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Ask HN: One-person SaaS apps that are profitable?
752 points by phoenix24 on April 19, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 358 comments
Hi HN,

Do you know any one man SaaS app that are profitable?

I'm asking this because I'm considering starting a SaaS app as a side project, and I'm looking for some inspiration.


Note: this is was previously on HN here[1], but it's been few years, and I'm sure a lot of one person startups are thriving than before.

[1]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11924009

Key Values (https://www.keyvalues.com) is a one-woman show (oh hi!). I started Key Values as a side project two years ago, but it quickly turned into my full-time passion and business. I'm doing ~$30k/month and it's almost all profit since I don't have an office or any employees. I recently talked to Courtland of Indie Hackers (already mentioned in the comments) about how I got here: https://www.indiehackers.com/podcast/086-lynne-tye-of-key-va...

I would never have started Key Values w/o Indie Hackers, so I highly recommend you spend some time there. It's a bottomless treasure chest of inspiration.

God, that's a brilliant name/logo.

Agreed, although I thought it was a key value store as a service at first

Same, definitely thought of https://keyvalue.xyz/ which I haven't used myself, but once recommended (after searching it up) to a client dev for his hackathon project and he was happy with it

I was interested in knowing how you got the idea for this, and reading your about page confirmed my suspicion that this is an amazingly simple example of the whole "make a product that solves a problem in your own life" sentiment. Kudos!

Neat! Could you add a category for part time?

How do you enforce that the companies are being honest?

Also the filters seems to OR each other so the more I pick the more results I get. I think most people expect filters to be AND.

1. I think only ~1/150 companies I talk to are actively hiring part-time engineers, so it's unlikely I'll add this category any time soon... if ever. (Sorry!)

2. A lot of people don't trust employers, but in reality, hiring managers aren't trying to mislead people. Especially at small startups. It's extremely expensive (and heart-breaking!) to interview, hire, and onboard devs only to have them leave soon after. It's a competitive market and software engineers have their pick of the litter, so companies want to attract the right candidates, the ones who are truly aligned w/ their values and will stick around for the long haul.

3. Trust me, I don't want to use OR logic either! Once there are enough companies on Key Values for AND logic to provide a good user experience, I'll switch. For now, the results are sorted by number of matches and how highly companies rank those matches.

Consider that you may be turning people off the product: I had run into this service before (as a job-seeker) , but gave up simply because I couldn't actually drill down to anything meaningful-it didn't offer anything above browsing job boards. Even with a small # of offerings, AND logic allows people to filter down to what they are actually seeking. Providing a ranked list that grows the more specific I am being is, in my mind, negative value, since now I have to sort through a longer list of results that likely don't match at all. There's nothing wrong with providing a page that states "there are zero results for this query, but if you relaxed {X} then there are {y} employers avaliable.

@lynnetye — what about drawing a horizontal line, between the companise that AND match all criteria, and the ones that only OR match? And there could be a sub title / explanation below the line, like, "The below companies match only some of your criteria:".

And maybe the match number could be instead of just a single number, a text like "X exact matches, 7 partial matches"?

Persnoally, getting both an AND count, and an OR count, and this combined AND + OR match list, seems nice. I'd probably be interested in an OR match company, if it matched say 5 out of 7 criteria.

> 1. I think only ~1/150 companies I talk to are actively hiring part-time engineers, so it's unlikely I'll add this category any time soon... if ever. (Sorry!)

Is that not a chicken and egg thing tho? With your visibility, encouraging the values you want to see can be a good thing?

I run an event listing site, and years ago I added a totally optional "Code of Conduct" field. I know that prompted at least one local group to officially add one!

Also, if you do, make it so companies can select both full time and part time. We just closed an job advert where we would accept both, and the number of places that only let me pick one was frustrating.

> 1. I think only ~1/150 companies I talk to are actively hiring part-time engineers, so it's unlikely I'll add this category any time soon... if ever. (Sorry!)

That’s sad to hear. I’m currently working part time (I value my free time much more than the money I would make) and it took quite a bit of effort to find a place.

What place did you find? (Or how did you find it, if you would rather not divulge names)

I will be looking to go from full time to part time in s couple of years.

I spoke to employers of friends who were open to the idea. Small (but post-startup, I guess) tech companies that I found through my personal network. I also talked to a recruiter I know, but he didn’t have much luck finding anything for me.

Maybe you could get people to enter values for companies. Sort of a glassdoor for values.

I think you need some % match indicator or a floor (eg chose at least 8 values? Match more than 1). At the moment it isn't clear when I would want to stop scrolling or improve my search criteria.

Perhaps use a soft floor? I.e. a little header "matched one value" at the right point in results. If people want to scroll past that they can, if not they'll know where to stop. You could also exclude them from the result count. In which case it would say "We also found these companies which matched one of your values".

your A/B tests can also be lying to you.

just because a test is giving you a result of doubling down on a particular feature, it doesn't mean you should.

now of course, if you just need the clicks so that you sell to the greater fool, by all means boost that engagement sister!

Yeah, the filter really turns me off. The number of matches going up as I try to narrow things down is frustrating.

I second this sentiment

Nice idea, but I miss society related values here (which are increasingly important for many people). For example, what if I don't want to work for a company that trades user data? Also negative externalities of a company are not clearly shown.

Great interview on indie hackers podcast. Always motivating to hear from the perspectives of people not trying to grow at all cost, following SV conventional wisdom etc, aiming for more lifestyle type businesses.

> I'm doing ~$30k/month and it's almost all profit since I don't have an office or any employees.

Awesome job. I am really surprised with that kind of revenue you don't spring for an office or dedicated office space at WeWork. You might as well spend money on your business, either that or you paying taxes to uncle sam (assuming you based out of the US). I try and buy a new MacBook Pro each year, might as well get a high end asset I use daily and the deduction.

Umm... if you spend money on tax deductible stuff that you don't need, I don't think you end up with more money than if you pocket the cash and pay taxes on it...

I’m not sure how the US tax system works, it seems doubtful that if you spend money on an asset you can deduct the full amount from the tax you pay? In Australia you would basically deduct the purchase price of a MacBook Pro off the total profit you calculate tax on so it ends up being around a 30% discount on the MacBook Pro. If it’s similar in the US at all spending profit pointlessly would just be throwing money away?

I have photography equipment that I used while working a media consultant. It was a 100% deductible business expense back then, I get a tax break every year as they continue to "depreciate". It's been a few years, I still do some photography on the side mostly portraits or headshots.

I don't think deduction means what you think it means. If you deduct 100%, you aren't deducting it from the total tax owed. You are deducting from your total taxable income.

