MegaMaker 2022

It doesn't feel like all the pieces are in place yet

Show Notes

Josh and Justin recorded this on Jan 19th, 2022.

Show notes

  • Meeps – the best way to start a membership site
  • Why haven't we launched yet?
  • The anxiety of not being able to sleep as an entrepreneur: "how am I going to make this work?"
  • How much revenue does the MegaMaker community make per year?
  • Bootstrapping with kids
  • Survey results
  • – track your progress towards a goal publicly

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Creators & Guests

Joshua Anderton
Justin Jackson
Interested in bootstrapping, podcasting, calm companies, business ethics

What is MegaMaker 2022?

A podcast for indie entrepreneurs: software developers, app builders, product people, creators, bootstrappers, and makers.

Josh: You need sleep, you need
to figure out how to get sleep.


Justin Jackson: This is a mega
maker, 2022 episode eight.


Justin: the thing that The other part is that
most people starting companies are already

not sleeping good because there's just every
night when you go to sleep, there's this

anxiety of "how am I going to make this work?"

When I quit consulting and I had just
like added more and more things to my

plate in order to make things work.

First it was like, I had this marketing
for developers course, and that was

like enough for a chunk of income, but
it was like, no, that's not enough.

Or how, how can I promote it more?

What else can I add to my mix?

And there's just this, all this
constant, like I would go to bed

every night just, and stay up forever.

Just not being able to stop thinking
about all the things I should be

doing or could do to make it work.

And, uh, yeah, that's, that's
a challenging place to be.

I definitely slept better once.

I still have sleepless nights, but, um,
it I've definitely slept better since

Transistor's kind of gotten traction.

Like once that happened, it was like,
okay, this is like now just good.

I can tell my brain to stop worrying.

And , in my case, it actually mostly went away.

Uh, once, once there was something that was
kind of like just providing enough margin

consistently that, you know, I didn't have
to worry, which is like, partly what I've

been thinking about and what I wanted to like
call about is, cause I, I think I've been

thinking about Meeps and just wanting to, yeah.

Maybe for us to just review.

Because it feels like it's just missing
that thing that we talked about last time,

which is this kind of consistent demand,
like people consistently searching for the

thing we've positioned ourselves around.

As you went through those emails, I
sent out an email to all the people who

would sign up for early access and then
all the people on the waiting list.

What was kind of your
general assessment of that?

Like what, what was the feel you got?

Josh: from what I saw, it seemed like everyone
got it, but I think that the problem is.

I feel like the thing that we need to know
is like, what are the, for the people that

don't know who we are and don't know what
Meeps is, are they looking for this solution?

But I think anyone who's already who
anyone who's on a list of ours knows what

we're trying to do and understands it
because I think it's a no brainer, but the

question is, are people searching for that?

Like, do they do people know to
search for that no-brainer solution?

And that's kind of like, yeah.

So, so there's, um, so I guess that was
the first thing that stuck out to me.

There's other things I'm sure that
we'll be able to pull from the list.

Um, and there's a few more emails
that came in that I need to move

over to that spreadsheet in notion.

But, um,

Justin: yeah.


I mean, one, one thing that worries
me a little bit is, and maybe

this is just the sentiment I got.

Um, tell me if you think
this is right or wrong.

So at the beginning, we should go back to
our initial conversations and just review it

because maybe, maybe we've lost the thread
or I've lost the thread or, um, in the

beginning, a big part of the motivation was
I've been, uh, working on MegaMaker since 2013.

It does about $40,000 in revenue a year.

And I've just knew what I wanted
in terms of running the community.


It was like, I knew where I
was unhappy with member ful.

I knew where I was unhappy with, um, you
know, all the other things we tried over

the years, like multiple, multiple things.

And at the same time, I thought that I
was seeing Th this evidence that this was

community building and membership building
was going to be a growing category.

So you had Josh Constantine from tech crunch
was building his own online community.

That was like partly email, partly going
live on clubhouse, partly a discord channel.

And he was using some software
to tie all that together.



This is interesting.

Like this is like the next level of
list-building is you don't just have an email

list, but you also have a discord group and
you also have a membership directory and

you also have maybe forums and other things,
and you're, you're tying all that together

with software and what's worried about.

