Discover more from Tony Dinh's Newsletter
Dec 2022 updates and happy new year!
Hello everyone! It's Tony again with another monthly updates.
My updates in December
In December 2022, I spent half of the month on moving house (I’m moving to a new apartment!) and still continue learning about hardware.
The other half of the month, I shipped a new version for DevUtils:
In this version 1.16, I added Certificate Decoder, JSON to Code, and a lot of improvements and bug fixes to the app.
DevUtils is my first successful app, it’s reaching close to 2 years old and now bringing me a healthy revenue each month now.
It’s no where near “finished” yet, I have a long list of items in my backlog for DevUtils, and it brings me joy to come back and work on it every once in a while!
My consulting service
In December, I also got one more session (and a testimonial) for my consultation!
I have this less well known consulting service where I offer my time to help people on various things that I have knowledge/skillset of.
It started around the same time when I get popular on Twitter. People started to reach out in my DM for advice, questions, interview, etc.
Sometimes, I reply back and offer my help. Other times, I charge $1,000 per hour. I only have 5 paid sessions so far.
They say “never sell your time”, I totally agree. That’s why I don’t consider this as my primary way to make money, and I never actively promote this consulting service anywhere.
The only way one can find out about this consulting service is when they reach out to me via Twitter DM and see the automated message with the link to my FAQ page, where I mention this consulting service in one of the question in that page.
Overall, I think this is a pretty cool experience!
Look back at what I shipped in 2022
A quick look back on what I shipped in 2022:
Released 9 major releases for Black Magic.
Released 4 major releases for DevUtils, each one with a lots of new features.
Built a new product Xnapper, then released 4 new versions in 2022.
Built an iOS app for Xnapper (Beta)
It’s been the best year of my career, both in terms of financial success and fulfilling life happiness in general.
Toward the end of the year, I started to feel like I don’t have much time left to code - the thing I enjoy doing.
I was drown in emails, customer support, partnership requests, marketing tasks, etc. Most importantly, I feel like I don’t have much more of that free mental space to think about new ideas.
Around June 2022, I started working with a developer freelancer to reduce my workload on small tasks.
Around September 2022, I also hired another content marketing freelancer who helped me tremendously on other tasks of the business.
Learning to delegate is my biggest lesson for 2022. The helps from 2 more people (although not working fulltime) has freed up my time a lot.
What’s for 2023?
A few days ago, I shared my GitHub graph this on Twitter and it blew up:
This reminds me one important fact: I’m a builder, and I love building.
Over the past few months of 2022, I feel like I have not building as much. There are so many no-name tasks that creep up and take a way my time.
That’s the first thing I want to do in 2023: build more.
Either working on my existing products or new ones, I want to write more code.
I have this satisfaction of going on my laptop and doing a straight 3 hours focus coding session, deliver a lot of meaningful changes to my products. In 2023, I want more of that, and less of talking, managing, business, partnerships, etc.
Ideally, I want to release a new major version for DevUtils and Xnapper every 2 or 3 months, I don’t have anyone to delegate the Swift coding part, so I’ll have to do all of it myself.
For Black Magic, I have a dev freelancers to help me, so I’m expecting continuous improvements for Black Magic every month or so.
Then I’ll spend the rest of my time on other things, like finish writing my book and experiment with new ideas.
The next thing I want to do in 2023 is to finish my indie book (which I mentioned in October), which I’m still working on from time to time, although not continuous.
I thought I could finish the book before 2023, but turns out writing a book is not easy.
For me, it’s harder to get into the “flow state of writing” compare to “flow state of coding”. (I already struggle to keep this newsletter delivered on time as you can see 😂)
So yes, a book about indie hacking in 2023, that’s what I’m going to deliver. It’s also adding a new type of product (info product) to my mix of product portfolio, which is very motivating!
Maybe new products
I’m unsure whether I’ll have enough bandwidth for a new product, but I have so many new ideas and I’ll be sad if I couldn’t execute any of them in 2023, it iches me.
Maybe I’ll not be starting a new product before my book is finished.
The desire to create a new product also coming from my fear of losing everything.
Even when I’m already have 3 products, I feel like none of them provide me a safety net I’m looking for. DevUtils and Xnapper are one-off purchase, tons of competitors and copycats; Black Magic is at $14K MRR now but growth has been slowing down, and it’s heavily dependent on the fate of Twitter.
I feel like I need to continuously moving forward, otherwise I’ll fall behind.
AI products are trending lately, but from my last 2 AI products you can tell my taste with AI product ideas are not very interesting 😅
Maybe because I haven’t really invested enough time/effort to the previous attempts. So let’s see!
I wish you a happy new year 2023!
If you are an indie hacker and haven’t reached your goals in 2022, remember, indie hacking is a marathon.
A lot of my friends (in real life, and on Twitter) are grinding hard and hustling to reach ramen profitability too. You are not alone.
2022 has been kind to me, I wish 2023 will be kind to you too.
I’m grateful and happy to be in this supportive Indie Hacker community. I wish you a successful year in whatever you do 🤞
That’s all for now, thank you for reading and I’ll see you next month! 👋