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Thibault Louis-Lucas — Selling a $10M SaaS and Building Another One

Arvid kahl:. Today, i'm talking to thibault louis-lucas, a serial indie hacker who just can't stop building products that empower other creators. We chat about the joy of building and the motivation behind continuous entrepreneurship. Tibo shares his approach to building stable software products being acquired and then acquiring a saas product himself and what makes building in public so powerful for indie hackers with their saas projects. This episode is sponsored by And we will be diving into acquisitions today as well. So let's get right to our conversation. Here's thibault.

Thibault, you recently sold two businesses for over like $10 million yet you didn't stop building. You didn't spend every day sipping drinks at the beach, like people dream of, right? So what's the motivation that you're still building stuff? What keeps you addicted to the hustle? Thibault louis-lucas:. Well, i think it's just not money, i guess. It's like, for me, it's like playing lego. Like when i was five, is it's just the most funny, the best thing that i would enjoy, i think, for the rest of my life, like building new thing and this unique feeling when people are using your products, you know. It's the best. Arvid kahl:. I know that feeling. I was talking to sharaf or probably a mutual friend from twitter just yesterday and i was describing what i was working on right now. And i got so excited. And he said, you kind of sound like my two year old, like my two year old child that just found a new toy. And i feel that's kind of what drives indie hackers.

Right? This joy of building. Is that for you the best thing possible that you could possibly do? Thibault louis-lucas:. I think the early stages of any new product, like no matter what you've built before, it's so unique, like this excitement and at the same time, like scared as of like not finding product market fits. It's like, yes, it's unique. And i think it's so much on the fence that if you have lived through this once you absolutely, you desperately wants to live it again. Arvid kahl:. Yeah, i bet. So it feels what it sounds like is that you kind of crave that initial stage. Is that right? Thibault louis-lucas:. Yeah, definitely. Arvid kahl:. Okay. Well, that's an interesting thing. Because honestly, my own experience, like you said, it's a frightening stage, right? You have to constantly think where's this gonna go? You have to do all these experiments. How do you deal with this pressure? Is that something that's just part of it for you? Or have you found ways to cope with it? And just, you know, be hopeful about the future outcomes of building? Thibault louis-lucas: have you read this book, it doesn't have to be crazy at work? Arvid kahl:. Yeah thibault louis-lucas:. This is an awesome book. I definitely recommend it can totally change your perspective about how it should be at work. But for me, it's kinda the opposites on my own projects is like this pressure that you talked about. It's the one thing that we'l be looking for to like to motivate me on a daily basis to ship new things, to try to change how people are using my products, just look for new growth vectors. I don't know like everything that can drive new perspective, you use it like pure excitement. Do you see what i mean? Arvid kahl:. Yeah, it sounds like you just need a lot of variety, a lot of variations of the things that you do.

Is that why you sold those businesses that grew to a certain point? Like i mentioned that you just a couple of years ago, i guess, at this point, sold both tweet hunter and taplio for 10 plus million dollars, which is crazy. Is that you reached a ceiling and then you sold? Is that what happened? Thibault louis-lucas:. This is definitely part of it. Yeah. But definitely not the only reason. The thing is, so my co founder wanted to sell a little bit more than i did. The truth is, i really thought at the time that we could go much further. And there was like in big decision like this, there's a lot of rational thing that you need to think about how like how we were platform dependent and that was before the elon musk drama and how twitter turned into x. So we were very much platform dependents. And we were scared about that. And at the same time, we had this conversation with my co founder that the saas was skyrocketing. But we were definitely not getting a big money from the saas. so at any point, everything could collapse. And we would get basically zero from the success of our products.

And you probably know a lot about twitter and how twitter has changed a lot in the last few years. But our second project, taplio, is even more platform dependent on linkedin. Just because what we are doing there is a little bit more sketchy in the way that we are not only using the public api, but we are using our chrome extension to get some additional data that we need to run the saas and it could happen that linkedin succeeded in blocking what we do. We don't think that will happen because i think they are benefiting from what we are doing that we are making the creator ecosystem on linkedin a bit bigger, but who knows.