So if your tax rate is 30% and you spent $1,000 on a camera, you will save $300 on taxes. So the camera is not free. But you do get it for effectively $700.

Additionally, you can't deduct the value of a purchase AND depreciate it every year. You do one or the other. And which one you do is dictated by tax law.

Double dipping is tax fraud.

> Additionally, you can't deduct the value of a purchase AND depreciate it every year.

In Austria we have an "investment bonus" that allows you to do exactly that (with a limit). If you are in the highest tax bracket (50%), this means you can get around 5000€ of equipment effectively for free every year.

surely that depends on the type of company you have? If you have a personal company then I expect it is like that, if on the other hand you are incorporated the full purchase should be deductible, the reasoning of course is that a product you buy for a personal company is also used for you.

No matter the type of company, deducting 100% of something does not reduce your tax burden by that amount. Multiply your tax rate times the amount of the deduction to see you tax savings. If you deduct 100% of a laptop and you or your company pays 30% tax rate, then you save about $300 because you were able to deduct.

You aren't getting the laptop for free.

If a company buys a laptop for a 1000 that is an operating expense of that company, if it is a personal company that is to say you are the sole owner and it is not incorporated then you can deduct part of the cost of that laptop which I thought I already indicated. If on the other hand the company is incorporated in some way - and because I am not referring to any particular country I just mean in some way the money spent on that laptop will not be counted in the company's profits and not be taxable.

on edit: unless of course this is different in the country under discussion but in the countries I'm familiar with it works that way, also note I have not discussed depreciation which would definitely apply to a laptop.

You are right, of course it's not 100% deductible. I am not advocating spending wildly on things you don't need for the business. If you have lots of revenue and not a lot of expenses, it makes sense to splurge on physical assets you can use and then expense and in the future sell. I.E. computers, networking equipment, storage, monitors, etc. Furthermore, it also make sense to spend on things that can help you grow the business like advertising, marketing, office space, employees. Again, better to spend and get the tax deduction, and have the resources that grow the business.

If you deduct the expense, and then sell it later, your going to have to claim the sale as income. And pay tax on it.

Depending on the depreciation schedule, esp for tech, it could well be viewed as close to worthless by the tax office after some years.

You don't get to expense the purchase AND depreciate the asset.

What if you feel your business is the right size?

Try 50% if you are earning 30k a month, top tax rate kicks in at 180k per year in Oz.

A lot of these are manager-dependent, like 'fosters psychological safety'. My impression is that these are snapshots of how the companies would like to be seen, which is what they are paying for. They aren't paying for an 'audit' of what their true value are, or for insight from employees (like Glassdoor).

Sweet mother...this is awesome. As a very technical engineer currently lost in a sea of bean counters and project managers, it has been a real challenge wading through idiotic recruiters and endless repeated garbage job postings. Thank you for Key Values...this is gold.

So how are you monetizing it? Is it ads or paid job advertisements or something else?

Companies pay a yearly subscription fee for content creation and listing their profile on Key Values. I never charge software engineers and I don't charge companies any placement fees for the engineers they hire through Key Values.

Having a contingency model is definitely the more lucrative path, but I'm against it for two reasons: (1) I'm a dev, not a recruiter, and (2) I think placements fees are part of what's broken in recruiting. The incentives are misaligned among recruiters, candidates, and employers when recruiters only want to place someone just long enough to hit the 90-day mark.

^^The incentives are misaligned among recruiters, candidates, and employers when recruiters only want to place someone just long enough to hit the 90-day mark.

Precisely! That's why I think Triplebyte.com is such an overrated company. Behind all their new-age silicon valley spin, they are nothing but an old-school scheming recruiter, charging $10K++ per hire.

Think of about it - it's the ultimate rent-seeking industry out there. I feel that the $10K should go to the candidate who is actually going to do all the work and/or be re-invested into R&D (actually adding value to the world rather than paying fat recruiters).

$10k per hire sounds like a lot, until you realize that engineers add hundreds of thousands of dollars in value to their companies per year, if not much more. And good hires are worth their weight in gold.

So clearly, Triplebyte’s success is at least to an extent the result of their delivering value to their clients.

you're attacking a straw man. I didn't deny the worth or value of a good engineer. "And good hires are worth their weight in gold." => So don't they deserve a chunk of the 10K triplebyte gets, considering triplebyte is just a middleman. Also wasn't the internet supposed to get rid of the middle man or drastically minimize the rent they seek?

I really like what key values does - I think it's a very sustainable way of doing it (both the incentive structure and the philosophy itself) and wish the very best.

I don't wish triplebyte, recruiters, and other rent-seeking middlemen well.

I have seen fees up to $30k for each FT hire.

It’s usually a percentage of first year salary. 10-15%

I've seen contracts with hire fee of 25% of the mans salary. They were in pharma. 25%of100-200k per deal.

They both founders got money very fast

How did you solve the chicken-egg problem, where the site isn't valuable until you get a lot of viewers/postings? Thanks, and great site!

Great question! I'm wondering the same.

Great point. Really impressed with how you've approached it!

Your indie hackers episode was just recommended to me this week. Will have to check it out!

Heads up I can’t seem to get half the tags (self-funded for example) to filter. I select and then hit select values and nothing happens. On an iPad / Safari.

Thanks for responding. That's really inspirational.

It may just be that all companies select the same values, but even deselecting basically everything I still get +/- 80 results.

I think in the beginning nothing is selected. For example selecting „work life balance“ gives me 7 results.

This is great. In a mildly amusing side-note, in order to fill out my companies profile, my (barely profitable) side project is a perfect fit: https://forcerank.it lets you have your team rank all the values so you can see what the team actually thinks your values are.

I hope you can add more remote work soon.

I have a feedback for you - would be great if you can add filters (separate from the value filters) e.g. I selected my priority values and then wanted to filter the results with only remote jobs but no such option was available. Similarly one might want to filter the results by location etc.

How much do you charge each company?

Really good website. However, I'm wondering as to why this is a full-time business. Is most of your time taken by marketing and sales?

A common belief on HN is that any SaaS/tech business is constrained by the complexity of its code and product. Famously, the top comment[0] on Dropbox's HN launch was about how it's not a valuable business because the commenter could build it for himself. There were similar comments here about Asana recently, too, and I'm sure many other startups.

If I had to guess, this is due to a combination of two factors. First, some kind of "visibility bias," where we all tend to overvalue things that are highly visible. And second, "man with a hammer" syndrome. We're programmers, so we tend to overvalue the importance of code.

