Notes From the Best Indiehacker Podcast Episodes

Capturing the most interesting or surprising bits from each episode. Not a summery of the entire episode. Bite sized.

I note patterns of repeating advice and insights along with my observations on both the business building side and human psychology side.

Public Notebook, updated regularly

Episode #208

May 26, 2021

The one about Banner Bear.

  • Marketing and distribution channels - I recall seeing the $10k MRR post on IH and Twitter. The first time I came across this business was probably Damon mentioning it on Twitter as it's customer. Which is interesting as the founder, Jon, attributed Twitter + blog/newsletter as the primary distribution channel and marketing strategy for Banner Bear. Sounds a little bit like 'build it (+ talk about it on Twitter) and they'll came). Didn't mention launching on Product Hunt several times, maybe that didn't result in converting customers..probably more to the marketing story here.
  • API businesses as a possible category - I like the idea of my main product being an API, as it doesn't require an UI and design skills. Writing usage documentation and such and developers being my end users all sounds like a positive actually.
  • The idea of interleaving building and marketing. He did that consistently for 7 months with alternating weeks of building features + writing content for marketing purposes. This implies my idea needs to have enough depth that there would be features to build for 7+ months. And perhaps I wouldn't get bored/tired of marketing if I have new things to market each time. New features and facets under the same product/business umbrella. (In the current journey of shipping every six weeks, I'm building unrelated things. They don't build on top of each other).
  • Being passionate about the idea - this directly plays a role in so much as it's needed for you to stick with the idea long enough — not weeks but months and maybe years. I'd translate the word passion to mean, more practically, having conviction that the thing I'm building should exist in the world. Caring about the my potential cusomer and believing that my thing would solve a real problem for them to therefore do the marketing work to find these people.

Episode #125

April 9, 2021

The one about Leave Me Alone.

  • Offering your product as a gift is a cool idea. Something to try when applicable. This would work for the book log idea.
  • Had a competitor who was offering the same unsubscribe service for free. Their business model was to sell their user's data. This is something Leave Me Alone makes clear that they don't do by charging.
  • Got featured in a newsletter with 25k subscribers and also got featured in Life Hacker. They don't know exactly how both of those things happened. They shared on Twitter and on online communities. (She mentioned having only few hundred followers on Twitter). They had tried to reach out to publications before with no traction.
  • Example of an exception to the niche pattern - this is actually for everyone, everyone that uses email in all industries and ages.
  • Platform risk of building on top of Gmail API. Apparently Google can require an audit that can cost $15k+.
  • Why did people organically share and talk about this? I think the purple cow thing applies. The idea is useful but the name alone is cool. It is definitely remark-able, worth making a remark about. It makes a good story to share

Episode #124

April 8, 2021

The one about Canny, feedback tool for businesses to user feedback, created by two former facebook employees.

  • Writing as a tool for marketing and business growth. Useful blog posts had the pattern of "here's what we did and here's what happened". For example, pricing experiments and results. Sharing hacker news and indie hackers worked.
  • From profitwell, 3 levers to pull for SaaS revenue are 1. user acquisition 2. monetization (pricing, conversion, freemium) 3. retention
  • 200wad was mentioned, this is probably where I heard it hah!
  • Started with a community that grew to 5000, to collect feedback on companies from users called ProductPains. Reused the code and Canny was a more of a re-branding and re-positioning to a b2b product sold to businesses.  

Episode #071

April 7, 2021

The one about Instagram planning and scheduling tool called Plann and growing it to a $1M in ARR. Lots of lessons in marketing and growth.  

  • Pricing and doing what feels right for you and your customers - went from one-time price of $10 to recurring monthly subscription. Decided to grandfather in all the existing one-time customers. Plus sent them a custom message and asked them to help spread the word and to provide feedback. The new customers saw the subscription price only, never even saw the one-time version.
  • This is app was being sold on app store, she mentioned Apple took a cut so they only got $3 per month or something. Even with this they has the millions in revenue in the first year.
  • Story of "working herself into an ambulance". App being down for one week, getting 7000 angry customer emails, having a panic attack. Wow, open and honest story of burnout.
  • Giving advice - she never thought of herself as a "tech entrepreneur" but being in SF, being around peers and being able to give them advice and hold her own, gave her a lot of confidence. "sometimes when you're working by yourself it's hard to benchmark yourself to other people"
  • A great marketer can build a business using their existing skills alone and by winging it when it comes to the coding the product until some time later. A great developer on the other hand, no matter how great product they build, has to learn to do effective marketing or hire or get lucky (like someone else discovering it and sharing about it). Either way the product has to be a solution to a problem that people are willing to pay $ to solve.
  • Founder psychology - extremely disciplined in approach, fast learner, confident that she can accomplish anything she puts her mind to. Wildly optimistic.
  • Extremely strategic and marketing education and growth and business mindset and hustling comes naturally. Family of entrepreneurs also. (so common quotient with me is low).

