A few years ago, I was working as a contractor. While working, I listened to some early Indie Hackers podcast episodes. I remember discovering how "Scott's Cheap Flights" were making over $1M a year and how Logojoy (now Looka) was making $70K a month!
I was inspired and obsessed by the the idea of running my own small profitable company.
So much so that I wanted to build my own and share my journey to inspire others too. The company that I ended up starting, with my co-founder Tim, was VEED.IO - a simple online video editor.
At VEED, we grew much bigger and faster than we ever expected. Over the past few years, we have blogged regularly about the struggles and successes of our. To date, we have not taken any external investment in the company and have grown the team by running the company at break-even. All profits have been re-invested back into product and growth like a traditional business would.
We have grown quite a bit and in many ways, feel that we have slowly transformed from being a little project to being a full scale operation. We wanted to use this as an opportunity to share why we are going to stop being as open about revenue and growth numbers, as we previously have been.
The benefits of being open with revenue and growth:
When your first start working on your idea, things can get lonely. Having an outlet to share thoughts and frustrations combats this.
In this way, the Indie Hackers community has been incredible for this. We have made friends who have also supported us through our ups and downs. This very network has also helped to promote VEED through sharing articles and simply talking about us.
Recently, I met a founder who was inspired by a decision we made to fund the company based on one founders full time salary. This team are now doing $1M ARR. It's incredible to meet founders who have been so inspired by what we do at VEED, and being able to meet other founders where we can take inspiration too.
Over the last year, we have had over 100 investers reah out to us, including most top tier funds. Regardless if you are looking for capital or not, having an open dialogue with investers is no bad thing.
We have hired and also acquired other indie hacker companies (more on this coming soon). Being public is a great opportunity to tell your story. In interviews, when we ask candidates why they want to work at VEED and how the found out about us, many of them mention the value they found in reading about our journey through our blog.
Due to sharing the growth of VEED, I have been invited onto many podcasts and had the opptunity to talk at confrences too. As a biproduct, I have grown my Twitter following to 5K. The majority of my most popular Tweets have been about revenue milestones and growth. All contributing to growing my personal brand.
The negatives of being an open with revenue and growth
Since we started posting about our revenue and growth, we now have 5+ product competing against from the IH community. All with very similar feature sets and go-to market strategies (we wrote about that too). To my knowledge, two of them have also received 6 figures in funding. Competition is good thing and I ofter advice to founders on how to compete in liquid markets. However, I can confidently say we fuled this fire.
There is a fine line between bragging and providing value to others. From my experience, posting about revenue milestones gets a lot more traction than posting about product insights and stratgey. Therefore, it's easy to get misguided by clicks and likes.
It's not our market.
We don't sell to indie hackers or start ups. If I was the founder of a remote job board or a digital nomad community, it would make a lot of sense to use our growth and revenue to promote our products. But with the case of VEED, its not. Therefore, there is no direct value we are deriving from this.
In hindsight, we should have stopped posting about growth and revenue milstones much earlier as there is little benefit. Transistor stopped at 30K MRR and banner bear might do the same too. I think this is a good time to do it as the product is off the ground and at this point, you might have a small team too.
We will continue blogging about our journey, but it will be less focused around revenue and more around culture, product and company building.
Finally, I would like to say thank you to everyone who has read and shared our blog posts. And to the many who have dropped into our DM''s and said hello.