Anthony Castrio Shares How He Acquired the First 50 Users for Indie Worldwide Having $1K MRR

Anthony Castrio is the founder of Indie Worldwide - The online accelerator for bootstrapped startup founders.
 

Tell us about your product and what inspired you to start it?

Indie Worldwide is an online community and virtual accelerator for bootstrapped startup founders.
 
Three years ago I was a nomadic wantrepreneur living out of my backpack and organizing local meetup for indie hackers wherever I went.
 
After starting meetups in Medellín, Mexico City, and Boston I really wanted to find a better way to meet indie hackers wherever I was and not lose touch as soon as I left.
 
That's how Indie Worldwide got started.
 

How long did it take you to acquire your first 50 customers, and what was your growth strategy?

At first we were a free monthly Zoom call. After awhile we wanted to stay in touch with each other between meetups, so we created a Slack group.
 
I didn't want people just to pay attention to me, but to create relationships between each other. So I started collecting information about what people were working on and introducing them to each other over email every week.
 
To my surprise people really really liked this service, so much that a couple founders (Dru Riley, Sukhpal Saini, among others) demanded that I charge them money.
 
I'd accidentally started a business!
 
The next logical step was a Product Hunt launch. Between that launch and converting existing free users to paid, we quickly hit 50 customers (paying an annual or one-time fee to join the matching club).
 

Which technology stack are you using and what challenges and limitations does it pose?

I use a combination of Node js scripts and no-code tools.
 
More and more of my stack has been replaced with no-code which makes it much easier to move quickly and make fast changes.
 

What are some of the most essential tools that you use for your business?

Slack, Zapier, Node JS, Carrd, Airtable, Google Sheets, Postmark
 

What have been some of the biggest insights you've gained since starting your entrepreneurial journey?

Building a community is about creating many 1-1 connections.
 
Features don't make sales, but stories do.
 
It's more fun to build a startup when you're surrounded by friends.
 
I've learned more things that would take more space to fully elaborate on, which is why I started writing Wizen Guides https://wizenguides.com/ with Ana Bibikova -- tactical strategy guides for startup founders.
 
 
Podcasts:
My First Million
Indie Hackers
 
Newsletter:
Trends.vc
 
Books:
How to Win Friends and Influence People
Four Hour Workweek
Zero to One
The Hard Thing About Hard Things
Built to Sell

What other products are you working on? (if any)

https://wizenguides.com/ - Marketing strategy guides for bootstrapped founders.https://www.unlovedproject.com/ - Discover unloved projects you can acquire.