Action for me:

  • Look up if she is still mentoring

Episode #109

April 6, 2021

The one about Hostify by Reily Chase.

  • Read a couple books and then took action and followed all of the advice from them book.
  • The product idea was very simple (create a server, install stuff on it, and then give the login to customers). He had low expectations and was planning to use it as a learning to do web development project.
  • Marketing - didn't personally know anyone who had the problem he was solving, marketing took a long journey of learning and going from mass posting and getting reprimanded on reddit and forums. He eventually figured out SEO and made ads work too.
  • Marketing - twitter worked for him. Created a biz account, started following all his potential customers and also replied to anyone talking about UniFi (Ubiquity has an active online community). fb ads and twitter ads didn't work.
  • Money psychology - once paid $2500 for a logo. mistake that he did not make for this product. Got 25 customers in 5 weeks.
  • Long term - 1.5 year later, still going. The home page, offering 24/7 customer support and high uptime, etc. Assuming hired people to help. Also raised from Earnest Capital (due to Tyler Triage micro-saas e-book).

Episode #037

April 5, 2021

The one about workflowy.

  • I don't have to triage my idea of "encoding" advice from books into an actionable tool or app where people can track their progress. Books like GTD, or Atomic Habits or other exercise and self-help books. They already did this, applied and got into YC with this idea and ultimately decided against it as their success would rely too much on other people (the authors of these books). Makes sense, good deal! Plus it's not something I would personally use, have never followed any of these productivity systems in favor of my own custom system that I make up.
  • Psychology - he had conviction for the concept behind workflowy, even when his co-founder didn't want to work on it. He was confident that they'd get into YC also.
  • Marketing - So similarly to borrowing audience instead of building it, seems a strategy to try is borrowing brand/marketing too. Got 10,000 users from being featured on tech crunch and life hacker and these users kept using the app. So a rare 'if you build it they'll come' example. Although, they didn't do direct marketing per se, they did get the benefit of being associated with YC and getting users from that.
  • Went to a relationship therapist to work out conflicts with his co-founder.
  • Niche or no-niche - went to a conference for investigative journalists and did a presentation on how workflow could be used for journalism. All but one journalist didn't get it right away. People from "piano teachers to CEOs" using workflowy. So not exactly niche.
  • Example of someone who operates under the radar. "I'm sort of afraid of the Internet tbh". There is no real way to contact him, except tweeting at him. Nice! glad to see this is possible (he's a parent of twins aged 6 at the time of writing)
  • Long term - still going. Recently had an outage and saw Jesse communicating about it on their blog and on Twitter.

Episode #115

April 2, 2021

The one about Marketing Example site by Harry Dry

  • Monitization options - early on considered these 3 options: 1. sponsorship, 2. subscription site with paid content and 3. sell a course to an audience. He chose sponsorhip as that's the fastest. So he knew that selling an course requires building a huge audience first and that takes time.
  • Focus on others not yourself - when he wrote a case study about his own product hunt launch he received feedback from his dad to focus on case studies of other businesses ("don't write about yourself").
  • Diligent about writing really high quality stuff and then also diligent about sharing it in many many places, in the right way (adding value to the platform not just links to his website, etc.). Spend several days on a case study, and then several hours summarizing it into a twitter thread. Also joined 10 fb groups and 10 slack channels, etc. (As far a 'founder-product' fit and what I'd be good at, it's not this sharing my stuff in many places in a consistent way. The idea of that sounds exhausting.  I need to applying minimalism, the thought of going to dozens of online groups regularly gives me anxiety).