In the last little bit is there was one
response we got where someone said, like,

that vision sounds like that's 10 steps
ahead of me and I'm, I'm still at step zero.

You know what I mean?

And, um, yeah.

And so I'm wondering like, is
there enough people trying to do

what we're providing right now?

Cause there's, there is lots of ways
we could, we could point what we have,

like even, uh, I just found this, join software, which I think is doing

over a million dollars a year in revenue.

Uh, but their positioning is membership
management software and they offer a lot of the

same things that we do, but it it's definitely.

You know, if we look at their
customers, there's a animal shelter.

There is a, I dunno, a
national shooting council.

So like, uh, for like gun owners, there's,
uh, ICF, Oregon, which is like, so it looks

like organizations are kind of there, uh,
the hive, which it looks like co-working,

uh, yeah, lots of like organizations like
the rifle and pistol club, the city business

library, the town and country carwash, uh,
uh, the Capitol hill restoration society.

So this is a much different market than,
than you and I are looking at right now.


Uh, the Alberta wildlife society.

So the, the.

Uh, valley art center, you know, this is,
those are different customers then you and

I like, in my mind, I was like, no, this is
for the emergent creator class, which is the

emergent no-code community, the emergent,
like people building communities, like, you

know what Rosie is doing, you know, like
anyone who wanted to build their own indie

hackers, uh, anyone who wanted to build their
own discord group, um, you know, there's

all these people building communities in
crypto and all these places, it just seemed

like, okay, this, the space is happening.

There's more people trying to do
what I've been doing with MegaMaker.

but now I'm just not so
sure that that's the case.

So yeah.

What, what, what's your kind of take on that?

Josh: Well, and, I guess.

The other part is like, yeah, like
I, I feel like that's happening.

like I still feel like that's the case.

It's just, how, is there a,
matured channel that exists yet for

getting in front of those people?

Yeah, because like there there's
the one, the one fellow I had a call

with before the end of the year.

He, uh, he's running an incubator in Canada
and they've got like hundreds of, um, uh,

hundreds of different, sorry, one second.

The boys are in here.

You guys.

anyways, uh, the, uh, based on the concept
of a phone call or it's just like, oh,

Justin: it's so great.

It's so great.

It's just, just like, just as an aside.

Um, you know, my oldest is 19.

My youngest is 11 and

looking back, I mean, maybe this is just
unavoidable, but I remember like when they

were younger, I was just so focused on
making a living and like trying to build

my career and like doing all this stuff.

It really is the, it is the, the fabric of
life is engaging with these human beings

and being around these human beings and
stopping every once in a while and taking

three breaths and looking at them and being
just like, wow, like this is an incredible,

that, I mean, it's stressful too, but
it's, it's just incredible that you have

these, these people, you know, that are
growing up around us and that have our DNA.

And like, it's just, it's just a wild thing.


Enjoy every interruption every
time there's an interruption.

Just be like, man, that is, that
is what a great thing, you know?

Josh: Yeah.


I think and actually, um, uh, yeah, no, I it's.

And it's, it's just, it's one of those
things where like, I it's It usually doesn't

hit me until they're asleep, you know,
it's like chaos and I need to go to sleep.

And then like last night I was just
like, I like peeked into the room, like

an hour after they'd fallen asleep.

And I was just like balling.

And it's like, this goes by so quickly
and like, and, uh, and it just feels

like this season just feels like such a
blur, but, you know, I, I know from our

conversations, I have to keep reminding myself.

It's like, once it's done, like it, it
will have been such a short season in life.

It's just, uh, but I don't want it to be
this crazy chaotic blur, like, um, yeah,

so it's just kind of like, how do I find.

How do I, um, find some more calm in
this time so I can feel like I can just

kind of like take a breath and yeah.

Justin: Yeah.

It's probably just like struggle that the
key is probably not to have too much pressure

on yourself, but it's like, uh, just taking
small actions whenever you can, you know?


Like just enjoying like, okay,
I'm just going to take a breath.

Today's been crazy, but I'm going to just look
at them while they sleep and just enjoy it.

