Dru Riley of the Trends.vc newsletter interviewed on IndieHackers. Starting from $0 in April, Trends earned $24k in August. He now has 23,000 subscribers and hit number 1 on ProductHunt last month.
Dru had a well-paying job that he enjoyed, but he also knew that if he stayed in his job for another few years, he may have never left.
Money is not the answer Dru saved up $250k then quit his job in 2017 to start his own projects. He went without income for 37 months. As he started running out of money, he got serious about building his business. It can be beneficial to have more urgency to getting your business profitable.
“Work expands to the amount of time allotted.”
Product – Market – Founder fit
Dru started multiple projects over those years, but none clicked until the Trends newsletter. The Trends.vc newsletter was the sweet spot of what he enjoys, what he’s good at and what people need. It wasn’t about finding has voice, it’s about finding the right market. Some ideas just don’t hit, no matter how hard you try. When a project starts getting traction, everything becomes much easier.
“You need to love what you’re doing to stick it through pivots and iterations.”
Finding the right formula
The Trends.vc newsletter focused on shorter content with mostly links to companies or articles for that weekly trend.
Experimenting to Profitablity
Early on he tried to presell a report. That generated over 100 views but no one bought. Then he changed to half free crontent and half paid. That led to 30 sales for $3. That same day, he started his subscription pricing.
Building Social Capital
One of his early newsletters was shared by a member of his mastermind group which got the newsletter up to 400 subscribers.
Many of the Trends early subscribers came from Twitter. Dru is also very active on IndieHackers.tagging people on Twitter. Focusing on business, no personal Tweets.
Posts his weekly newsletters on IndieHackers.
Launching on Product Hunt
Hitting #1 on ProductHunt in August led to a massive increase in free subscribers and paid subscriptions.
That success is largely
Trends.vc was something that he felt he could do longer.