Action/ideas for me:

  • Read Harry's milestone's on indiehackers for actionable advice.

Episode #140

April 1, 2021

The one with Arvid Kahl of Feedback Panda.

  • Consuming podcasts and audiobooks during a 2.5 train commute, for a total of 15 hours per week for 2 years. Reminds me of my BART commute and consuming the IH pod and other audio books
  • Human psychology - when you're working non-stop, it's hard to pay attention to the little fears and anxieties which are driving you to do or not do certain things.
  • Co-founder and life partner came up with the idea, she had been working as a teacher for 3 or 4 months and had put together a solution with Excel and Word docs for her own needs. She did the product design, user experience as well buiding a tribe of teachers around herself and marketing and empliying the word-of-mouth. This is a key part of the story and the detail around having two co-founders being able to split responsibilities neatly.
  • Wearing many hats - it sounds challanging even with a co-founder. Be cogniscient of this as a solo oporator. Will have to create systems and processes around conscieusly switching hats, allocating time, being realistic about what type of a business would be possible within my constraints.
  • Address customer's objections up front. Don't only tout the benefits. For example, teachers were worried if using Feedback panda would be too mechanical and feel impersonal to students/parents. I imagined they learned this from the fb group and addressed it
  • Pricing - there is no magic formula, you have to experiment and see what feels good. They started from $5 to $10 to $15. Being sensitive to your audience's financial situation and building good will is something you can think of as building your product brand (It doesn't have to be something you do just to bee nice). They grandfathered in all the people at $10 even though they could've raised prices for all after some grace period, it felt right. This is good to hear and I feel comfortable acting in these ways if I'm in a similar position.
  • With business building, there are so many topis to deep dive into. It can feel overwhelming, but I choose to feel excited by the possibilities of having endless things to learn and get better at and then hopefully teach and share and help other along this journey.

Action/idea for me:

  • Get in touch with SM head of school or teachers. Learn about their more time consuming daily/weekly task outside of actual teaching and their biggest pain in the back-office side
  • Get in touch with Scribbles art teacher to learn how it's going that I'm no longer afraid of marketing and SEO, maybe I can help with the Shopify store.

Episode #175

March 31, 2021

The one about leaving academia and using AI to interview 1000 founders and creating a business to produce AI generated content/articles for clients.

The 1000 founder interview website is full of ads (one for convertkit, really prominent on top). Moreover, when you click on one of the interview tile, another ad pops up. Sad, closed the site at that point, so no idea about the quality of the actual interview. The skeptical side of me is telling me to not put too much weight on to this particular story.

Episode #195

March 30, 2021

The one about VEED, video editing tool that didn't give up after 3 years and YC rejection.

  • Charlie Munger "Lollapalooza effect" - the idea of "multiple biases, tendencies or mental models acting in compound with each other at the same time in the same direction." There is not a single explanation for something, such as success of a business, although people like the idea of crediting a single reason or a simpler explanation when the reality is a bit more complex.
  • Psychology - reacting to rejection (by YC). Also of getting banned from quora and bunch of sub-reddits for self-promotion.
  • Conviction, commitment - Co-founder got a job and shared 1/2 of his salary for him to keep working on the product.
  • Early attempts to get user feedback - "It wasn't obvious, asking users for feedback, nothing really came back and we were wondering do people really care about." No response is non-answer, similar to reasons for lack of landing page traction.
  • Hiring - has somewhere between 25 to 35 employees? and 10 engineers I think. Job boards didn't work. Recruiters did work. Also finding people on social media or one of them google searched a keyword that showed VEED's job as a result

Episode #150

March 29, 2021

The one where a software engineering working at Twitter join's her roommate's startup in the pet space, which gets rejected from YC. She leaves silicon valley and starts a personal budgeting app as a solo founder while traveling as a digital nomad.

  • Design and Marketing were the missing skills. Was making websites as a teenager and always interested in design (running joke of "am I a designer yet"). Learned design by watching other professional designers and how they did things (like submit a design brief pdf, etc.). This resonates, I'm interested but also intimidated by design. And at the same time look at it as something that can be this tedious, unsystematic, trial and error, time consuming thing. Working on a becoming friends with design. At least becoming good enough to be self-sufficient.
  • Solo founder with a support community of other founders. Important to uncover blind spots and learn from each other's skillset.

