- Studying what works for other indie hackers is one of the best ways to find realistic, profitable business ideas.
- Many indie hackers share exactly how they did it which makes it much easier to replicate their success.
- The idea is not to clone successful products (that probably won't work anyway) but to "rip, pivot, and jam".
- Rip: Study a successful business and copy their business model.
Pivot: Apply the business model to another industry or vertical.
Jam: Hustle to get customers.
- Or as Bruce Lee puts it: "Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is essentially your own."
Morning Brew for X
- Morning Brew is one of the biggest newsletter success stories. They reached 2M+ subscribers in record time and are generating $20M in yearly revenue.
- They offer a daily 5-minute digest of the most important business news.
- Subscriptions are free and money comes in through ads in the daily email.
- An interesting related indie hacker product is The Peak which describes itself as the "Morning Brew for Canada".
- While Morning Brew focuses on the US, The Peak offers a daily digest of "the top Canadian business news".
- Build "Morning Brew for X" where X could be, for example, Germany or Japan.
- Use Google Trends to study if people are already reading Morning Brew in the corresponding country. Big plus if they do.
- Study how Brett Chang, the founder of The Peak, managed to grow it from 0-7,000 Subscribers in 3 Months.
- Then study how he sold $150,000 worth of ads in year 1 and apply the lessons to your market.
Niche Accountability Groups
- dip.chat offers accountability groups for developers.
- Users pay $25 to get access to a Telegram group with 5 other developers.
- Every member of a given group is required to post a daily short progress update. If they miss an update, they have to pay a $5 penalty.
- Not just the revenue graph looks very healthy, but also the fact that there are currently no free slots available in any of the drip.chat groups indicates that there's a lot of demand.
- Dickie Bush's Ship 30 for 30 started similarly as an accountability group matchmaking service but for writers and has so far generated $100k+ in revenue.
- Lots of people expressed their interest when Shaan Puri recently tweeted about his personal accountability coach.
- Commit Action is a service that offers dedicated accountability coaches for $299/month and is generating $1M+ per year.
- I personally think that dip.chat's peer group model is better than an accountability coach because there's also a realistic chance you'll make friends and find allies in the group (if the matchmaking is done right).
- Offer accountability groups for any other niche, e.g. newsletter authors.
- Look at how dip.chat niches down in all kinds of directions (e.g. Founders making $0-$1000, Crypto Devs, etc.). Then brainstorm what this could look like for your niche.
Newsletter authors with 0-1000 subscribers.
Newsletter authors writing about crypto
(If you start this for newsletter writers, send me a message. I'd love to join one of the groups.)
- Study how Joe Previte managed to find his first users and how Dickie Bush grew Ship 30 for 30 so incredibly fast.
Unlocking communication channels
- Apparently, "nobody reads emails in India and WhatsApp has a 100% engagement rate".
- Biju (the founder of the WASender Plugin) discovered this fact when almost no one showed up for one of his paid workshops. When he called some of the no-shows afterward, he learned that they simply didn't read the reminder email for the workshop.
- When he sent the reminder for his next workshop via WhatsApp far more people actually showed up.
- At first WASender was just an Excel macro that simplifies the process of sending WhatsApp messages to multiple recipients. This solution wasn't particularly great as it requires lots of back-and-forth communication to set it up properly.
- Since then, it has evolved into an easy-to-use Chrome extension with 10,000+ users that's currently at $4k MRR.
- What other communication channels could be unlocked for businesses? Is there any channel that people in the country you're living in prefer over email?
- If the answer is also WhatsApp, brainstorm if it would make sense to build a WASender alternative that's tailor-made for your home market.
- Then study how Biju managed to acquire his first customers by reaching out to friends.
Niche Business of the Week
- HowToStartAnLLC.com ranks #1 on Google for, well, "how to start an LLC" which is getting 14,000+ searches per month.
- As the name suggests, the site offers detailed guides on how to start an LLC in different US states.
- It is rumored that it generates north of $3M per year in revenue through affiliate links to LLC formation services.
I hope you enjoyed this report. If you have a minute, please respond and let me know what you think.