optimisation algorithms, genetic algorithms and neutral nets.

There is a valuable distinction in hard AI vs soft AI (hard AI being that whole thinking, emotional maschines thing that we are not really getting closer to, and soft AI being the things that actually generate money because we know how to do them)

I think what he's doing would be more acurately described as Machine Learning, rather than AI. His algorithms are producing better logo proposals based on the data it is collecting from other users, which fits a common definition of ML [1]

[1] A computer program is said to learn from experience E with respect to some class of tasks T and performance measure P, if its performance at tasks in T, as measured by P, improves with experience E (Tom M. Mitchell, 1997)

Machine learning is a better term because it's more specific (and less controversial). But under most definitions of AI, ML is a subfield of AI, so calling it AI may be suboptimal, but not wrong.

Personally I'm a fan of the AI definition "things humans can do and computers can't do yet", but I recognize that that definition isn't terribly useful.

The distinction you are drawing is between Strong and Weak AI. Weak AI is any sort of useful application of computation. Strong AI is solving the AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) problem.

anything that doesn't work but theoretically could is AI, when it starts working it stops being called AI. most recent examples are convnets, deep learning, etc. nobody calls them AI anymore.

He is doing a weighted decision. But that is not AI.

AI is more complex and based on Neural Nets, Petri Nets, or alike.

But he is just applying the same logic like every webshop, or advertisement network is doing: you bought X, other people who bought X also liked to buy Y. There is a long way to make AI.

If you pull out old AI books, they're all about search spaces and agent systems. Basically an abstraction of graph search.

Your definition requires calling the first couple generations of AI research "not AI". And I would most definitely call recommendation engines Artifical Intelligence (what is Google?)

To paraphrase an old quote "AI stops being AI when people start understanding how it works".

^ this, the definition for AI has changed quite a bit over the decades.

I don't know about that, I like my artificial intelligence to make a distinction between "intelligence" and "automation".

Without making a solid distinction there, people are going to start calling PID temperature controllers "AI"

I mean.... is it not?

Is it not a replacement for a guy standing in a room and trying to keep the temperature at the right spot?

I understand that there's "current-generation AI" which is miles beyond this. But closed-loop systems that try to make decisions based off of loop seems very much in the domain of intelligence in the practical sense.

I'm being a bit pedantic here, but the GGP in this thread saying that OP is not AI feels like shifting the goalposts way beyond what we would have said even 5 years ago.

No! It isn't!

Control systems are not intelligent. It helps to know how they work, and when you do you realize they work on very simple principles.

Intelligence is about learning and applying knowledge, AI is either simulating or synthesizing these behaviors outside of nature. It's not just taking the place of a function that something intelligent does.

This is great news! I'm an expert in AI and I didn't even realize it :-)

He added a comment on indiehacker with the dates:

    Started working Sept 1st, launched beta Nov 15, PH on Nov 22.

The article says he made $450 of sales the day it launched on Product Hunt. $450 * 31 is close to $15,000.

If he made $200 in less than a minute would you say he's making close to $9M?

Yeah and if you count that's about 60 clients in 7 days

> I've been a designer for 12 years or so... I would get frustrated designing logos for small businesses because (a) it was so time-consuming to create 30 mockups, (b) it would take weeks to do those small back-and-forths, and (c) the logo would end up being so simple that I felt like that entire process was a waste... As soon as I had the idea ... I started working on it.

I think this is my favorite part of the story. If you've been a designer (or any profession) for over a decade, even with frequent frustrations, it takes a certain kind of humility and introspection to realize that maybe it's not just about your customers being "broken" (by choosing the designs that take the least effort) or needing to find more sophisticated customers who value your talents.

Sometimes (ok, usually) it makes more sense to build what people really want rather than giving them what we think they should want. As a developer and entrepreneur, I have to be reminded of that fairly often.

This tool is pretty good! (This from an inexpert small business person, with no design sense -- but still, that describes a lot of potential users.)

I've been on the other side of the annoying design client experience, playing the role of annoying client. My old law partners and I asked a design firm to do an identity for us, some 7 years ago now. They spent a LOT of time with us, presented numerous concepts, and eventually the only logo we could agree on was a blue circle with our firm name inside of it. Actually it was a pretty good logo, if I do say so myself! But I could tell it was painful for the designers to hold our hands through this process.

The chair of the firm where I started my career liked to talk about the "$300,000 period". The firm had a slogan, something like "We're there for our clients." (minor details changed to protect the guilty) As part of a firm-wide rebranding, they hired an agency to help them update their identity including this slogan. The result was to put a period in the middle, so it became something like "We're there. For our clients." $300k, boom!

I played around with the AI logo creator. It is good as a starting point, if you want an logo that looks more or less like other logos in the training set. I suspect that describes 99% of small business users, so it's perfect! Just provide a MOO integration and you'll turn $15k/mo into $100k.

I would be interested to see the tool opened up, so you could do logos with arbitrary training data -- but with some hard constraints imposed by the user so it's not just a sea of pornographic aliens cavorting on Dali-inspired worlds. (edit: unless that's what you're going for, of course)

At the end of the day, what justifies a big agency fee is partly just the ability to make high-ego corporate clients feel good about their decisions, and to help them sell those decisions within their political environment.

