We live in exciting times my friend. It's never been this easy to build a webapp and make your first \\\$1,000/month.
Back in 2010 I created my first startup. Our goal was to build an AI that helps you make sense of the web. LazySharer to share links with friends, LazyReader to get a curated feed.
Here's me pitching on demo day at a local YCombinator clone 👇
Look how excited they all seem!
Back then an algorithmic feed was a wild and crazy idea. Never done before. Google was rumored to experiment with individualized search results. Facebook still had newest-first, Twitter said they'd never consider using algorithms ever.
Guess what the hardest part of building an AI that can build custom story feeds for every was?
Come on, guess.
Oh ... is that not what you guessed?
You see, back in 2010 The Cloud was in its infancy. AWS was just 4 years old, GoogleAppEngine 2 years.
Debate at our hacker space raged.
Should you use Cloud? Host on bare metal? Poke one of the 10 friends with a hosting company? Use the PC running in your bedroom?
We picked AppEngine. It promised "web scale". Gave us a NoSQL database – a new concept at the time – and everything else we needed to grow super hella fast.
Monetization? Please, PayPal is too hard ... we'll do it later. Once we have millions of users.
After months of building we were ready to launch.
Our credit card melted instantly. 6 months later I was kicked out of the company.
Times are different. I only realized just how much changed during Pat Walis's 24hour startup challenge in late 2018.
Can you build & launch a startup in 24 hours? Do it live on stream!
Pat is crazy. There's no way.
Fuck it let's try.
12 hours later TechLetter.App was born. 😳
Best part? It made $4 in sales and I use it to create these emails and it costs $0/month to run.
The hyper productive modern stack is here, my friend. All the pieces are coming together.
I love inflection points 😍
After a year of research, it's still too early to name winners. What I can tell you is the outline. A sketch of what the future holds.
– serverless backends Serverless is eating the backend. The cloud moved us from physical to logical servers and code stayed the same. That's changing. No more servers, just functions.
– progressive web apps – PWA Webapps are going progressive. An offline-first approach makes webapps work offline and stay fast in areas with spotty internet. Optimistic updates keep your UI fresh, you sync data when possible. Much like a mobile app.
– JAMStack hosting your progressive webapp is a static asset. It don't need no servers. Host it with a JAMStack provider and let them handle advanced caching, CDN config, DNS routing, continuous deployment, and everything else. You just get a blazing fast app.
– GraphQL changes the API layer. Write complex queries on the frontend, expose data on the backend, agree on data types and let GraphQL handle the rest. No more begging backend engineers to add a parameter, no more gigantic payloads with ten times more data than you need.
– design systems take over we're achieving the dream everyone promised: A designer creates your styles and you don't have to fiddle around. Build UI with a suite of components and it always comes out looking perfect.
The rise of indie hackers is my favorite result. YOU can build in a day or two what used to take a team of engineers weeks.
That means more startups, more ideas, more products. Without VCs. The infrastructure is cheap and open source, the time-to-build is short, users are plentiful. It's amazing.
Excited? hit reply
PS: I've been meaning to turn TechLetterApp into a smol business at MarkdownEmail.com – been having too much fun using it. 2020 is the year. Maybe 😛
Here's how it works 👇
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"Man, love your simple writing! Yours is the only email I open from marketers and only blog that I give a fuck to read & scroll till the end. And wow always take away lessons with me. Inspiring! And very relatable. 👌"
Ready to Stop copy pasting D3 examples and create data visualizations of your own? Learn how to build scalable dataviz components your whole team can understand with React for Data Visualization
Curious about Serverless and the modern backend? Check out Serverless Handbook, modern backend for the frontend engineer.
Ready to learn how it all fits together and build a modern webapp from scratch? Learn how to launch a webapp and make your first 💰 on the side with ServerlessReact.Dev
By the way, just in case no one has told you it yet today: I love and appreciate you for who you are ❤️