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Episode 23 of Morning Maker Show: In the startup Café

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Summary

Join Dan and Sandra as they tackle everything from live stream panic to launching startups. They dive into the art of finding cofounders, mastering building in public, and talk about Lemon Squeezy's ease of use, merchants of record and much more!

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Transcript

Dan: Good morning, Sandra.

Sandra: Good morning, Dan, and I'm so sorry for all the bullshit.

Dan: It's alright, that's how it is with live things, sometimes they go wrong. You know, do you see these It's like huge streaming channels, like with millions of subscribers and then their streams not working one day, like they just have, you know, or half of it is working and they completely panic.

Have you ever seen that?

Sandra: No, no. They just look to me extremely good, very well done, even with a million

Dan: people. Oh yeah. But I mean, things go wrong, but okay. Things go wrong. Yeah. Not a lot of them do. Live shows like when you have a stream is usually streaming a game or whatever right and then you yeah You just go on but when you have a show things do go wrong.

I think one of the ones that I've seen was Linus tech tips or something. They do like also like a live podcast thing and then there was so much panic. It's incredible Like super professional doing this for Maybe 15 years. And it's like, Oh my God, the stream's not working. What do we do? So, well, let's, let's get into it.

I would like to hear your lovely voice. If you want to read the next update.

Sandra: Yes. Um, Joao I'm so sorry. One of my favorite people in community, and I still have trouble pronouncing the name, but he's asking,

Are you solopreneur?

This is the topic of this week episode. For me, building with someone is much more rewarding. You're brainstorming together. You can compliment each other. You learn much more. Do you agree? Um, so Zhao started his own podcast and it's really nice to see because he's now on Spotify as well, but he's asking actually a really good question.

Um, and I think Like, I actually saw that when we made our discord for morning maker show community, even though most of the people are cofounders, are entrepreneurs or solopreneurs, so they are running alone. Um, it's kind of nice to see even in our discord that people are kind of asking for help from others and, you know, having questions and then people asking or people answering and helping each other.

So it kind of, it kind of acts as we are all cofounders. But I think it is nice when you have another person running with you, especially the skills. So you bring something on the table and other person do as well.

Dan: Do you know how to find a good co founder?

Sandra: What

Dan: did you say? Do you know how to find a good co founder?

Do you know the secret?

Sandra: Well with Klu it was different because we knew each other before and we worked with each other before. So when we started building Klu it was like a secret. Simple solution, but with you, it was love at first sight.

Dan: Oh, that's so nice.

Sandra: You see, now you forgive me all the trouble I had.

Dan: It wasn't, yeah, it was a trick question. So I thought you were going to say when you came to, to Copenhagen, I thought you're going to say. Flags and gin and tonic. Yeah,

Sandra: you bought me there. You bought

Dan: me there. But, but, but it was, it was a good enough answer.

Next one by Alex Whitmore.

Aside from building only individual components, I'm creating basic templates. First one being a navbar. Would love to see some recommendation of library names, JS slash UI is just a placeholder. So I think Alex here, he is building a UI library, just taking it out of context. He says on his profile, he's a DevOps engineer pretending to be a web developer.

I love the, the slightly funny description. Um, it was pretty cool. So he has a nice little demo here of an app bar, completely responsive. Maybe. You know, from, I don't want to, you know, judge before, I don't know what Alex is doing, but from the profile description and putting this all together, I'm doing like a Sherlock Holmes kind of thing here.

I think he's maybe using this project to get better at web development and, you know, maybe it's going to be an open source project and people can use this library. Although. Making a UI library is a lot of work, like really a lot of work. But isn't that

Sandra: the whole point of building public? Like even if he's just testing his skills or improving his skills, he's not scared to share it?

Dan: Yeah. And that's

Sandra: so nice to see. And then from there on, it might turn into a project

Dan: as well. Yeah, you never know. I don't know what the goal is, right? Because, you know, with building in public, you have two types of mentalities. Like, okay, to simplify things. One is, I want to start building in public to work on my own and to become an entrepreneur and have, you know, my I have a business, live off of this, or I'm doing it as a hobby, as something that I like to do to learn and, you know, have, have people see what I do and maybe give it as open source or free or, or so on.