I'm going to, uh, I mean, even now the
hard thing I have is that I just want to

be thinking and working and doing stuff
all the time and disengaging from that.

And just being present is difficult and.

But good, you know?


Not have to, we have to do it all the
time, but you just like every once in a

while you'd be like, okay, like I'm on the
computer, I'm trying to get something done,

but I'm actually not getting anything done.

So I'm just going to close the
computer, take three breaths and just

like enjoy whatever space I'm in.

Josh: Yeah.


I hear, I hear you.

And that the, the, um, and I'm finding, uh,
uh, like the, the lack of sleep makes it so

much harder to like, make those distinctions
in those decisions, you know, it's just like

it and stuff that shouldn't be a big deal.

Feel like this colossal overwhelming thing.

And, uh, it's just like, yeah, but I
just find, um, uh, I'm still like, I'm.

Like getting to the place where it's
like mind over, you know, where it's

like, you can kind of just go like,
this is how I'm feeling right now.

And this is what it looks like right
now from my point of view or from, you

know, from, with everything like this,
but in reality, everything's okay.

And, you know, there's, you
know, so how do I, yeah.

To getting better at kind of taking
that mental step back and like

just like chill out a bit, dad.


Justin: yeah, yeah.


Well, I mean, and yeah, definitely
sleep helps with all that.


So you were saying you had this call with,
with somebody on the early access list, so they

kind of, what was the, what were they saying?

Josh: So they were, uh, I, the
interesting part was just that they

were, um, I mean, they they're intense.

But it was kind of a more, um, it was
much more of a, like an enterprise, um,

level type of a thing where they're trying
to connect founders with, uh, government

organizations and things like that.

So they wanted this hub online where
founders could basically have profiles and

organizations could post issues that there are
issues that they were needing solutions for.

And so it's kind of allowing for this
connection, which is a really cool concept,

but it felt like it, uh, I think the part that
was interesting there was that they felt like

online community software was the solution for
that kind of thing where it's like, uh, it,

it seemed like, and there were because there
were parts of what they needed that Meeps does.

That they were like, we're
just going to build that.

We're going to buy that we're going to,
oh, well, it already does all these.

So there's like, they still have the same.

They still have that mindset about
certain things where it's like,

we'll just, we'll just buy it.

But it's interesting that they're not thinking
we're going to build a new community system.

We'll find something.

Cause there's probably
something out there right now.

So that part, uh, was, uh, promising.

Like that was interesting to me.

And I'm, I still like still kind of
like trying to come up for air and

then get back, get back to some of
these people, uh, in the new year now.

But, um, cause he was serious
about moving forward with it.

Um, but yeah, that was the part that
stuck out to me was it just felt like

this other place where it felt like they
shouldn't be looking for, um, like public

online, um, you know, like in a solution
like MIPS, but they were, so that was.

Justin: Interesting.

What, what, what do you think they
would be searching for, like on Google?

What would their keyword be?

Josh: Right.

Well, and that one of our, our current early
access customers in, uh, knew him and invited

it was, um, Lydia, Lydia told him about MIPS
and, uh, so, so that was the connection there.

So I don't, so I actually don't know.

I'd have to get in touch with him and see if he
was actually looking for something before that.

Um, cause maybe, maybe it wasn't like,
which is still kind of the, um, yeah, yeah.

Justin: It's uh, yeah.

And that could be a simple email just to say,
Hey curious, like what were you searching

for before Lydia told you about Meeps?

Like what were your Google searches?

Uh, and just see what comes back.



The big, I think that the biggest concern
I have right now is that I don't like you

and I were talking about this product hunt
launch, and I just don't have the, the

assurance in my head that we've got the
positioning and the underlying traction to

launch yet, because it's just not quite there.

I, I, and it could be with the mix we have.

Um, but it's, it's, it's become clear
as we've had folks come in, and, join,

there's this, overriding question in my
head is like how many people are searching

for something like this every month?

Let's say in the creator community,
there's maybe, every month there's

like 10 people that search for this.

you know, you've, we've got, um, Ben Tossel
at Maker Pad and he's like, oh, you know,

this could be a good solution for us to
have a member directory for maker pad.