But the reality is just as you guessed — marketing, sales, partnerships, content, customer service, etc all play a huge role in a business' success. They require a lot of time, too.

Not understanding this is one of the reasons many developer-founders make the mistake of taking on overly ambitious product ideas and not allocating enough time to the rest of their business.

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8863

^^^ This.

Key Values is not valuable because of its code. In fact, it's a simple static site that I could rebuild in a couple of days if I wanted to.

I meet a lot of technical founders who love coding and avoid doing everything else. They run the risk of building a lot of fancy features that no one wants or needs.

> technical founders who love coding and avoid doing everything else.

the truth is that these tech co-founders are really looking for a playground to have fun with code/tech, the same way a kid wants to play lego.

Building a business is not fun at all. There are tonnes of mundane stuff, and these are fairly important. A technical co-founder is quite likely to have quit their previou job because they want to create an environment where they aren't restricted by the "business people" for doing technical exploration and play.

This is why i think finding a business partner who isn't technical is quite important. They can reign you back in.

I once saw a line that went something like, "to a systems programmer, all users and applications serve merely to provide a test load". There are plenty of people who just want to build stuff, and oh by the way it would be handy if we had some users to test the technology:)

I've also noticed that a lot of successful solo projects seem to be network/directory platforms - i.e. building an audience through free content that you then monetize through commercial partnerships.

As you said, these require a lot more on the marketing/partnerships side, rather than the technical side (in fact, one of the great things is that MVPs can be built in a couple of days on something like Wordpress).

> I've also noticed that a lot of successful solo projects seem to be network/directory platforms - i.e. building an audience through free content that you then monetize through commercial partnerships.

Nailed it! What others have you noticed?

Startup directories like ProductHunt, BetaList, AngelList are all great examples.

Now that I think about it, that actually describes a lot of blogs/vlogs/podcasts too (create an audience with great content, monetize via advertising). Not quite SaaS, though, so slightly different from OPs original question.

Places like https://designacademy.io/ sit in the middle - content-first to create the audience, then use that audience to sell online courses in your given niche.

The takeaway - which applies to any business really - is that you need an audience and you need to be selling something that someone desperately needs (rather than something that someone "wants").

Recruiters need candidates. Advertisers need eyeballs. Companies need investor networks. Find the need, build the audience.

Yes, I spend a good amount of time doing marketing and sales, but I also spend a lot of time working w/ each engineering team, helping them to articulate and express their values. Culture is really hard to pinpoint. Companies (and especially eng teams) struggle to identify and convey what's actually unique about them, and many don't even realize they're different from other companies!

People sometimes ask me how I scrape content for each profile, but it's obvious to anyone who actually reads them that they're thoughtfully curated. A lot of time, care, and attention goes into each profile, which is what makes Key Values valuable.

If you're making 30 kUSD/month without any employees, it sounds like you could reasonably hire someone to take some of those responsibilities off your shoulders, freeing you up to do more stuff.

Have you considered hiring an employee or two to help with some of the basic responsibilities? Or do you feel that there may be some nuance to the work that you're hesitant to trust to someone else? Or, do you simply enjoy it too much to want to do something else?

You are spot on, my friend. These are the tough questions I've been asking myself every day for the last few weeks, and I'm still trying to answer them!

I've had two people/friends do a bit of contract work for me (a few hours a week), but I'm not sure if hiring someone full-time is the right move. Not only do I genuinely love what I do every day, but I also really want to soak up the freedom I currently have while I still can. Real talk, I'll probably enter mommyhood in 1-2 years, so not being beholden to employers, investors, or employees is something I want to cherish for a bit longer. But who knows! Only time will tell... :P

I guess for the companies you're interacting with you are part of your brand. If someone else was going to take over talking with them, it would probably feel different to them. In a way you're already a mommy of your business. It must be hard to change that status quo for yourself.

Listen to her indie hackers podcast, exactly this discussion is covered extensively.

(I know this is kind of "not allowed" on HN, but... <3)

I thought this is a Key/Value store. :)

Could I ask how much time you send on sales and marketing compared to development/engineering?

would love to have an 'interview' section. This has some info. https://github.com/poteto/hiring-without-whiteboards

Every company summarizes their engineering interview process in their profile. You’ll find it in the right-hand side panel.

ah ok. I wanted to filter out white board interviewers before applying other filters :D

I was just talking to the team at Airtable this morning about whiteboard interviews... and how they aren't binary. Companies use whiteboards in their interviews to varying degrees, and it's not always to answer algorithms or questions about data structures.

I also wrote about this exact topic last year: https://www.keyvalues.com/blog/engineering-whiteboard-interv...

> it's not always to answer algorithms or questions about data structures.

Oh yea from the github link

> "Whiteboards" is used as a metaphor, and is a symbol for the kinds of CS trivia questions that are associated with bad interview practices.

Sorry should've been clear in my first comment.

How did you end up managing 150 people a couple of months after dropping out of grad school?

Really great idea! How do you measure the softer criteria like “Eats lunch together”?

Love the name! What’s the business model? Not very obvious from the website

How do you collect data?

I call BS on some of these, like EQ > IQ at Github, lol.

Is there a way to AND the filters, instead of OR?

Just an FYI, the site is blocked under Sophos.

Using Sophos too. Doesn't seem blocked for me.

Where do you get revenue from? Ads?

Loved the interview by the way!

A suggestion would be to make that select values button to work or do something.

I thought this was going to be a storage service for private keys.

I started https://ipinfo.io as a side project, and then ran it fulltime as a one-person SaaS app for over a year. We're now a team of 8, profitable, and growing quickly. We're still 100% bootstrapped, and I have zero plans to raise any outside funding.

We started with a simple IP geolocation API, which now handles over 20 billion API requests per month. We've added new data to that service, such as IP type classification (hosting, isp, or business, and soon education too), IP to company, and carrier detection. And we've also launched some other products, like hosted domain API (all domains hosted on an IP, sometimes called reverse IP), IP ranges belonging to an organization, and an ASN API. We've got a lot in the pipeline too, including some domain related offerings (see https://host.io for an early preview).

So it's definitely possible :) What sort of SaaS product are you thinking of launching? Would be happy to chat! Shoot me an email at ben@ipinfo.io

You got my GPS coordinates almost exactly correct. That's incredibly worrying.

I mean, it's impressive from a technical standpoint; but still, worrying.

It puts me hundreds of miles out, in the wrong country.

I find these IP lookup tools vary greatly - some will match certain IP blocks better than others.

Yeah, accuracy definitely varies by ISP, and region. If you'd be willing to share your IP or ISP with me (ben@ipinfo.io) I'd love to look into it and see what we might have been able to do / be able to do in the future to get a more precise location for you.

