Rox shares How He Got His First 20 Paying Customers for ThumbnailTest Having  $200  MRR
Rox is the founder of - A/B Test Thumbnails & Titles Live On YouTube

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

ThumbnailTest lets you A/B test thumbnails and titles live on YouTube.
The only other tool I've seen do this is TubeBuddy, but they make it as part of a large grouping of other tools. To get access to their A/B testing tool, you have to subscribe to their most expensive plan, and the tool is relatively simple.
Seemed like an easy opportunity to compete, and I happen to have some YouTuber friends and a YouTuber girlfriend so I knew I had the network to get started :D

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

So far in about 14 days since launch (spent 1 month on dev prior) I've had about 20 people pay for the tool.
Growth strategy for the start was just tweeting a lot, since I have ~5k followers on Twitter.
I then went through every one of my followers, found anyone with the word "YouTube" in their bio, or a youtube link in their profile, and individually DMed them asking them to try the tool :)
Moving forward, the plan is to largely go after affiliates, since many YouTubers have managers or consultants who I can get several subscriptions through. (I've already validated this with my first affiliate :D)

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

NextJS, TailwindCSS, MongoDB, Typescript, TRPC, Hosted on vercel
Umso for landing page
Stripe No-code payment pages
rewardful for referrals.
Having my landing page hosted separately from my app is pretty annoying, but it lets me have a super nice landing page so it's worth it :D
TRPC and typescript have a big learning curve, but are definitely worth it in the long term.
I need to have some separately hosted cron jobs to update thumbnails, as nextjs on vercel is basically a bunch of serverless functions. This is a bit scary since it results in the entire app being destroyed if my cron jobs go down, so you could say it's a bit fragile haha.

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

Umso for landing pages, Stripe no-code checkout pages, microsoft whiteboard, amplitude for event tracking, twitter for marketing, VS Code + Github Copilot to be fast, Tailwind UI for early designs, OBS for live streaming my startup process, Notion for notes, Motion for calendaring and task tracking, and to help me grow my audience ;), Profitwell to make me happy or sad based on my revenue, Discord to build a community and get my audience to help me build better stuff

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

Ship things that actually work. Have a core feature set + payments. Don't ship buggy poop. MVP means good UX. Yes, ship early and ship simple stuff, but if it's unusable, it will fail even if the idea is good and people want it. UX is part of functionality.
Podcast: How I Built This
Book: Leadership and Self Deception
Newsletter: Marketing Examples by Harry Dry

What other products are you working on? (if any) - Automatically upload your Twitch clips to TikTok and YouTube Shorts and grow overnight. does $600/month

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