Could you please tell us how you went about writing the gym membership contract? Did you just rock up to your solicitor and say "Hey, I need a gym membership contact for my automated gym?"
Kinda weird to take over a building and the owner then says you can't ... use some of it / move stuff...
You certainly made a great choice in the long run though.
Do you have someone come in and clean each day? Can't imagine you can automate that (roombas aren't that good yet...), granted as far as costs goes that is probabbly pretty low for a regular gig like that.
On the topic of more expensive licensing for some customers, I forgot to mention that for commercial entities it costs $200, but that accounts only for something like 5% of sales, since it's mostly academics who want to make pretty plots for their publications.
A site I built to teach myself bodyweight fitness (from a routine I found on reddit) -- grew a userbase and built up more detailed tracking, configuration, and usability.
The MRR is a bit hard to calculate right now (since I charge annually), but somewhere in the $500 - $1000 range.
Edit: This app grew from feelings of being stuck / burned out / almost depressed that can come from being in front of the computer too much. I was trying to build another startup out of college from my parents' house, and was having little progress or social interaction. There's been a number of threads about depression on HN recently, I felt the same. I realized I needed to be able to work out, but had no good gym accessible at the time, thus this little project was born (and went on to be more successful than the app I was initially trying to work on).
Brings in around $500-$1000 per month of revenue (when in stock haha). I started just to learn how to lay out a circuit board and make my own embedded device, just kind of took off.
Using the U2F protocol is nice, since it's a standard and the PC side infrastructure is all there for the users to use it. I just have to do the hardware development :)
Also, I'm working on a new U2F token. It supports FIDO2 (password replacement protocol, upgrade to U2F), NFC, USB-C, and will have a nice case. If you're interested, sign up here, we'll be releasing more news soon :)
Either a month or a quarter would be fantastic (Nov 18 or Q3 18).
Makes ~$1,000 a month gross, lot less after AWS costs.
I've had it for a long time, but haven't done much with it because of my primary business. After I sold that I spent the last year playing with some ideas and testing. I am working to get a new design up and just partnered with a friend to redo the arch and let him see what ideas he has to better monetize it.
We've just invested more in the code base to offer more features within our app, but kept things pretty simple at the start. Releasing in a couple of weeks!
Development time was about 4 months to an MVP. 2 developers, but one was an absolute rockstar. Maintained by 2 guys now (1 of whom is an original developer). Also have a small sales team, composed of 5 contractors.
Our app is loved by our customers, and especially so because it's a light PWA that feels native.
We also offer a free forever tier and are also integrated with UK tax authorities to submit company taxes online (this will be mandatory from 2019 onwards).
Our support is considered to be really good, because we bend over backwards for our clients. We listen to them and add features they ask for as quickly as we can.
We have in built project management and time tracking, and we're making this functionality better in our upcoming release.
Our quality of service and the easiness of our app seems to win us clients from the likes of Sage, QuickBooks and Xero. Try them all, and then try Bx - I hope the difference is obvious!
Also, just FYI -- your FAQ contains an outdated reference:
API currently in beta, but will be available by mid November 2017
Despite everything I thought I knew, the project was significantly more challenging than I expected. Writing accounting software itself is conceptually not that hard, BUT, putting a scalable analytics framework around it is hard. Optimising queries to get the most of your metal is hard. Writing a PWA and making it feel native is hard. These are not obvious considerations when you think about writing accounting software, but take up a lot of time when you're faced with them during the development process.
Almost all the things I thought were minor considerations were actually very challenging projects in their own right. They were also excellent learning experiences.
And yes, the API is in fact now live, but only for corporate clients. We found most small businesses don't really need it, and some people even tried to game our rate limits, so we disabled it. We're releasing a new, more robust API very soon.
Also, now that we have some cash, we're also going to improve the landing page, add some tutorials, maybe even start a blog and do some marketing.