No offense, but I'd rather it wasn't too accurate ;)

City level result here. Do you happen to live close to a center point of something?

Yes, that's a reasonable explanation. I'm near enough to the middle of my town for that to be the cause.

Yeah, the geolocation is city/zip level accuracy. The coordinates are the centroid of the city or zip, not a specific point.

Read an article where people were coming to people's houses demanding their phone etc. because the location for that "region" was mapped to their backyard.

It got me within one city block of my location. I’m in NYC.

Really appreciated your service at my last company, and I recognize some of how hard what you do really is. In my case you're over 400 miles off. That's not a complaint; I'm amazed at how much you manage to get right.

Ip info is quite convenient with curl :)

I love your service. I've been using it for years! I use the responses at /geo and /json. The 'org' data is appreciated.

Can you explain if you have any difference than MaxMind? Seems you just use their database and proxy the result?

Go for it!

I'm working on NanaGram (https://nanagram.co) solo and bootstrapped. Although I'm not making a full-time income yet, it's generating a profit. It's mostly automated.

NanaGram is the 3rd greatest generator of happiness and fulfillment in my life (after my wife and my dog). I get a constant stream of good vibes from customers, most recently voicemails from grandmothers! (https://nanagram.co/blog/feedback-by-vm)

Good luck :)

I really like this since everything is changing and who knows what will be profitable or survive next year, but if you look back at what you directed your efforts towards, even if everything fails (which it will, eventually) you have hard times in the future this would be a source of happiness :) I'm looking at this thread for a livelihood myself and I'm not motivated by being a middle-man or selling more consumerist shit that doesn't make people happy, this idea is inspiring, you can do good things ;)

I hope this spreads and more people use it :) Products / activity like this really motivate me to promote them or recommend them when you're doing things this wholesome :)

Thank you. :) I originally built it for my 94-year-old grandpa who thought of himself as “the luckiest guy in the world.” We were very close. On one hand, I wanted to make the product as amazing as possible. On the other, he always impressed on me that he was old and his days were numbered. The original product decisions were on a fine line between awesome and fast. The whole goal was just to make him and my grandmother (also 94) smile. I still carry that with me in decisions now. Even if a feature or improvement only helps one or a handful of people, that’s ok in my book.

Happy customer here :)

I recently visited my grandma and found a drawer full of envelopes with every photo we've ever texted.

Horray! Thanks for being a customer. <3 Reply to the latest email and I’ll mail your grandma some stickers tomorrow.

Love your site! My story is very similar with my project VidHug (https://vidhug.com). Helping people spread joy & love is definitely a great motivator!

this is a cool idea. are you making money/profitable?

Beautiful. Best of luck. :)

Just curious: are you using a third party API for printing and mailing?

This brought joy to me :)

this is a segment that does not get too much love. kudos!

This may not qualify as SaaS but I built makerpad.co to show people how to build products/businesses without code. Currently $27k over the last month. One person, not my full time gig.

Wtf am I talking about?! I’m basically showing people the power of not needing to code to build something. I built an Airbnb “clone” by linking webflo, Airtable and zapier. Basically trying to show people they can build their first version without the classic “needing a technical cofounder” or “learning to code”. Tools out there right now are insane and can help you get to a place you couldn’t previously.

Okay Lynne is a recent friend and been huge in helping me the last couple weeks.

I did the normal shit of b2c (and still do) but the power of b2b is huge. I flipped my strategy and went from ~10k one month to now 30k (yes got 3.5k more since my initial comment).

I didn't realize you already did $27k this month! That is tremendous and you're only just getting started! GO BEN.

Correct that to 30k haha.

How did you market to businesses ?

I’ve built up an audience around no code building and think I’m one of the first people others think of in this space. I understand the audience as I’m a non technical maker too.

ProductHunt influence ;)

Hey just wanted to check out your site, it looks good but the menu is messed up a little for me on mobile. Using the Pixel in Chrome: http://imgur.com/fz2GiVP

Yikes, will fix

I just looked around. Great content! But how do you monetize a site like this?

Companies paying to be listed and collab on some content (not yet released)

Affiliate marketing. Referall kickbacks from the recommended products.

No I don’t actually make my money from this

I’ve had like 3 referral kickbacks at around 12 dollars each just to be totally transparent ha

B2B, meaning the deals section? Are those numbers recurring? Awesome business, if so

No actually not the deals. Working with companies right now to get the best content hosted on makerpad to show off their platforms and how non technical makers can use those tools to power up their ideas/businesses. Nothing is fully released yet!

Super interesting! What’s the pricing to have content hosted? Do you make the content?

Yes, PartsBox is (Electronic parts inventory & production: https://partsbox.io/). Some key points I would have told my former self:

* Do not expect any kind of explosive growth, especially in B2B. Expect linear growth. Search for "slow SaaS ramp of death" for a pretty good description of what to expect.

* Marketing is a huge problem. If you look around, you will see lots of marketers talking about marketing. In. Short. Sentences. With. Deep. Meaning. But then you'll notice that they mostly talk about marketing marketing apps for marketers. Unless you are building apps that help marketers market, much of this advice will be useless. And the short sentences are annoying.

* Paid ads are a waste of money, though I heard that with 4-5 digit budgets you can make them work. I never could.

* It is extremely difficult to get a working SaaS business at price points below $20/month. If you look around, businesses with these price points are VC-sponsored and are burning through investor money. I would not start a sustainable SaaS with price points below $40/month.

* When thinking about pricing, remember about support. There is no such thing as "no support", every product needs it, and it costs time and money.

* It's hard. Everything is hard. And there is always too much to do.

* Anxiety eats at you. No matter how good you are at keeping it at bay (I was pretty good), it will eventually catch up with you. I still don't have a good solution to that.

* If you pick a good niche, you can live in a world with nice and smart customers. It's a good world!

* When planning, be careful to set goals based on realistic financial assumptions. If this is to be your full-time job, it needs to support your business (including all hardware and office costs), you (your salary, insurance, retirement savings) and your family. People tend to vastly underestimate how much revenue is needed, especially if their past experience is mostly living with parents or surviving on ramen as a college student.

* I would not trade this for a "normal" job, ever :-)

> Anxiety eats at you. No matter how good you are at keeping it at bay (I was pretty good), it will eventually catch up with you. I still don't have a good solution to that.

Same feeling here.

Something that works pretty well for me is having a mentor a generation older than me, who has been running a business for decades. I tell them about my anxiety, ask them if they had it, and listen to how they dealt with it.

