Dagobert Renouf Made $40K from Logology in 36 Months

Dagobert Renouf is the founder of Logology - Get a designer brand identity for your startup. Automatically.

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

My wife was a freelance designer for 15+ years and specialized in premium logo design. But she had to turn down clients every month because they couldn't afford it. Her service cost $3000+ but most early-stage founders only have a couple of hundred dollars. So as a developer, I thought there was an opportunity for us. If we can find a way to automate her workflow, maybe we can make it affordable to more people. That's how logology was born.

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

It took us about 1 year to get the first 50 customers. Since neither of us had any marketing experience, we wasted a lot of time on useless ideas. The main driver of sales at this stage was simply us talking about our product in online startup communities like indiehackers or reddit/entrepreneur and reddit/startup. It was slow but allowed us to connect deeply with every customer, and learn a lot about what we had to improve to make our product more appealing.

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

I'm using React for the frontend coupled with an AWS Amplify backend. We also built our internal catalog management (it's the tool my wife uses to set up all the logo design combinations) using Ruby on Rails for simplicity. The main problem is that using React / js for the main site ends up making any change longer than it needs to be. The flexibility is great, but looking back I probably should have built everything in Rails. It's more important to have the ability to ship fast than to have the fanciest tech. After years spent working as a frontend engineer, it's a lesson I didn't know I needed to learn.

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

We use Slack to keep track of everything, and it's become the brain and history of our startup. Sketch (mac app) and Adobe Illustrator are also very high up in our list of tools since that's what we use for designing everything, which is a big part of our business.

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

  • Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to go fast to succeed. Even if you mess up and waste months on the wrong thing, you can always recover and keep growing. The key is to not give up
  • If you don't promote your startup or talk about it, no one will care. This was a tough pill to swallow because I fantasized that people would come flooding our website as soon as we launched. But this is not how it works. People simply have no time to look at every product, so we need to make sure we stay top of mind. Hence marketing and promoting our startup is as important as building the product. It should be worked on from day 1.
I love the book Zero to One by Peter Thiel because it managed to teach me new stuff about marketing that changed my life. Also, Rework by Jason Fried and the guys from Basecamp is the playbook of how to bootstrap a startup, and it was written 15 years ago! For podcasts, I really like wannabe-entrepreneur by Tiago Ferreira, as he always puts guests at ease. It feels like listening to a casual conversation yet insightful. One good newsletter is zero to marketing from Andrea Bosoni. I learn something new every week.

What other products are you working on? Anything else you want to mention about other products that we can cover?

I've put logology on hold for the past month to write a course on helping people grow on Twitter. Since I went from 150 to 40k followers in about 1 year of sharing my journey, and it took my startup from 5 sales per month to 45... I think a lot of founders would love to know how to replicate it. I plan to release it in September.