So he signs up, but you know, how many
people are like that in the maker community?

Um, and in the maker, community could
include other things like people who have a

newsletter, but want something a bit more,
like they want to have a community around their

newsletter, uh, people who have a podcast,
but they want a little bit more, they want

a community around their podcasts, but how
many of those people reach that threshold?

Like MegaMaker, where there's enough there,
that they can start something and then, right.

And, and like basically how many, how many
Justin Jackson's and Rosie's and Ben tossels

is there really in the world, you know?

and that, is challenging because, you
know, with podcasting it was like,

well, there's a lot of people like me.

And, um, and I felt like when we were
early in Meeps, like there might be

more there in the creator community.

Um, But I still haven't seen the evidence
that there is that underlying demand there.

And so then the question is like, okay,
well in adjacent markets, what's there?

So in the, you know, the professional
community category, which is companies

starting forums and chat and other
things for their customers, what's there.

And there does seem to be
quite a bit of momentum there.

Um, so that's interesting.

Um, maybe we, we just haven't hit the
right vein yet in the creator community.

Like, uh, I know Marie Pulin was talking about,
you know, she's like get doing some event

she's, she's scheduling some events with Lummi,
um, and you know, you know, that's interesting.

And there's, corey Haynes is like doing,
you know, his cause marketing community

and it's like, okay, well, there's,
there's some movement there, but maybe

we just haven't hit the right vein.

And then the other adjacent category
is, you know, being a competitor to

something like join it, which seems
to be targeting organizations.

And, you know, we could do that too.

so that that's been, my sense is just
like, huh, I wonder "where's the vein?"

You know?

Like when you tap the vein and like,
we know what it's like to feel like you

missed the vein or the veins, not quite,
you know, when you get blood work done,

like sometimes they, they tap it and it's
just like, You're gushing, you're gushing.

And you're just like, it's just
like filling up the tube right away.

And then I also know what it's like to feel
like they, you know, they're doing blood work.

It's like, oh, I'm not getting much blood here.


Josh: yeah.


Justin: So what, what's your sense and
all that, like, do you think I'm right?

Or do you think, uh, it's still unclear
or what are your kind of feelings there?

Josh: Yeah, like I, I think, um,

I do think that like, you know, we kind
of talked about this before the break.

Like, I keep thinking about MailChimp sitting
for whatever six years it was or something.

Um, and, uh, because it's just like the,
just the world wasn't ready for it yet.

And maybe it's just that we've, we have a
product that's matured ahead of where the,

the market is basically trying to get.

And I think there's certainly enough people.

but you're right.

It's like the there's there's, you know,
there's, uh, can we get to those people?

Are those people looking for this right now?

Um, and, uh, you know, and we talked about
there's that, uh, the deal that you did with

transistor before, uh, was the boxing no,
not boxing day, um, black Friday deal, where,

where it was like, which opened my eyes to this
other thought that was like, uh, if somebody.

Isn't in, uh, if, if somebody hasn't done
this, this and this, they're not ready to buy.

And so even if they are fully intending on
doing it, they just can't justify right now.

So it's like with Meeps, it's like for
somebody who's starting a community, they may

still be thinking "in a year, I'll be ready.

I'll have this many people and I'll be
ready to, to spend money on the community.

But right now it's supposed
to be this free thing.

That's helping me grow, whatever it is that I'm
trying to grow, audience, awareness, brand."

I think going down the road of starting
with a more specific use case for it.

And then building out from there , makes sense.

There are still a lot of people that
signed up early access and people that

responded to that survey who want to use
it for, um, early access for their product.

That's just what they, and if you,
people who thought that was just that's

all that it was that, that that's what
the product was, was a tool for running

early access for a software product.

Um, so finding something like
that, or even if it was like that,

Justin: um, yeah, yeah, totally.

Like, what is the, what is the use
case in the beginning that just

has the most momentum behind it?

And maybe we change the whole business
model and just say you pay one time fee.

Like maybe you do just pay $99 per project.

And it's just a waiting list, waiting
list slash early access tool that competes

with like Product Hunt Ship, you know,
like you just like get people signing up.