Strangely, every time I have that conversation the anxiety drops significantly for a while.

Anyone have other techniques for dealing with the startup anxiety they can share?

> But then you'll notice that they mostly talk about marketing marketing apps for marketers

I loved this point! It’s so true. They go on about how such and such strategy worked so well for HubSpot. Of course it did, HubSpot has an easy audience: marketers! Turns out those strategies work a lot less well for technical or more discerning audiences.

We're waiting for an on-premise version of PartsBox to be released :-) Is that wishful thinking???

I'm afraid so. On-premises is expensive (VERY expensive). I tried to estimate the necessary pricing for on-premises deployment and the final price was never attractive to customers. In all cases it turned out the need for on-premises deployment was not a business need (we must deploy this locally because of X and Y, which implies a value of Z in USD), but rather a point of view (I'd rather have this locally because that's what I prefer).

Why is it expensive? On-premises deployment means maintaining a separate version of the software, a complex arrangement to make upgrades, inability to fix potential upgrade problems by modifying the database, having to maintain deployment documentation, having to always have code that creates a database from scratch (rather than migrating an existing one), extending legal arrangements for third-party services, additional configurations that need to be tested and much more. It constrains development in many ways.

You are very wise. The last company I worked for started as a SaaS product but in an industry that was on-prem. They were unable to resist customer demands for on-prem, so now have mostly hybrid solutions that are very costly and terrible to support.

Depending on how you define SaaS: I started Tarsnap in 2006 (launched in 2008) and it was a profitable one-person company for many years. (Now it's a profitable two-person company.)

Mind you, it isn't a side project -- this has been my full time job for a dozen years. Starting a successful SaaS company as a side project is much harder.

Did you ever take patio11's advice about charging more?

Congrats on running it sustainably and profitably for so long.

I imagine that TarSnap must have done very well since many tiny HN startups used it 10 years ago, and some of them are now huge. When those companies are growing like crazy I'm sure they just pay the bills and don't think about switching!

It's sad you have dropped Bitcoin support!

I have been running https://webhookrelay.com/ as I side project for the last two years and since last March it's quite profitable. Environment is highly automated, running on GKE, builds and testing on drone.io while deployments are rolled out by keel.sh, some alerting goes through Node-RED so I don't have to interfere.

Still doing full-time consulting but hopefully in the next year or two I will transition full-time to it (if it's ever needed). I do plan to hire someone for marketing or sales, maybe on contracting terms and not full-time.

I read the pricing as "1500 webhook requests per minute" instead of the (I assume) correct "1500 per month".

Hey, this is really cool. Two things:

Your headline text is "Webhook Relay lets anyone to..." You should probably make that "Webhook Relay allows anyone to..."

Also, I read your name as Web-hooker Lay, which is less feedback, and more just something I thought was funny.

:D lol! Thanks, will try to adjust :)

Love the idea; love how small the feature set is and how the domain is interesting from a software-engineering perspective. And really like the UX of your site. Kudos all around.

I’ve always wanted this for localhost. Thanks!

Great idea! How did you market it?

Hi:) mostly blogging and selling directly to clients that I am doing consulting for :D

Hey! I just did/am doing an AMA on dev.to (located here: https://dev.to/joelgriffith/i-m-the-creator-of-browserless-i...).

I run a one-person (me!), bootstrapped business called browserless (https://browserless.io). I started it after trying to wrangle headless Chrome for a wishlist app, and desperately needing something like it. Obviously it wasn't around, so I pivoted and built it from the ground up.

I'd be super happy to answer questions. You can also email me at joel at browserless dot io. Anything and everything is game!

EDIT: Forgot to post how it's doing, which you can see on IH here: https://indiehackers.com/product/browserless

We use the open source version but still pay the subscription monthly. We love your product!

Thanks for that! Hope it’s going well!

I run Keygen (https://keygen.sh), an API for software licensing and distribution. I'm currently making ~$3,500/mo. You can read more about my journey here: https://www.indiehackers.com/interview/2fa6c5e1eb.

I run one, a minimalist personal finance app. It's about 11 years old at this point.

I built it up as my full-time gig and ran it initially for about six years. At that point: A) I had hired someone part-time to do customer support; B) the feature set was stable enough that it didn't need constant attention; C) I was missing working with people. So I moved out to SF and started working with a startup as an engineer. Enjoyed that for two years, then moved on to another startup where I was for three years (first as an engineer, then had a chance to move into management [which I also enjoyed, but where I missed making things]).

This past October I left that startup to go back to working on my own thing. Revenue coming in to the app dropped significantly while I was doing other things, but since coming back to it I've rebuilt it (well … 90% of it) and am soon going to be shifting focus to improving business operations (in addition to building out some new features). My hope is that within a year or so it'll be back up to its earlier customer levels, but I haven't spent a lot of time forecasting that, and growth could be slow. It'll be a while before it'll support us living in SF, but that's somewhere on the horizon.

What worked for me might not work for you (it was a long time ago!), but in case it's helpful, I built a very basic MVP (literally a spreadsheet) to scratch my own itch and then shared it, for free, online. (At the time I wasn't thinking of it as a business, just as a way to help people.) It got a good amount of traction. I was able to build on the attention the free version got (and the feedback people shared) and to develop a web-based, subscription-based version that required less work and gave more value to customers than the free version.

I haven't ever taken funding, and am so, so glad I haven't.

Do you have a link to your product? A cursory search turned up nothing.

Sure thing! Thanks for asking.

We're closed to new signups now while we wrap up the last bit of feature parity from the old app (and make sure all is working smoothly for our current subscribers), but would love to have you check it out in a little bit: https://pearbudget.com

Oh, wow, I’ve been using your spreadsheet for over a decade now! It was my intro to personal budgeting and has served me well all this time.

Have you ever considered creating a native mobile app? That’d probably tip me over the edge to become a paying customer.

Oh gosh, that is so awesome to hear! I love that it's worked so well for you!

Native mobile app! Absolutely have thought about it in the past, and will absolutely be thinking about it a little later on this year as we tune our roadmap.

If you shoot me a note (charlie@pearbudget.com), I'll let you know when we get a native app out the door. No pressure, though! Take care!

Indie Hackers lists lots of examples you can read about. Just filter on employee count and revenue: https://www.indiehackers.com/interviews/page/1?employeeCount...