May I ask what does MOO stand for in your comment?

on a guess, possibly this : https://www.moo.com/us/ (site for post, business and everything cards)

Correct. Almost everyone I meet who is hanging her own shingle, or promoting a startup, uses moo.com for business cards etc.

I think they're referring to moo.com.

Really well said.

I understanding the right blend of what people think they want and what they need is a powerful thing. I imagine it varies based on the problem domain/market.

What struck me the most is going with the old and tried tools (PHP+MySQL). Nowadays everyone - myself included - is trying to have an excuse to try the sexiest JS framework of the day and most of us fail miserably to deliver anything useful - because of lack of experience or just reinventing the wheel altogether.

Old and boring is still sometimes the best.

> Old and boring is still sometimes the best.

It's not so much old vs new, or cool vs boring, but rather the thing you are most experienced with. If the goal is to just build the damn thing, go with a stack you would be most productive in.

Exactly. I'm making 25k month with a SaaS that was built on boring ASP.NET+SQL Server+Angular 1 because that's what I knew. I host it on Windows because I know how to make it fast and secure. I'm happy I focused all my time on building the features that clients were asking for, instead of learning the latest frameworks or fighting an OS I'm not familiar with.

  built on boring [...] Angular 1
Ah yes, the halcyon yesteryear of Angular 1.

This is a little-known fact, but Angular 1 was actually released on the same year as FORTRAN II.

As per Wikipedia FORTRAN II appeared in 1958 [1]. Don't remember Javascript being around at that time. Am I missing something?

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fortran#FORTRAN_II

I was just joking, but I appreciate how carefully-worded your reply was :)

Ah, silly me :) I'm not that familiar with the history of Fortran so I thought maybe some cool Fortran reincarnation (hence II) was released a few years ago.

You're missing the joke.

Just the joke :)

Sarcastic remark

At the time I started the project, there seemed to be a new article on top of HN every week telling me how Angular is bad and why I should learn React. Since I had been using Angular for a while on my day job, yes, Angular was the boring choice.

Yes - I'm doing about 33K per month on a SaaS that is just Rails/Postgres/Heroku - the only javascript is some basic JQuery.

Amateur. I make about 35k/month using only bash via CGI and some plain text files as database.

Pft. I make 42k/month using only butterflies like a real programmer.

Actually, I wonder if the creator of WWWBoard/FormMail/etc achieved that. It certainly would've been well earned. His stuff was everywhere (I used them a lot too).

Serious? or joking? :) If the former, would love to know more.

Cool! Can I ask what your SaaS is?

He is called throwaway29464 for a reason :)

What's your product? Have you written about it?

Yeah, just to second this idea, I would like to read about it, also, though I am totally unfamiliar with the technology being used.

Is that 25k USD? :)

Somali Shillings

Doesn't it make sense to be specific with the currency you are talking about on an international forum? I realise the US is the worlds most powerful country with a very important currency, but it doesn't follow that we should always just assume that any currency spoken about is USD.

It does make sense to be specific, but I find the only people who aren't specific are usually Americans so we can assume these figures are USD.

While this forum does have people from all over the world (I'm living in London), it also is a forum headquarted by a seed accelerator based in the US.

When I’ve seen people set out to learn something and build something, they tend to accomplish neither—but if they focus on just one of those, the other is often a happy side effect.

The golden rule in my experience is that you can have both, if being careful in the proportions. Usually I limit new things to 1-2 concepts/tools a time, and use well tried ones for others. This way I usually manage to get stuff done and avoid getting stuck in my comfort zone.

Note: I have some hobby projects with minimal progress, where I ignore the golden rule and try new stuff all the time :)

As a counterpoint, I recently built something in a framework (Rails) that was relatively new to me because the framework had large amounts of functionality available as open source components (info in profile).

I reviewed other options, including technologies that I was more familiar with, but the risk of slower development while I came up to speed was outweighed by the increase in speed to market.

But often, you only learn something by building something.

performa prototype build of a thing you've already built. You'll gain the new knowledge in context, making it even more valuable.

I did just that about a year ago. I moved over from a an MS stack to a Linux/Node/Postgres stack. And while I finally got the damn product shipped - it was a terrible idea to change my tooling/environment so dramatcially. Everything took way longer. And honestly, the quality of the end product is worse.

What motivated the change? Were Linux/Node/Postgres technologies you were familiar with in comparison to the MS stack you were using? This can be problematic regardless of the technologies involved.

This can definitely depend on the technology and the use case. For instance, I'm building a .NET desktop application and started using WinForms since I have several years experience with it. I scrapped that and started using XAML for the first time and I am already more productive in XAML than I am with Winforms. I have a cleaner UI and an easier time with the architecture due to the data binding.

My point is that there are technologies that if you are using a technology that is a pain in the ass (Winforms) but that is all you know moving to a newer technology that has been designed to be easier to use can not only benefit what you are building but even save you time in the long run.

Or you know, many set out to neither learn nor build, mostly to avoid chores and homework, and somehow end up having learnt and built and ended up with a good technology job.

> It's not so much old vs new, or cool vs boring, but rather the thing you are most experienced with. If the goal is to just build the damn thing, go with a stack you would be most productive in.