Here's the early supporters,
you've got a list of those people.

You can easily connect them to a discord.

And anytime you have an idea for
a new project that you want to

launch, you just like plug this in.

And, um, you know, uh, or
maybe it's like $99 a year.

And then if the project doesn't work
out, you just move on to something else.

Or, you know what I mean?

Like maybe centering around a use
case for right now would be the key.

Like you're just building a waiting list
or an early access community and trying to

determine momentum and demand based on that.


Um, and giving people kind of the tools
around that, uh, and maybe, you know, maybe

there's a free version and then they can
unlock other features that costs more money.

Um, so yeah, I think there's that, that might
be the key and already, like, I think if

we centered meetups around like build your
waiting lists, uh, build your early access

list, that that becomes a pretty compelling
kind of Product Hunt hunt launch right there.

Like, this is what this is for,
and it's the beginning of the year,

and this is what you want to do.

I think that that's something
worth considering for sure.

We don't want to launch on Product Hunt
until we have that thing, you know?

And, there's some other details that
I think we want to figure out before.

Like if we, if you're really feeling
like you don't want to do the email

sending part, like, uh, like you want
to, like people can connect to Mailgun or

whatever, and then send email that way.

So if we're, if we're getting out
of the email service provider part,

we want to make that decision and be
really, really, uh, confident in it.

Because if we launch something and like, in
some ways the worst thing that can happen

is you get just enough traction to make it
like a thing, but not enough traction to, and

then all of a sudden you have to like, serve
these customers, but you're, you're, you're

just kind of like serving the customers,
but there's no like, uh, there's no like

rushing river of, of like people signing
up and revenue, but you've got these a

hundred people that you got to take care of.

And I, I, I don't really want us to do that.

Like get into this part where like,
we're like, we launch a product

and then it's like, oh shoot.

Now we've got 200 people we got to take
care of, but the, the, the underlying

momentum of the river's not there.

I want us to make sure that before that
part happens, We feel good about the amount

of interest we're getting, the amount of
organic attention and signups, the amount

of work it takes to support those people.

All of that stuff should be pretty clear.

And so, I kind of feel like we should
just hold off launching until we've really

got that thing that we feel good about.

And we're like, okay, this use case is strong.

You know what I mean?

And maybe doing some more
experiments along the way.

Like, um, one thing I, I didn't even
publish this on the podcast last time we

talked, but this idea of these progress
bars . So the idea there was, I said, okay,

Josh, we've got this whole other idea.

I've had this whole other idea of
around like public progress bars.

People have these all the
time for open startups.

Like, Hey, I'm trying to get to a million
dollars in annual recurring revenue.

And here's where I am at right now.

Or I'm launching a Twitter follower
challenge where I'm going to try to get

500 followers in the next three months,
follow along as I try to get there.

And, um, I think trying something like
that and launching something like that

on the side and saying, okay, well,
let's just do this and see what happens.

And, as we continue to circle around what
is the core thing that we want to focus on

that we want to go after, you know, kind of
just like fishing for the right spot, right?

Trying different lures and seeing what
gets the fish that we like at the rate

that we like and, and going from there.

Josh: Yeah.

I, I agree.

I've been kind of thinking about
like, why I felt like, I felt

like I need to rush to launch.

Um, I, I definitely feel like I want to move
forward with things and I'm not, like I think

as kind of the developer side, It's kind of,
it's kind of hard for me to wrap my brain

around what what's the right next thing to do.

And I'm now kind of like, um, we talked about
having, like, I think, I think what would be

the best place to be in right now where I would
like to position myself as to be able to not

feel like I have to rush, like, to feel like
it's okay if it takes, you know, if it takes

a while, if it takes like, just like, you
know, like with the mentioned thing and stuff.

Again, I agree, I think being able
to take some time and to try out,

like, to find that group of people.

And really have a good idea about who's
going to be the one that we're going

after, before we launch makes sense.

You know, I'm, I'm almost done, I've got,
I've got the, uh, progress I've ProgBar

to a place where, um, now, like I've got,
I've got to add the Stripe integration,

but I've got the converting con, I got a
convert kit integration almost finished.