So if you're trying to do the latter, I think this is great. And then you can always transition from one to the other. Um, sure. I've, I've seen people that wanted to make money and that, that, well. Um, well, it's not working out, but I'm going to open source my stuff here, have it, uh, all some pretty big names that did that.

Uh, so if you, if you want to make money though, um, I, I would start smaller. Don't you think? Yeah. Yeah.

Sandra: For

Dan: sure. For sure. What could be a first good project? Like yeah. Yeah. Not, not even development wise, I don't think you have to start with that. You could do, you could do a guide or you could do, you know, share some knowledge that you have.

He's a DevOps engineer. You could do a free DevOps guide or some sort. What do you think? Yeah, for

Sandra: sure. But even for that, it requires some online presence and people to know you. Even if you're only sharing your knowledge, it requires some time for people to kind of get to know you and your expertise, even without the project.

And then, you know, also like, I highly suggest jumping on the calls and helping others. And then you kind of get to be recognized as that person who helps others even. without them having a project.

Dan: Yeah. You also need to work a little bit on getting to, to know similar people, building the community, right?

Replying, maybe being on the build in public hashtag as, as we are now. And see, yeah. Do you remember what, what changed, what changed it for you when you started? I think

Sandra: it was you know, when I was starting, I was just getting. Known community. So known the people in the community. And then I when I found people that I really like, this is like now I'm giving everything, but I would put them in the sheets because when you're just starting out, you 10 to, especially on Twitter, whichever hashtag you use or which in whichever community you are, there's a lot of people.

And then you tend to kind of easily lose the track of these people, even though you like them and you love their tweets and you know, post. So what I was doing is putting them on the, in the Google sheets and I was able to come back to them almost every single day and interact with them. Wait, so

Dan: these were.

Just people from, from Twitter, from X that you liked, you put them in a spreadsheet. Yeah,

Sandra: because I didn't want to lose them and I would come back to them every single day and engage with them and talk with them and chat with them and all of

Dan: these things. So I'm leaning between this is very sweet to this is very creepy.

I can't decide.

Sandra: I don't know. It helped me. It helped me. Like later on, I figured that on Twitter you are able to kind of build your own list of people, which makes a little bit more sense. And it's not that creepy, but essentially works the same.

Dan: I, I think it's lovely. So I, it's romantic in a way, you know, like you, you like the people so much that you took the time to put them in a spreadsheet and to, you know, follow them.

I have a question, but here's the deal. You cannot think about it and you have two seconds to reply and you need to reply with yes or no. Okay. Are you ready? Was I on the spreadsheet? Yes. Okay, we can go to the next update.

Sandra: You know what? I'm going to find this spreadsheet and I'm going to take like first hundred screenshot.

Just everyone can see who was there and who was not.

Dan: I can't wait to see it.

Sandra: Um, the next one, Karthik,

list, list my sass is finally live. A collection of 100 places to list your sass and get first hundred, first thousand users. It includes directory startup sites, launch platforms. Check it out. Check out the list here.

Actually, I checked out. I saw, I saw, um, Khartik putting, putting it out. So I actually went and check it out a little bit to see, because, you know, as we now have a community on discord and we are trying our best to find the best sources to share to the community. So I also wanted to see. And check it out, what's there.

Dan: Yeah. Uh, so listmysass.com, 115 directories to list your SASS. So this is essentially after you've built, you've launched, and you're in the initial stage of development. Um, growth, right? Yeah. You, you're probably targeting SEO as well, cause that's, that's a good that's a good foundation to build your content, your keywords.

You need the backlinks, right? You cannot do SEO without it, but maybe some of these would, would bring sales as well. Do you have like a, a place, a directory that constantly brings you customers?

Yeah,

Sandra: for sure. I also, when I started Klu, I. Build my own. I think there is like 366 of them at the moment. Um, and I shared it.

It's a Google sheet. Again. I love my Google sheets. Um, I shared it. I think also on product count. It was one of most uploaded my, um, Comments. I should maybe share it also. Now. I just remember I could share it also to our community and discord Um the issue with that and I think what what I did differently or wrong.

