I recently quit my job 😅 and have 1 year to start a profitable 📈 business

Motivation

👋 Hi there! I’m Akhil

I’ve spent the last few years burnt out at fast-growing startups 😅. I learned a lot through those experiences, but it was time for a break. I wanted to work on something I was truly passionate about.

I’m still not sure what that is, but I’m taking on a 1 year challenge to figure it out.

I’ve been following the indie hacker community for a while, and this challenge isn’t that unique. It’s been attempted many times over the years. Pieter Levels, who built 12 startups in 12 months, is a successful early example.

One criticism of this approach is that a good business takes longer than a month or even a year to build. I fully acknowledge that this is a long term process, but a challenge is a good way to get started. So many great companies have been created by people just willing to start.

I’m also not going to necessarily start a new startup every month. My approach will be more user-driven. I want to validate ideas by talking to users, and only start building if they will pay to solve a problem.

Founders often hold too tightly onto solutions and too loosely onto problems.

Michael Seibel

My Framework

1. Talk to users
2. Build a single feature to solve a profitable pain point
3. Attempt to get a sale
4. Repeat

Finally I’ve decided to drive towards an initial $1,000 MRR revenue goal. Y Combinator recommends defining a single metric that captures the real value of your business to users.

Obstacles

Self doubt

Can I do it? Almost everybody asks that question. I'm even asking it right now, but the answer is really simple: you'll find out. That can be liberating, because you're not resigned to a single negative possibility. They say founders need to be almost delusional in their own ability to succeed, so I'm going to embrace the extreme optimism.

Fear of failure

This is a big one. Most people are afraid of failure. I think articulating why you're afraid helps. What if I waste all this time and have nothing to show for it? It's highly unlikely that you won't learn anything valuable. You get the freedom to work on interesting projects for a whole year, and worst case you can always just get another job.

Tracking progress

This blog won't be my main priority, but it will help with accountability. I define accountability as the ability to fail in public, and it's hard to be accountable when nobody knows what you're working on. I'll try to be as transparent as possible with my progress. I also want to begin documenting what I'm learning. I've discovered recently that it's a lot harder to explain concepts through writing when you don't have a solid understanding.