Chris Chen, Instapainting, $32k/month
What is the product?
Custom painting by actual artists, delivered to your shipping address.
What is its current revenue?
$32k a month.
What is the business model?
How did the founder come up with their idea?
- Raised money from YC after YC, spent about 2 years pivoting and trying different ideas. Focused on how to generate revenue immediately because he was running low on cash.
- Saw several sites were doing the same things but with oil paintings. Introduced a more modern, cheaper, mixed media product.
How did they know it was the right one?
- It generated revenue immediately after trying to sell on r/startups subreddit.
What did it take to get the initial product out the door?
- Found one supplier that could do the work.
- The very first artists were his roommates.
- Had a basic interface for artist to check the order and manually brokered and managed transaction. Had to email back and forth because there was no messaging system in place yet.
- Barely managed to ship on time so even had to do the painting himself.
- Replied to email in timely fashion. Took great care of customers.
How did they get their first paying customers?
- Tried to sell on r/startups subreddit, targeting gifts around New Year time.
- 3 months later got a TechCrunch article, then Hacker News.
- Optimized for SEO.
- Did some cool content marketing strategies such as: making a robot to replicate artist’s painting, making a 2-player version of 2048 and having featured on top of Hacker News,…
Tagged: #early-days, #indiehackers