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🔦 Why are they in the spotlight?
Ethan created Maker.rocks as part of the 24 Hour Startup Challenge. Maker.rocks is a shareable profile that sums you up as a maker by pulling in data from your Product Hunt profile, Twitter account, and other Maker tools to create a single hub for your creations. It was voted #1 in the challenge for the grand prize, and made Ethan more than deserving of the 2nd Maker Spotlight.
🛠️ What are you working on right now?
I first started making stuff for other people on the internet when I started Code The Web in late 2017 – a website to help you learn coding. In June this year, I started working on my main project, KanbanMail (I’d played around with the idea earlier, but this was when I started making it for real). It’s a Kanban board (like Trello) for your emails!
It’s helped me manage my emails a lot better. I had a first beta version ready by late July, and invited a few people. Believe it or not, it made it to #1 on Hacker News within 24 hours of making it available! So much for a small private beta… At that point it was free because it was very early beta and I didn’t feel comfortable charging for something that was so lacking. At this point I put Code The Web on hold so I could dedicate more time to KanbanMail. It’s still on hold, but I plan to slowly get back into it soon! I worked on it for the next few months and made it paid in mid-September. I then launched it on Product Hunt, and it reached #1 of the day on a Tuesday!! It’s currently at $78 MRR, and I plan to keep growing it. Two weeks ago, I made maker.rocks as part of the 24 Hour Startup Challenge, and it came 1st place!!! It’s a shareable profile for makers, like this:
In the first week after I made it, I wasn’t able to make changes because the voting period was still open. But this week I’ve added a bunch of stuff including Medium links, Telegram links, responsiveness, and stats such as WIP/Makerlog streaks, total Product Hunt upvotes and average Product Hunt upvotes. Because it’s existed for only two weeks, I’m still getting used to working on two projects at once side-by-side (plus school). KanbanMail is my main project and is making the most revenue at the moment (excluding prize money from maker.rocks), so I need to effectively balance my focus between the two. At the moment I think I need to focus more of my time on KanbanMail, but maker.rocks got a huge amount of traction (#1 of the day on Product Hunt and over 1000 sign-ups already), so I definitely want to keep improving it and also make paid add-ons eventually so it can generate revenue too.
🔥 Where did you find the inspiration?
In late 2017 I was chatting with some other developers online and we were discussing personal development blogs. I said I planned on making one some time (some time) and they told me about this email course. I signed up and completely forgot about it until the emails started landing in my inbox. They sounded really actionable so I decided to make a development blog, and Code The Web was born! At the time there was a lot of stuff about web development I didn’t know, but I knew more than a lot of beginners. So I decided to explain it to them on my blog. I explained web development concepts in simple ways (most tutorials make things more complicated to sound smart), with a bit of humor sprinkled in! I posted my HTML tutorials to Reddit on night, and they took off! The next day I got 2K visitors (before that I probably hadn’t got more than 30 in a day). This was some motivation to keep going.
As the traffic started to naturally drop off, I figured I needed some more ways to attract visitors to the site. So I started searching around. Somehow in this process I found Product Hunt, and found Pieter Levels’ blog post about launching Hoodmaps on Product Hunt. I looked at his stuff a bit more and found an awesome talk about a concept called ‘indie making’. From there I was hooked, and set my #1 goal for 2018 to launch a real product. I launched Code The Web’s newsletter on Product Hunt in April to test the platform out. I only came #7 of the day, but I still got almost 500 sign-ups! During this time I also found out about Indie Hackers. In June I found out about Vue, did a few tests with it, and decided it was time to pull KanbanMail out of my head and make it with this technology that I’d just found out about! I got hooked on making and had a basic prototype ready by July – you know the rest, I wrote it above! You can read more about the story here too. I got inspired to make maker.rocks when I was chatting in one of the maker communities, Maker’s Kitchen. Dinuka (one of the members) had just got a product to #1 on Product Hunt. He’d made a few other products before, and I decided to post a message with the number of 1st, 2nd and 3rd place products he’d launched. I found it was a really good way to sum his maker activity up! I filed it in my ideas list, and imagining it pulling stuff from other places such as Makerlog or WIP too. When I heard about the 24 Hour Startup Challenge, I thought this would be a great project to make in 24 hours and signed up!! I launched it on Product Hunt at the end of the 24 hours.
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Hi! I'm Noah. (@noahmakes)
I'm an Indie Hacker and my goal with this site is to 'spotlight' inspiring and extraordinary makers. A new maker will be chosen each week to be in the spotlight, based on their achievements and what they've accomplished in the previous week.
Thanks for stopping by!