Arvid kahl:. It's so interesting. The browser extension thing is particularly interesting to me. Like, i remember, in my own saas feedback panda that we've sold in 2019, we did the exact same thing, like the platform that we were on these online schools in china, they did not allow us to be on but we had like a browser extension that would just like, go into the, you know, the vue js data model and just extract data out of it and send it to our servers. So i guess, sketchy browser extension, i know exactly what it is. And i know that is super dangerous, right? Because you're always playing with fire. Thibault louis-lucas:. And by the way, this is such an indie maker thing, this is such a solopreneur thing in a way that's like, all those big companies, they just can't do that. Like they just can't allow the teams to do some shady dark things. And like, as an indie maker like, if you are looking for an id something that where you would just be totally free of competition from the big guys, just go for a chrome extension, doing some shady stuff with private api's from websites. It's a goldmine, you can do a lot of arvid kahl:. That's funny. Do you ever feel like morally, you know, skeptical of that kind of behavior? Because obviously, shady here just means like you're doing stuff that is not intended to be. It's not criminal, technically. But it's kind of, you know, questionable. Do you ever wonder if it's okay to do these things? Thibault louis-lucas:. Yeah, i think it's definitely a good question.

My limit, my own limit is, am i putting at risk the accounts of the user that is using the products? And if no, i think i'm fine. So this applies to me, for taplio as an example, to the linkedin user who are using taplio are they putting their account at risk? And in the case of taplio, the answer is no. They are not putting their account at risk. So i think we are fine. And we are making everyone happy there. So i will continue to do so. Arvid kahl:. Yeah, of course. And i think and you do, right? If i look at the history with tweet hunter at this point, i think i remember that there was a point in 2023 when it was kind of banned when twitter banned the api access, probably because of automatic dms, if i remember right. Can you tell me about that moment? I think it just was a week or so that you were offline? How did that happen? What did you do to get back? And how did that play into your, you know, risk calculations about the platform? Thibault louis-lucas:. That's a crazy story. But just for the record, this happened after we sold tweet hunter. So that was a moments when we like we lost total access to twitter, to all api endpoints. And that was the moments where we just told ourselves that we were so right for having sold our business. But so the full story is that i think it was in march 2023.

So almost a year ago, twitter announced that developers would need to go pay 42,000 per month to keep using the api. And that was a crazy amounts, like it made a huge noise on twitter. Basically, that was the end of indie hacking on the twitter api. Only the big payers could afford that. And the thing is, they announced that, they said you have 30 days to transition, here is a form, fill it. And so we did that, we filled the form. And then we waited. And i think like four days later. So out of the 30 days, four days later, we got our api access totally cut off, like no warning, nothing.

And we were not alone, like, two or three competitors had the same and we work together actually. That was pretty nice. We work together trying to find the good person to talk to at twitter. It was crazy days because when nothing works, you are just refreshing your unsubscribe metrics. And it's bad. Like it's very bad. One thing is, so we had this very nice collaboration between the twitter api people like me and one of our competitors tried to like to win out of this, trashing us publicly on twitter and grabbing our subscribers. It didn't really work, but kind of made me sick. Arvid kahl:. It's a competitors' space, right? That's crazy. Thibault louis-lucas:. Yeah, very and with this competitor, especially we don't have good relationships.

But then like, two days later, we finally got access to the right person at twitter. We worked together, we signed the contracts very fast. And we got back our api access. And so we got cut off from the twitter api for like, 48 hours, i think. So during this time, we're just looking at people churning. And there was nothing we could do. Arvid kahl:. Did they come back when you had your access restored? Thibault louis-lucas:. Yeah, definitely. And in the end, we just made the calculation and it was so slow, like, i think less than 1% of the people churn. So it was more than an awful feeling than the actual truth, you know? Arvid kahl:. Yeah,. I mean, it feels bad, right? That's the thing, once you have something like this happen to you and i had similar things with feedback panda, like the chinese companies, they would just change their website and our integration would break and everything would break in our product because the data wouldn't flow any more. Right? It's kind of similar that they just cut off access to the api because they changed api. And once i noticed that, the error messages came in and customer service messages came in. It pulled me down, like my emotional status changed from happy developer into super sad developer. And then i had to fix it. And i had to talk to people and i had to, you know, like, deal with people churning just like you did. How did you deal with this emotionally at that point because a week is still a lot of time. Like, how did you get through this? Thibault louis-lucas:. I think pretty much in the same way.

