Just Ship It: Xavier Coiffard

April 16, 2021, 12:26 p.m.
Founders · 5 min read
Just Ship It: Xavier Coiffard

With blogs and publications, I think there's a huge gap between writing about venture-backed startups and bootstrappers.  You'll likely read about a $2.5 million seed round before hearing about a profitable bootstrapper.  This seems a little backwards and likely creates an unfortunate bias.  Founders might think they must raise funding even though investor interests can be misaligned.  Many already believe you're better off focusing on profitability rather than worrying about scale and funding.  However, how is this actually possible? Who are the people doing this? How long will this take?

As I found myself asking these questions, I came across a particular bootstrapper who had some insightful answers.  His messaging and tweets seemed to cut through a lot of noise, and personally, this founder has inspired me and many others to ship more and hesitate less.  That alone warrants praise. Let me introduce Xavier Coiffard.

I came across Xavier's account after seeing a few posts of his on Indiehackers.  Upon reading his Twitter bio, "Watch me ship 6 products over 6 months" I immediately followed. Given the catchy tagline, I was curious how he'd be able to accomplish this.  Shipping a product is hard.  From the landing page to accepting payments to marketing, there's a lot of moving components that require time to address.  Little did I realize, shipping a profitable product in less than a month is entirely possible with the right strategies.

Xavier ships products with no-code solutions, meaning he's able to get a landing page up in hours instead of days.  For accepting payments, he'll use Gumroad or Flurly instead of spending a day integrating Stripe payments.  Instead of configuring an AWS relational database with a web development framework, he'll use Airtable.  Obviously, he's leveraging existing tools instead of building it all himself.  The fees and monthly costs seem negligible when you're literally saving yourself months of development.  Also, now you can focus on marketing and becoming profitable.

So let's go over a couple of his products and list some strategies.  Feel free to check out any of the products yourself.

 

 

 

Spread the World 

spread the world database

Visit: https://spreadtheworld.net/

The first product I came across was Spread the Word.  It's essentially a list of over 400 places you can post your startup.  Immediately you can see the value proposition -- instead of spending a week or more finding all the places you can post your startup, buy the database and get back to iterating.  The fact that the list comes with a "dofollow/nofollow" column means you can also target specific sites to help boost your domain authority. Xavier likely spent some time finding all of these sites then realized he could save others time by selling the aggregated and labeled content.  When you actually save others time, your product is going to have value to someone. 

 

UserBooster

userbooster cover

Visit: https://gumroad.com/l/userbooster

I like this project because it's leveraging Notion's growing popularity, and once again, offering real value.  Have fun reading through countless blog posts and forums to learn the best strategies for growing your users. UserBooster centers all of the research you need to launch a product in one Notion template.  It includes 70+ tools to launch your product and 40 curated resources to help with each stage of your launch.  Also, Xavier bundles Userbooster with Spread the World -- pretty cool.   I wish more founders bundled their own products or worked with other founders to bundle projects together.  

 

Thoughts and Findings

Here's what I learned from Xavier:

  • Putting too much time into your product can be deceiving.  Your product is not special because you built it.  It's special when enough people know about it and your copy converts well.  If you want to build and hope an audience arrives, enjoy the same thing most are doing.
  • To gain a real edge, you need to ship faster, collect feedback sooner, and iterate again.  If you're getting bogged down in long development cycles to add a new feature, you risk the chance of wasting your time and getting burned out.  While you're adding a new feature that few care about, a competitor might be moving faster and marketing better.  That's reality.
  • If you want to actively push your ideas and products further, then focus on distribution over product. Look to no-code or low-code solutions.  Code when you need to but subscribe for a $30 SaaS tool or buy a quick guide that can save you time.  This isn't an ad.  It's a warning from someone who has invested countless hours on "one more feature" that might save the day. 
  • I like to think that anything can work if you invest enough time, but time is your most valuable asset.  There's always an opportunity cost.  Follow Xavier's lead.  It's about saving time and shipping more so you can already get to that next step.  Whether that be ramen profitability or venture capital funding, grant yourself the agency to choose after gaining traction.  

 






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