P.S. I never really involved an accountant for advice because I wanted to stay away from accounting jargon in the app. No journals or ledgers etc. Just simple terminology anyone can understand. I showed it to my accountant a couple of months ago, and he was actually very impressed. In fact, he's started using it with his clients to record their sales and purchase more efficiently. I can't really ask for a better seal of approval :)
Having W2 and 1099 income like this is advantageous as well. First, I max out my social security tax at my main employer which means my side income is social security tax free. Second, I max out my 401k employee contribution of $18,500 at my main employer. I then have an Individual 401k with Vanguard where I take about 20% of my profits and deposit that as the employer portion which lowers my federal taxes substantially. I take a good portion of what's left and deposit that in a 529 account for my kids which my state gives a tax deduction for that on state taxes.
My smaller client was just a friend that I met through my kids' school. My larger client I met while studying for a programming certification at a baseball clinic my oldest son attended. A guy who owned a local business saw me with a thick book and approached me with, "Are you in IT?"
I've got some imposter syndrome/esteem issues I find it hard to pitch > $50/hour for my services... (I'm in utah)..
Average pay around here is also like $70-80k which I think is something like $35-40/hour, so again $150/hr just seems really high... I'd love to get $100/hour freelancing..
You need to account for time not working, such as paid holidays, vacation and sick time. Also, you need to factor the amount the company pays in addition to the salary such as payroll tax, benefits, cost of the space, tools and amenities to let the employee do their job. These are all costs that will be absorbed by the freelancer.
All said and done, a company pays probably $60/hr, minimum, to hire an employee at $80k per year.
Doubling or tripling your salaried employment rate is not uncommon when freelancing in order to maintain the SAME level of income to account for non-billed time. This can be adjusted for longer term contracts.
My point is $150/hr is not too hard to justify as a consulting rate for an equivalent employee making in the salary range you specify.
The other consideration is the role you're in with the company who hires you. Are they hiring you to interface with an existing tech team, or is it a solo gig, where you also will be playing business analyst and project manager. The latter, IMO, would also justify a higher rate, assuming one is competent at it and is providing that additional value.
My large client had a fairly large and complex application written for him by a small company about 12 years ago. It was written in Visual Basic.NET and designed horribly. Since meeting him 8 years ago I've made major improvements to the system both in functionality and in maintainability including re-writing areas that I am naturally working on in C#, moving the business logic out of VB.NET screens, etc.
$150 per hour where I am (Top 5 metro area in US) is good but not great. I could definitely charge more if I wanted to squeeze my side clients for every dime and could even change my billing to something more akin to a percentage of NPV of projects but it's just side work for now.
I started Manypixels as a side project while being a digital nomad in Bangkok.
After a few weeks it grew to $5000/month then $10,000 month and we're now at $40,000/month after 8 months.
Wrote about that story from the early beginning here: https://www.indiehackers.com/@Vinrob/bootstrapping-a-product...
- There's no way to see full resolution designs. Looking through the blog where your portfolio links to, there are _some_ samples, but some are pixelated and low-res.
- After signing up there's only a link to the customer portal via email, but there's no way to submit a design order nor are there any instructions on how to do so.
- I've been billed for a subscription, but no services have been or began to be rendered. Since I haven't submitted any design requests or any services have started, this is disappointing.
- The billing invoice is really confusing. I signed up for one month, but see two line items and "MANYPIXELS SPECIAL OFFER (2 for 1)" and two invoice line items for "PAID" and "ATTEMPTING"
I assume that since this is still a young product and you're still building the business out; however, I would expect the main site, manypixels.co, to know I've registered, be able to show me some information about my design request, and to download completed assets from it.
Looking forward to using the product!
Finally - feel free to dm on Twitter (@Vinrob) I'll happily give you my WhatsApp + email in case you need me to pick up the ball for your projects :)
It's been a lot of fun and I enjoy focusing on something which is less about computers and more about working with my hands.