So the prim where you are building in public, i guess, like we do is that you basically become the saas. So this is like twitter is me, or at least it was me. So when twitter is bad and buggy, it reflects on me and i take it personally. So i was feeling awful, even if the tool already got acquired, like it was to me you know. Arvid kahl:. Yeah, yes. It's so crazy for indie hackers, how much identity we put onto our products, right? How much of our selves they are. I always compare this with like, there are kind of our children in a way that we made them, right.

And we cared for them and we let them grow up. And then that makes it especially hard to actually give them away, right? It's like you offer your saas up for adoption, if you sell it, if you get acquired. Did that impact you at all? I mean, you stayed with the business, which is it's different. I guess you still have custody, but did that impact your emotional relationship with the business at all? Thibault louis-lucas: not that much. Because, yeah, because basically, nothing changed in my involvements in twitter. So, tom, my co founder and i are still free managing the business. And that was one of the key points of the acquisition. We talked with some big players, companies like hubspot and it felt awful to like to just project yourself in such a big company totally losing control on the products. And yeah, and just being just a little piece in this big company, you know, so that was like the major topic that we discuss with lempire, the company which acquired us and what made it very easy is that we have the same culture, same age, we live in the same country, speak the same language. I don't know if you know about that. But that so we started talking with lempire because their founder, guillaume was basically in middle school with me. This is such a crazy story. Arvid kahl:. I think i remember this from a twitter post that you made, like the history of the acquisition started, like when you were five, six years old or something.

That's yeah, that is so cool. Tell me more about this. Like, do you keep in touch over the years? How did that happen? Thibault louis-lucas:. We definitely not. No, we didn't stay in touch. The thing is, so when i started indie hacking, i looked up to this guy, like i learned about lemlist and i found their story so crazy, like they grew so much. And they were a perfect example of how you can leverage your personal brand, how building in public can work so well. And so i reached out to guillaume, just a tweet actually, like i tweeted hi guillaume, i think we were in middle school together.

Are you hop for a coffee? And he said yes. And we just i think we had like lunch three times together, just talking about our products, just talking. And then we were not selling that at that points. And when we got into these willingness of selling the business, i just mentioned it with him. And he said,. Yeah, why not? And so we started talking more seriously about it. And the crazy thing is, i think we fixed all the details about the acquisition over whatsapp on two weeks. It went so fast. And for us, tom and i, it was a clear signal that we were working in the same way, talking the same language, you know, arvid kahl:. Yeah, that's kind of the indie hacker bootstrapper way of doing stuff, right? Not big lawyers, big contracts, meetings, or whatever, you just have a whatsapp chat and you just get the details figured out, that is an important part. And it's kind of that allows you for alignment, right, that allows for the kind of alignment that you know that you're going to be treated right in the future, that the product is going to be treated right the same way that you want it to be treated.

And that you know everybody benefits from this. That's really cool. Now, you mentioned that you as a french business sold to another french business. Would you have sold internationally as well? Because that is usually more complicated to sell, you know, the whole business or even the product out of a business on a different level. Like do you think being in france selling to a french business made it easier for you? Or did you not care about that? Thibault louis-lucas:. So we're definitely looking for selling internationally. We thought that selling to a us buyer would make the price way higher.

The thing is tweet hunter and taplio, always had very high churn. And those big american players, they were so afraid about churn. I don't know why. But like guillaume was not and like in this case, he was so right, just a bit of artist. I think when lempire acquired us, we were below 2 million in annual recurring revenue. And i think we are nearing between six and seven right now. So more than tripled the yearly revenue in a year and a half. Arvid kahl:. How did you do that? Thibault louis-lucas:. So that's a very good question. I honestly, i don't have the exact answer. My strategy right now with tom is do a lot.

I really do more, ship more in terms of feature, seo contents, social media contents. And the thing is a lot of those are fading, but a few of them are succeeding in very big ways. One of the examples is this yearly linkedin and twitter growth challenge that we do, we never expected them to work that much. But they do like we're doing them between january and march, every new year. It's been in the third year right now. And every year, they are bringing so much new user who i think for every new year, just tell themselves this year is going to be the year where i'm going to be serious about twitter or serious about linkedin.