This exactly. Customers do not care what the product was written in, as long as it solves their problem. I find this is a hard thing for programmers as we are generally curious and want to be learning. It is important to remember the goal. If the goal is the learn, then go learn. If it's to ship some software to start a business, then use the tools you know and ship something.

Spot on, execution means everything.

One of the hardest things for programmers to learn (including myself) is that success is almost entirely determined by how well your solution solves the problem you're aiming at, and how well you market it. The tools you use to create your solution matter to almost nobody.

It's true that if the company really grows, scalability, code manageability for teams etc. might become an issue if your backend is very poorly engineered, but that's the exception to the rule. As long as it works, it's good enough to launch with.

> It's true that if the company really grows, scalability, code manageability for teams etc. might become an issue if your backend is very poorly engineered, but that's the exception to the rule. As long as it works, it's good enough to launch with.

I think concentrating on the main features and launch quickly is good. You can start getting feedback and doing what customers or potential ones want.

This is absolutely bang on the money. Totally right!

Programming languages and systems are basically theorems.

The nice thing about theorems is that even when they're old, they're still theorems.

I don't completely agree. To follow your analogy, I don't think the languages themselves are "theorems". Rather they are notation. Some notation is shorthand. Some is quite verbose.

But in the end it is not the notation that makes or break a theorem. However, a theorem may be more or less clear depending on the notation.

Ah. I dig this. Wish I had more upvotes!

I gave him/her an extra for you.

No, because they can literally not run, or contain security vulnerabilities.

Imagine your in the cleaning business and you focus all your efforts into making the most light weight durable broom in the world and one day you wake up and realise the guy with the wooden broom has all the actual business.

In this case some developers actual go further down the tool rabbit hole and start building tools that build tools..and they wonder why they fail.

Nice analogy. Not sure why this is downvoted.

... yet when I tried to use it, it gave me "Firefox is not supported. Use Chrome". Feels like 2001 indeed.

Firefox has known issues with svg

I'm sure we can get around them, but not in v1

and yet he's making $15k a month off this project. Imagine the growth possibilities! :)

$3500 in his first week after media publicity, not $15k per month consistently.

Got the same, switched to Chrome, took me a second. Worth it.

I bet this is on the roadmap.

I ignored it, worked fine for me.

> Nowadays everyone - myself included - is trying to have an excuse to try the sexiest JS framework of the day and most of us fail miserably to deliver anything useful - because of lack of experience or just reinventing the wheel altogether.

That reminded me the article titled "How it feels to learn JavaScript in 2016" https://hackernoon.com/how-it-feels-to-learn-javascript-in-2... https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12628921

And of course, that very page railing against Javascript overcomplexity itself loads 400 KB of script bundles.

400 kb is considered super lean these days...

It depends on your target audience. If first world countries with good internet, then its lean. If not then ok on a desktop. Very bad in a mobile.

I don't think PHP has anything to do with that. Probably more experienced coders (i.e. older, hence PHP), just cranking out great code. Language/stack has nothing to do with it.

For example, my day job I work with Android all day long. But as a side project, I wanted to make a small mobile game as a invitation for my wedding. So I loaded up Phaser.io and wrote some really easy Javascript. I had a working, playable game that night. To be fair, it's a really great framework. But I think choosing a framework that fits your needs at hand is much more crucial than which language or database you use.

For me the biggest issue is motivation, rather than old and boring vs. new and shiny. More than what I know, it's about what makes me happy. I'm sure people build awesome things in one Javascript du jour framework or another every day, but I'm just not one of them. I know Javascript and Node.js fairly well, but I don't find any joy in programming in them. Whenever I make the effort, my motivation always dies off and I either abandon the project, or rewrite it in something else. Anything else.

On the other hand, technologies like Elixir, Erlang, Elm, and Riak, for instance, are immensely enjoyable to me, so they keep my motivation alive. In my opinion, whatever makes you happy and motivated is the best.

We ship $2+ million/year through WooCommerce/Wordpress and a PHP/MySQL backend on Digital Ocean servers. It's enjoyable to come on Hacker News and read the thrashing about new technologies and the like.

There's something to be said for working with the tools you're familiar with but I am also quite happy to have put my PHP development in the rear-view long ago.

I would posit that it is not old vs new but the vision you have of what you are building. If he had used ClojureScript this would still be just as good. If someone uses PHP and jQuery on an uninspired vision it will not be very good.

At work, we've been using a new JS framework paired with server-less infrastructure for the past 9 months. It's barely production stable, so it's been painful, but hey look at our fancy new framework.

When I started a new side project, I wanted to get an MVP out as quickly as possible. I opted for PHP/MySQL, and development time felt like lightning. It was so refreshing.

I plan on rebuilding the code base, now that the side project is making money, and perhaps I can use newer tech for that, but quite happy sticking with PHP for MVPs.

I have a similar story I recently set out to build a SaaS product and wanted to use/learn elixir. I enjoyed using elixir but a lot of the fairly complex things I wanted to do requires quite a bit of learning and custom solutions. I wound up scraping that version after 2 months and rewriting it in Ruby/Rails in about a week. And adding new features.