And then like the basic thing, um, I
worked with subscriber, like with the

built-in subscribers feature and it works
with the built-in members feature, like

just sending people to members and then
showing the progress, uh, or sending

people to the member forum as the CTA.

And then the, um, progress has
shown how many members they have.

But, um, so it, and it's a really
cool little, like, I, I think that

people are really gonna like it.

And once I.


Once I implement, uh, like once I add a way
to kind of like isolate this as the pro, like,

this is the product so that when people go
to that browser or go to that website, um,

to Prague, or I can't remember what
we have as the app, but once they go there


Josh: right, right.


So I wanna, um, uh, that once I have
that in place, we can, we can do that

with any of the features in Meeps.

So maybe we do launch this little
like events tool, and, uh, because

so many of the, like you, uh, I saw
you, I think it was you that yeah.

Or you, we were talking the other
day, you mentioned that you read,

you know, every website ultimately
turns into a website builder.

Uh, I, I think that it's, uh, or every app, I
think they also, uh, turn into a membership.

Tool at some point too, it just seems like
that's kind of, so we've got all these features

that any one of like Prague bar could easily
become, uh, you know, like, oh, now allow

people to become members and then charge for
membership to help you build your progress and

send updates to these people and they're paying
so that they can follow along for the journey.

Like that all makes sense.

Um, so, uh, yeah, so I like like
that and I think I just need, uh,

I just need to find myself, I need
to be making seven grand a month.

Uh, and, uh, so that I can kind of feel like
I have time, you know, cause, um, yeah, uh,

yeah, like we're running out of, uh, Yeah.

Anyway, so, so I think if I can get myself
in that place, then I can kind of change my

mindset to more of like a long-term thing.

And then there's so many more possibilities.

Um, I think it's just kind of, um, you know,
like I, yeah, I'm also trying, I'm just trying

to get on top of sleep and health and stuff.

Cause I, yeah, I'm just, uh, having,
I've been ignoring that for too many

years now and it's catching up to me.

So, uh, so that's where, I'm
what I'm trying to do right now.

And then I think, um, then I can, uh,
yeah, cause I, yeah, I think we're

gonna find something at some point.

Uh, but, um, uh, but yeah, I just I've
had this desperate, like I'm in that

desperate place and I need to get myself
into a, more of a, um, yeah, calm.

Justin: Yeah, totally.


Desperation is not good for, for anything.

Um, yes, I, yeah, I feel like I kind
of feel like kind of two things.

One on the Meeps side, it feels like
we are, we are circling around some

things like on this list of potential
use cases that we have on the website:

"Substack alternative" is one right now.

And, I'm almost feeling like we should remove
that from the, the list or consider moving it

because it feels like you don't really want
to be in that email sending business like

that, that part, that part is, is challenging.

And if we move to.

Instead, like people could still use it
as a sub stack alternative, but maybe

we won't lead with that, like that.

And that use case hasn't
been incredibly compelling.

Like has anybody switched to us from Substack?

Josh: No, nobody has it's.

So, so far it's um, if I remember correctly,
we've only had, it's been early access.

People are using for Meeps for early
access or a community that has a paid

and free newsletter, but it hasn't
been, uh, like a newsletter that they

want to add other feature set to.

Um, and I actually am hearing, uh, who
I was talking to somebody recently.

Oh, Oh, yeah.

I dunno if I should mention who it is
just in case, but I'm talking to somebody

recently who wants to use Meeps and they
were saying, uh, they don't, uh, they'll

use Revue for the newsletter because
it's going to be on their Twitter.

And that's where they have,
that's where they know all their

customers are going to come from.

And so I know there's going to be a lot of
people using Revue and I'm actually, I'm

already kind of thinking, like, if there's
a way to tightly integrate them, not try it.

Cause there's no way to compete with that.

That's just this, and it's not,
that's another one of those, like, you

know, big companies exercising their,
uh, unfair, competitive advantage.

But, um, but it is what it is.



Justin: And that, and so the idea that
you can still integrate with SendGrid and

send those automated, like especially the
automated welcome emails is just like huge.