And we are trying to help them like motivate them on a daily basis with a platform with brankin with leadership with leaderboard and it works like it genuinely motivate them and it bring new subscribers to our products. So just by shipping more, doing new project, new products, new free mini tools, we are bringing in revenue. Arvid kahl:. That's awesome. Has the team increased in size as well after the acquisition? Are there more people working on it now, like feature wise or whatever? Thibault louis-lucas:. A little bit more but not crazy, like we are between 8 and 10 people right now. But we have always remained very lean with the team. And i think that's a part of what makes us go very fast. And have this ability when we have an id to just jump on d and make it live, instead of going through three levels of validation, you know. Arvid kahl:. Yeah, for sure. Yeah, it does. I think it's so important also, once you have a small team or as long as you still have a small team, people understand the whole product, right? They understand how things are connected. And maybe more importantly, they understand the customer, the people who use it because they cannot be far away from it if the team is so small, which makes these kinds of events like you do like the challenge, it's just you understand why people need it because you understand their motivation. I think that's great. I think that's something you should be retaining for as long as possible. I love this. I love the idea of like building community.

That's really cool. Thibault louis-lucas:. And i think it was simply not possible before. And right now it is like thanks to ai and new tech, like serverless things like next year, so verser. It's definitely way more feasible to have a much smaller team and have one developer doing the work of what used to be like 10 developers. And it's crazy when i thought about, like, one of my previous job was cto as a big scale up company. And i used to manage that 30 developers and like, going to production shipping euchre was still something that was need to be handled, you know, like it was going bad sometimes. And sometimes the entire production team like 30 people aware had to work on updates because something went bad in the dev op process. And so this is basically non existent right now. There is nothing in updates on the server process that could go wrong. And it saves so much bandwidth for the team that we can just work on what really matters.

And i think it makes developers much closer towards the end user. That's everybody win. Arvid kahl:. Yeah, it's definitely an interesting development. I think i saw a tweet that you sent just very recently, that somebody from the team told you that they looked at the code and they were so stable, like the whole product was so stable. They did not expect that because from other jobs they had before everything was breaking all the time. I assume that's also my experience with software businesses that i've worked for in the past. How did you make that happen? How did you build a product that is so stable? I think you have the saying, like ship like it's day one, but built like it's gonna last forever or something like this. Can you elaborate a bit on the strategy that you have for your software development thibault louis-lucas: i'm not the one who said that. But it's process?

Nice motto. Yeah, i think i'm definitely not like pieter levels in this, like, i'm not using these php thing and all tech. I'm very pro new tech, like next year. And i think it's like, it's a game changer for me. The way you can just update your code and have some saves words on versary to just warn you when something is going bad. I think it's life changer. What's really interesting about tweet hunter and taplio. And i think a lot of ai based software, something like does that too, is that it's able to provide a lot of value with a lot of different small tools, which are not too much dependence on the one from each other. So it creates less tech complexity and so way less bets. Arvid kahl:. That's an interesting observation. That is kind of a new thought for me because to me, anything i add to a project increases complexity, but yeah, if you think about them as kind of standalone things, that definitely just yeah, if you can encapsulate them.

I want to talk to you about ai because that's like, you know, buzzword hype word at this point for a lot of people and a lot of the indie hackers, indie makers in our space built on top of ai and have been building on top of ai for years at this point, do you see? I obviously there's a lot of benefits and there's a lot of opportunity there. But do you see risks? Because that's something that as a german, i need to know. I need to know where the risks are. I want to see what the potential drawbacks might be. Have you encountered any problems with the use of ai technology? Or do you consider that there might be some in your future? Thibault louis-lucas:. So like, i'm, i just, i can't stand enough the enormous and huge opportunity that ai represents. I'm not so much thinking about ai risk for now. So of course, i'm super scared about how agi could go wrong. Andthat's a topic that i monitor closely. Like, i'm doing some weekly research about that about new agi stuff. But like for like, right now, when you look at indie makers work, i think the only thing where ai could go bad is things that you can see on twitter already is that open ai goes down. And so basically, your product doesn't work anymore. Or a user finds a loophole in your products. And he's about to like generates 1000s or millions of things.