I started Parachute [1] by accident when I won the TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2015 Hackathon with its first prototype. I dropped everything else I was doing and launched it right here on HN a few months after that [2]. Today it's a healthy business without having taken a single cent of VC funding. I'm the only one full time on it, and it's made possible by relying heavily on a network of amazing friends who are each responsible for specific subprojects within their areas of expertise. Everyone is geographically distributed and I spend 9 months a year in NYC and the remaining 3 months traveling

Cheers to all the amazing engineers here who run ethical, douche-free, sustainable businesses

[1] https://parachute.live/app (app), https://parachute.live/platform (B2B)

[2] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9885950

I co-founded Pigeon SMS (https://pigeonsms.com) with my dad just a couple of years ago and we reached profitability just a few months after founding.

We provide business texting services to businesses of all sizes. Some of our customers include a city, vet clinic, glass shop, screen printing firm, boutique retailers, and on and on. Really any business can benefit from adding texting to their communications.

My advice: Pick something that will keep you interested and motivated to come back to when life gets busy.

I have a friend who works for ZipWhip which seems like the same sort of space. And they just raised $51 mil, so I guess there's need for this sort of product!

Congrats on the launch. Would you be able to recommend off-net sms providers that you have had good luck with?

It really depends on use case. They all have their pros and cons.

How do you market to local businesses? Aren't they the least technical people? Congratulations though!

It can be difficult for sure. Trial and error mostly.

Can you share some tips that have worked for you?

I founded Are You Watching This?! (https://ruwt.tv) in 2006 and have been profitable since 2013. It's a Sports Excitement Analytics firm, licensing real-time data about the excitement of games by analyzing pitch-by-pitch and shot-by-shot data, to sports properties and cable companies.

I'm happy with where I'm at, but there's a lot I would've done differently. Holler if you'd like to chat about it at all: https://www.linkedin.com/in/markphillip/

Way cool. I remember when this site had scores for games posted and it would show you what channel each game is on depending on your location/provider. Great work!

I'm the solo founder of Loadster (https://loadster.app) which has been profitable for a while and is now making me pretty close to a comfortable living.

I really enjoy the freedom and variety that comes with running a SaaS, and while the grass is always greener on the other side, I think I'm pretty much ruined for a regular job at this point. So beware!

One piece of unsolicited advice: if I were to start all over again as a solo bootstrapper, I would probably do something less technical. As others here have pointed out, there is a LOT more to running a SaaS than just building software, and it's often hard to find the time or brain space to give all the facets of your business the attention they deserve.

Great work w Loadster. Didn't know it was a solo effort! I founded another load testing service - loadimpact.com, which is doing very well but certainly not a solo effort and has taken on investors along the way. I'm now trying to build something solo again, and would echo the advice to go for something less technical. Plus do B2B if financial success is important. I have three projects atm, trying to figure out which has the most potential - 2 of them are consumer apps (one unreleased, the other is a crossword game for kids - https://puzzlepirate.net) and one is a technical data storage SaaS for IoT sensor data storage (https://pushdata.io). The latter product is a lot more demanding, from most aspects. A simple and maintenance-free product is worth gold when you're running it solo.

Hey thanks Ragnar it's good to hear from you! Those both look great. Pushdata seems like an excellent idea – having done some stuff with InfluxDB I can definitely see the appeal of fully managed timeseries data without the worry of scaling it yourself. I guess Amazon and other big competitors will want this space too, but they won't be able to touch the simplicity of something like this. Best of luck!

Hey azhawkes; I've used loader.io and a few other services to do load tests.

For all of them, I wish I had a "pay for credits" model, where I could just pay for each load test I ran, instead of a subscription.

Load tests for me were infrequent and feature/ad-hoc/test-case specific, so I wish I had a billing model that fit my use case.

Wish you the best!

Thanks!! The Loadster Fuel option is just that, where you buy a bunch of "fuel" (credits) and use it whenever you need to run tests. Each unit of fuel is enough to run 1 virtual user for 1 hour and it never expires.

Loadster's revenue split is something like 70/30 between MRR and Fuel. As the founder, of course, I love MRR, but many customers are like you and load testing is an occasional activity where it wouldn't make sense to have a recurring commitment.

I do always wonder how much friction it causes having two separate pricing models... pricing is hard.

Thanks for sharing your experience! I've been thinking about adding a credit system to my PDF generation product [1], so that people can perform one-time batch jobs, or for companies that have very seasonal workloads. I agree that recurring revenue is the best, but there's also nothing stopping people from suspending their account if they don't need it anymore. I haven't had anyone do that so far, so maybe this would be the wrong direction.

[1] https://formapi.io

At Load Impact we faced this issue also: us wanting a predictable revenue stream, and the customers often preferring a pay-as-you-go model. In my mind you should always be customer-centric and offer what the customers want. Otherwise someone else will.

I first built Mimiran (https://www.mimiran.com) because I just wanted to know if and when prospects were reading my proposals. Since then I’ve added features by customer request to the point that it’s a crm, but really designed for consultants and other service-focused people, rather than traditional sales teams. It’s fun (usually) to get to do everything from coding to customer support. The feedback loop is very tight, especially because I’m user #1.

If I could be so bold as to pass along advice, I would say:

- keep the app itself as simple as possible. “This is so simple, even Steve Jobs would say it’s too simple” simple. This makes creating, testing, describing, and supporting the app as easy as possible. And if people can use it and provide meaningful feedback on what else they need, you can always decide to add it later.

- don’t try to reinvent the wheel on marketing. See what has worked for similar products (indie hackers is awesome).

- make sure you talk to prospects, customers, friends, and family. Don’t just sit there writing code. Having lifestyle flexibility as a solo founder is awesome, but it’s important to make time to be social. As much as I don’t miss commutes, office politics, etc, we are social creatures, even us introverts, and if you’re just coding or emailing or whatever and not actually talking to people, it’s going to be hard.

- try to pick a market where you enjoy talking to your customers. I really like this part of my job. I know some other people who for whatever reason tend to have unpleasant interactions with their customers and it's not nearly as fun.

So I’m told. :)

I run Pinboard by myself and make about $250K/year in revenue, with 97K expenses.

Where does 97k expenses come from, if you don’t mind me asking

The two biggest expenses year over year are colocation ($25K/year) and PayPal/ Stripe fees ($11K/year). I pulled the $97K figure from the year I bought Delicious, so it includes a lot of one-time hardware purchases.

I expect much of it is co-location, hosting, and dedicated hardware.

I’m a Big fan of pin board and it’s simplicity.

Wow I'm impressed by the revenue for such a site. Congratulations!

Do you still also run the bed bug registry site?

Yeah, I'm working on fixing it right now. The Google maps API pricing change means I have to redo most of it.

Oh, cool. Does it still make you money?

i love pinboard.

I'm close with ToDesktop (https://www.todesktop.com/), I've launched quite recently so expect to be there in the next month or two.

