Issue #2 — Journey Began
Week 51. At the middle of November I jumped into indie-hacking community and since that time it started. No way back!
Hello there 🙋♂️,
Welcome, 9 new subscribers to Ivan's Weekly Focus.
It is the newsletter where I share every week's achievements of my indie-making journey. Additionally, I try to share one insight, one impression, and one tool or technique for increasing productivity (not always).
There are updates for Week 51, in 2022. In this issue, I am sharing a small essay about my thoughts about the indie makers community and why I joined. As well, the last week's progress updates, insight and impression, and plans for the next week. Read and enjoy!
✍️ Journey Began
Every week I try to write a short essay for my blog. It lives on Medium currently. In the blog, I share my knowledge, experience, or significant events in my life. Topics vary, from thoughts about something to very nerdy stuff with tons of technical details. This time I wrote about my journey to becoming an indie maker.
Read and applaud on the Medium — Indie-making Journey Begun.
At the start of November, I started work on my English-speaking Twitter account. The goal was simple, to grow it. And during that activity, I found some interesting people. One such person was Thomas Sanlis, who created the website What is an Indie Maker? I translated it into Belarusian, as an open-source contribution, which I like to do every time. During that, I discovered, that there is a big community of interesting people — indie makers. They create their projects, make from them products, and sell them. That’s awesome! I thought.
It was impressive to see how many interesting projects people are building. I decided to jump in this boat as well. What got me hooked? People build their projects and make them profitable. And they use all their knowledge and experience that they have. It sounded too very close to my plans for the past 2022 year — to share more of my knowledge and experience. At least, after almost 18 years in software development, I have what to say.
Indie makers do a lot of activities. Not only applications or SaaS solutions. They create content, record videos, lessons, and podcasts, and create courses. Also, they write blogs and newsletters. I decided to start with something similar, but very basic — writing. Furthermore, I lack skill in writing in a foreign language, and it is a good reason to gain the skill.
I started the newsletter in the middle of November. Right after my meeting with the indie hackers community. Since that time I have learned a lot of things and examples. About how people build their projects and do marketing. How they collect customers and create their own audience to spread and sell products. It looks like startups, and it is true. With one exception. People do it from scratch alone.
To be, or even better to say to become an indie maker is interesting to me. Why? Because I already spend my free time building projects and sometimes products. It may be something for fun, other times it is open-source contributions (not only by code). I like the idea in general! One piece, which was missed, is a positive income. And indie making approach is a good way to turn products into a way of generating positive income. It should bring me closer to my main goal. I plan to reach financial independence before my 40th.
It was a natural decision, but I have 9-to-5 work, and I have a family with two kids. Seems, I can not be as fast as other makers, who left their jobs to focus on their projects only. It means that I have to learn how to use the time which I have. The skill that nobody can buy. Let’s see, how it will be going. The journey has begun.
👀 Ivan's Week Progress
If you would like to get full list of details, including real MRR and revenue numbers, feel free to join and subscribe to membership. Every Saturday at 12pm I post updates on BMC under the special plan “Build in Public. Special”.
Imposter syndrome is a dangerous thing. Because it says that you did nothing extraordinary. You don't need to speak about your success because it does not exist. You are nothing. It is a very sad feeling. Seem I found a receipt on how to deal with it! Just write a journal! Log your life events!
It does not matter where. You may write on Twitter publicly or in personal notes privately. Only continue writing. After a week passed, you can check what you have done and be sure, that you are a clever and excellent person. You did so much!
Here are my achievements from the past week. If I wouldn't write it, I've forgotten it.
Last weekend was pretty warm. I spent it at home with my kids and wife. Also, friends have been coming. Because it was my birthday, I received a lot of wishes and warm words. I like such days, even if I become older. At the same time, every year brings new experiences and knowledge. I become afraid of fewer things. I like it. Finally, I turned 34.
Goals for 2023
I started work on goals for 2023. I decided to rename this newsletter as well. Also, I will publish it every week instead of the past schedule (be-weekly or so). One of the goals looks like a real challenge. I want to write 52 essays for the blog and publish 52 issues in the newsletter. Let’s see if it is possible.
I start building the Notion template about the Growth framework. It is a special approach for assessing engineers, invented in Medium. I don’t have much time, so progress is not perfect. I only finished filling rubrics. When the most important and complex part — assessments and calculations.
I use @buymeacoffee as a donation platform, but probably not only. At least, I need a place, where I can advertise some of the projects and collect money if it will be successful. So, I updated the profile page to reflect the current state. Check it here https://www.buymeacoffee.com/ivanklimchuk
As well, I wrote some ideas about publishing some sensitive data through the small paywall. I like the idea of building in public, but I am against sharing absolutely everything.
But I still want to share results and achievements, so I decided to write weekly reports under the special membership plan. And I already scheduled future posts.
Finally, yesterday I published the first report https://www.buymeacoffee.com/ivanklimchuk/report-week-51-2022
— I reached inbox zero. Again.
— I started reading Atomic Habits by @James Clear.
Seems this time numbers are very modest, however, I hope it will grow soon.
Twitter: 137 followers
Medium: 119 followers
Substack: 9 subscribers
LinkedIn: 263 subscribers
MRR — see Naked Report: Week 51 — 2022.
When I joined the community, I've seen all this buzzing around products, landing pages, numbers, and revenue. I started thinking about these categories as well. And it changed my mind. It was like a 🤯!
I started generating ideas. Not about what to create. About how to distribute it. Instead of creating features, I started thinking about creating benefits. What customer will get from using my SaaS and any other product? It looks natural, but it is an absolute game changer for me, who used to write code and think about the tech side most time.
Another insight came when I read about the validation ideas approach. Very often, when I want to start a new project, I think about implementation. At the same time, products should be profitable, it is the golden rule. And the best way to check it, try to find customers, ready to pay for it. I didn't check in the practice yet, but I guess, it should be the first step on every started project.
This time a would like to speak about Notion templates. I saw a lot of examples, but they still impress me. People create Notions templates and sell them. It is also indie hacking by the meaning. Even more, it is also famous as a no-code approach. It is when you don't need to know the programming language for running your product.
I understand why it works. Notion team created not just a service. They created an ecosystem, and economy around their product. It is very cool! Not everyone can do this.
Now they have around 30 million active users and this number continues to grow. It means, that sales of templates may increase soon. And there are still a lot of areas where such templates may simplify processes in people's life and work. Impressive!
🧘♂️ Next Week Focus
This week I would like to spend learning how to distribute the newsletter. I read some articles about ways to do it. But I want to practice a bit. I am going to try to spread past issues on several platforms, like LinkedIn, and Medium.
As well, I want to return to my current project about assessing engineers in the teams, which I based on Notion. I call it Growth Review, and it utilizes ideas of the Growth framework. This framework was invented by Medium’s Engineering team. They use it in their team management.
During the last two months, I was thinking about the approach of focusing on specific activities during the week. And I saw good examples of such switching. So, I decided to rename the newsletter to Ivan's Weekly Focus to follow this approach. In the next essay (and issue) I will describe the approach. It means, that next week I want to collect and describe the main principle of this approach.
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