Imran Makes $200 in one Month from Syncy

Imran Khan is the founder of Syncy - a marketplace for high-value conversations.
 

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

On our website anyone can book a 30-minute Zoom call with high-caliber professionals. It costs just 25 dollars and takes about two minutes to book the call, i.e., make the payment and select a time from the target user’s calendar. 
 
There are many reasons why someone may want to book a call with another professional. 
 
 Our first use case was motivated by a problem we confronted ourselves when working on a different startup idea (a plugin for e-commerce websites). It was hard to talk to customers (which we know from YC we need to do!) because they are busy people who get bombarded by solicitations. For us as a startup founder it’s well worth $25 to be able to quickly arrange a conversation with a potential customer. In the absence of a tool like Syncy, we were sending dozens of emails and LinkedIn messages, and waiting days for responses to set up a short conversation.  
 
We are also exploring other use cases:  
* high school students who book calls with college students to decide which schools to apply to and how to get in
* college students looking for summer or full-time jobs who book calls with professionals to decide which companies to apply to and how to get in
* grad students looking to leave academia who book calls with professionals to learn which industry jobs would be a good fit
* professionals looking for a promotion or an industry change who book calls with other professionals
* recruiters who book calls with professionals who have a specified skill set and are open to exploring new opportunities 
 
We plan to evaluate various use cases and then concentrate on the one for which it will be easiest to grow supply and demand.
 
 

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

We adopted a number of strategies for getting users.
 
On the supply side, the most sustainable one was to post part-time gigs on job boards like Linkedin, and Upwork to sign up target users to be interviewed by startup founders and get paid $25.
 
On the demand side, we talked to founders in the YC startup school program to talk about their startups and offered our marketplace as a solution to get user interviews.
 
 

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

We use no-code and low-code tools to quickly iterate on versions and features as we grow. For our website, we use Carrd.co, and for database, and APIs we used Sheety earlier, now we use Postgres and Flask on Render.com. For meetings and scheduling on our marketplace, we use zoom and calendly out of the box.
 
 

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

We use notion, zoom, quip, and asana to collaborate and manage the workplace.
 
 

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

It's hard for first-time founders to talk to customers as they don't have a good network, to begin with. They are also not aware of the importance of user validation before building their startup.
 
Second-time founders build startups in areas in which they already have a strong network and are therefore more successful.
 
 
Books
1. The MOM Test
2. Zero to One
3. Zero to Sold
4. The Embedded Entrepreuner
5. The cold start problem
 
Podcast: Indiehackers
 
Newsletter: Julain Shapiro