Was really impressed with the flow but I hate being so tied to this. For example, what happens if you go out of business? Now we have 10,000 users on an app we can’t update, etc.

That's actually one of the great things about being bootstrapped and profitable. I can grow naturally and I don't need to scale rapidly and hit huge customer numbers to keep VCs happy.

I'm in this for the long run. Even if 90% of my customers left me tomorrow then I would keep this going as a side gig.

I'm also able to facilitate customers that want to move off the ToDesktop platform to their own (i.e. built in-house) desktop app. Just send me on your binaries and I'll push an auto-update to your customers that gets them onto your new desktop app and your new auto-update platform. I charge $200 once-off for this currently and this feature will never be priced to force people to stay on the platform. The only reason for the charge right now is that it's a manual process so I charge consultancy rates.

Do you have a bus factor plan in place?

I. E. If. You are hit by a bus, what happens?

Thanks for the response. This definitely helps us think deeper!

Nifty! Elegant pricing model too.

I built out Pipefile (https://pipefile.com) as a one man operation. Bundle your PGP key into file upload forms to receive end-to-end encrypted files. Embed the upload forms into any html page to receive files without setting up any backend infrastructure.

You can try sending me something at https://pipefile.com/steve

I'm the solo founder of Holiday API - https://holidayapi.com - a DaaS platform for holiday information.

The project was originally started in 2013 as an open source side project, while I running a network of niche social networks full-time (also quite profitable for a while), after serving as CTO of a daily deal company, that stemmed from my need for reliable holiday information without the overhead of actually maintaining said data on a regular basis.

A shift to a premium model was made in 2016 and the first month into being a premium service, it was profitable (sans my time ;) and has grown to ~$1500 MRR.

Ironically I started the project as a way to NOT have to maintain said data and now part of my day to day involves maintaining data accuracy... and sales outreach... and DevOps to improve... my own development efforts... and... and...

Recently received my YC rejection email for the upcoming batch (actually interviewed with another project with a partner a while back), but still hustlin'. Flying solo is great, but definitely can't get caught up in the echo chamber. Would highly recommend building a peer group of founders / other hackers & hustlers to meet / chat with regularly.

My friend launched EnvKey (https://www.envkey.com/) completely solo and grew it slowly over time. He eventually went through YC and took on investment but the first few years were bootstrapped. But he's still solo with a few freelancers.

I run a few projects for ~$400 MRR. Here's my numbers from last year: https://www.simonmweber.com/2019/01/07/side-project-income-2...

Since there are questions about company formation in the comments, here's my notes on US taxes/legal from when I got started: https://www.simonmweber.com/2016/07/11/launching-a-chrome-ex...

I run two SaaS products. Both are entirely my work and both are modestly profitable.

I split my time about 50/50 between the the SaaS side of my business and consulting. The consulting revenue stream is much larger than the SaaS one but it's growing.




Clubman is so specific. This seems to be a pattern of many small, honest, successful software businesses: instead of trying to make a platform that will eat the world, they find a tiny niche that they understand, and hand-craft a solution that's perfectly tailored to it and meets people's real needs. It's inspiring. When software is too generic it becomes boring (and impossible to compete with as an entrepreneur).

I love the takehome product idea. Wish that was around when I was conducting loads of technical interviews a few years ago.

Which is bringing in more profit? Clubman looks super niche. Unless you know ski clubs really well, looks hard to market.

Takehome brings in more revenue and takes less time to administer. Clubman has only just gone live with its first client, though. I think Clubman will outperform Takehome quite soon.

Takehome is in a pretty crowded market space. It has its own distinct niche but it can be quite difficult to communicate that difference to potential buyers.

Clubman, on the other hand, has few competitors. The clients are relatively homogeneous and their needs well articulated. They're a smaller total addressable market but with a higher percentage hit rate.

As one commenter said this is very specific, how do you go about finding and marketing to your clients?

First paid client is my own club. I've also had a few enquiries from people googling it and word of mouth. From there it's direct approaches to clubs and advertising through Google and industry associations.

I continue to run the writing software Draft (https://draftin.com) all by myself. It can largely run on its own without a ton of interruption to me so I can work on other things.

Hi Nate. I've looked at Draft when I wanted to build something similar. Is it profitable to the point where you could do it full-time?

I'm running https://mybrandnewlogo.com — an automatic, online logo generator.

I'm also running https://monokai.pro — a professional color scheme for coders.

I've done both on the side of co-running a design agency. Last year I've spent quite some time on the logo design tool. It helps that I enjoy programming, learning and making stuff, but something's always got to give. I've sacrificed a lot of weekends, but luckily the foundation is there now.

Both projects are profitable and have quite different mechanics. I've done almost no marketing for the color scheme, whereas the logo machine needs a lot of marketing.

https://letterfromyou.com/ Letter from You is a service that allows business owners to connect with their clients through beautifully handwritten letters. It's my first side project and currently talking to some larger recurring companies.

That is a really clever, original idea for a business, I mean it. Damn.

It's actually not at all original. Maybe he independently came up with the idea, but there are tons of these.

Let people be excited about things.

You are right, there are few services out there. I think what we makes us different is that we make the letter top quality.

Thanks. =)

that's cool! what is your mrr?

I'm building a SaaS app (getting close to ramen profitable): Trunk @ https://www.trunkinventory.com which helps online sellers sync their inventory in real-time across their different sales channels (i.e. Etsy, Faire, Shopify, Amazon, eBay, etc)

I started https://cronhub.io a year ago and it's profitable now. I have written blog posts about my learnings and challenges so far. https://blog.cronhub.io/

StatusGator is the status page monitoring service I built. It’s been profitable since about 2016.

Though I very recently took on a partner to try and grow it because I believe it can be more than just “profitable” but perhaps actually a sole income source one day. It’s great to have a “one person” company but I feel it’s even better to have a partner to help inspire and motivate you, especially when it’s a side project and not a full time job.

Packetriot (https://packetriot.com) - around 4 months old and I haven't begun seriously marketing, but it generates $60/month and makes a tiny profit.

With it you can create a secure public endpoints (HTTP/TCP) from any network. The client can host static sites, reverse-proxy to other hosts, terminate TLS. It manages Lets-Encrypt for you. The higher-end tiers provides access logs, metrics, firewall rules, and service-health checks.

With a public endpoint you can pretty much do anything. I initially built it to reduce my hosting costs to something minuscule (which it did). I found alternatives as I developed it, but I was so interested in the problem I continued and created some features that aren't available in others. I still have more ideas in the pipeline.