I did the exact opposite: I have ~8years of professional ruby/rails experience and I was building a little SaaS. At some point, after 100 hours, I got bored/stuck with only 20% of the planned features to reach a MVP. I decided to switch to elixir/phoenix, where I had few confidence and there was apparently a growing ecosystem not always ready or complete. After 100 hours I completed the MVP and launched it. Using elixir was refreshing and right now I'm using it for almost all my side projects/prototypes.

Who cares if it's old and boring? Making money is what you need to do as an entrepreneur (by improving your product and delivering more value), not playing around with various "sexy" technologies. I would write something in COBOL if it made sense to do (i.e. faster, more efficient, w/e)

Personally I don't really enjoy the development work on the "for profit" projects I build. I love seeing a finished product, though. Use the sexy untested tech for a "fun project", not a commercial one.

There is a lot to be said for the adage: do something new or try a new tool, but never at the same time.

Intel would agree with that - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tick-Tock_model

Good ideas executed well are the best regardless of what tech stack you are using.

That was the first thing I thought when I hit the URL.

Here's the thing, I'm guilty as charged. But, analyzing my own behavior, trying the sexiest (JS or otherwise) framework is just an excuse to play/learn it. My subconscious mind never had the intention of actually following through with a product...

I hope we can recognize (and avoid) the pattern in the future and use whatever we are more comfortable with to rush the product out of the door.

I noticed the same thing. Was previously working on a startup using PHP/MySQL/Backbone. We just kept churning out releases out of management's ever changing specs.

After a while with the chatbot hype, in comes this external contractor, and started dismissing people left and right that either did not code in javascript or wanted to use his simplistic challenge/response chatbot (we coded a decision tree based system). In any case, at that stage the startup was failing, I ended up leaving, kept working with same cooling in my own startup and have been happy ever since.

So for me, the moral of the story is, work for somebody that is focused on the product instead of trying to win a hipster contest. First time I saw that was when .NET was in beta mode and our tech lead decided to switch everything over to an undocumented/buggy system back then.

While the backend might be what you call "old" PHP/MySQL, the design and front-end (UI/UX) is extremely good and modern.

Envision I believe still runs a ColdFusion backend.

Small correction - it's InVision. https://www.invisionapp.com/

Its co-founder and lead engineer is/was very prolific in the ColdFusion community. https://www.bennadel.com/

If his Github account is any indication, still pretty involved:


Its refreshing to see a startup doing well and not feeling the need to force a subscription on people.

I get that SaaS can be a good business model (great, even). On the other hand, I think subscription fatigue is real and you should think hard about your pricing. Dawson is making $15K/month on ONE TIME fees–and fees that are lower than a lot of monthly SaaS plans.

I want to see more of this.

Thanks! Yeah, it's a little unnverving not knowing if you'll make any money tomorrow, but it's a simple model that fits the solution.

I've been trying to get my logo. My card was charged, but almost 24 hours and no logo...I emailed you like the page said but nothing...even sent a tweet...what's going on there?

Mad props to you brother. Maybe your next venture is business education?

I went the same route as Logojoy with Shodan and it's worked out great. Even charging $5/ month was a non-starter for most individuals whereas a $49 one-time fee is more palatable. And despite it being a one-time fee the monthly revenue is very predictable so there isn't much uncertainty in terms of budget planning. I would highly recommend startups to consider one-time payments, especially if they're targeting individuals and not businesses.

One time fee works well here because there is a one time cost per sale. If you are talking software as a service where there is ongoing use, and therefore ongoing costs, you better be sure that the one time price is greater than the lifetime cost of the customer.

It's hard to see a subscription model for logo designs though. It's not like you need a new logo each month.

Funny, some designers have actually reached out asking about a subscription for their studio

That's really interesting. In a sense, you can go direct, but the product can save other designers and agencies lots of time. If the client is happy with the results does it matter how the sausage is made as long as they are paying a logo fee and not for fraudulently claimed hours worked?

That time they could save is likely much more valuable than just the one time fee, and constant improvements and features for them could very well justify a nice recurring subscription fee.



not exactly just logos but people seem to try and SaaSify everything.

I appreciate your point that some products are really not SaaS-oriented, yet try to be.

But your two examples here seem exactly the kind of long-term customer relationships that benefits from SaaS. And may in fact be underutilized. These are high-touch, deep background kind of gigs, rather than impersonal service sites. I want to have an ongoing conversation about my task and I'm willing to pay a retainer++ for that privilege.

You make some great points, but I question a design firm that allows for 'unlimited' number of requests/revisions/brands.

I definitely agree with this. So many products force a SaaS model when it doesn't fit the business. I find it especially when spas and massage services push a yearly subscription for discounts (not even units) on services. It doesn't make any sense.

In fairness, it is apparently his first month.

So there might be a substantial drop-off in revenue next month as there is no recurring revenue from existing customers.

Also, making a logo is a one-time service. What value can you provide in the month after the logo is done?

> What really worked for me is building a small product. The big picture I have for Logojoy will take years. I was able to get really excited about it because I decided on the simplest version of it. Spend time deciding on the most critical features to launch with, and only build those.

Great advice.

>Once you truly know that every problem can be solved by breaking it down into smaller pieces, nothing can stop you.