Action/idea for me:

  • Find, join, or create a group of indie hackers at a similar place in the journey has me. Help other people identify their blind spots and build relationship with people who'd help me do the same for me

Episode #180

March 25, 2021

The one about teaching other's to make apps without code, but not only apps but businesses that go along with the apps that actually make money. Charging premium for the teaching and growing to $5M. Thinking about the "end game", quality of life and how big do you want your business to bee

  • A lot to learn here in terms of approach to marketing at different growth stages. Getting on the phone and talking to people to get her first set of students to doing free webinars (and collecting emails), to doing instagram live campaigns and taking over influencer's instagram account for the day (I don't even know what that means. But sounds like a good example of borrowing vs. building and audience)
  • There is a difference between a newsletter and an email list. You don't necessarily promise to send newsletters. For example, Wes Bos has an email list, which is only emails once or twice a year to sell his courses.
  • Psychology - Something called  zeigarnik effect. "If an individual leaves important tasks incomplete, the intrusive thoughts that result can lead to stress, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, and mental and emotional depletion. On the other hand, the Zeigarnik effect can improve mental health by providing the motivation needed to finish tasks." Hm.
  • Building vs. branding - and percent of time spend on each. She did have to spend significant amount of time on "branding" activities like being on twitter and podcast interviews and such the first 2 years. They were doing no-code before no-code was a thing. Other's may not have heard of them but hey they're making millions. (She read a book called Profit First and knew she had to choose her focus and she choose profit).

Episode #157

March 24, 2021

The one about not quitting after a failed startup building features for 2 years not listening to customers and not get much traction. Then making wavve for podcasters to turn audio into video file to post on social media and also zubtitle for creating subtitles for videos

  • All the questions when thinking about the problem - what is it? who has it? how much time/money/energy are they currently investing in solving it? how big is the market? how willing are people to actually pay to solve this?
  • Money is great but money is also an indicator that it's working. Yes, making something people are willing to pay for is the goal
  • The 2nd product zubtitle was a feature request for the first product wavve. By this time, they knew how to listen to the market and that it had broader use case then podcast audio so they made it a seperate product. It still took 2 years for it to be profitable (money in the pocket of the co-founders)
  • The idea of hiring other entreprenuerial people for part-time work while they pursue their own thing on side also and use the income to pay bills = a model that worked well for them

Action/idea for me:

  • Keep an eye for other indie businesses that I like, working on the side on such a business until I my thing gets profitable would be a good way to make $ and more importantly learn

Episode #189

March 23, 2021

The one about building a media business and local community and newsletter in places like Florida, Pittsburgh, Seattle. Then later build a SaaS based on lessons learned from running their newsletters with multiple revenue streams.

  • - at first thought this was about whereby, the in-browser video chat tool I use every week to talk with my programming students.
  • Marking a pattern of advice repeated here that I've read elsewhere - (this makes me pay attention and implies there is something to the advice)

1. They niched down early on "we knew we were not for everybody". Matching advice from Seth Godin "who's it for?"

2. Starting with the problem and studying their customers by like actually following them around town and having long conversations. Matching advice from Stacking the Bricks, this is like sales safari in the real world.

3. Hyper focus after exploring, trying everything, and experimenting to rule something out. "we've dated enough 'ideas' to know what we don't like so that we can be confident in our long term relationship (this is exactly the analogy I used when talking to a friend about my current phase in the entrepreneur-ing journey, like when I had a spreadsheet of people I'd met through online dating sites).

  • In a room for the weekend with 2000 post-its of customers research 😍. This type of exercise would only make sense with co-founders I suppose. Can't imagine being in a room alone with that much thinking and sorting.
  • Word - saccharine it means excessively sweet or sentimental

Action/idea for me:

  1. Collect and share links to most useful IH posts and articles (in the leaf node newsletter). Separate the signal from the noise, I know there is some super insightful and tactically helpful content in there.
  2. Manual newsletter subscribers from online events - when I hold workshops and webinar type events for, during registration have a checkbox asking if people want to subscribe. If they check it, manually add them or setup a zap or some automation if there are too many
  3. Twitter thread idea - thread on SEO terminlogy from this and landing page checklist from this.