I've been putting together video tutorials to showcase what you can do with it and how to use it. I'm focusing on people that self-host since most developers/hackers understand the concept. A lot of my registrations and customers have discovered Packetriot through my YouTube channel.

Interested in hearing more about your very low running costs (I understand below $60/month).

I have 4 edge servers that are small VMs at the moment. For the number of users I have more than enough capacity. I also have a separate server that has more resources for the main site and APIs.

I use DO, altogether hosting costs are $40/mo for now.

I guess you are generating a lot of traffic, is DO allowing you unlimited traffic on your droplets?

DO has bandwidth included in the price of the droplet and if you exceed then you pay a fair price for the additional bandwidth. For the cheapest droplet ($5/mo) you are provided 1TB of bandwidth. What they also do is take the all the bandwidth across all droplets you purchase and make that your pool. So if you have 4 droplets, then 4 TB, if one of the droplets experience the most traffic like 3.5 TB, and the rest are zero, you are under your total bandwidth quota for the billing period.

I built https://flowcrypt.com solo for the first two years. I would have preferred a partner, but nobody committed.

Today 3+ years later it's a three person team. Maybe in another year I can have reasonable work life balance again. Maybe.

Yep! I made https://fitloop.co as a solo maker and it’s making about $450 MRR.

Running a 1-man SaaS as a side-project has been one of the best things career wise. It helped me gain a different perspective on software (design, devops, sales, support etc.) in general. Being able to bring some of that experience into my day-time jobs was really rewarding.

The Saas i'm running is Gridoc (https://gridoc.com) - it pays for the car and a few bills. I'm pretty sure it could be doing better but it has been on auto-pilot for a couple years now (started a family).

Solo founder of https://docevent.io SFTP and FTP/S directly to your Azure Blobs, Google Cloud Storage and S3 buckets.

I bootstrapped it myself, but there are now others that help remotely (consultants, contractors) on some features, fixes testing and marketing.

This is great! I really wished this existed a few years ago at my previous company. We needed this exactly. A straightforward way to get ftp files into blob. Is it possible to cname/whitelabel the domain of the ftp address?

Thanks! You can CNAME, but for FTPS there will be certificate verification errors because the DNS is changed (there is nothing like http2 where we can serve other SSL certs for different destination hosts).

But for SFTP, and FTP (insecure, not that you'd want to) CNAME works fine.

We do do seperate SSL certs but it is only for bigger customers that we host dedicated instances on their behalf.

I'm making https://getmakerlog.com, which is currently doing $200 MRR.

Just curious, did you go about setting up a formal corporation for the product? I'm thinking about setting up my own SaaS product and I'm not sure if I need to do anything on the legal/business side.

I wouldn't set up a corporation until you have either a reasonable amount of cash coming in or someone ready to give you a check. After that, I'd start with an LLC in your home state, unless you think there's a chance you'll take outside investment. If you do, conversion to a Delaware C-corp costs around $10K in legal fees.

I thought that an LLC in California required a yearly fee that was close to a $1000 the last time I looked. Is that no longer true or not true at all? Related - isn't it much cheaper in other states?

Yea, $850 franchise tax minimum. I personally think it's a bit excess even by Californian standards.

Also, you'd need to get an office in Delaware to not mandate a foreign registration in California which still involves the taxes. Getting an office in Delaware is pretty expensive but it's about $400 cheaper than California franchise tax. They assess their own but it still works out lower.

Edit: Nevermind, they still tax you on that. I don't condone tax evasion, but Wyoming doesn't track the owners of a corporation.

Yes, the franchise tax. You can't get out of it by incorporating in another state. CA residents pay CA taxes.

+1 to this advice. Don't incorporate until you're already paying yourself a good salary. The wrong structure can easily cost you thousands per year in taxes and fees.

Would it be "piercing the corporate veil" to accept payments before incorporating, then moving everything to separate accounts afterwards?

No you simply convert the sole proprietorship to an LLC (or corporation). You "sell" your intellectual property to the newly created corporation in exchange for your founder stock. A sole proprietorship is sort of like the default business structure, you don't really need to do anything to start it, everything just ends up on your personal tax return.

"Piercing the corporate veil" is different. Google will be helpful if you're interested, but basically if you run a company don't do shady shit -- don't commit fraud or gross negligence, and respect the separation between company and personal finances. Otherwise you may lose the protection of the corporation (the "limited liability" part of LLC) and become personally liable if things go bad.

Look up setting up a single-member LLC in your state. It's usually fairly simple and cheap (but state dependent).

Just use Stripe Atlas. I've been very happy with them.

Stripe Atlas is awesome for C corps, which is great if you plan to raise outside capital. If you plan to bootstrap, you're better off creating an LLC in your home state. Atlas only offers LLC's in Delaware.

Why not set up a Delaware LLC? Makes sense if you're doing business online

Unless you live and work in Delaware, you will foreign qualify in another state. You pay taxes to the states you operate in, so if you e.g. register in Delaware and operate in California, you'll be stuck paying both CA ($800) and DE ($400) taxes.

I think Delaware allows “anonymous” llc which not a lot of states do. That is the main draw iirc.

Why Delaware for an LLC?

Love the idea and a great product. But how are you monetizing this? I can't figure from the page.

Gold subscriptions. I'll be working on making that clearer soon.

I run two side projects on my own.

The first with is on auto pilot and does $800MRR. My second is called TeamCal (https://www.teamcalapp.com) and I’m actively working on it. Usually 2-3 hours/week. Its doing $1700MRR and growing.

TeamCal provides a scheduling view for Google Calendar and is used by cleaning/call center/staffing companies.

If your interested about some of the work involved, I documented part of the journey on Indie Hackers: https://www.indiehackers.com/product/teamcal

Solo started http://Fairpixels.co/pro - UX/UI for B2B SaaS companies. a “Service as a Service” powered by custom internal software to work more efficiently. Growing strong and working with small saas companies and Elon Musk cofounded ventures.

I know the solo guy who are running Proxyman https://proxyman.app as a side project for a year.

He's ambitious to be a better alternative version of Charles Proxy. The best of Proxyman is that it's native app, lightweight and super easy to use for iOS dev newbie

I run a leave intent fortune wheel popup SaaS called Listagram (https://www.listagram.com) as a solo founder and doing about $6K MRR with about $1K costs (Heroku, AWS CloudFront).

Have about 100 paying customers.

Yeah everybody hates popups. But I saw a potential for a product and wanted to try doing the SaaS thing after a decade selling software and doing consultancy. It has been a lot of fun, it is thrilling and scary to have my JS loaded on some high traffic sites.

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