Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Advice for young guys/gals in building a semi-successful online service
20 points by silentinteract on May 9, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 7 comments
There is lots of advice on how to get funded and build giant businesses. But what about people who want to start small. Say make a few thousand a month on a app they've built. How do we go about doing the little things to get to those first few dollars? I find that it's extremely hard.

Here are some resources:


* http://www.startupsfortherestofus.com/

* http://productpeople.tv/

* http://bootstrapped.fm/

* http://casjam.com/category/podcast/

* http://www.chasingproduct.com/

* http://www.bootstrappedwithkids.com/

* http://www.kalzumeus.com/category/podcasts/

* more here: http://www.startupsfortherestofus.com/episodes/episode-104-p...


* http://www.rachelandrew.co.uk/books/the-profitable-side-proj...

* http://www.startupbook.net/

My favorite articles and talks:

* https://training.kalzumeus.com/newsletters/archive/do-not-en...

* http://youtu.be/0CDXJ6bMkMY (DHH @ Startup School 2008 on making money online)

* http://vimeo.com/92087769 (Nathan Barry @ Pioneer Nation on growing his business)

My advice is to:

(1) Make it a habit to work on your small online service every day -- or one full day per week -- and stick to the schedule. It's a marathon, not a sprint.

(2) Subscribe to one or two podcasts. They're great learning/motivational tools. Listening to other people talk about building a small business will help reinforce your work habits. Don't overdo it, though! Your goal is to build something, not to continually consume and never produce. I know I gave you a huge list, just pick the one you like best!

Haha, I was looking at startups for the rest of us yesterday. Looks really good. Thanks for the links.

Thanks for two mentions on this esteemed list :-)

If I had to give any advice, it would be to run through ideas quickly. If they're not gaining traction, or they're a struggle to grow, drop them and move on to the next idea.

This isn't going to be true for everyone, but each of my successful projects was a success from day one. I posted them online, pointed a few communities towards them like Reddit, and ended up with a few thousand registered users in the first day. That then dropped to a few hundred daily registrations and went up from there for the coming years. They've still been a lot of work, but I knew I had something the instant they went live.

Every project I launched that was difficult, never went anywhere. There were a handful of sites I started where I was working hard to build traffic and it was always the same, a spike, then nothing a week later. Some of these I worked on for months, one project I developed over the course of a year. My two or three successful projects were built within a week or two. They were rough, but provided something of value, and I could build them from there.

No one hits a homerun every time. Look at Facebook, Google, and Microsoft struggle. These are companies with unlimited budgets, and some of the best in the industry. They fail. Often. It doesn't matter if you fail 90% of the time though, you just need to burn through those ten ideas to find the one that works. If you get hung up on the first idea, and devote all your finances and time for years, you'll never get to the good one.

This is, I think, the best advice I've heard. I've been listening and reading WPCurve (Dan Norris) - http://wpcurve.com/blog/ and he gives the same advice.

Love this post: http://wpcurve.com/business-ideas/


First make sure you complete what you start. Second keep it simple. Third make sure it has a market. Fourth spend some money on ads. Finally, to grow listen to your customers - put a phone number on your site and talk to people.

> make sure you complete what you start.

Thumbs up, this really resonates with many creative professionals!

Regarding this, I would recommend checking [0] 99U.


Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact