After thinking about it over the weekend, I’ve decided to rename this newsletter We Love Startups - a name that accurately describes our collective love for startups. (WDYT?)
I’ll send you an email every week where I’ll share interviews with successful founders from around the world and the lessons we learned, new startups and products that caught my attention, and interesting or useful links from around the web.
Also, a huge welcome to the 100+ new subscribers joining us this week 🙌🏻
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This week I’m interviewing Ilya Novohatskyi, founder of Microns.io, a marketplace to discover micro-startups for sale.
In today’s email:
🤩 Chat with Ilya Novohatskyi → How he went from 0 to 2,800 newsletter subscribers
🔥 New Startups → Castro, Runway, BeReal
🌐 Around The Web → How to find ideas for your SaaS, 10 powerful lessons from the book “Atomic Habits” & Watch 90s TV Shows
Let’s dive in!
Hi Ilya! Who are you and what are you working on?
My name is Ilya Novohatskyi. I’m a front-end developer and entrepreneur from Ukraine. I graduated Kyiv Polytechnic Institute and I’ve been involved in tech for around 7 years. I have two companies: a front-end development agency Quanti Coders and Microns.io, a micro-startup acquisition community & marketplace where entrepreneurs and investors can discover high-quality small projects for sale.
How did you come up with the idea for Microns?
I know first hand how hard it is to create a sustainable company. And many early founders fail by trying to build their own projects from scratch. I see different reasons for this, from the tech to marketing and sales. I wanted to change this and give entrepreneurs an advantage by helping them buy an existing project that has proven demand and some traction. I wanted to create a platform for founders to learn and diversify.
How did you validate your idea?
Validation was the easy bit - I jumped into the Twitter community and started reaching out to other founders and participating in discussions. Once I was convinced that there was a need for this, I started Microns as a free weekly newsletter. To be fast, I found the all-in solution for running a newsletter called Revue and set up everything to send the first issue.
How did you find your first customers?
I found my first customers using cold emails and referrals from other founders. I engaged on Twitter and communities like Indie Hackers by helping people and sharing valuable things.
Eventually, to go further, we needed a brand new custom website. We built the first version of Microns using no-code in under two weeks.
After this, we made three key decisions:
1. We made our product completely free for the next six months to make it easier for users to sign up and reduce friction.
2. We posted a newsletter every possible startup and newsletter directories like Product Hunt and BetaList.
3. We sponsored other newsletters with a similar audience.
We also got picked up by The Hustle and mentioned in their newsletter, giving us a further boost and almost 300+ new subscribers.
Where’s the business at right now?
Right now, we have around 4k active monthly users and 2,800 newsletter subscribers.
What’s the one piece of advice you’d like to give other founders getting started?
Instead of one, I’d like to share 3 things that have helped me in my journey:
1. Don't give up too early: I received 26 rejections before getting my first front-end job.
2. Focus on one thing at a time: I first started my front end development agency to help with cash flow and pay my bills. Once I had this business running smoothly, only then did I start to work on Microns.
3. Plan your day upfront: This advice has helped me in my personal and professional life.
Your favourite startup book?
The latest I read is Makebook by Pieter Levels. I learned that you should be fast and explicit. Users should be first, and your app should make one feature but does it great.
What’s one business idea you would work on if you had the time?
I would build a platform to help brands find and connect with the perfect influencers for their business.
That’s it for this time!
(Do you have a story to share? Reply to this email and introduce yourself 👋)
🔥 New Startups →
Castro is a podcast app that makes it easy to manage lots of podcasts, and enjoy the best episodes of all your favourite shows.
Use Runway to create and share stunning videos in minutes. All inside your browser, powered by artificial intelligence.
Everyday at a different time, everyone is notified simultaneously to capture and share a photo in two minutes. A new and unique way to discover who your friends really are in their daily life.
(Want to get your startup featured? Reply to this email with your startup 🤩)
🌐 Around The Web →
“In this guide, you'll learn step-by-step methods you can use to find SaaS ideas that people will pay for.”
“Big goals shouldn’t be your primary focus in life. Instead, you should be utilising frequent, repetitive actions and systems to help develop habits that stick.”
Discover insanely useful websites like Futureme, What Should I Read Next & Retro 90s TV.
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That’s it for this time! See you next week. 🤗
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