Simple website for sending reminders. It didn't make any money for 4 years until I added commonly-requested features (templates, recurring reminders, and variables for recipient names). Now I have about 60 paying customers and it makes about $600 per month after all expenses paid. It's been running essentially autonomously for the past five months.
The iOS app is still difficult to use. I'm slowly rebuilding it. I'd say the main claim to fame at this point is if you Google "text message reminders" it's the first or second result.
It’s now averaging about $1000/month with 2 customers. I’m now planning to slowly rebuild the mobile app (need to improve UX and add offline functionality). Once ready, I can start selling to more customers, Also thinking of adding a few integrations with tools like Google Drive, Office 365 & Slack to improve market visibility.
Our stack is Ruby/Rails/React/React Native.
We plan to better the product now before going in with full blown marketing/sales.
With the upcoming consumer RTX launch in a couple days, I really hope you've gotten your money's worth out of them. It's at least been a really long product cycle since their release.
It's an open source GPS tracking solution. We make money on SaaS, support and customisation services. Some of it basically passive income from subscriptions, some is new development.
Sound Shelter is a vinyl marketplace that connects records buyers with small independent record stores.
Revenue comes from a mixture of affiliate sales and subscriptions from records stores listing their inventory.
Building a two-sided marketplace is a lot more challenging than I had expected but definitely rewarding when the users find the rare record they probably wouldn't have ever found.
I just made it because I thought it was a cool feature that was missing. As I started to develop it I realized it was much more complicated to implemente than it seemed, that was probably the reason the feature was missing. Anyway I accepted the challenge, put it live for free on Heroku and forgot about it.
One year later I got back to check it out and thousands of people were using it.
Still, I'm bad at market and monetization, and it's still a side-project to this day, but makes about $1200/mo.
Need to work on automatically posting my plans to other locations, or maybe find a service that does it for me, if anyone has recommendations. Looking to private message Discord users, Facebook friends, Facebook groups, Instagram posts, and Reddit subreddits/daily threads.
Also, your pricing seems quite steep ... just curious how many active users you have and revenue / month? (a single user on your monthly package gets you too $500! :))
The subscriptions are growing, also I think I will raise it to $1,500 soon as I don't want too many clients ;) I've noticed the people who pay the $500 right away are happy, the ones asking for a discount drain too much time and cause this to be a real business. It's only $250 the first month, then $500 after that. Many people do the $250, then cancel, but really, the people who cancel are the ones who don't get into all the trades/are just curious.
Most the other services charge $99 or something, but they aren't half as good as me also they get into hundreds and thousands of trades. Mine can be done by someone at work that's the big part. The following the plans is rather easy because I tell the customers something like, if AAPL crosses $220, but the Jan 2019 $220 Options. Then an alert gets sent to Discord when I get in, so either they can setup a conditional order, or wait for my order to execute. At the start, I was not posting my exits, now I am posting my exits, so it can be easier for people and that's making the retention/marketing huge because most the other competitors don't get into all their trades, that's what makes me unique.
The one negative right now, I don't have my stats posted as to the win/loss rate to make people believe, however, I have a plan for January 1.
The part that is really flying is the "account management for larger accounts" as I have gotten people out of a few bad stocks and into a few more great stocks. I just don't know how to automate this and I am not sure which way it's going to grow, i.e. people will want to deposit in my account, or want me to trade from their account, plus I'm not licensed so I might be doing a CSC soon.
$SPY to $300 this year.
There are lots of ways to beat the market, many people are doing it, you can look in /r/algotrading on reddit as there some good discussions there if you are interested in getting started. The easy part is the implementing the strategy, the hard part is coming up with one. You can look into the Wheel Strategy as well if you own stocks.
You can look at our Discord, it's open until Wednesday. There are a few historical entries/plans/exits .
He posts about Wheel Strategies a lot.
Edit: I also couldn't find a better pic, this one just fits for some reason.
It would be interesting to also see people simply saying "I do" and maybe the "space" it's in?
That too would be encouraging I think.
