Getting Uncomfortably Transparent on Indie Hackers

Nelson Joyce
Nelson Joyce
December 11, 2017
fishbowl with store inside

When we started Tettra, we had big aspirations for being transparent about all our progress and processes. It’s been over two years and we’ve only sent a few of these type of updates. Being transparent is easy when you’re just starting out, but when you’ve spent every day trying to grow, you never feel like you’re doing quite well enough.

There are two reasons we’ve been cagey with information during the ups and downs:

  1. We thought it would scare off potential customers.
  2. We thought it would scare off potential investors.

We’ve recently gotten over #1 because we made some changes and we will reach profitability within the next 6 months. We feel more confident than ever about our mission and our ability to deliver a great product that solves a real problem for thousands of people.

One of the biggest reasons we were able to get over #2 was me attending the Founder Field Trip hosted by Bryce Roberts of More specifically hearing the story of Chris Savage and Brendan Schwartz at Wistia.

Wista has taken a “non-traditional” startup path, which is to say that they’ve been operating profitably for years without being force-fed millions of dollars of capital. Learning about how they operate, and the great success they’ve had, has given us the confidence to follow that same path with Tettra.

Another realization based on conversations with other folks at the Founder Field Trip was that there aren’t enough public examples of companies that are following this “indie” path.

So in that spirit, we published an in depth look on Indie Hackers today about how we got the business off the ground, including publishing our revenue numbers publicly for the first time ($25k MRR!).

Here are a few good excerpts:

Everything takes longer to get right than you think. Not much you can do to about this except to stay positive and patient! A lot of products win simply because they don’t get acquired and/or shut down.


One of the downsides of raising money is the false sense of security you get. This caused us to try to sell to too many target customers with both a sales-driven and product-driven model. This pulled us in too many directions.

Focus on one use case for one target user with one go-to-market strategy. This is even more important for small, resource-strapped companies.

Read the full post here – Generating $25,000/mo Offering Wikis to Company Slack Teams

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