How Dru built Trends.vc into the most valuable weekly report for 20,000 people

"I’m a self-taught developer who went on mini-retirement in 2017. And started Trends in 2020. I help founders and investors find new markets and ideas. Each week."

ORIGIN STORY:

What was the origin story behind Trends.vc?

My main project wasn’t getting traction. Trends was a way to blow off steam. When it started getting more attention than the original project, I switched gears. I'm writing an essay on this right now.

How would you describe Trends to folks who may have never heard about it?

Trends.vc gives founders and investors weekly reports on new markets and ideas. Usually less than 1K words. High signal-to-noise.

Who did you share your early version of Trends with?

I shared the idea with my mastermind group, ZT1. And the report with Twitter.

THOUGHTS ON BUILDING AN AUDIENCE:

Did you have an existing audience before Trends?

I had a small list from a book I released chapter-by-chapter. The B2B SaaS Marketing Playbook. I didn’t use the list for Trends. Some of them found Trends organically.

What specific moves have helped you build an audience?

Focusing on quality and surrounding myself with great people.

How do you maintain a tight feedback loop with your audience?

It's not advertised. But I have calls with Trends Pro members. Email replies also help. And Twitter. There’s no shortage of feedback.

THOUGHTS ON BUILDING IN PUBLIC:

When and where did you first discover the superpower of building in public?

There were two stages.

What makes it effective/special in your view?

It's storytelling. And stories are powerful.

What was the 1st project/initiative you have built in public?

The B2B SaaS Marketing Playbook. I did daily stand ups organized by Janice on Indie Hackers.

What were some surprising lessons for you from that experience?

Not sure. I knew that social accountability was effective. Perhaps that's why I initially avoided it.

Who are some of your favorite builders in public?

Pieter Levels. He inspired a lot of us.

THOUGHTS ON DOWNSIDE:

If you were to argue for the downside of building in public, what would it be?

It may not be for you if you don't have a moat. Or if your prospective customers or employees don't care. Trends #0015 — Open Startups breaks this down.

THOUGHTS ON FUTURE:

What goals do you have for the future for Trends?

Community is up next. Then a fund. Both will be unique.

CLOSING THOUGHTS:

What's the most important decision you've taken in the last 18 months?

Going to an Indie Hackers Atlanta meetup. That night:

  • I joined ZT1
  • Met my accountability partner Jason
  • And my friend Osama

These people changed my life.

How can people reach you on the Internet?

I'm @DruRly on Twitter. If you're subscribed to Trends, reply to get in touch.

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