On one hand you have execution that can get you an advantage of a difficult-to-reproduce technology stack for solving a problem, but on the other hand, information that other players might not have discovered (yet) also can get you an advantage in the market. Although I find the latter to be less rigid and prone to disruption.
If I'm understanding you correctly, you have found a niche that is not at all in the tech sector, but through technology gets augmented into a proven market-fit? Can I ask you what your process was in finding that niche? You can leave out the specifics of course.
Just kidding. I'm glad you're successful, and I hope to find my niche. I think I already have but it isn't successful yet.
There are probably lots of HN users who have really nifty side projects but won't disclose it for more or less the reasons you cite.
VCs can only control the team. That is why they push this idea really hard.
Really? Pitch me one.
Two ideas for you off the top of my head:
Do CRM right for SMBs. (Sounds simple, but it's not, because of the S and the M in SMB).
Do time tracking right (timesheet management for contractors etc.). Never saw a single solution that didn't suck to the extreme.
Here's a thing though: non techies won't have the advantage a technical person (i.e., adventurous software developer) has: The tech can do it with minimal resources and overheads. If you also have a business sense - that's great. Otherwise break existing market by offering a superior service dirt cheap (but not free!). Once you reach a critical mass, grandfather the existing accounts in their original early bird price and nudge the cost for new customers up a bit. Automate as much as you can and you have a side income with potential to be main income.
Part of the difficultly for me has been realizing that the it's not just a rare, good idea that matters—but that it's a rare and good business idea specifically. For instance, I've had a couple projects that gained interest by researchers, which I took as evidence that they might be uncommonly good; but getting the attention of researchers is different from getting the attention of investors for a reason, and it's still questionable whether either has even above average value as a business idea...
I'd argue both matter. It's just as easy to execute really well on a half-baked idea and get nowhere.
Some examples are SEO, entertainment, and mobile games.
"Everything" can mean every industry and their products.
Of course the movie does actually have to be made, and well, to succeed, but the idea for it is valuable in itself, so long as it is actually an original and interesting idea.
A cynic might suggest that VCs spread the "ideas are worthless" meme for their own benefit.
Or perhaps they only ever really encounter the "uber, for doughnuts" type pitches which indeed generally have little value.
Someone could see a $500/pm idea in this thread, being developed by a solo dev, and think: "that's a good idea". They put a team of seasoned devs on it and created their own $500k/pm version.
Clients are all lawyers or medical/health services like Spas and Chiropractors. Marketing is all done by email. Everything in the service delivery is outsourced or automated. All I do is send some cold-outreach campaigns each month and process the client invoices at the end of the month. Just about past $500. If I focused on it more I'm sure it would grow a lot.
Wokabulary is a vocabulary trainer for macOS and iOS. We started many years ago when we were still studying and published various projects (like a text editor with syntax coloring) but Wokabulary is the only one left, that is actively developed. It grew out of a personal need and at first you could use it for free, only later we thought that we could also sell it. At some point we rewrote it and since then it's low maintenance, basically no known bugs. People a generally very happy with the apps and we still have a lot of feature ideas that would improve the whole platform. Time is our limiting factor, and of course there is a lot of competition out there.
Currently growing at over 100% YOY (somewhere around 26% QOQ), closed out our last month at over $23k, and on pace to do somewhere between $350-400k. This is not an easy side project and there's been an insane amount of learnings on both the wet lab and informatics side. We've had some set backs but it's worth it when we get to hear what sort of life changing (literally) work we get to contribute.
But it’s good to see those machines go to good use! That last core lab I was in was still processing the same types of samples through Sanger (of course not WGS), so I’m glad that the research community is using the smaller NGS instruments for what I feel like they were meant for. Good on ya :)
So for now we're sticking with bacterial and targeted human as our primary market.
I started the project last year and made $3 in my first six months. But have seen pretty decent slow and steady growth since then.
I've written extensively about the process on my website (http://www.coryzue.com/writing/) and on indie hackers in case interesting to anyone.
But then it wouldn't be a side project I guess.