And basically, you will end up with 1000 euros bill to pay to open ai. And that's like that's the two major issues that i see right now. Except from that, i don't think anything is happening right now that could really negatively affects developers and indie makers. Arvid kahl:. Well, thanks for pointing this out. I think that's very important, like the platform dependency, the platform risk on top of open ai on one side and the abuse versus the financial abuse risks on the other. I think if you're as an indie hacker want to start anything with ai at this point, you should definitely try to fix both of these before you go live, right? Or at least make sure that you have ways out of them obviously, can't really do much about the open ai, although local ai is something that i've been looking into over the last, just myself on my own projects over the last couple of weeks. I've started to run, you know, like llama or mistral, just llms on my own computer on my mac studio. And they're surprisingly fast. Like it's not gpt4. It's not the multimodal model that we know from there that is so incredible but you can do a lot on your own systems right now.

Have you looked into this? Have you looked into kind of de risking that particular platform feature if you use open ai at all? Thibault louis-lucas:. So not in the same way because i really don't want to run my own servers. But yeah, using mistral with another provider? Like i think i've been looking at open router. Yes, it can definitely save your ass if open ai equals done which had happened a few times in the last years. So that definitely is an eye thing. Arvid kahl: mistral, isn't that also a french company? What is it with these amazing products coming out of france? That's awesome, right? Thibault louis-lucas:. It's like that's, i think that's we're so proud to be french. It's crazy because like when the eu started regulating ai, like, i think everyone in the eu wanted to like leave and was ashamed about their own government. Right now with this french company doing this. I'm so proud to be french arvid kahl:. Yeah, i bet. It's really cool. I mean, it's again. Generally interesting. The french indie hacker scene, by in itself is very interesting. A lot of interesting products come out of it. And a lot of interesting founders are just very present in the global community as well. I find that very interesting. I don't feel the same about the german indie hacker scene at all. Like there are lots of people from there as well but it feels like the french industry has more impact on my life than you know, the german industry that german indie hacker field has which is just an observation that i made and you are still located in france, right? Have you ever considered like nomading around to like the danny postma and pieter levels of the world? Is that something that you've ever thought as indie hacker? Thibault louis-lucas: i did arvid kahl:. Oh, yeah. Thibault louis-lucas:. Like i did like i live six months in thailand. I met pieter levels there. I also lived in bali and i met danny postma there and so it's a little bit harder for me because i have a kid. And so like everything needs to be consider much more in advance. You need to find school. You need to find daycare. It's like everything is more complicated.

But yeah, i love nomading. And the best people, the most interesting people i've met was during that time, you know, like in bali, we had this group of people between 10 to 30 people depending on the week, where every week, we were gathering together and do some indie hacking together. From nine to four, we were coding, every one on his own thing. And from four to five, everyone was demoing what he builds and all the people there were giving feedback. And i enjoyed this so much because indie hacking can be so lonely, like sometimes you're alone dealing with your own problems, it's hard to find a way out. And sometimes just someone there with a small id can pinpoint something totally changing your perspective and giving you fresh ideas. And so, i love that. We went back in france because our kid is growing and we wanted to be closed family. But honestly, i missed that. Arvid kahl:. Is there a similar community? And i guess paris where you live right now, is there like an indie hacker community that helps each other or is that less so than as it was? Thibault louis-lucas: definitely less. I think that the problem with paris and every big city in the world is that people grow with their own group of friends and they are not that very much looking for new people to meet. And that's definitely not the case in barie. In barie, you just get there and you get like 30 invitations the first week because everyone wants to meet new people, which is awesome.

Arvid kahl:. So cool. It's really nice. I've never been in the nomad world because i always just been living in my basement or you know, sitting in front of my computer, never much of a traveler, but it sounds like a very enticing thing. Like if i was 20 years old again, i probably would do just that. I think pieter always says like, it's super cheap anyway. And it's kind of an education in itself. Right? So you might as well do it. So that is cool. Do you still travel? Maybe that's an interesting question with projects that you work for like this and new projects, which i would like to talk about in a minute. Do you still find time to travel or is work and golfing your life at this point? Thibault louis-lucas:. So i've been traveling a lot in the last three years, which is pretty much the same time at which i've been very busy with my projects. So my projects were definitely not blocking me in my powers. Right now, i'm serving way less because of family stuff, because my wife got a new job. And because we have a new kid coming soon, which is gonna, i think is gonna make us a little bit longer in france. But who knows, maybe we'l start again nomading in the next few years. I don't know. Arvid kahl:. Yeah, i mean, that's the thing with nomading. You could just figure it out as you do it.

