How I gave up on my first startup that nearly finished?

It all came from the first time I worked at one of the Startups in Indonesia for about 3 years, and at that time I had often read on indiehackers.com - a website that is a community for startup founders (most of them only consists of only one person), the cool term is Indie Hacker or Solo Founder :)

From there, I inspired by many stories from successful founders and various tips and tricks that helped me greatly, because there wasn't just about technical things like how to code good and right, but it can be from how to build a community, make products that many people want, how to market but do not depend on paid advertising, and so on. Until finally began to form my mentally to build a business from a profitable internet.

I was very impressed by the story of Pieter Levels (twitter.com/levelsio), he was a solo founder of nomadlist.com/open and remoteok.io/open, a site to find places and jobs remotely, yes it was open he was really honest to show his revenue from the start he founded it until now, I was quite surprised to see the MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue) numbers.

Going from adopting ideas from him, I became interested in making something similar, but specifically for Indonesia, the product I will make is a job listing site about JavaScript in Indonesia, but only what can be done remotely.

Day after day I spent coding the site, my chosen technology was AWS Lambda + Serverless framework + NodeJS + GraphQL + Puppeteer + DynamoDB. Looks frightening? Hahaha ... I liked it not because of the style, but in terms of cost is much cheaper, it can even be $0 by using the free-tier provided by AWS.

From the beginning I had an idea for monetizing the product, that is, if there were a lot of subscribers who subscribed to the newsletter (maybe above 1000) then I would make a feature to add jobs there, this target was for employers who had difficulty finding candidates which can be JavaScript and which can work remotely.

But over time I lost my motivation because after I read a lot on IndieHackers and several times research on the internet, what I had in my head at that time was in markets in developing countries like Indonesia, it was extremely difficult to convince people to buy products or services from Internet. is it possible that the culture hasn't been formed yet? Because I see that there are still a lot of piracy cases in this country, I don't know.

Many thoughts like that, even though the product is not 100% finished, so why am I worried? I could have finished the product, but maybe no one would use it and I finally closed it. How do I know? No, I have no idea, but at least I believe in my intuition.

After a long night, I finally racked my brain again, about what can I monetize even if the product doesn't sell? The answer is: Selling an online course about building applications using AWS Lambda! Yup, I'm serious, because I see many of my friends who write a book and make online courses like that are selling well. This means that the market does exist, and that does make sense because everyone also needs education, everyone wants to continue learning, which can raise their standard of living as well. In the end, the investment with the smallest risk and the biggest result is Education, right? :)

If the idea to create an online course is still there, I just really do not like to go into that field, because the demands are so heavy, I must learn new technology quickly and be prepared to teach it to my students. And I enjoy more when writing code that can eventually become a finished product, I'm also happy with the world of marketing, so, for now, I want to focus on building products first.

Currently, I am making SaaS (Software As A Service) to converting a landing page to a static website. This started when I wanted to create a website for my portfolio (dwicao.com) and had tried various services out there, and that was on average quite expensive, it didn't fit in my pocket, so one of the solutions was that I made my service like that. I believe that building a startup that starts from our problems will be more successful because even if it fails, I have at least one customer, which is myself :)

Okay, it's quite long, hahaha ... Thank you for reading this far, the story about me building a SaaS landing page to the static website will be published later, so don't forget to subscribe below: