"I'm a maker, founder, product/design nerd, and recently joined Draftbit as a Product Evangelist. I love building products that provide value to the community. I love talking about startups, B2C products, community building, and life in general."
I've got to tell readers that the idea behind Shoutout was actually born from one of KP's tweets. He gave an awesome shoutout to me and a couple of friends and like always I saved it to my bookmarks (knowing that I will never revisit). At that moment 💡 an idea popped into my head. Wouldn't it be amazingly cool to have a platform where I can save and showcase all the shoutouts I get on Twitter? In the next two days, I shipped a landing page and started working on it since then.
Gathering social proof is not only important for companies or startups, but it is also equally important to people who create value to the communities.
Twitter for one reason is an amazing platform that allows people to give public shoutouts for your work and the social impact you made. With an infinite feed that is constantly updating every second, all of the love you get is getting buried under and it’s hard to find it in the future.
Shoutout streamlines all that love in one place and helps you build a social brand. It is like a Pinterest board for your Twitter shoutouts.
I immediately shared the light bulb moment with KP. We both got super excited and quickly came up with an initial product loop. We both subtly sensed that I'm on to something. It was not my first time experiencing something like this. I highly recommend everyone to share their ideas with their close friends or peers. The initial validation helps you move on to the next thing - be it taking the idea to the MVP stage or literally moving on to the next one.
Yes. Thankfully, I have been actively building an audience(~ 3k followers) on Twitter for the last 2yrs by shipping multiple side projects and newsletters 🙏
I'm all about experiments that provide value to the community. Here is an example:
I recently ran an experiment asking people to share what they are working on and said I will personally give a positive testimonial aka a shoutout about their work. The thread went viral and I got more than 100 comments. Later I personally spent a solid time on each product/newsletter and gave a shoutout. One of the most rewarding days in recent times. To my surprise, Shoutout Twitter following went up and 40+ people joined the waitlist.
💡 Takeaway: Make it more about them and less about you.
There are many strategies that I learned from the best like Matthew Kobach, Jack Butcher, David Perell and by experimenting over time, I formed some on my own. Here are some I still follow and hopefully works for you:
One of the things I do is to encourage people to DM me. I do a weekly AMA session every Saturday. I answer questions about B2C products, newsletters, maker mindset, and startups in general. I also do virtual 1-1s with a lot of people.
It's a long story that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Here's how it happened:
Somewhere around June, I had a serious intention to join an early-stage startup. I have a habit called 5min manifestation where I journal first thing every morning. I literally wrote in my journal for many days that "I will join a startup soon, work with the best people, and create an impact in the world." The universe plots with you I guess, my manifestation started taking action.
I run a weekly newsletter called Productivize which goes out every Monday. I don't remember which Monday but after shipping the edition for some reason I went to Hacker News to share my latest newsletter issue. For some reason I went to the jobs tab in the menu, for some reason I searched for product jobs, for some reason I found that Draftbit is hiring, for some reason I stopped everything and searched who is the CEO to DM him about the role, for some reason Brian Luerssen and half of Drafbit team were already following me on Twitter, for some reason he replied, we connected and the interview process started.
After multiple rounds of interviews, on Aug 18th Brian offered me the role of Product Evangelist over a Twitter DM (I'm literally getting goosebumps writing this) I heard a lot of stories about people getting opportunities on Twitter but never imagined it will happen to me. It was a surreal experience. I'm planning to write a detailed thread on Twitter so stay tuned.
In short, I tasted the power of manifestation, intention, and action. That's the formula I believe anybody can use in their own lives to get anything they want.
I gained some leverage by shipping products and building an audience on the Internet. But in order to be a founder, I felt I needed to learn how a startup works as a true insider, hence I wanted to be a startup operator. Also, I felt it's the right time to take the next big step in my life.
Draftbit is a perfect match for me for many reasons. It is a no-code tool, the role is 50% product 50% community building, they sponsor my work visa, they are an early-stage startup which went to YC, I will be their 10th hire and more importantly I love the vision and is aligned to the values I carry.
The most exciting thing is I'm now a startup operator. It was one of those dreams I had when I came to the US 7yrs ago. I'm grateful that I'm living it today.
My goals are very clear: learn how startups operate, execute new ideas/experiments and share the lessons along the way. Build leverage as an insider, make a lot of worthy connections and pay it forward.
It was Pieter Levels who introduced build in public around 2017. I used to be a lurker when he actively preached the movement. Back then, I never understood and felt why is that so important until I started working on and shipping side projects. I believe knowledge without execution is just information. I truly tasted the power of building in public when I became a maker. It is the best strategy there is to interact with the community.
Being open and transparent is what makes building in public special. If you think deeply, it’s a win-win situation. You win because you get a chance to serve people, add value to them, learn lessons, be better at doing what you love, build credibility, and accountability. Community wins because their lives are getting better because of the value you are providing, they are learning with you, you are making them part of your success, they will get the credit.
Since my first project(Tools for Makers), unknowingly I picked the build in public route. Almost all of my projects are built in public. The Angel Philosopher, Really Good Questions, Request for Startup and now Shoutout.
The only downside I faced while building in public is getting distracted and falling into results-driven thinking. When you openly share your moves in public you get some level of attention and it is not granted. Some days it feels like nobody is giving a damn about you. No matter what we as makers should focus on our doing, our intention to provide value and most importantly have extreme fun.
I take that as a validation when someone copies my work. And they may copy ideas but they can't copy the execution. I'm always bullish on consistency and people who take shortcuts can't be consistent. Also if someone copies what you love then it will be WORK for them and they're likely to give up easily while it is PLAY for me. One other way I treat these types of people is to detach from them and I will move on by focusing on how can I be better at providing value to others.
I don't care about likes, retweets but I pay a lot of attention to comments, DMs. One of the lessons I learned from building a community is people sense care. And I always keep that in mind.
The timing of this question is impeccable. Inspired by Elon Musk's Master Plan for Tesla, I wrote a secret master plan for myself (please don't share it with anyone 😜)
Be a maker - Build leverage by shipping products and building a community
Be a startup operator - Use the above leverage and get into an early-stage startup. Start gaining leverage as an insider, learn how things work, perform at a peak level.
Be a founder - Using lessons from the experience of working at a startup, become a founder. Solve a problem that people want, hire amazing people, raise capital and go to Y-Combinator.
Be an investor - With all the leverage and connections made, start a fund, learn how LPs, GPs work, how to raise capital for the fund, form or be part of a visionary team where I can pick and bet on futuristic products/companies/people. As an investor, my ultimate goal is to pay it forward to people like me who have bigger dreams and higher ambitions.
There are many decisions that shaped my last 18months. Here are some:
Want to give a permanent home to the Twitter shoutouts you get? Join the waitlist here.
If you are into startups and want to sharpen your product mind, subscribe to Productivize a weekly newsletter featuring three product champions, resources, interesting products.
Mckay Wrigley. He is a great guy who shares his lessons on Twitter and is a champion in Build in Public.