Also great advice. I've used this mentality to go places I never thought possible.

Hey guys - Dawson here (founder) let me know if you have any questions about Logojoy / the story.

Have you looked into whether this is legit on legal usage? You appear to be using noun project icons in these logos, and afaik most logos on the noun project are creative commons with attribution (and I confirmed by selecting a few logos with icons which matched this license on the noun project site).

It doesn't appear that you provide any attribution at all to the icon creators wherever you display the icon, and I have no idea what license you deliver to the end user (I haven't went through purchasing a logo - knowing that you're just sticking some text with a noun-project icon doesn't strike me as worth it, honestly). Are you in the clear to be displaying these icons with no attribution, and are the users that buy your icons clear to be putting it on websites and business cards without attribution?

I haven't even looked into whether your font usage is appropriate, can you clarify that as well?

The Noun Project has an API plan which allows for usage like this I believe: https://thenounproject.com/developers/

Squarespace, Tailor Brands and some other tools are using the API for logo design (without the attribution) much like what Logojoy is doing.

> I haven't even looked into whether your font usage is appropriate, can you clarify that as well?

I did a test and the first result it gave me was just my company name in the Disney font.

nounproject has a paid plan with royalty free and no attribution needed.

You talk about the ML being reinforced over time by user actions so you must have suffered from the 'cold start' problem in the beginning. How did you address this? Did you initialize it with your own expert curated rules/weightings? Something else?

Have you done any automated mining of the elements in existing "good" company logos (e.g. Nike, AirBnB, etc.). I could see doing something manual too like Music Genome Project or Netflix's internal curated movie characteristics tagging. You'd go through assessing these gold standard logos for qualities like contrast, amount of whitespace, if brand name intersects the artwork, etc and then augment your model with these style rules.

Any insights you'd be willing to share would be appreciated!

Yeah, the ML is still in it's infancy, so we're almost in that cold-start right now. To address that, I built in some more randomness into the algorithm so the initial logo designs can just get the user thinking and then we can get a better sense of their taste as they favorite logos. Without that randomness, the algorithm tries and fails horribly at creating logos.

I would love to analyze 'good' logos. I would imagine it's realllllyyy hard to analyze actual pixels. We just analyze actions and pre-created objects (ie. a font choice).

Analyzing pixels is something ML has gotten much better in the near history :) Even if you have a very simple recommendation engine running behind the scenes, you can throw in some convolutions to utilize your data to create a feature space just like word2vec, which would give you great power to generalize. Even putting in pre-trained networks like VGG16 (instead of training one from scratch) could give you a great headstart on this.

Actually, maybe not, if you have a large dataset that you are willing to share.

So, I went through the whole logo creation process and got stuck at the sign up screen. I don't mind signing up, but when I used last pass to generate a password, I got told it was too long. I only tried to generate one that was ~9 characters long. If you are checking length, might want to put the requirements on that screen

I got past the signup screen but was then presented with a scrolling list of empty logo options (testing on my iPhone 7).

I thought the same, but it turns out you need to type a word into that input box to see the logos. The words scrolling are just examples you could type.

Oh really? I ended up skipping it because I thought they weren't loading. Should at least have a blinking cursor.

> So, I went through the whole logo creation process and got stuck at the sign up screen. I don't mind signing up ...

Yeah, I stopped here too. I'm not going to hand over my details sight-unseen ...

In Chrome, Right-click the edge of that "Sign-up" div, inspect, find and select the containing div if you didn't hit it already, and hit the delete key. I was able to use the site and browse more styles and customize from there.

Circumventing access controls, probably worth mentioning that's unlikely to be lawful in the UK.

Really you should not be checking length at all. There is no such thing as a password which is "too long."

From a password security standpoint, I largely agree. You can open yourself to system attacks by allowing arbitrary length input. You should have some kind of limits on any user input.

Sure, but that limit should be closer to hundreds of characters—not 9.

Agreed :)

Hey! Just a heads-up, there's a small typo on your landing page-- It says "They chose Logojoy because it's of how easy it is to make a great logo." That "it's" is superfluous. Anyways, great product! Congrats on your success.

Oh damn. Thanks. How did I not see that. Well, can't update it right now :\

I tried it, but got a Firefox is not supported message. Why not? What's the missing feature?

Otherwise looks pretty cool! Nice business, it's inspiring.

came here to ask the same question

Their is a login form on the website on a page without HTTPS. You should change that.

Also, no HTTPS when you are supposed to enter the credit card details. This stopped me from buying the logo.

Actually it is an iframe with https (using stripe)

But if the host traffic is compromised you can serve malicious payment gateways/forms.

If the host is compromised HTTPS isn't going to save you.

it will if it's the host /traffic/ that is compromised

Hey, awesome work! Your story is inspiring :)

Having trouble accessing the site though: "logojoy.com" does not work, but "www.logojoy.com" does. Unfortunately Indiehackers links to the one without the "www". Just wanted to let you know.

I was quite concerned the checkout page didn't use any encryption at all, which caused me to cancel my purchase.

What can you tell us about the algorithms you used or where did you start on learning A.I. ?

Interesting approach for logo creation!