We are Khartik is doing it correctly Um for me 365 There's a lot of things, so we are talking about SaaS, but also there's a lot of about like mobile apps where you can list, it's not that filtered out, but it should be, but it's still useful and I bet Khartik did a better job with like just, you know, which backlinks are good, which are not and et cetera, where I didn't measure it.

Dan: Yeah, you just collected sites that looked good, basically,

Sandra: right? Yeah, yeah, and where I also

Dan: pushed the Klu. Yeah. I think the surprise for me in one of my projects is I was listed on a design related Oh, yes. Have you been as

Sandra: well? Um, one thing, so I have one website, it's slantly go or whatever it's called.

It's bringing me like thousand views, but very little conversions, which means that people come to these websites to be inspired by other people designs, but they are not searching for the products themselves.

Dan: Yeah. So it's a bit of a false positive. Yeah. But even so the design. Uh, what you call it, directory, I get, I don't know if it's a directory, it's like a gallery or whatnot of websites.

Um, it has a very high domain authority. So it's actually increasing my, my ranking. It's a good link to have, but you don't get customers necessarily for, from it. Right. So it depends what you want to do. And it might be the same with, with Khartik's listings. Like some of them are not really for customers.

They're just for the backlink, but backlinks are very valuable. Extremely

Sandra: important. Extremely important. So you have to take in account, you know. If, if you're just starting out, you don't have much time to just work on your like backlinks. Yeah. But you can definitely filter the things that are working for the product, but also for you.

So imagine if you are, imagine if you are selling a frame or templates, like this is your go to place because you're doing two things in one. Yeah,

Dan: yeah, exactly. Very well. Sandra, speaking about a backlink, a very good one is a product hunt as well. I think a lot of people, you know, they ask, should I even do the launch on product hunt?

And I think this is the best hack you can do is to get that product hunt backlink. They have like 89 domain ranking. And even if you're not featured, you still get that. And I actually want to tell you that one of our good friends and sponsors InlineHelp. He's, he's, um, launching on product hunt tomorrow.

I'm actually super excited. So InlineHelp a very good sponsor of the show is like one of the most interesting pieces of software that I've tried. So they try to answer customer questions before. You know, before they even get to support and the way it works is you point it to your documentation. It, it crawls everything you have.

It's like a, it is a proper crawler. It's kind of cool. I was talking to Mark about how it works and it indexes all of your documentation, all of your, you know, knowledge base and so on. And then you get this cool widget where. The, the twist is, you know, you can chat with it, but you could probably do that with a lot of things, but the twist is you can select any element on the application or on the page and ask it to explain that thing and then kind of take it from that context.

It's super cool. It's super cool how it works. And I can't wait for the product launch tomorrow. I think it's, it's going to be amazing.

Sandra: Do we already have their, um, Product Hunt can notify me page or something so we could share

Dan: it. Actually, I can get it. Hey, Marek is in the show anyway, I think. Yeah, hi Marek, good morning.

Uh, he could, he could also share it, but We're professionals here, Sandra. So I can multitask and one, two, three, four, I found the link and it's in the comments too. Oh, I just

Sandra: posted also the comments.

Dan: Two professionals. That's amazing. Speaking about professionals, um, we have a comment from Guilherme. He says.

Uh, you know, we have a title of the show, have you seen, have you seen that? We have what? A title of the show, do you know? Yeah. And the title today is, we double everyone's MRR. Very true. Yeah, but Guillermo in the comments says, only double? Triple it, and then he says, my MR is zero.

Sandra: No problem. We're going to work super hard for this.

Let me just retweet this to make sure we, we, we triple

Dan: it, triple this zero. Yeah, that's all right. Sandra, do you want to take the next

Sandra: update? Yes, from Matthias. Matthias is one of my Google Sheets as well. I remember, I actually remember his and, um, Dima's first Product Hunt launch. For Oscars. But anyway, Mattias is saying

We got, um, reviewed by Swiss newspaper and we are the only AI app that the children of the author actually really liked.

The best children were surprised. The test. children were surprised at how funny and quickly stories were created in this way. The three agreed that Oscar Stories app has won. Oh, I'm really, really happy for Matt and Dima because they've been, I think, not a lot of people from the community managed to get this type of a press and media attention.

