I have spent the past 10 years of my life chasing fast growth in VC funded tech startups out of India. I have been employee #2 in one, raised 5 million dollars $$ as CEO for another, and until recently was building early products in another.
You know what have I never done? Got 25 customers to love me from the bottom of my heart and pay me 40$ per month. Without raising any outside investments. So let's do that in 2020! Our hardcore year.
Do I have anything against VC money? Not really. But I have seen what it takes to build high growth funded startups. Neither am I good at it, nor do I enjoy that game anymore. I am no longer ok with the binary definition of VC success - either rocket ship in 2 years or bust.
What is hardcore year?
An excuse to get off our ass, constrain ourselves and build something that is actually useful. Better people than me have already done this:
- [Completed] Reilly Chase (get to 100k$ ARR)
- [Completed] Andrey Azimov (get to 1000$ MRR)
- Jon Yongfook at Saasmojo (get to 100k$ ARR)
- Pat Walls at Pigeon CRM (recently shared his journey to 1000$ MRR)
- Amy Hoy at Noko (at 49,052$ MRR in Feb)
What are we building?
I am still not 100% sure, but I know that it is going to be in the remote team management and productivity space. Update: We are helping remote managers be better leaders. Weekly team checkins (v1 is slack app for this), effective 1:1s and easy performance reviews for distributed teams and more.
Who are we?
Why only 1000$ per month?
I know that once I can get it to this stage, I would have a very strong base to build upon.
A 1000$ MRR gives you the special "F*** You!" superpower. It allows you to say no to bad bosses, horrible jobs and meaningless tasks. It is enough money to solve your money problems. And then, you can build freely to scale to 10,000$ MRR.
Being independent and bootstrapped; we do not have resources to hire a team or do any ads. I want to make 1000$ from 25 customers who love me vs try to push it down people's throats via ads and external money.
How much time do we have?
We have savings for 13 months to make this work. So technically till Apr' 21, but maybe can push it a bit further via consulting projects to increase the runway.
What do we believe in?
No hyper growth. No 'killing it'. No 'blitz scaling'. No crazy expansion goals. Everything should be possible only by the founding team. We will never throw people at the problem. If we go off work for 2 weeks, nothing should break.
Our business will be a niche in the goldilocks zone.
What if the real key to a richer and more fulfilling career was not to create and scale a new start-up, but rather, to be able to work for yourself, determine your own hours, and become a (highly profitable) and sustainable company of one? Suppose the better—and smarter—solution is simply to remain small? via Company of One
We are privacy-first
Our emails do not have any spy trackers (which are used to measure open rates etc). We do not ask for any nefarious OAuth scopes from Slack (to go through messages, or files). And most importantly, your data is always yours. Never sold. Another reason why we want to remain fiercely independent!
We no longer use Google Analytics, and are now using Fathom Analytics. Why? Because we don't want to be the middle men between you and data sellers like Google.
We will do this for rest of our lives
No more half assed attempts of 1-2 years. This should be get hit by a bus idea. No exits, no valuations. Simple financial freedom to get our f*** you money.
If this doesn't work and I have to get back to finding a job; then I should be willing to keep it running even as a side project in a day job and then come back to it later with savings. There is no shame in "working in waves" to bootstrap your startup.
All I Want To Know Is Where I'm Going To Die So I'll Never Go There - Charlie Munger
We will work remotely
We wrote this in Jan '20 and unfortunately by April '20 Covid-19 has forced everyone to adopt remote work in a very abrupt and cruel manner. This has only made our resolve much stronger that we are on the right path.
Remote is not the future. Remote is here and is a better way to work, especially for knowledge workers. We are looking forward to build a business, while finding time for our own health and family!
2020 is here 🗓️ & if you are still not thinking about remote work; you have got it wrong.
- For employers - global talent pool, less infra cost👼
- For employees - learn documentation skills at work, define your own time, earn in $$$, no fucking commute hell, see the world 🎉
We will teach everything we know
Sharing your source makes you a source. Via Corey Gwin
We want to talk to the world. We want to be transparent on how much we earn and how do we earn it. What works and what doesn't. What are we struggling with (ESPECIALLY that). We want to tell stories and pull everyone along with me in this journey.
What is building in "public"?
So you are going to tell everyone your ideas, secrets, revenue and salaries? Even your churn numbers? That's stupid!
But I disagree. The biggest superpower internet gives you is to spread your stories far and wide. This one is ours. As a small team that will work remotely, it is also a good excuse for us to connect with some amazing people across the world!
Our regular business updates and metrics are hosted here.