Episode #191

March 22, 2021

The one about newsletters, running a paid community for newsletter writers, and buying other communities and products from other indies and growing them.

  • Human psychology and what people pay for - there are a lot of paid newsletters making a lot of money. That's the impression I get from this episode. Examples like The Browser making $50k MRR (I'm sure there are many others not making much money and hence not mentioned). So for The Browser, it's only $5 per month, that implies 10,000 paid readers. So 10k people would pay to have someone send them an email, which has links so that they have "interesting things to ponder". Human brains are interesting. So I'm curious which emotions or psychology is this tapping into? The desire to be informed, the desire to know new/interesting things, the desire to have things to talk about?
  • I didn't know The Browser is published on Ghost. Cool I heart Ghost.
"Every day we read hundreds of articles and recommend five outstanding stories for you to enjoy, so you'll always have interesting things to ponder and fascinating ideas to discuss at dinner"
  • Choosing one way to money implicitly decides how you'll spend your time. The above is the full copy from The Browser. Hundreds of articles! Every day! Right away I sense that this would not be right business model, for me. I do not want it to be my job to read hundreds of articles every day. Let alone all of those on potentially different topics. I want to read long-form writing that goes deep on a few topics, a mix of theoretical and practical. (e.g. stuff like The Art of Computer Programming for CS theory and stuff about human psychology and practical business skills).

Action/idea for me:

  1. Possible way to get paid for doing what I would do anyway - curate a newsletter to help devs "keep up with tech". Send out links to things I consume to keep up with languages and frameworks (rails, JS, Java) as well as more general software development paradigms (i.e. technology radar) and tradeoffs with different ways of doing things (i.e. rails hotwire). I can share the process for how I quickly grok what's what and what's worth paying attention to. Target audience would be software engineers mid-career who are working at companies heads down in their day-to-day and don't have time to keep up with the jones but also want to feel informed and up-to-date.

Episode #032

March 19, 2021

The one where MIT students cofind a business, go through YC and struggle to find product market fit. Company named Segment, about collecting customers interactions for a business. Acquired by Twilio in Nov 2020.

  • Starting idea - a button that students push to interact with the professors during lecture like "I'm confused". They applied to YC with this idea. It was a terrible idea, they soon realized. Even the professor who was acting as their advisor said he wouldn't use it.
  • Landing page on Hacker News story - one of the co-founders was convinced that one of their ideas was terrible and that it wouldn't work. In order to prove/show that to rest of the team, he suggested they make a real nice polished landing page and put it on Hacker News. He assumed it would get no traction and that would be the end of that idea. The opposite happened. That is how they found their Thing. [No one can predict what's going to work and not. Instead of trying to predict, better to ship a lot of things, put it out there and measure what works instead of trying to guess]
  • Talking about and analytics tool "it's very difficult to sell the value of insights"
  • They were afraid of charging their customers money. They raised $2M and hired a sales person, instead of charging their customers.
  • Sales insight - Ask the customer "what do you find valuable in the product?" instead of always pitching pitching pitching. In one example the customer said it saves them engineer time of 3 to 4 people! In this case you can now start charging based on value provided and ROI to the customers (instead of the 'cost' of the product to you as a business)
  • Advice - Write things down. Decisions, assumptions, experiments and how things turned out vs. expectation.
  • Product market fit - is hard to describe because all the data you have until you experience it for yourself is what it feels like not to have found a fit.

Episode #182

March 18, 2021

The one where Mubs talks about podcasting trend and opportunities for indie makers.

  • He has 100 side projects deployed and running in some mode — active to autopilot to zombie. I wonder how much $ goes to hosting for all these websites. He also has 20 to 30 email lists, I wonder how much and which ESP.
  • Founder path is a way to borrow money against your current MRR and pay it back. Some sort of a indie founder loan it seems.
  • Spotify has invested $60M in acquiring in the podcast space.
  • Embrace, Extend, Extinguish - a business tactic that Spotify may be deploying currently in podcasting space. It wants to own all the audio content. A tactic Microsoft employed in the 1990's with browsers.
  • Lean into who you are - between the options of create content, build tools, build platforms. You may or may not be someone who enjoys talking in front of a mic or camera every day. In which case build tools for those that do. Build picks and shovels for the podcasting and newslettering gold rush.