From the Logojoy How it Works page.

    The last step isn’t actually AI – it’s a genetic algorithm. As you ‘favorite’ logos, we apply a natural selection type process to generate more accurate logos as you scroll. Each logo is made up of hundreds of ingredients (ie ‘funky font’, ‘bold color’, ‘logo has a symbol’, etc.) – these are called traits in the context of genetic algorithms.
As others in the thread have already mentioned, the AI referenced in the previous steps seems more like a rules-based algorithm.

I don't know about Logojoy in particular, but every AI begins with some variation of rand(). :)

From https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13067481

> Yeah, the ML is still in it's infancy... To address that, I built in some more randomness into the algorithm so the initial logo designs can just get the user thinking and then we can get a better sense of their taste as they favorite logos. Without that randomness, the algorithm tries and fails horribly at creating logos.

Some variation of rand() indeed!

Not sure why you were downvoted, in this case that's a real possibility. It's hard to beat rand() for MVP.

Dawson, just came here to just say that I am super impressed with Logojoy, and especially how the onboarding process is both so fantastically smooth AND it actually IS the product! Very cool.

On the flipside, this surely has the potential to put thousands of cheapo logo designers out of (that line of) work.

Fantastic work! Landing experience (result first, registration later), logos seen working in context (blanks, packages, etc), overall smoothness... even the support guy notifying about possible outages during to HN hug of death, everything is so perfect!

You are a natural talent, and I envy you. :)

Haha thank you! It's been a lot of work. PS. how bout that support guy - what a cool dude

I tried "lûd" as the company name, and that works but many of the logos show "ld". It looks like some of your fonts don't have accented characters.

Please stop having Javascript take over the scroll event in the logo generator. I am having to throw my mouse across the room to even barely scroll down the page.

My back-of-the-envelope calculation says that you are losing money on adwords, unless about 50% of all sales are enterprise level, in which case adwords breaks even.

1800 visits 25% signups * 0.5% sales = 2.25 sales* for $250 spend on adwords.

He says he gets 5000 visits a day and the 25% / 0.5% stats are related to the 5000, not the 1800 from AdWords.

The AdWords visitors likely look different and sometimes it takes experimenting time and money to find an effective way to make a profit on AdWords traffic, so taking a small loss or breaking even in the short term isn't so bad. Acquiring customers has some value besides what they purchase that day as well -- word of mouth, repeat orders, etc.

I'm more worried about him thinking he can 2-4x conversion rate "within the next month"!

Really well done! I was just playing with it and noticed that when I combine an inline icon with a name, the icon hangs way lower than the middle line of the next. Is that a bug? A design choice I don't understand? As another point of feedback, some spinners when searching icons and loading logos would be really nice. Maybe because of the HN effect or maybe for some other reason, but it took a few seconds for lots of actions and I wasn't sure if stuff was supposed to be happening or not. But the product is fantastic and I hope to use it soon.

hey Dawson - would love if you could go into more technical depth on how things work. Cool product!

Absolutely. I talk a lot about the tech in the IH article, but I'll re-iterate here with as little jargon as possible, focusing on the machine learning part, as I assume that's what you're more interested in.

The logo generating algorithm is still in its infancy, so right now it's mostly acting as an idea source for most users.

So our logos are just combinations of ingredients — fonts, colors, layouts, symbols, etc. Logojoy uses machine learning specifically to learn which ingredients go better together.

It starts with tracking basically everything our users do. We track things like: the inspiration they selected, the logos they favorite, the changes they make to logos (e.g. changing the font), the time spent looking at certain logos, the commonalities between all of their favorited logos, the logos they purchase, and more. We currently track about 80 types of actions.

Every day, the learning algorithm reads all these actions and weights each one by how many times it occurred. Because of the structured way it reads actions, it's able to define rules based on "heavy" actions.

For example, an action might be defined as "user changed font weight from 100 (light) to 600 (bold)". This action object includes the number of times it occurred, every other preceding action, and all of the logo's ingredients. In this case, let's say the algorithm concluded that every time this happened, the color of the logo was classified as "light". The algorithm would presumably define a rule that says "if the color of the logo is light, do not use a light font weight".

Is it just rule-based, or are these "weights" being used to train a classifier, ANN, or some kind of genetic algorithm? Nothing wrong with the former, if it works for ya - but the latter would be interesting, too!

Based on my previous experience, my guess is that the latter would be much too blurry, because generative models tend to only output blurry images.

Could you say anything more about the ML portion? I'm curious how you account for the temporal/chaining aspect of actions, what kinds of learners worked well, etc. On the implementation side, did you find a usable ML library for PHP or roll your own implementations?

This is great. Sorry if this is a noob question but what did you use? Is this all coded in raw php? Or is there some sort of combination of tools/libraries you used to make this happen like tensorflow?

You may want to try using an ML algorithm called association rules, which produces rules automatically. Though acccounting for the sequence of events would be harder.

..know anyy good ML tutorials? this all sounds very interesting.

thanks for your response!

