Pintura sales graph to $215.5k
Pintura sales graph to $215.5k
Pintura sales. Source: Rik Schennin

The author of Pintura, Rik Schennink, shared the journey of bootstrapping his business to $20k monthly recurring revenue (MRR). I thought it was close to the journey of many indie hackers and have something valuable to learn.

Pintura — a JavaScript Image Editing library, with over 1000 customers, including big companies like Dropbox, Square, and ConvertKit. There were literally hundreds of image cropping libraries, but one thing that helped Pintura stand out is the native experience on any device.

On his own, the journey took Rik 5 years to figure things out and get to $20k MRR. Below is a…

Minimal design is relatively new, and it can be confusing sometimes

Drawing of a lightbulb using simple lines. Users can hardly guess what it is
Drawing of a lightbulb using simple lines. Users can hardly guess what it is

For years, I thought products with a minimal design would be easy to use. While sometimes it’s true, being minimal is different from being intuitive. And it can be confusing to use.

Intuitive design is a familiar design

A design is intuitive when a user can immediately understand and use it, without consciously thinking about how to do it. Users will feel that a design is intuitive when it is based on principles from other domains that are well known to them.

For example, when I was a kid, I’ve learned to use Microsoft Word. Then I remember the first time trying Google Docs, I immediately…

A Case Of No-code

Learn more about its limitation before making a decision

Photo by Franki Chamaki

Spreadsheet services like Google Sheets or Airtable have already used by many people, teams, and companies. What makes them more interesting is, they introduce non-tech users to the no-code movement, open doors for interesting possibilities.

No-code is like Starbuck, a kind of coffee also for people who don’t drink coffee. What great about Starbuck isn’t the taste, but it allows more people to enjoy coffee. In other words, no-code is a programming language for non-programmers.

Recently, I’ve examined using Google Sheet as a database service when integrating to Inverr — a no-code builder. It can possibly operate for sites or…

There is a thin line between the differences between explaining and talking. It’s easy to get confused and often leads to no good

Photo by LinkedIn Sales Navigator

In 2014, I participated in a national Web Design and Development contest. As a developer student, a design teacher volunteered to help me with the design aspect. When I first met her, she offered to review one of my designs in class.

My taste in design was influenced by flashy drafts designs online, especially from Dribbble. Not understand much of its effectiveness, I thought having a huge footer was solid and cool.

But the teacher pointed out it wasn’t suitable for my design. Since it was a one-page app, the page’s height is the browser’s height. …

Less worry about online platform “policy changes” in the long term

Photo by Niketh Vellanki

Yesterday, I cross-post Not another productivity hack on reddit. Even though it reached hot, and users found it useful, it marked as removed after 10 hours.

No actual reason except the system generated notice (Sorry this post…). I messaged the mods, and no reply. As a user, I have no voice there.

It reminds me of Rand Fishkin — a well respected marketer’s view on his recent interviews/talks.

In short, many online platform take away the leverage from users to keep people on their platform. Where many of them are content provider for the platform.

For example, Google search results…

Maybe you need healthier habits

When I was younger, most of my time spent writing code, with 5 hours of sleep a day. I often read about productivity hacks, hope to squeeze a little more works. But nothing really works.

Having an unhealthy lifestyle drained my energy. In the past year, even if I wanted to, I can’t do it anymore. I need more breaks, more sleep, and more time away from the projects.

Turn out, it was for the better.

Most personal productivity hacks are to kick-start some unused parts of our energy. But when you have already drained them out, there is no…

Love or hate it, you should know

What apps do you love and excited to use every day? Do you think they use tracking? For most apps, the answer is YES, they use tracking.

Tracking is there to improve the products, services, or prevent server attack and hacking. It collects data from the server, apps on your device, through email, or social media. Either love or hate it, you should be aware of it.

In this post, I will show you some common methods of tracking. Details about how it works, their purposes, and just in case, how to disable it.

1. Server-Side Tracking

Make your converstion easier to understand, and remember

Photo by Florian Klauer

Do you remember the last time reading something long, with high engagement? Most of the time, a long-winded conversation, or writing makes it hard for people to perceive.

In the past, I communicate by expressing all points I have in mind. And I saw people keep nodding head or squint their eyes. Those are sights of trying to engagement rather than actually engaged.

But recently, I’ve learned how to be concise.

Let’s start with why concise?

One goal for most conversations or writings is, make it easy for the readers to understand that conversation. …

Even when you’re so at something, without practice, you will lose it

Photo by TJ Dragotta

When I was studying at a university, I had a part-time job in a bakehouse. And Adam was a senior colleague of mine. I was always interested in how did someone got to here, when we know each other.

One time, I asked Adam — how did you start as a baking chef?
More or less, it wasn’t what he wanted to be when he was young. He loved basketball and was an excellent player.

Though, he got caught up, and start to take practice less and less seriously.

One day, he looked back and realized his friends became much…

When validating a product, try to use different channels, and remember these 4 wheels

Kids art (internet)

This is a summary of Courtland’s mental model about validating a Product

Try different channels

When validating your product, try different channels. The best channel should be the one you can use indefinitely.

For example: validating through ads can be quick and simple, but does your budget allow you to run in the long term?

Besides, Ad is one of the possible channels. If it doesn’t work there, it doesn’t mean your idea doesn’t work. It can be a few different reasons (bad message, wrong audience)

See The Bullseye Framework Gabriel Weinberg — founder of DuckDuckGo

The 4 wheels

To have a good product, it needs…

Hieu Nguyen (Jack)

A developer & hobbyist photographer. Develop a drop and drag website builder

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