Episode #127

March 17, 2021

The one where Indie London Meetup host talked about how the IH in-person meetups initiative started.

  • Motivation for these in-person meetups was that it's super energizing being around people who are doing what you are doing. [yeah! this inspires me to host my daily co-working with other indiehackers]
  • IH history - there was a 200 people official "meetup founders" in a slack around fall of 2019. I wonder if that still exist after 2020.
  • He thought about charging money for these events but decided not to (as he had a full time job) but did get companies to sponsor food and drink. He treated organizing this event like a business with cold emailing companies for meeting space and such.
  • He didn't try to do it all alone. Got help from others to host workshops and give talks, etc.  

Episode #184

March 16, 2021

The one where the guest talks about future of work, remote and hybrid companies, his life story of making $10K per week in his early 20's to being 'broke' for 5 years and then doing $60K enterprise sales of a high touch custom service for companies adopting to remote work.

  • Money psychology - made money with the model of hiring freelance writers and pay $15/articles and bringing in SEO traffic writing hundreds of these 'content' every week. Got "crushed" when the SEO landscape changed in 2010. He was aware that he was making money but not adding any value to the world. He mentioned being "broke" for 5 years later. Also mentioned credit card debt to build a business.
  • Advice from Bill Gate on twitter in 2013 - what you can't buy or make more of is time. Lives with the philosophy around importance time (compared to money)
  • Money - in early 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic, a deal fell through which was going to allow him to get out of credit card debt. [This makes me wonder how much debt? Is he out of it yet with his latest company and $60k tweet. Money is a funny thing and how our brain works when thinking about money].

Episode #123

March 15, 2021

The one where guest talks about the process of creating and launching an online course called "sales for founders" and patiently helping people for free for a long time so that they'll buy from you when you launch a paid thing.

  • Money made 2000 + 10,000 + 30,000 = $42k in 3 separate launches. Charged $299/person. Distribution channel was a 3000 person newsletter built over 3 years. Emailed 180 people from that list who he had helped directly. [clever. all this sounds very clever].
  • For online courses, do a live version first to learn yourself and iterate on the course design and format. He offered 4 hours of group coaching, a slack group, and 1:1 coaching. His initial idea was to have founders fill out a worksheet to go from $0 to $10k MRR (similar to lean startup worksheet), that didn't work and he learned that was mistake.
  • Advice about landing page - a landing page doesn't replace a conversation. It gives you binary output, visitors either sign-up or don't. You don't get to find out why or why not. For this you have to talk to people first. [The steps that I believe in 1. decide who you want your customers to be 2. watch this group to learn about their problems and pain points. 3 built a solution and create a landing page to communicate that solution]
  • Later co-founded a newsletter referral tool called Sparkloop.

Episode #187

March 12, 2021

The one about $38k MRR with a tool that automates posting and sharing on this platform called Poshmark. Helps other businesses save time and sell more.

  • Value proposition - initial one for this tool was "saves you few hours a day". [This aligns with my definition of value as something that saves people time, saves money, or best of all helps make them more money]
  • Money psychology - spent $2500 on an SEO course and maxed our credit cards. It was worth it for him to bring search traffic to this tool.
  • Motivation came from needing to get our of student load debt and support family with 3 kids.
  • Work ethic - 5am to 7am daily for 3 three years.
  • Deep year and what's next plan - study a topic for a year, write 100 articles, create an email list. Ask people on that list what they want, and build it for them. [this closely matches my answer for how do I plan to spend my time once I earn enough $$.]

Episode #181

March 11, 2021

The one about retool for creating internal developer tools and the mission of changing the way software is built

  • Build SaaS features by engaging early customers - have them make feature requests and then build them out, super fast. Being reactive in this way is a good way to make what customers want.
  • Use case at my last job - retool is about making internal sw tools. We made a lot of internal tools at cslt. In fact there was a while team of developers doing just that. This retool thing may have worked for "configurator" which was essentially large complex UI to allow non-engineering people to enter data into an internal customer database. Though I've never heard of Retool until this podcast episode. I wonder what that implies in terms of the marketing. I suppose this is why as a solo founder you have to spend 50% of your time on marketing.
  • Initial numbers - sent 300 cold emails, got 3 replies. Charged $2k/month early and went to $20k per month
  • Motivation psychology - question asked by host around motivation and ambition around raising funds and growing big. The answer was surpring. "I'm very unhappy if not #1". Story about bike riding and not liking the feeling when someone is approaching from behind to pass him by. Fear of compititors. Fear of "death" not existing any more.