So I tried it. It seems like almost anything is going to require designer interaction. The logo I ended up with has such low contrast with the background I would be embarrassed to even present it as a mockup, much less treat it like final product. I couldn't get logos in containers, which seems obvious, and very simple to do from what you're already doing. The color picker is suuuuper dumbed down, it'd be nice to see some true color palette options in the vein of Coolors (many other examples exist but that one is representative of what is doable pretty easily and light years better than picking shades of yellow). I could imagine giving this to someone and having them play with it for 30 minutes to get an idea of what they like, but right now unless they want a company name in a single color format (and even then many color options have no legible results) you aren't going to finish anything there.

Do you plan to allow editing the stroke color independent of the background? This is the most immediately problematic issue for me, because it means I cannot get a high contrast logo in any light color. Maybe I missed a way to do this?

Looks great! Made a logo in like 5 min that looks amazing. Letting me share it before buying lets me discuss with other people on the team before making a decision.

You mention trying to compete with designers "on the same level", but this seems like a different space than design. I do logos for my clients and most of the work is helping them make choices about what they should do with their logo, not actually drawing it. Have you considered partnering with designers instead of seeing them as competitors?

Designers could easily leverage this as a starting point, then refine the idea more accurately, down to the pixel.

Hi Dawson - What is your background? What's your team consist of?

It's just me right now! Hoping to bring on a developer and someone to help out marketing it ASAP.

I've been a designer for about 12 years (doing lots of logos) and developing for about 8 years.

Trying the site with chrome on android, some frustrating issues:

* as soon as logos appear the signup form covers all of them, so I can't see the logos. Is it by design? I tried signing up and the wheel keeps spinning, I'll retry later.

* Since I tried multiple times, the browser allows to autofill forms. When I do that the js validation fails thinking I haven't entered any char yet.

* not sure what to do on the Selectr-icons-screen, I've tried clicking here and there with no results. Luckily I can skip the step :-)

* Reloading the page (eg I'm wondering if the server is overloaded and I want to give it a chance) the logo generation restart from scratch. Pls consider keeping state in the URL.

Anyhow, great idea :-)

Hey Dawson. I'm trying to create an account on logojoy, but it looks like you're blocking emails with a + (plus) sign as invalid. This bugs me, as I like to give each app a unique email address.

I would love to know more details on the tech side. Did you use a machine learning framework or api? Just would love to know your process as a dev looking to incorporate some machine learning.

Is it mostly a solo effort?

I am releasing my first larger project soon - any tips in terms of release, first places to post to spread the word etc? Also top X things you would have done differently?

Also one step that did not quite work for me was picking the icons (it said pick 3 icons you like or something). There were three cutouts and words flying by, but no images and there were no selections available. Here is my browser version: Version 55.0.2883.44 Ubuntu 16.04 (64-bit)

You are expected to enter text in the text-box above where the text flies by.

As a usability feature, I believe that it should auto-type suggestions (which fly by) in the box when you click on them.

It doesn't help that the text box is white (#FFF) and the background is very light grey (something like #DDD). Hard to see the box.

Ohh, thanks that was it :). I thought it had something to do with my browser...

This is really cool -- my major issue has been that it doesn't preserve case sensitivity. So logos like eKitten don't seem to work :(

Only works in Chrome...

tried it in firefox and it worked fine.

I simply ignored the "chrome only" warning

If true, that just makes the "chrome only" warning even more obnoxious.

The tooltips over the color selector's bottom row are cropped in Firefox but not Chrome. The page seems to have more whitespace at the bottom in Chrome.

Might be caused by all the traffic, but received this error when clicking "Make Your Logo"

>Connection Failed: 1226

I received the same error, but refreshing the page took me straight there.

Hey Dawson, small world! I worked at RHINO for a bit last year. Were you working on this at that time and what was the time commitment to it back then? You mention two and a half months but given the freelancing I’m guessing it wasn’t full-time effort?

Hey! Small world for sure. It was 90% of my time, I did a little freelancing for existing clients. I started work on it in September 2016.

Dawson, how did you decide what were the simplest things that needed to be done first?

Great question. I've been designing logos for 12 years so I have a good sense of what's important:

1. Amazing fonts. This is the low-hanging fruit, and the core of every logo. Some logos are just nice fonts :P

2. Brainstorming and idea exploration. Logojoy is cool because it gets you thinking, and makes it a joy (haha) to explore different fonts, symbols, colors, etc.

3. Presentation. If you look at how the top agencies present logos to clients, it's always with a ton of whitespace, real-life mockups, etc.

Fonts are expensive. Are these free fonts?

Signup didn't work for me. I was stuck there.

Love what you guys are doing, I tried it out and ended up with way better logos than any of the designers we found.

FYI, I thought I'd give it a try today, but it appears to be broken (syntax error in the console).

Might be a little finicky due to all the HN traffic, please try again, I promise it will work eventually.

Is there a way up prevent the design mock-ups on the preview tab from capitalising the first letter?

just tried it and it's stuck at only two logos but it says it's generating more logos :/

would love to know if there's free alternatives like logojoy, I think it's nifty

Click into a logo, then click back and it should work. Gets stuck sometimes :(

I imagine this was upvoted because of Indiehackers credibility, so people just assumed the achievement of $15k/mo was true.

Until mikejarema noticed in another comment that the product was launched 15 days ago and the title was BS, I believed too. Now I flagged the story because it is basically a lie. And IndieHackers lost a lot of its credibility for me by now.

