What follows is the first issue of Indie Year, a small newsletter where I tell the story of my adventures in going indie and starting a software company. I will publish all the following issues of the newsletter also here for future reference.
As promised here is the first issue of my personal newsletter. I want it to be a place to write openly about how things are going with life and business, as I would with a friend.
First of all a small presentation if you don't know me, I am Francesco, 26 yo (today is my birthday 🎂), developer and indie maker from Italy 🇮🇹 I work mainly on iOS/Mac apps in Swift and on web projects with React. My main project is Boxy Suite, a bundle of apps to use Gmail and Calendar on the Mac.
Recently I got more and more interested in entrepreneurship, so much so that I founded a company with my best friend Fabrizio. That's us in the picture below just after the company was born 🙌
This January will be the first month where I am full-time on my projects, after quitting one of the best places to work in Italy, yikes. It's exciting and scary, as I have shared in this blog post. In this newsletter I will mostly talk about this.
It's exciting because I will have total control of my time and of what I am working on. Concretely, this will mean that I will take time off during the typical working day to exercise, read and enjoy life. I won't work if I don't feel like it. On the other hand, if I am in the zone, I won't feel like an idiot working 12h straight since when you work for yourself there is a direct correlation between your effort and your returns (someone put this greatly in a tweet sometime ago, “when you work for yourself, you eat what you kill”). Another pretty cool thing is that we will be traveling and visit the world while working, something we could not have done as easily while keeping full-time jobs. We are looking at Bali, and SE Asia as our first destination, but haven't booked anything yet.
It's scary because I have no idea what I will do with that much free time and also because, minor detail 😬, we are not still completely profitable with Boxy Suite. We had a great launch (securing around €20k in the bank), and we are now at €5k monthly recurring revenue, that after taxes, does not pay two wages in Italy.
The products are in a pretty good place, so our main challenge will be marketing and getting them in front of new people. I am pretty good with coding, but I will have to get out of my comfort zone and wear the marketer and salesman hat 🎩 No clue on how this will go.
This is super exciting and I can't wait to tell you more about it. Feel free to reply to this email with feedback, questions or suggestions.
Until next time,