Right. That's part of the fun of this. But that is interesting. So new kid, also new side project or new project, i guess. I want to talk to you about the latest thing that you've been spending a lot of time on, i guess, and talking a lot about. You've been acquiring a business, which is, like i said, when i opened up this whole conversation with why do you still code and why do you still work? I guess typeframes is the next thing,. Right? It's the next thing you're going to be working on and you're working on right now. Can you explain to me, first of, what got you into video creation and where you want to take this business? Thibault louis-lucas:. So i've been tweeting for like, three years right now. And especially with coming, i've seen their content stencils going from like texts to very much media based. And i'm pretty sure that twitter, which was not a video platform was not an image platform is going in that direction. Linkedin is the same. And so my feeling is that everything is going to be video based, basically or at least, like more video based than what it was before.

And i found typeframe. And that's interesting story, in the last like in the last three years to support twitter interview, we acquired like, i think 10 new products, tiny products, which was mainly the work of indie maker for like a day or a week or maybe a month. And so all those products that we acquires have been votes for traffic, that's then supported the growth of twitter and taplio. And one day, i found out about typeframe on twitter. This guy, liam was releasing typeframe and made a lot of noise on twitter. People loves the products and so it got released. People that subscribed. But then something happens. I think the end just simply stopped working on timeframe. I don't know exactly why, like if he got bored of the products or if he had stuff in his life that made him want to focus on other things.

But the thing is, he pretty much stopped working on typeframe. And that's where i reached out. And because we acquired a lot of products with twitter during taplio, i knew a bit about how to deal with this kind of acquisition, like small products acquisition. And i found a way to make a deal happen with liam and liam trusted me in acquiring the products with a specific kind of data where i didn't have the money to, i did want to invest the money, the full money of what i think typeframe was valued. But we find the data where we'l get revenue share of everything that typeframe's going to generate in the next few months or years, depending on how much it generates. And so that did happen in september. Typeframe was not a subscription based product. I switched it to a subscription based products. And from september to december, we went from zero to 4k in monthly recurring revenue.

And it's growing. Arvid kahl:. That's so cool. Thibault louis-lucas:. So nothing is done. Nothing is done. There's just a lot of things to work on. But it's super exciting. Way more tech demanding, i guess, that there's so much to do when you have a video based products. Arvid kahl:. Do you consider this like a side project? Or is this like one of the main projects for you? Like where does it fit into your existing job or existing work that you do on the other products that you're going to still managing? Thibault louis-lucas:. It's definitely a side project for me because like my main focus right now is still on twitter and taplio. But thanks to the acquisition, i have some money around. So i hired a developer. And we're working together on making typeframe a little bit bigger. So this developer's main focus is typeframe. So we are able to sustain a pretty good shipping speed.

And i hope that's with the structure is going to be enough to succeed in some way in the twittersphere. I'm also trying to like since this structure has been pretty much successful, like going from zero to 4k monthly revenue, i'm trying to actually launch a new side project on the side so i can't say too much right now. But i hope that some new things can come out in 2024. Arvid kahl:. It is so crazy. This indie hacker way of just launching stuff all the time. Like you just started another thing. Well, why not build something else? I know the feeling. I'm working on another thing as well just now. I can't help myself because it's just so interesting, right?

The technology, the field you're operating in. Let's talk a little bit about video. I think you're absolutely right. Like it's not i think unsurprising that yesterday as of this recording, i think was the first mr. beast video that was fully posted to twitter. Right? That was a big thing like elon musk posted. I think within three hours, the mr. beast video got 18 million views just because it was the first like hour was it like 15-20 minute long mr. beast video that was natively put on twitter, not on youtube. And it's like, that is a signal, right? Like if people with this kind of following and this kind of presence celebrity even choose this platform for their content, that is a very strong signal.

