Tenacity and willingness to expose oneself (at obvious risk of being told negative things) is requisite to achieving success like this so quickly (and probably also when done slowly).
If you aren't willing to hop on a demo of your product via video chat with a potential customer, per their request, you're directly lessening the chances of that product's success. With that said, once you realize that without marketing or sales, nobody will see your beautiful creation(s), you quickly realize the need for such. Personally, this lead to a desire to learn, practice, and master these skills. However, you can easily find others with a seemingly natural affinity for these skills and delegate these efforts to these individuals (whether partners or employees), enticing them with stock and/or salary should you have sufficient revenue and/or funding.
EDIT: I want to make it clear that I am not suggesting solo ventures succeed less often than those with more than one founder. There is research (see that from NYU and Wharton) pointing to exactly the opposite.
Compare https://dilbert.com/strip/1998-02-14 :
> I realized that what's inside a person doesn't count because no one can see it.
> I didn't realize you were such a philosopher.
> That's my point!
Any suggestions on getting better at this side of entrepreneurship?
Practice pitching your product concisely in front of the mirror. Refine your pitch until you don't bore yourself anymore, then go talk to prospective customers knowing that a majority of the time you will fall flat on your face. Use those interactions to refine your pitch, tweak or pivot your product, and find out what really resonates with people.
We offer to businesses, have a few pilots, but the slickness of Trennd is probably something we'll copy. It was clearly easy to see how the UI helped here - congratz on the sale too (if you're reading this).
Both could be more engaging.
I’d like to give thanks to all the people here on Hacker News who supported the project during that launch and any questions or comments just let me know!
The short version (summarized from the article):
I spent 2 months building an app to detect trends. Launched as a Show HN and reached #1 on Hacker News (briefly!). Another 4 months growing and improving it but failed to monetize. But I got enough traction to get acquired by Brian Dean founder of Backlinko.
On the other hand I was talking to a founder last week about acquiring his company. he is doing about 1M in revenue and was asking about 600K. I dont think we can close before the end of the year so passed, but would definitely consider it if he is still available next year.
My very hacky attempt at solving this involves overlapping short range requests, and finding the scaling factor of best fit between them: https://github.com/bspammer/rebuild_trends
I'd be really interested in hearing if there are better approaches out there to squeeze this data out of Google.
Also, I had never heard of unreadit.com before reading your article and it looks exactly like something I've wanted. Thanks for that!
Congratulations and thanks for writing it up. It was a great read.
Yeah you can subscribe to stay updated here: https://explodingtopics.com/subscribe
We're going to make that much more prominent in the future, currently it's in the footer :)
And yeah, unreadit.com is awesome and Fab the guy who made it's a really nice guy!
Do you mind sharing the "x" multiple in the acquisition? I think in tech the norm is a 10-14x multiple for acquisitions...but this case seems different in a few way (6 months, no investors, etc...).
> We settled on an amount equivalent to how much I’d earn as a US-based engineer working 6 months, but then multiplied by X for the traction/success factor already achieved. And I also still have a stake in the project going forward.
Working where in the US? Software engineers can make wildly different amounts of money depending on where in the US they work. Even within SFBA and NYC, a subset of companies pay significantly more than others as well.
So why not just say the actual acquisition number?
I know of a project that did have decent monetization and was impressive technically that only went for mid 6 figures. However the owner wanted to sell quickly so that might have depressed the price a little bit.
And this is exactly why he didn't come out and say a number. X could be anything. Someone else in the comments was speculating 10 to 14. But it could just as easily be like 1.2 or something.
Probably my comment, but I wasn't speculating... my understanding of a normal tech acquisition formula, but I specifically acknowledge this one was likely different because it was < 6 months old and no prior funding/investments.
"Engineering Salary" $150k / 2 = $75k. "Multiplied by X" Let X be between 1.5 and 2. So $75k * (1.5-2) = $112.5k-$150k
Usually buyers don't want this information going public. Likely it was part of the deal terms. My guess is that what Josh said is as much as he's allowed to disclose per terms of the deal.
Doesn't matter, because it's multiplied by X plus equity.
> So why not just say the actual acquisition number?
Because he didn't want to say the number, but he wanted to say that it was high enough to justify his effort.
It's materially different to have an X multiple of an NYC salary versus an X multiple of an average US salary, for all values of X.
Let X = 0
Why not just, simply, put the price? You know that most people are only, barely, interested in the "acquisition" price rather than the story of how you got there.
I certainly appreciate candor when it comes to these sorts of things.
In the end he got paid 60k + the value of 3000 emails + brand.. 3 dollars an email? 10000+
My guess is 75,000 + 5%
> There is a difference between $10k and $120k
How do you get 10k based on what he told us?
This jumped out to me:
We settled on an amount equivalent to how much I’d earn as a US-based engineer working 6 months, but then multiplied by X for the traction/success factor already achieved.
It sounds like you have a pretty significant win here, considering there was no real revenue. I'm guessing we're talking at least $50k multiplied by something.. so not exactly pocket change :-)
You're pretty close there yeah - so it was a huge win! Especially given it had no revenue like you say.
Curious about the secrecy about the price. I guess I'd feel awkward to boast about the specific price tag, but was there an NDA or something stopping you from naming the price? It's interesting how much you exposed and shared, but when it comes to $$s then it's usually a secret... :) not passing judgement at all, but just interesting to observe this (also on patio11's posts and I guess others).
It sounds like Josh also got to hold on to some of the upside while taking a bit of risk off the table. Seems like a win-win on the surface and with the experience Josh will get working with Brian, he may be able to grow his next venture to a later and more valuable stage. Kudos to both of them.
For example, you have "google cloud platform" trends going back 15 years - does that mean you have 15 years of data from all your data sources? How do you backfill that?
"I needed something that could surface opportunities by automatically monitoring the web for new topics. So that I can then plug them into Google Trends.
Heck, it could even check Google Trends itself so I don’t have to."
We both waved our hands up and down in the air like a handshake but we only had video... is there a name for that?! :D
I've been subscribed to a similar service called Glimpse for some time. Who thought of it first? You seem to have very similar trends identified.
The most recent issue contained: Tiktok lights, Air Fryer Chicken, Chiropractic Y Strap, and Heated Razors.
We often have so many "what if someone built xyz" thoughts and do nothing with them so I'm stoked you got off your bum and made this happen
PS: it'll be funny if you use this to find the idea for your next product
That's actually exactly why I built it in the first place, so definitely going to be "eating my own dog food" with this for the next project idea :)
Btw. is the possibility of adding new topics currently down? Nothing seem to happen when clicking "Add a topic".
Need to get out of my head and start working on my side project now....
It only shows stuff from the past.
*(Holds up 4 fingers)
Nothing there is new information to me, so why would anyone pay for it?
What keywords did you track on Google trends?