A few years ago, Daniel and I launched Core Intuition Jobs, a site for companies to post job listings for Mac and iOS developers. It was a really nice success. At one point I thought we might even focus more time on it, and expand it with a companion site of resources to help developers.
Fast forward a year or two, though, and it became clear that without that attention, the site couldn’t just coast along. New listings were becoming more infrequent. The site needed marketing and regular improvements, just like any product.
And worse, while the whole point was to build something just for Cocoa developers, the site would still sometimes receive job listings for Java or Python developers, for example, and we’d need to refund the listing and remove it from the site. It wasn’t a lot of maintenance, but it was enough that we had to decide whether to put more work into the site or focus on our main podcast and other projects.
This week we decided it was time to move on. Existing job listings will continue to run until they expire. No new jobs are being accepted.
Thanks to all the companies who used Core Intuition Jobs. Now when we are asked about other places to post jobs, we’re pointing people to the email newsletters iOS Dev Weekly and This Week in Swift, as well as Core Intuition podcast sponsorships. Good luck to everyone looking for a new job!
One year ago, I celebrated my first day without a boss. I had just written 2 weeks of daily blog posts about wrapping up work after 14 years at the same company. Today, I’m wearing the same Mac t-shirt and working from Whole Foods again to mark the anniversary.
So how has it gone, a full year as an independent developer? It depends who you ask. While I was leaving the best day job I’ll ever have, there’s still no substitute for the flexibility and freedom to work on my own projects. From that perspective, the last year has been amazing, with some great success on new revenue from Core Intuition and contracting too.
And I made a few decisions early on with how to manage the business that have proven useful to smooth over the bumps. For example, I pay myself a fixed salary on the 1st day of each month, and for 12 months straight I’ve always met that goal. This month, I gave myself a small raise.
On the other hand, I’m still bringing in less money than when I had a real job, and my wife might say that there’s a fine line between being self-employed and unemployed. We’ve let our credit card debt go unchecked. There’s been no slack in the high monthly expenses of the house, car payments, business costs like hosting, and everything else. My income from Riverfold has grown significantly, but not significantly enough.
Yet, I’m upbeat. I’m upbeat because of the potential for what I set out to do a year ago: ship Snippets.today and help revolutionize independent microblogging. That’s still the plan. That’s still why this experiment of working for myself is in its very early stages, even a year later.
Maciej Cegłowski of Pinboard has always been open about his stats for the service. Now, on the 7th anniversary, he also shares that revenue has grown to well over $200k/year:
I’ve added revenue this year because I’m no longer afraid of competitors, and I’d like to encourage people who are considering doing their own one- or zero-person business. The site costs something like $17K/year to run, so you can make a good living at this artisanal SaaS stuff.
Congrats to Maciej on his success. I’ve been a happy Pinboard user for pretty much all of those 7 years, and — as someone who also aspires to build a profitable web platform — I’m inspired by Pinboard’s consistency and growth.
Speaking of 6-figure income, I’ve also just finished reading Shawn Blanc’s write-up about launching The Focus Course, which had first-week revenue of over $100k. He describes the planning process and his strategy for using a mailing list to build awareness about the product.
Justin Williams on the challenge of making Glassboard profitable:
“Making money is harder than it seems. Most people assume you put a product out and people instantly find and support it. The reality is that for most products, they first struggle to find an audience, and secondly struggle to find an audience that’s willing to pay.”
Justin’s blog post reminds me of something that Jason Fried of Basecamp wrote about. Getting good at making money is the same as getting good at anything: you have to practice.