So maybe the question is, as indie hackers, as people who are super busy already launching new products all the time, how much energy should we put into creating video based content? Because it's easy to tweet, kind of you still have to have something to say, but making a video, that's a lot of work, scripting and recording or using tools to do it. Like how much time would you recommend for indie hackers that are still building to spend on video creation? Thibault louis-lucas:. So i have to admit that i have a very limited knowledge about that and probably you know more than me. I think my only take would be that i think when you are starting doing some video based contents, we are overthinking it in the way that maybe you don't need the scripts, maybe you don't need to edit your video, maybe you just need to play starts, mess around with your own tool, screen record at the same time and pause the video as it is. Maybe thibault louis-lucas:. And i think i'm a big believer of arvid kahl: i love this. And it's also more honest, right? It's just like building in public sharing the actual reality of your life, not kind of the fancy glossy instagram like, quantity leads to quality in a way that's if you if you version. I agree with you and particularly screencasts if you follow a couple rules to make it usable. It doesn't have to be look at the perfect setup right at the beginning, you will fancy. It just has to be true. Simply not start anything, or at least 90% of the people will not start. And so you just have to start with a messy setup, doing messy contents, crappy video and just ship them and be okay with the shame of shipping them and use that shame to actually do better the next time. But never miss a day or never miss a week. I don't know what your schedule is going to be. Arvid kahl:. I love this. Because if you listen to the first episode of this podcast that was just an audio podcast in the beginning, i think i got the worst mic i could possibly buy. Like the one with the most gain and the most background noise, the yeti the blue yeti was really not for that. And i recorded like dozens of episodes with that trying to fix the crappy audio and post.

It was so horrible. It's better now. But if you listen to this episode and you listen to the first one, there's a massive difference. And honestly, i am proud of that difference. Right. And i've talked to so many creators that are proud of the steps they took to become better. And that you can still see it's like you have traces, you leave traces of your increasing skill, like you're learning in public by leaving those artifacts of your skill level at every single point. I very much agree with you. It's better to constantly than to always over edit, right? Thibault louis-lucas:. That is so true, like this feeling when you look at your first tweets compared to your last tweets. It's insane like this self realization of how you got better. So actually i think you need to ship crappy content at the very start just for that. Arvid kahl:. I think so too. And you can always improve, right? There's always, particularly as you do it in public, there are so many people that have opinions that have feedback for you, if you just talk to them. If you just show it to them, you will find something that will make the thing better. Because hiding away in your basement and coding and coding and coding is not going to solve the problems that you're not aware of.

So you really have to push it out and you have to share parts of it so that people can see the whole picture. That's something you do really well. I think you do a great work when it comes to building in public and sharing those steps along the way. So thanks for doing that. Thibault louis-lucas:. I think this is something that has been game changer for me compared to my two first fading startups is that when we shipped we're going to the support link at the very bottom of the page. We're redirecting people to my own twitter dms. And so i got the dm in real time and i was checking all day long. Like i was definitely not doing all the very good advice that you can see on twitter right now. We should like, check your dms once a day. I was definitely not doing that. And i was able to listen, see a feedback and try to implement the fix in like five minutes. And when i was doing that few users that was watching while i was doing it, got super impressed. And i think that was like, both the awesome feeling that you get as a user when you are hurts and at the same time, the product improvements that was based on actual feedback, both of that was super, really contributed to the success of that. Arvid kahl:. Yeah, it's just, it's validation, it's people solving your problems for you by telling you what they need and showing where the difference is between what your product does and what it should be doing.

I think that's a great idea. Honestly, i'm doing the same for pod line for my latest thing that i've been building like my support, it's just my twitter dms as well. People have a problem, they can tell me and then i can fix it for them. And honestly, i think a quick response time to this direct message. And then building the feature or fixing the bug and immediately pushing it to production, that feeling and that not just for the developer, but for the person that had the problem, that feeling that somebody took you seriously and solve your problem right there, like within minutes, that is something that will make them turn them into the biggest evangelists you could possibly have for your product. Like that's kind of a little marketing outsourcing that you do. This person will talk about you and your product positively forever. It's really powerful.

