📌
Tony Lea is the founder of DevDojo - A creative platform and community for developers
 

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

DevDojo is a developer community with training content, tools, and resources.
 
It started as a side project where I would blog about things I learned. Over the years, I've added many features. One of the most beneficial features that helped with SEO was the community. Users can write their own posts, add a video or course, and even create websites. The DevDojo also contains a lot of training content. In the future we'll also have interactive training that will teach users everything from the basics of Web Development to more advanced things like creating a SaaS.
 
The goal and inspiration behind DevDojo is to create an awesome community of developers where we can all teach and learn from each other. I am trying to find pain points in developer's lives and figure out how to make it easier and more fun
 

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

It took around three years to acquire my first 50 customers; however, I focused more on content and SEO in the first few years. Getting users to my website and increasing the traffic was more important than getting users to pay me for a product. I figured it was best to build an audience and maximize my reach before I built something I wanted to sell.
 
My growth strategy was pretty simple. I wanted to build cool things and write about them.
DevDojo is my platform where I can write about the things I've learned. Now, any user can write tutorials on DevDojo, which will help grow my SEO when users submit content.
 
Now that the site gets a decent amount of traffic, I have created a few products that I can market to the DevDojo visitors and users
 

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

I'm using a reasonably new stack called the TALLstack. You can check out the website by visiting tallstack.dev.
 
The Tall stack consists of TailwindCSS, AlpineJS, Laravel, and Livewire. Tailwind is used to design the applications, and Alpine is used for minor javascript interactivity. Laravel is the back-end, and tying the back-end to the front-end is easy with Livewire... It's kind of ridiculous... In a good way.You have to try it out for yourself.
 
I have a Youtube video teaching you the basics of Livewire and the Tall stack here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pySJpPPaGzg
 

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

The most essential tool is my computer; kind of obvious, but I just wanted to point it out. I graduated with a Bachelor in Computer Science, where they taught me ASP.net, C++, etc. I was taught how to code using a PC; however, after I got my first Mac, I learned much more and haven't slowed down. So, I'm Mac all the way
 
When it comes to software tools and apps that I use on a daily, here are some of my favorites
  • DigitalOcean
  • VS Code
  • Notion
  • Figma
  • Photoshop
  • SuperHuman
  • Ray (tool for Laravel developers)
  • Discord
  • Canva
  • Spotify
  • Chrome of course
  • Transmit
  • FlareApp
  • OhDear
  • Forge
  • AWS
  • Imgix
 
I'm sure there are many others that I use; however, these are the ones that first come to mind.
 

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

There are so many things that I've learned along the way. Here are a few of the most significant insights I can share.
 
  • Persistence and Passion
  • Enjoy the Process
  • Greatness Takes Time
    Persistence and passion are crucial to building a successful business. Being an entrepreneur is not always easy, but if you are passionate about your work and continue to persist, you'll be on a one-way street to success.
     
    Make sure to enjoy the process. If you're not having fun while climbing the mountain, you probably won't have much fun once you've reached the top. So, continue to work on the things that make you happy.
     
    Greatness takes time. Continue to chip away at your project a little each day, and it will start to take shape and grow into something you can be proud of. Here is one of my favorite quotes
     
    "Look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred-and-first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not the last blow that did it, but all that had gone before."
    - Jacob August Riis
     
    I really enjoy books that help me grow as a person and make me feel enlightened. With that said here are a few of my favorite books.
    - Mind Hacking
    - Atomic Habits
    - Rework
    - The Power of your Subconscious Mind
    - The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
    - Principles