Thing and having that off your plate and having
the ability to say, you know what, I do want to

send newsletters that like every time I post an
update for our community association, uh, uh,

like our neighborhood association, for example,
every time I post an article for members, I

want that also to send it to them as a email,
but for us to say, well, that's secondary.

Like, that's just, that is a feature that
you can use, but we're not going to own that.

We're not going to lead with, like,
this is a, a sub stack alternative.

So I think that to me feels good to feel
like we can kind of, we've learned enough

that we can cut that out of the, the off
the, one of the things we're offering

because these three create a membership
site provide early access to your product

and build a community around your product.

Um, Those are those feel like more in the
wheelhouse and those could be sharpened more.

Um, so yeah, I think I want to like
modify the positioning here just again,

like evolution on the positioning around
maybe membership software and remove sub

sack alternative and just try that out.


And then, um, that's one thing.

And then on the other side with Prague
bar, I almost feel like we should just,

once it's done, we should just launch
with our own challenge and this could be.

Uh, the, you know, whatever we
decide that makes sense, but I, I

think it should be a paid challenge.

So something that uses like this idea
of people signing up and using a prog

bar, like to say like, okay, let's
say it's the, the Twitter challenge.

So people sign up, they say, you know, we say,
okay, Hey, welcome to the Twitter challenge.

Um, how many new subscribers are you
aiming to get in the next six months?

And they say this many, and, uh, everyone
has their own progress bar that they can

share that we can all track together as
a group and, uh, charge money for it.

And just see what that's like, have a
little discord where we can chat about it.

Uh, like have this whole purpose behind
the thing, but lead with a use case.

And in this case, it's, this is
like Meeps plus progress by, right?

Like they sign up as members and then they're
trying to work where we, as a community

are going to try to reach this goal.

This community is only
going to last six months.

It's going to cost $99.

And, uh, you know, every week
we're going to talk about it.

Maybe we'll do a, like a live hangout
every week or something, but commit to it.

Uh, I think have all that money go
to our general revenue to pay you

and other things and just try it out.

Cause that, that would be a cool, um,
thing to just see, like here's a use case.

Can we make this work?

How does this work in practice
as a, as a thing, you know?

I think that would be, first of
all, it would just be fun for me.

And I'd be fine for us trying it, and if it
makes them revenue, just have that go to you.

Ultimately the way I look at all of
this stuff is like, if at the end of

the day, you know, all the investment
I've done in this just means that I have

better software to run MegaMaker with.

I'm fine with that.

Like, that would be that, that,
that that's an okay outcome.

And the.

The other outcome I'm excited about is
just, uh, how can I invest in Josh Anderton

and help him get to this dream of, you
know, $7k a month, from product revenue

and, uh, you know, how can we get there?

to me, that's like the experiment and that's,
what's worth figuring out, you know, like,

okay, let's, let's keep playing with this.

And it might you're right.

It might make some times like some, sometimes
like with MailChimp, it just took a while

before they really figured out what they had.

Um, and you know, and for transistor,
it took, really, it took almost a year

before we saw like an acquisition channel
that really started cranking for us.

And then all of a sudden
we were growing like crazy.

So, uh, when the pieces
fall into place, it's great.

And the only way, the only way to find the spot
where you catch a lot of fish is to just keep

fishing and just keep trying different fishing
spots and doing all that as smartly as you can.

Um, so yeah, it feels like that's,
that's kinda what we got to do.

What, how did, what, what, what
do you think about all that?

Josh: Yeah.

That, yeah, I agree.

I think that's, um, that's, that
feels like the right way to go.


So, so I'm kind of thinking like, if
I can find, it's something like a 20

hour, like a part-time job or something,
um, that will make a huge difference.

Um, because like seven, seven grand
isn't I'm like, that's not a lot of

money for a month for a tech job.

So like defined, defined a a
part-time level position.

I should be able to find something in
that, that range, that range, um, and,

uh, or, um, or, or just like a full-time
thing where they they're fine with the

fact that I'm working on other things too.

Um, because the bulk of what we've like.

We've done the bulk of, or
the bulk of the product work.