Thibault louis-lucas:. That's so true. And just something else about that is when you hear about a lot of people what they're saying on twitter is that it's so easy to get started a new product when you have 100k thousand followers. And of course it is that you get an acquisition boost at the very beginning. But when you have zero audience, you have this unique advantage is that you are reachable. Just look on twitter, see people like danny postma or pieter levels, they just can't check their dms, they just can't listen to every user. I think when you are getting started and when you have new audience yet, you can do that. And i was able to do that. I'm just not able to do it anymore right now. Arvid kahl:. Oh, you and me both. I think like i have over 100,000 followers at this point. And it's just unmanageable. The ui is just not good. And they don't give you api access to dms so you can't build something better, which is also a problem with twitter at this point, right? I guess you can try. You can use probably private api's to build shady stuff, but it's horrible to manage. So you're absolutely right, like dms, if you're just under, i don't know what? 10, 15, 20,000 followers or whatever. , you can still manage this. After that it becomes a bit of a problem. But even at that point, it's complicated. But yes, being reachable is an indie hacker advantage that nobody else has, right? You are a human being, you're a person and you can connect with your customer on a level that no business ever could. That's really cool. Well, maybe let's take this opportunity to give people the chance to connect with you.

Where would you like people to find you and follow you on your journey building these big projects that you sold already, still building them up and building new side projects, of which i don't even know what the next one is going to be? Where can people follow you for that? Thibault louis-lucas:. I think the best way to follow up about like my journey is twitter. I'm tibo on twitter. And i try to answer to every single of the dm i get still. It's hard but i do. And i also have a newsletter, which is I've just started this newsletter. So if any one of your listener is going to subscribe and if you want to, like share any feedback about it, feel free to do so. That would make my day. Arvid kahl:. Well, let me share some feedback. It's an amazing newsletter because not only do i always read it when it comes in, which is rare because i tend not to check my emails too often. But yours is really cool because you always have something really useful in there. And we talked about several things from your newsletters on this conversation, right? Your year-end review for 2023 and all the little things that happen along the way that comes from your newsletter as well. So thank you for writing this. I highly recommend subscribing to it. And i will keep following you on twitter because you're just a wonderful source of inspiration and insight into building indie hacker businesses, which is really cool. Tibo, thank you so much for being on the show. That was a wonderful conversation. Thibault louis-lucas: thank you very much, arvid. Thank you very much for having me.

Arvid kahl:. And that's it for today. I will now briefly thank my sponsor, Imagine this, you're a founder who's built a really solid saas product, you acquired all those customers, and everything is generating really consistent monthly recurring revenue. That's the dream of every saas founder, right? Problem is you're not growing for whatever reason, maybe it's lack of skill or lack of focus or play in lack of interest. You don't know. You just feel stuck in your business with your business. What should you do? Well, the story that i would like to hear is that you buckled down, you reignited the fire, and you started working on the business not just in the business, and all those things you did like audience building and marketing and sales and outreach, they really helped you to go down this road, six months down the road, making all that money. You tripled your revenue and you have this hyper successful business. That is the dream. The reality, unfortunately, is not as simple as this. And the situation that you might find yourself in is looking different for every single founder who's facing this crossroad. This problem is common, but it looks different every time. But what doesn't look different every time it's the story that here just ends up being one of inaction and stagnation.

Because the business becomes less and less valuable over time and then eventually completely worthless if you don't do anything. So if you find yourself here, already at this point or you think your story is likely headed down a similar road, i would consider a third option and that is selling your business on Because you capitalizing on the value of your time today is a pretty smart move. It's certainly better than not doing anything. And is free to list. They've helped hundreds of founders already, just go check it out at, that's me and see for yourself if this is the right option for you, your business at this time. You might just want to wait a bit and see if it works out half a year from now or a year from now. Just check it out. It's always good to be in the know.

Thank you for listening to the bootstrapped founder today. I really appreciate that. You can find me on twitter @arvidkahl. And you'l find my books and my twitter course there too. If you want to support me and the show, please subscribe to my youtube channel, get the podcast in your podcast player of choice, whatever that might be. Do let me know. It'd be interesting to see and leave a rating and a review by going to ( It really makes a big difference if you show up there because then this podcast shows up in other people's feeds. And that's, i think, where we all would like it to be just helping other people learn and see and understand new things. Any of this will help the show.

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