Dan: Yeah, they're really nailing this, like going to TV shows, conferences. It's a really I don't see anyone else doing this and I think they're doing very well now when they were on this national TV thing and their user signups spiked like crazy. Yeah, yeah,

Sandra: yeah, yeah, yeah. Should we do something like that? I mean, we are already producing our own show.

Dan: Yeah, I think we could get a section on CNN easily if we reach out. Easy peasy. Oh, LemonSqueezy.

Sandra: Okay. LemonSqueezy. That's the next one.

Dan: Actually, I actually chuckled a bit, um, on my own. Did you say the best children or the test children? And I actually, and I actually don't know which one's funniest because what are test children?

Like, these are just children that are testing all day. Like, that's their

job. Well,

Sandra: I read, I said the best, but then I was also surprised that they said the test. So I had to go back and be like, Oh,

Dan: it's the test children. Yeah. You know, those children locked in the back that have to test stuff. They get out, they get some food, then they go back in.

But

Sandra: I watched, I watched some, something stupid probably. And it was about the children that were tested. Um, test children for, for, uh, cereals, cereal breakfast, but American version. So it's a lot of sugar, you know? And it was so funny that they were testing it, like the reaction of the children, which one was like the best for them, which one smile, like which one brought the best smile and I'm like, Oh my God, this is so unhealthy.

Dan: This is for the children or for the people watching? No, for the children,

it

Sandra: was like

Dan: actual thing. Yeah. Yeah, well, they, yeah. We're not going to do that on our show, right?

Sandra: Why not? We are adults. We can test whatever we want. Next time, we'll eat chocolate and the spicy, maybe chocolate, and then we have to read

Dan: updates.

Yeah.

Oh boy. Um. I wanted to say one more thing, but maybe we've talked enough about babies and children for a while, huh? Yeah, yeah. Let me just get the next update. Go to the next one, don't. Okay, okay, I have to mention, I have to mention, uh, we, we had Dagobert on, on the show last week. We don't have interviews that often, but every now and then, if we have something spectacular to share, then we're going to have the person on.

So if you have something spectacular to share, let us know. Maybe, maybe you can come on the show someday, but there was talks about, you know, your startup being a baby. So anyway, um, let me take the next update by Talha Malik.

He says, just refresh the OnLuna landing page. What should I change? So OnLuna is a better way to build websites.

The CTA is very short. I think, you know, my first impression is I'd like to, to learn more and not what it is, but what it can do for me, because the better way to build website doesn't tell me how I can get something out of it. And it also doesn't say. What problem it's solving as well. So the, the approach would be what's the problem you're solving and tell me how you do it and how I can actually use that.

Do you agree? Yeah,

Sandra: I fully agree. Yeah. I mean, there is a demo video. under it, but, um, it's like you have like a second or two second to keep someone on the website and without the proper, um, headline, it's extremely hard to make people actually watch the

Dan: demo.

Yeah, I agree. The demo video, I can't watch it now, obviously, but in general as a concept is, is very cool.

I think if you can do that and even if you, if it's yourself narrating it, it's a pretty good, way to, you know, get, get people to understand the product and try it out. He has a, it's, it's free. Get started. It's free. So maybe a trial or, or maybe it's just free for now. Very interesting product though. So he says you start by focusing on the words.

On a blank canvas, so imagine writing a post on medium, like there's nothing, just white and the words, I think that's like a great way to do websites in general, start with the content and then also a little bit more meta user group and you know, who are you talking to and so on, don't you think?

Sandra: Yeah, yeah, for sure.

Dan: Yeah, then you think about the layout, he says. Once you have the perfect copy and then things start to appear in the layout and then at the end you adjust the look and feel and you put some color and some fonts and so on. This looked like a pretty clever approach. Yeah, for

Sandra: sure. I would move all of this copy in the first header.

Dan: Yeah, these like three, one, two, three points, right?

Sandra: Yeah, start focusing on the keywords, think about the layout, adjust, done. Yeah.

Dan: Because it

Sandra: looks really cool. At the beginning, the website itself looked empty and not so promising. But then when you dig a little bit deeper, it makes sense.

