Who are you and what are you working on?
What motivated you to get started with Hivoe?
After selling a SaaS in 2021, I was looking for a new product idea. Around March 2021 I started being active on Twitter and posting content related to web development (I’m a Frontend Engineer) — I wanted to build an audience to support me, get feedback, and grow my future projects.
Many Twitter big accounts talk about Twitter DMs as a powerful tool to create good relationships, but I was doing this on the side of a day job, and I didn’t have time to reach out to every follower.
So, I thought about automating the process, and I built the first MVP, an automated welcome message to kickstart new conversations.
What problem are you solving with your startup and how are you solving it?
I’m solving the problem of kickstarting new conversations via Twitter DMs.
Some people on Twitter are introverts, who are worried about reaching out to people. They are worried about being rejected or ignored.
The automated welcome message removes all that pain, as you don’t know when the message is sent, and you start chatting when and if the users reply back (and it happens more often than you can imagine).
Since then, I also added the possibility of cold outreach via DMs, to automate the giveaways (automatic messages sent based on the tweet reply of a user), and lately external webhook support (for integrations with Slack, AirTable, Google Sheet, and many external services).
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
building in public is what I love doing, and I do that well on Twitter. It means that I share my struggles, what I’m building even before it’s ready, I share my MRR growth publicly, and so on.
People are interested in stories and learning from others.
Also, Hivoe is a product related to Twitter, so my audience quite often converts to new subscribers.
Describe your business model and what makes your business unique.?
The business model is very simple, it is a subscription-based (monthly or annual) model.
There’s a free trial period of 14-days, during which you can try some of the features without limits.
I don’t think that my business is unique, and usually, a business doesn’t need to be unique in the space but diversified.
Maybe just a bit better compared to the competitors, or simply known by a big enough audience to sustain your business.
How did you fund your business?
My business is completely bootstrapped. The customers support its development via the subscription they purchase and renew.
I like this model, as it goes to the foundation of entrepreneurship.
If a product solves a problem, then people will pay you (via your product) to have it solved.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources for you?
When I started being active on Twitter I discovered many good books written by indie hackers, my favorites are:
• The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick
• MAKE by Pieter Levels
• The Embedded Entrepreneur by Arvid Kahl
My favorite podcast is the Wannabe Entrepreneur Podcast by Tiago Ferreira. He shares his journey as an indie hacker and he interviews many entrepreneurs.
What were the biggest challenges you faced and the obstacles you overcame?
None at the moment. Running a small business on the side, means that whatever you get is a surplus.
What is your greatest business achievement to date?
I’m very happy about having one or two new users per day, on average, and of course about the current MRR! It’s €250 and it is very promising 💪
Where would you like your startup to be in five years?
I hope that Hivoe becomes the must-have product to manage Twitter DMs (and potentially other platforms too). And of course a much higher MRR!
What software or technology has made the biggest difference to your business?
What one thing do you wish someone had told you when you started on your business journey?
Focus on building an audience as soon as possible, create a curated newsletter and focus on marketing more than building.
You need to have a voice that resonates in the web, and someone willing to hear you.
If you had the chance to do things differently, what would you do?
Until now, nothing different to be honest 😉
Have you had any failed business?
None at the moment. Hove is my first business. Even if I sold one SaaS in 2021, that product was pre-revenue.
What are some sources for learning you would recommend for entrepreneurs who are just starting?
I suggest joining the Tech and Indie Hackers community on Twitter — it’s such an amazing and supportive community!
And of course Indie Hackers — it’s a great community as well.
It’s going to take some time, as you need to interact with people and read content, but you’ll find inside these two resources, all the information you need.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
Build and audience first of all, it’s going to create many opportunities that you can’t even imagine now.
Talk to people and pay attention to the pain points that raise, often those are great business opportunities.
One business app and one personal app you can’t do without?
On a business level I really appreciate LogSnag by Shayan, it’s a simple, yet effective product, and the design is so clean.
As personal app, I can’t live without the app Podcast, by Apple.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
I’m not hiring at the moment. I’ll go solo until the business will sustain and requires new people to help me (if that’ll ever happen 🤞).
Visit Luca’s startup here: Hivoe – Twitter DMs. Made Easy