Other people noticed the AI part is most likely BS too. But that is a less black and white lie than claiming that the creator "makes $15k/mo" when he hasn't made $15k total in the whole product lifetime.

Shame on you indiehackers for outright lying (maybe twice) in the title just to get clicks. You gamed HN for this one, but I have the impression that this will hurt you in the future.

I could not for the life of me figure out what I was supposed to do on the "pick up to 3 symbols" page. And I really tried!

Same here, that part of the flow seems like it could use some polish.

Two simple improvements could be:

1. make the "Search for icons" focused when the page loads (so the user sees a caret and that they can type something)

2. put a spinner while the logos load.

Yeah - gotta make that more clear. Even my smartest tech friends get confused there.

The moving suggestions and dotted-line empty spaces draw your attention away from the text field; maybe clicking on the suggestions/spaces should do something? Even just focusing the text field on click would make a big difference, I think.

Type a word or phrase then press ENTER. (Suggestions are scrolling below.)

THEN choose an icon from the suggestions. Clear your typed input, repeat.

I tried to click on the suggestions a few times, until I realized that I had to type ...

I had to hit enter and wait...and wait...and wait

Well, if it doesn't find any icons it will not change anything on the screen. :)

Should probably return a "We couldn't find anything like that :/" so you can know whether it's loading or just came up short.

Hey it's PHP what do you expect

As a graphic designer, I implore you to PLEASE develop that good banner ad creation AI product. There are few things and mind numbing as creating 15 variations of the same banner ad over and over and over... My manager and I would both rather have me working on something else.

Have you seen https://www.makethunder.com/, thefalcon?

I've not used it, but it looks like it might help. Here's a demo video: https://vimeo.com/163751319 (warning: loud surf-rock soundtrack).

I had not seen it, thank you very much.

Please contact me admin [at] crazyctr (.) com with your ideas.

I had a few years ago a product that made banner variations, now I'm looking to revive it.

Very impressing, hits the sweet spot for projects that need a logo but don't have a big budget. A few comments:

* I skipped picking symbols and it generated a logo with a monogram. I wanted to get rid of this so I looked in the Symbol menu and was frustrated not to find it. I eventually found it in "Layout" but that's not the first place I thought to look.

* There's a lot greyed text used on controls, which is both hard to read and makes it look like the controls are disabled. e.g. horizontal scroll buttons, uppercase/lowercase toggle, text input boxes

* Logos on the preview page load slowly/inconsistently at times, leaving the sample images blank. Perhaps use loading indicators or don't show backgrounds until logo is ready.

* reloading the page loses your work (oops)

Thanks for the feedback, really really appreciate it. I've taken notes!

* slow-loading/blank logos is due to HN traffic * reloading the page won't lose your favorites if you have signed up.

I did all the work and then got a registration popup that prevented me from seeing what I was registering for :(

Logojoy assumes that your need for a logo will outweigh the artificial roadblock that they place in the workflow. The only problem is that they've provided no carrots leading up to the roadblock, so I have no motivation to continue. I need to test the service and have confidence in its quality before I sign up for anything. Never mind that I don't actually need a logo, I'm just curating a resource for future use. So I have no innate momentum besides mild curiosity, and I bounced.

Same. Developer tools helped me remove it :)

Yep. Right Click, Inspect then Right Click, Delete element on the modal. Then click the left arrow icon (upper left, next to hamburger), then click "see logos" again.

I just wrote garbage

If I could offer feedback about the pricing structure -- I think if I didn't know (from the article) that it's free to create unlimited logos, I wouldn't have figured that out by looking at your pricing section.

And I know it says "It's free to build unlimited logos. Only pay when you want to download" right there in plain text under the headline, but my eyes skipped over that part. I expected clickable price boxes too. I think it looks so similar to a typical SaaS pricing page that I assumed it works the same way. I don't know how best to fix it, but it might be worth testing different arrangements to make it clearer that it's free to sign up and create a logo.

Thanks for your feedback, will definitely test different arrangements.

You should expand to recreational sports teams. The logos all follow similar formats and everyone wants one that looks professional but on a limited budget. There are design services that will do it manually but your algorithm approach would work really well for it as well.

I used it but wasn't too impressed with the quality of the results. Squarespace logo builder is still better. The good news is that that lots of people now know there's a market for this and we should see some impressive products in the pipeline.

So.... ML/AI to me this looks more like a rand() than anything else. What am I missing?

VC Money

I'm happy this guy built something that's generating income, but the results of my attempt to use it just now were really underwhelming. Page after page of COMAPANY NAME on plain cards with different fonts didn't really demonstrate much AI. My takeaway here is that this "story" is not yet a story. Maybe 1-2 years from now, after the product has really developed and evolved, it will be something.

Yeah, same experience here, there are other sites offering different fonts + 'clipart' to make a rand() logo. Don't see much AI here, still waiting for SkyNet...

Just a quick feedback:

I tried making a logo that used the character ó, and it seemed that some logos rendered that character correctly, but others omitted it. So the word móbile in some logos would display correctly but in others it would show up as mbile.

I have the same problem with the word dépôt it will render as dpt instead.

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