Dan: Yeah. Completely agree.

Sandra, do you want to take the next one?

Sandra: Yes. Sam, RamenTools.

Indie makers, which tools are you using for payments? Try Paddle, LemonSqueezy, PayPal, or platforms such as Gumroad, etc.

Dan: This is unbelievable.

Sandra: First of all, I want to say that we don't, like when we are reading these, um, building public updates, then literally two minutes before starting the show Writes building public hashtag and press the search and then we go through the updates.

But my, my response, like, first of all, you know, with Klu, we started with Stripe. And then with Morning Maker Show and now with takotreba.com, it all went with LemonSqueezy. And I think before them actually becoming our sponsors, we were sharing how exciting we are or me about getting lemon squeezy emails.

But also for someone who is not that technical as myself, setting up lemon squeezy was super easy. So You know my answer. You can give your two cents, but that's me.

Dan: Yeah. Okay. Can I level with the audience? So when you're like two minutes before the show, we said, you know, we, we have a a calendar where we have the sponsors and today's sponsors were InlineHelp and also they're launching tomorrow on product hunt so it's like very very nice um you know timing and then lemon squeezy and we were supposed to talk about it and then this what Sandra was trying to say before like this tweet comes Completely randomly, right at the time when we're supposed to discuss about the Lemon Squeezy sponsorship, and it's just, I don't know how this happens.

It's incredible. Previous show, we had an MRR chart clearly taken with Lemon Squeezy that came up. So, okay. And level with the audience. This is awesome. Lemon Squeezy for sponsoring. So. I only use LemonSqueezy these days. When I started, I tried Paddle and LemonSqueezy. What Sam is asking is not really a fair question because he's comparing Stripe with LemonSqueezy and, and Paddle and even PayPal.

They're different things. So Paddle and LemonSqueezy, they're in the same category of things. They're a merchant of record, which means it kind of works like you send them an invoice. But they charge all of your customers, right? Whereas with Stripe, you charge the customers directly. And in practical terms, what that means is, you only have to deal with that one invoice that gets charged in your country of residence on your company.

So if You live in a country where having an accountant expensive, or you don't know anything about accounting, you have to take care of all of that by yourself with Stripe or PayPal for that matter, whereas with Paddle and LemonSqueezy, they handle that for you. You don't have to think about it. It just works.

And as you say, you, you get a checkout hosted by them, a link. And that's it. You're, you're good to go. You don't have to implement anything. So those are the sort of the two choices you have to make. And a lot of people go with Stripe because they see, well, there's lower fees. Well, this is why it's because those fees of accounting and tax compliance, they're deferred to you.

If you could do it cheaper than Stripe, then good for you. I think you either have to have certain scale. So we're talking, you know, bigger scale now or have plans to have that big scale to go with Stripe or to be able to have an in house accounting or, you know, be able to do it cheaply somehow to be able to go with those.

But even so, LemonSqueezy has. So for me, I'm only using LemonSqueezy in all of my products. I'm not using anything else and I'm not looking for anything else at the moment. And that's because for me, it saves a lot of development time because they have the hosted checkout, as I mentioned, but they also have a hosted management portal.

So all the customers can go there and, you know, manage their subscriptions. Get their invoices like they're, uh, you know, you've seen Mark Lewis latest startup is to create invoices, right? I don't have to worry about that. I don't have to pay anyone. People can go and download their own invoices, cancel their subscription, renew, whatever you get all of that built in.

You don't need to develop one line. You can literally have one link and that's it. So on morning maker show, we have that, for example, it took, you know, 10 minutes. Yeah, create the product and then we got all of this out of the box so and I could go on and on I love the product. I love that. It's customizable.

You can change the colors and the text to what you want throughout the process throughout the checkout. They have emails as well. You know it. I could only recommend it. I would have tried paddle more, but it was very hard to get on paddle for me. So I don't want to shoot it down. I think it's, it's also a good product.

They have features that lemon squeezy doesn't. So I know one of the, the friends of the show, Greg, went to Paddle because they do checkout in multiple languages, I believe. I didn't check if that's true, but that's what I hear. So there might be features that are very good in Paddle as well. For me, I couldn't get my store approved.

