Jannis Fedoruk-Betschki Shares His Motivation for Building ‘Tools For Creators’

Jannis Fedoruk-Betschki is the founder of Tools for Creators - an online database for tools that helps creators do their work more efficiently.
 
 

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

 
The idea for Tools for Creators is pretty simple: it's a curation site for online tools. The inspiration came pretty randomly, when I joked on Twitter.
 
Initially, I thought this was a really dumb idea, though. There gotta be tons of these sites out there, so why would mine matter? And I wasn't wrong: there are a ton of similar websites out there, but most of them don't have a clear benefit for their target audience in mind.
 
After talking to some of my friends, who identify as creators, I heard pretty wild stories of signing up for 5 different tools just to find the best or googling forever in order to find out whether a tool has a free tier or not.
 
At that point I felt the urge to just go for it. Surprisingly, when I put the idea out in public people loved it. I gathered lots of feedback along the way and Tools for Creators now lets you search for 143 use cases in over 30 categories, containing over 100 different tools.
 
All of these tools have some basic data attached, which I am extending more and more every week.
 
 

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

 
That's a bit tricky, since I don't have the classic customer that pays for access to the tool. I always wanted this site to be free for creators. Monetization happens through affiliate links on some tools, yet I don't select tools based on whether they have an affiliate program or not.
 
Currently, I have about 10 visitors a day, which is mainly due to the fact that I built all of this in public from day one. For such a young product (I started building it in the beginning of June) it has a great organic reach on Twitter - people keep sharing the link every other day.
 
The number of tools with affiliate links is currently at 12 out of 103. So far, two people signed up for tools through these affiliate links, but the affiliate commission is still pending as of today :)
 
 

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

 
Since the site doesn't rely on constantly changing data, it was pretty obvious to me to use a static site generator. I have worked with Gatsby previously and to be quite honest, that was the only reason I chose it for Tools for Creators.
 
The backend database runs on Airtable which connects through a Gatsby source plugin.
 
All of that runs on Microsoft Azure, since I got accepted into their startup program and can host the site for free there.
 
The biggest challenge I currently see with using Gatsby is the build time. Every time I add a new tool or want to make a small change, I need to build the entire site, which takes about 15 minutes now. I am honestly a bit scared to see what happens when there are 500 tools on the site, not just 103
 
On the bright side: I haven't done any build time optimisation - so I bet there is still a lot of things that can be done on that front.
 
 

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

 
Airtable - that's the brain behind Tools for Creators
Plausible Analytics - privacy-friendly analytics
Twitter - for marketing and getting feedback
 
 

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

 
It's not a race. The multi-million dollar overnight success stories are rare and not worth chasing.
 
Entrepreneurship means freedom for me. And I don't need a million dollars for that. I can get that with a steady four-digit figure per month. So that's my next goal :)
 
 
 
Newsletter:Social Media Conversations by Shruthi Sundaram (https://socialmediaconversations.substack.com/) - one of the best newsletters I know. Shruthi shares super valuable and bite-sized pieces of information that can help any entrepreneur starting out
 
Podcast:Wannabe Entrepeneur Podcast by Tiago Ferreira (https://wannabe-entrepreneur.com/episodes/) - I love the conversations he has with fellow entrepreneurs