This weekend, I released my first ever digital product. It’s only been available for 2 days and is already my most successful product ever with a grand total of 3 sales, yielding a massive $15! I jest, but this is all totally true. In the past I’ve run a web hosting service, a TShirt company before becoming an employee and then freelance developer 10 years ago. I still have boxes of tshirts that I haven’t sold and none of my previous product ventures have made me a profit. In part this is what led on to freelancing and contracting which I’ve had far more success with over the last decade. The only actual “thing” I’ve released and made actual money from, is this product.
It’s called “Side Projects Making $$$+” - a list of 180+ side projects posted to Hacker News threads since 2017, available as a number of Notion documents which has taken me a huge amount of time to organise. I started looking through these threads at every story and found each and every one incredibly inspiring. I had a huge grin on my face as I read through them. For some reason I decided to put them into a Notion spreadsheet (or database) categorising every single one that had details of MRR and tagging/categorising them to be searchable.
I thought other developers might like them too and probably would appreciate them being organised, so decided to release it as a product on gumroad for a small price of £1+ to see what other devs thought. It would seem a few people like the idea enough to buy it.
This past weekend has been fairly crazy. I finished the product late on Friday and decided to launch on Saturday morning. I then decided to launch on Product Hunt on Sunday. Although $15 may not be the massive numbers you usually hear about on Indie Hackers or Product Hunt I think it’s all useful process to have gone through and for me to learn from.
The nice part about a digital product is I can improve on it over time. It isn’t something that need be fixed once released like something physical like a tshirt. I can just jump into Notion and make a change and my customers will immediately receive that. I plan to write a summary with my take on each year listed within, with a report on the categories that did the best. I’d like to highlight some of the stories that resonate most with me. I’ll likely review and increase the price once all that’s done.
If you’re a dev who is keen to learn from these stories, then take a look at the link below.