So I went with LemonSqueezy and that went, you know, in 24 hours or something like that. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Sandra: Yeah. Same here. As I said before, My accounting on a monthly basis is like 200 euros.

Dan: Yeah. But there is a difference, yeah. But you also have different ambitions with Klu, right? You want to be like a multi million dollar unicorn product.

Yeah.

Sandra: Unicorn by next, like, I don't know, three to four months.

Dan: Excuse me? Is that? Just

joking. Sandra, do

you have something to share? No, but it's a good thing to have these morning motivations,

Sandra: you know, someone would call it delusional, but I wouldn't.

Dan: Um, you, you, you wouldn't, uh, what, what is it is just, uh, is just the state of mind, right?

It's the state of

Sandra: mind, yeah, yeah, yeah, you, you, you stay normal or go crazy, I don't know anymore.

Dan: Yeah. Oh boy. Okay. Should we take one more and then, and then we, we get to do some work. Yes.

Okay. Sam.

Sandra: Sam.

Just hit 1K ARR on my apps. To some this might seem small, but for me it's a huge milestone. It's always rewarding to reflect on the journey and see how far we have come.

Hashtag building public. Hashtag I love it. Hashtag I like. Hashtag share it everywhere.

Dan: There was just one hashtag that was built in public. The rest was Sandra.

Sandra: Because I love to celebrate these moments. I don't care like if someone thinks it's small or whatever is the definition. People, we all have different definitions of like success.

And I think this is a huge milestone and I think Sam should celebrate

Dan: it. Sam, congratulations. This is an amazing milestone. And, you know, it might. It might look like, you know, you're, you're just starting, but you've done this since 7th of January, if I look at the chart, or like beginning of January, you know, by the end of the year, if you keep going like this, you're going to hit at least 6, 000, right?

And this is freaking amazing. I mean, great work, great work. I'm. I'm very, very happy that you got there and keep going, keep, keep pushing that. And this product is going to fly. I just wonder what it is because there is no link, absolutely no link whatsoever. So I'm going to go to Sam's profile and I think the app is called Habit Hive.

And

it's an app to change your habits and to change your life. I could use that right about now.

Sandra: I might try it. It's Monday. You can use all this motivation to try new things that's going to change your life in a week.

Dan: You know, some habits I should really change. Going to sleep. I should really change that.

Sandra: Yeah, don't sleep at all, Dan. It's overrated.

Dan: Yeah. Wow, okay. Um

Sandra: But Charlie should go to sleep, for sure. I can see Charlie here, and I cannot even imagine what time is in Australia right

Dan: now. The time in Australia is probably around 1am. How amazing it is that Charlie joins us. No, it's not, it's not, it's not.

It's 7pm, it's 7pm, it's still good, it's still good. No, it's good. It's actually a very good time, so he's probably just after dinner enjoying the show. And we're talking about starting the weekend here. You know, I was It's 10 and

Sandra: 23, it's good, it's

Dan: good. It's all good, it's all good, yeah. I think on the Friday show, if we see Charlie, then something's wrong, because that's definitely 1am on Friday.

For sure.

Sandra: But, um, will you, will you do me the honor, Dan, and, um, sign off the show? Because last time it was really bad coming from me.

Dan: I don't think it's that bad. It wasn't great to be, let's, let's be honest with each other. It wasn't the best ending, but it was a good effort. It was a good effort. There was

Sandra: an effort.

There was an effort. Yes.

Dan: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for joining us. It was awesome to have you on the show. Please be sure to check out the past episodes on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Or go to our website, morningmakershow.com, where you can see future episodes, past episodes, as well as our very, very funny and inspiring newsletters.

I will hear you again on Friday, and I hope you will have the best week ever. Yes, you see, you

Sandra: did so good. Perfect, perfect, perfect,

Dan: Dan. You can, you can give me We can have this thing where you give me Yeah. You can give me from 1 to 10 a grade, and then I know if I have to improve or not. Okay, I'll give

Sandra: you 9.

    1. You know, so there's always, like, a room for improvements as my mother would say.

Dan: See you on Friday. Bye. See you.

Bye.

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