I’m halfway through Friday… and I‘ve already repaired my HVAC and stepped through the drywall into my son’s bedroom. How’s your’s going? 👀
New Podcast Episode: I *Definitely* Hate My First Version of Beacon
Hating (or being embarrassed of) your product’s first version is probably a good thing. We talk about my history of developing products in public, how it led to my angel investing career and what it means for Beacon.
We also talk about recently slashed valuations and how this should impact the thinking of entrepreneurial-minded founders and employees.
Monetization, man. 🤦🏻♂️
I know, I know. I’m talking about Beacon more often these days… but I have a feeling that “thinking in public“ and then “building in public” might be useful to others.
I’m building Beacon for three reasons:
- I’m genuinely curious about the idea: podcasters publish millions of hours of content every month and some of the best stuff never makes it into the show notes. Beacon’s transcribing them all… uncovering trending topics and (soon) making it searchable.
- I’m learning to code (again).
- I’m interested to see how I can bootstrap a product that isn’t exactly cheap to build.
And so, here's my question for you: what's the fastest way to $30K MRR for Beacon?
Making this a SaaS product would allow me to create various pricing levels (eg, $99/mo to $999/mo for anyone that has a business-like need to dig around the Beacon datasets, get alerts on keywords, etc)... but building out those pricing tiers and features isn't exactly simple.
Sponsorships and advertising are an alternative choice. It's much easier to build and maintain a self-serve ad tool to place small blurbs in the weekly trending topics emails, on the various topic pages, etc... but going this route feels like it's leaving money on the table.
A third choice could be to do a little bit of both ideas above... 🤷🏻♂️
But the fact of the matter is that Beacon is a computationally expensive product to build. And that isn't cheap: we're talking ~$1,000/day at this point (though, I'm working on some stuff that may bring that down quickly -- more on that next).
So... have any ideas for me? What would you do to get Beacon to $30K MRR quickly?
Beacon update: lots of new plumbing behind the scenes.
A lot of you responded to last week's email with bug reports and feature idea -- thank you! I've moved them all into Github Issues and will start deploying those fixes early next week. 🙏🏼
This week has all been under-the-radar: rebuilding the crawlers and transcription systems off of Firebase Functions and Firestore... to old school private servers and MySQL. 😎
I'll spare you the ugly details... suffice it to say: migrating from NoSQL to MySQL isn't trivial. But it's going to open up the flood gates on new capabilities and features going forward.
Next up will be the bugs that came in over the last few days. Followed by some (much needed) love on the front-end interface.
Is building something like this in public interesting? What do you want me to share more about along the way? Everything is fair game.
That’s it for now, have a great weekend. I’ll be over here cranking out some code while the kids are sleeping. All the yard work can wait till the heat wave passes. 😅