Building multiple products as an indie hacker.
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Building multiple products as an indie hacker.

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This is part of my exchange with James from IndieHackers.com about my experience in building and running multiple products as an indie dev. I think it’s quite useful to include in my notes for everyone to see.

1. I see you've got DevUtils, BlackMagic, and Xnapper. Do you mind telling me the current MRR of each?

Black Magic is at $11K MRR, and is the only product with a subscription model (recurring revenue).

DevUtils and Xnapper are one-time purchases, both average out about $3K - $6K a month each. It fluctuates quite a lot.

My total revenue per month is about $15K - $20K from all 3 products.

2. What inspired you to work on more than one thing at a time?

I want to use my own products, so I can make them perfectly fit my workflow.

I have a lot of product ideas that I would build for myself, but I only decided to build ones that have the potential to also get paying customers.

It’s the sweet spot between “what I want” and “what people want” that allows me to build for myself and sell to other people.

I think using your own products every day is the best advantage you can give yourself as an indie hacker. Without this, it is very difficult to find the motivation to keep improving the product.

Another thing that inspired me to work on multiple products: diversify income streams. If one product fails, by the market or by accident (you’ll never know), I will still have other products to bring me revenue.

3. How do you find the time to juggle multiple projects (be specific, like how do you structure your day)?

I break 90% of my tasks into small chunks of work that can be done within one working session (about 3-4 hours). This includes building, testing, deploying, and writing docs.

Because of that, I can be fully focused on 1 task, of 1 product, on 1 specific day.

On a typical working day, I only do 1 task. Then spend the rest of the day for marketing, customer support, and interacting with the community (mostly on Twitter).

On some days, I do smaller tasks with a lot of context switching, which I find quite fun and relaxing.

4. Do you see this as sustainable long-term?

Honestly, I have no idea… It’s my first time, haha.

As of now, I find working on multiple products fun and not that difficult.

I have seen successful indie hackers who both have one single focus project and multiple ones.

Some decided to drop every other less-successful-products to focus on the one that gets the most traction. I have no idea that will be me in the future, but let’s see.

5. Is there a trick to juggling more than one project (like should they be similar in some ways, or require a certain amount of time/effort, etc.)?

Build products that require low maintenance effort.

SaaS products are very needy and require constant attention (customer support, keeping the system up, etc.). I don’t think I can handle many SaaS at once. Right now, I only have 1 SaaS (Black Magic).

Downloadable apps are much more relaxed, with no server to take care of, only customer support. For me, most customers’ emails are feature requests and require no action from me. So it’s quite good.

Info products are much better, with almost nothing to maintain. I don’t have any info products at the moment, but I’m looking to add this to my income stream in the future.

6. How do you manage to shift your attention from project to project so completely?

I don’t think it’s really that “completely” as you would think, but I’m trying my best to only do one thing at a time.

7. Would you recommend running multiple projects to others? Why or why not?

This is a personal preference so I don’t think I can give a general recommendation to anyone. I can only share what’s worked for me.

8. Best and worst part of having more than one project?

The best part: multiple income streams.

The worst part: the management part can become very messy real quick if you are not careful.

To clarify the worst part, it’s about things like mixed revenue reports, shared accounts, managing email supports, partnerships, managing multiple payment accounts, etc. It took me quite a while to find a workflow to consolidate all this and I still have to improve it day by day.

I’ll share more about this in the future.

👋 Like what you read here?

Hello there, I'm Tony Dinh.

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I quit my high paying job to work on my side projects with a mission to make a living from my apps and live an independent life. 🌴

❤️ Thanks for reading!