And now it's kind of like change tweaking
marketing wording, and, um, to tweaking

features a little bit like the ProgBar
really didn't take too much time.

Like we had Christmas break in there, uh, and
all of the madness that that brought in, uh,

and still it's, it's still in a good place.

Um, I'll show you, we can go through
that too at some point too, or I

can make a video after for you.

But, um, so it, it does feel, but
that's because we, because of what

we had, what we built already.

Um, so putting this on top was really easy.

So it definitely, I feel like
that's the right way to go.

So I just have to try and.

Just got to find, find something.

Hopefully that's not like a
crazy find it find a job, but

Justin: yeah.


and you know, if anyone's out there and they're
looking for someone for, what did you say?

20 hours a week?

Josh: Yeah, 20, 25.

I feel like I have, um, that, yeah, that was
suggested to me by somebody I was talking to

recently, who's kind of been in the same, same
season that I'm in now where they're on the

other side of it now, but he just said like,
realistically it's like 20 to 25 is a really

good place where you're, you're able to,
especially if it's like more of a high leverage

position where you're, um, uh, where the work
that you're doing is way more valuable than,

you know, than they're paying you ultimately.

Um, it's a really good place to be in when
you're trying to run other things on the side.

And have a family.

Yeah, totally realistic.

But, um, yeah.

Justin: Yeah.

So if someone has a, uh, is looking for
a great product person and great Laravel

developer, tall stack developer, uh, reach out.

Only good opportunities.

We don't want any shit opportunities.

This is like, you're, you're getting
one of the best product people.

I know if you hire Josh, so, uh, make
it where this time, but, but, uh, but

reach out and then, yeah, we'll like keep
iterating on our side and, uh, figuring

out the mix that is going to work.

I already, after this conversation,
I feel better about the, like it's

the membership piece with Meeps

that's the powerful part.

And I think.

Seeing like, you know, what the, that sub
stack piece that we were thinking about

is like, that really does seem secondary.

And it's like the most likely thing
that people are going to continue

to use their existing provider.

So it hurts a little bit with our early
access customers, but much better to

make this decision now and then move
forward with a better, a sharpened

sense of what Meeps is about then a

Josh: yeah.


And, and that, yeah, like I do have
anyone who was using, uh, was usually

using the newsletter features.

They're still able to take
advantage of sending through Meeps.

Um, so I just, I just kind of switched.

I just switched people that
weren't using that feature.

Um, and then, um, and then
the other thing, like the, the

welcome email, like the sequences.

The way I, because we didn't even, we
didn't get to chat after, after that.

Uh, but, um, so the way that I, I changed
the sequences is basically you get one,

one email that we'll send through Meeps.

And if you want to add emails, so you
still get the automated, uh, like welcome

emails, um, for members and for subscribers.

But if you want to add, um, add
additional emails, then you need

to add, integrate with a tool.


Justin: that's perfect.

Damn Josh.

You're good

right on, man.

Well, this has been good.

Let's, uh, stop the, the, uh, this part and
you, and I can keep chatting if we want, but,

uh, yeah, I feel good about this part here.

Um, and.

I can't.

The funny thing about product is like, you're
just one nudge or shift away from the thing.

And, you know, sometimes the thing is the
thing you were already doing, but it's just

like repositioning it for different group.

Sometimes it has nothing to do with what you're
doing and the silly project you, you kicked

out over the Christmas break, ends up being
the thing that makes you a million dollars.


So, uh, yeah, I, I, uh, it's been, yeah, I'm I
it's been good to be with you on this journey

and I am just, again, hopeful that we can get

you to the place where you get some of that
margin, where we have a machine that's working

that, you know, maybe years down the road
can pay me back in, in terms of investment.

But, um, uh, more importantly
just gives you a great life.

And that was really the dream of
MegaMaker is like, can we help more

people just get to that good life?

Uh, and so if we achieve that, that feels
like goal number one is getting you there.

And then anything else that
follows would be awesome.

So we'll get there.

I, I it's every day, you're just
pushing the rock forward a little

bit more and, uh, one day, hopefully
the rock just rolls down the hill.

Josh: Yeah, exactly.

Looking forward to that.

Justin: Cool.