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Jun 2023: How I work with employees
Some quick updates from me in June 2023
Hello everyone, it’s Tony again 😄👋
This month’s update will be a quick one.
Mostly working on TypingMind
I’ve been spending most of my time in June working on typingmind.com
The team and I have added 20+ new updates to the product. We also released a Plugins system (and a plugin marketplace soon!).
It has been growing quite stable over the last month.
I’m currently making ~$30K/month from Typing Mind, with ~$4.5K being recurring revenue:
The sales mostly come from my Twitter and word of mouth.
By the way, if you are a user, join the Discord server I created for Typing Mind. There are more than 800 members now!
Some changes to how I run my product
Compared to my other products, Typing Mind has turned out to be the most successful one.
I now have a team to help me manage so many tasks that would stress me out if I were to do it on my own.
One full-time employee (Ngoc - you may have seen her when contacting support). She helps me with everything except coding. She has been excellent at keeping up with customer support, marketing, content writing, partnerships, and everything in between.
Two part-time developers (Viet Anh and Ann) help me on delivering new features, improvements, and bug fixes.
Over the past months, I think the team is running very well.
I’m no longer working solo like I did with my previous products, but I still code almost every day and don’t have to spend a lot of time managing employees and doing “management works”, which is great.
How I work with employees
Sharing some more on this as I think it could be interesting.
1. No deadline.
When giving out a task, most of the time, I don’t give a deadline. People can work anytime on their own schedule.
I choose to be an indie hacker so that I have the freedom. I don’t have deadlines, so I don’t need to give deadlines to my employees.
For me, it’s totally ok if the product goes slow a bit. I don’t have big contracts to close or any investors to report to. Truly a lifestyle business.
When the team finishes a task, they’ll let me know. I’ll review the code, deploy it, and give out the next task to work on.
Usually, the team gets it done in less than a week, sometimes faster, sometimes slower. I don’t mind, as long as the work is of good quality and there is progress.
2. Everyone is on customer support.
I think it’s important that everyone can hear and see the customers. It’s the only way to feel relevant to the work they’ve done and feel relevant to the product as a whole.
I added everyone to the customer support portal, and we split the tickets based on how we can help the customers.
Everyone can reply to the customers too.
Sometimes, the developer talks to the customers to help debug issues, write a fix, and then close the ticket, all by themself.
3. Async Communication.
There is absolutely no scheduled meeting.
Sometimes, rarely, we have “meetings”, which started like this: we were chatting on Telegram and then, “can you call video/screen sharing now?” - “yes” - “ok, here’s the Zoom link” – that’s how we do meetings.
We communicate async via Telegram about everything.
I also use Loom (async video) when giving out new tasks, as it helps me explain the task easier while sharing my screen.
Clearly, this way of managing the team requires high trust.
It’s working well for me, but I’m unsure if this can be applied when the team grows to 5 or 10 people (if ever). So let’s see. 😄
Apple Vision Pro
I was excited about the device and wanted to build apps for it in the future, but I don’t have any app ideas yet.
Honestly, I still don’t fully buy into the future Apple has drawn with the headset. Assuming the next-gen device will have the same cost as a smartphone and is lighter and smaller, I still couldn’t think of a good use case for the device. All the demos Apple showed in their announcement are not that attractive to me.
Maybe I’ll change my mind when I actually try the headset to see how good it is. Who knows 😄
Meta Threads is released.
I signed up for an account right away: threads.net/@tdinh_me
Mostly out of FOMO.
I planned to mirror my tweets there, but they don’t have an API yet.
I’ll be surprised if they have an API at this time, as from what I see, they don’t even have: Lists, the Following timeline, a web app, and many other “basic” things.
It looks to me that Zuck wanted to rush it out because of “market timing” (recent Twitter drama 😂)
Anyway, I’ll give Threads a try, post the same content as on my Twitter (but not mirror). Who knows if it will actually become something big!
Thank you for reading this month’s update!
See you next month.