Episode #168

March 10, 2021

The one about teaching poker and making millions. About being everywhere, blogs, youtube, podcasts, magazines so people will find him and join his poker teaching subscription site.

  • He hired someone to teach him how to teach better. Yes! pedagogy is important. [this is my strength and where I can stand out in the software teaching world]
  • Wrote a book in collaboration with other reputable poker champions, as a way to "lift" his reputation as well.
  • Doesn't do all the teaching on his subscription site alone. Has hires a bunch of other coaches and pays them well.
  • As a teenager, studied poker for 3 years every day for many hours.
  • Work schedule - 3 weeks of content creating then 1 week on-the-road playing poker. [okay good, because practicing what you teach is important]
  • Money psychology - he already made bunch of money playing poker very young and won millions. So where did all that money go? 1. he has invested in over a hundred startups. 2. loosing money in tournaments. 3. teaching business was loosing $5k per month for the first 5 to 6 years.
  • Making money on the Interne (without playing poker) - his first taste of this was teaming up with a "marketing guy" who sold a 8 hour video of him playing. They made $10k and after that he was hooked on this business thing.
  • Motivation - A good question by the host "what's the end goal?". Answer = wants to grow more, become a household poker person name. So fame. (in this case, as I imagine he already has enough money?)

Action/idea for me:

  1. Collaborate with existing reputable code teachers. Make content that is missing on their site. Help them help their students and paying customers.
  2. Write something (a book or newsletter or magazine style site) in collaboration with other people.

Episode #186

March 9, 2021

The one with the founder of Less Annoying CRM, talking about trends called bundling and unbundling.

  • Bundling could be about curating, the video game example.
  • People don't like too many choices, so bundling could be about simplifying. Get CRM + appointment scheduling + emailing marketing by making one decision.
  • Notion - my initial impression was that it does too many things. And my conclusion from that was that it won't be good at any of them. (as a general principle you don't make a piece of software better when you keep adding more and more features unless you're intentional about it). So I dismissed it when I looked at it a year ago. Impression I get from this episode is that people seem to find it well made. I've also observed a whole ecosystem around it — people selling notion templates and dashboards and other "products". Lot of productivity people are doing Notion consulting and courses and teaching how to best use the tool. I guess it's a swiss army knife type of tool, with infinite variations of use cases. It's also complex enough that it can support an ecosystem of consultants who master the tool and then teach others. (as opposed to something like Workflowy, it would be silly to imagine someone trying to teach a course on how to use it. like It's power is in it's simple self-explanatory interface.)
  • Unbundling is about making a tool that does one thing really well. I seem to have a bias in this direction (vs. bundling) — simplicity, minimalism, focus. Unbundling of communities like hacker news and reddit is a good use case.

Action/idea for me:

  1. From indiehackers, find a subgroup to work along side with. Invite to my daily co-working and ship it challenge, etc. (what would this group have in common? other than commitment to shipping. Hm. Software engineers with bunch of years working at tech companies, who have thought themselves non-tech skills?)

Episode #179

March 8, 2021

The one where a designer made some icons based on a tweet he saw and a youtubeer with 13M followers talked about those icons. He sold a bunch, doubled down made more icons, wrote about his story on IH and twitter, and kept selling more. Same person also made for hosting Notion pages.

  • This is one of those super exciting, inspiring, interesting story. But also not repeatable 😅
  • This resonates "you do your best work when you're inspired, all pumped up and energized". In this case, listening to the IH podcast is a productivity multiplier for me. So many people, figuring out a way, changing their lives and inspiring others along the way.
  • Insight about myself - I'm good at cooking but I don't want to write about it (take photos at each step and create recipes and what not). On the other hand, I'm good at learning and figuring shit out and I also I love to write about that. Teach what I figure out to others in a way that is useful to them and saves them some time and effort. Teaching in addition to learning is work, requires time and intentional effort. It doens't just naturally happen, but it feels like worthwhile effort to me.
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