Dmytro Grows ScreenshotOne to $111 MRR in 3 Months

ūüďĆ
Dmytro Krasun is the founder of ScreenshotOne - A reliable site screenshot and HTML rendering API.
 

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

I have around ten years of server-side development, so I was looking for a new idea to implement where I can excel. 
 
I created a long list of API ideas that I can build and that can save time for other developers. My current project was one of them. 
 
Why API? Because they don't require beautiful UIs, and that's relatively simple to implement for me. But landing page was still a challenging task for me to tackle. 
 
Why screenshot API? Because the problem looked painful to me, and people might pay for it. 
 
I researched a problem and found many solutions. I was sad and took a pause. But then I thought that it was good that there were already many competitors. It meant that there was a demand. It turned out that I was right.
 

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

It took three months, since June, to acquire my first five paying customers.
 
 My growth strategy was trying paid ads, SEO, and occasionally promoting my project on Twitter and the "Indie Hackers" community. 
 
Paid ads are suitable, but before I tried them, I must have had a good landing page and a decent pricing model. I hadn't, so the experiment failed.  
 
On Twitter and the "Indie Hackers" community, semi-viral posts helped to attract attention and customers. 
 
SEO is my current and most promising channel. I am all-in on it. While I occasionally have customers from Twitter and the "Indie Hackers" forum, I don't know how to scale it and, frankly, don't want.
 

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

I use Go for the application dashboard, where you can get API keys, observe metrics, and subscribe to a paid plan. And Node.js for taking screenshots with Puppeteer.
 
 One of the downsides of using Go was that I had to build SaaS UI from scratch, including authentification. I haven't found any good solution that works out of the box.
 

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

Pirsch Analytics, Google Search Console and Google Sheets.
 
 

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

In the past, I tried yoga for a month or so. And I can't stop thinking that Entrepreneurship is yoga for the mind. It stretches me in so many directions that I couldn't imagine before. I hope that my head won't be torn into pieces.
 
 Entrepreneurship is not as easy and as sexy as it seems. It is a lot of hard work, a lot. And a lot of learnings and experimentations. 
 
Things take much longer than I expected. And many things I assumed about my potential customers were wrong. I needed to talk more with them. 
 
Daily progress might be small, but it accumulates with time into something bigger that I couldn't imagine before.
 
 
Anything not related to entrepreneurship to be genuinely competitive and different, e.g. "The Dawn of Everything" by David Graeber and David Wengrow or "Our Mathematical Universe" by Max Tegmark.