2023

2023
Photo by Kajetan Sumila / Unsplash

Pretty tough year I must admit. It is/was also the first year of the studio's existence. Well it's not been a full year but ~6 months. Tried to ride on the AI craze with VnSplit , made a few hundreds of $ but that ultimately dipped as the AI madness waned off.

Looking back at my notes when I started the studio around May, my goal was to get to $1k/month MRR but we failed at that 😄.


What we launched

We built 4 products in the last 6 months, publicly launched 3. Also important to note that we also have 2 products still on a form of waitlist to build up demand and use cases.

  • VNSplit : had to shut this down because Apple released an iMessage feature that transcribed voice notes. Ultimately made about $300 in total MRR for the ~3 months it ran.
  • Otito : API request logs as service to help developers integrating a 3rd party system understand everything going on. Made $0 :))
  • Fotion: User feedback tool that stores your collected feedback in Notion. No 3rd party database involved. Made $0 too. I expect this to potentially pick up next year. There is a bunch of usage right now so I plan to go full marketing mode in Q1 24.
  • Naira Trail chat: chat interface for your Financial data. Never launched this publicly after reviewing monetisation strategies
We killed 3 of the products listed. Fotion is the only active one right now.

What we tried to launch?

  • Abeonabase : Global crypto infra for Layer 2s. Think Alchemy but for all the fancy new Layer 2 blockchains. This is still on a waitlist because it is quite an expensive endeavour in terms of compute resources and spend :) . Potentially looking and exploring ways we can get it out of the way in Q1 24 even if it means spinning outside of the studio.

What are we launching next?

I cannot speak about this publicly yet but this is not 100% the studio work. Staring January, I will be working with two ridiculously smart people ( Tosin and Seun ) to build a personal finance related product for Nigerians.

The studio is extremely focused on global products but I couldn't pass the opportunity to do this as I see a valid path to usage and revenue/profit here.

For the studio personal launches, I will say keep an eye out for that but we do have audacious plans for the year

Brutal lessons learnt

  • Marketing is everything. Need to constantly figure out channels that (do not) work.
  • Hype is basically useless. Great to sell shovels in a gold rush but you just might not be able to sell or make a better shovel than the other 10 million other shovels around.
  • Turns out in the solopreneur space too, it is easier to sell an info product or access to a newsletter/community than to actually make monies off your products.

Looking forward to 24

We may very well hit the $1K MRR number in 2024 but for good measures, I am looking at ending the year with $1,500 MRR across all our products. The goal is to hit the said number but if we don't, at least I am having fun while going at it in my free time :)

Another major goal for myself is to properly fix the studio's finances and actually keep track of expenses/incomes. Right now, I just pay all the bills from my personal cards/accounts so it is kind of hard to draw up a PnL - even though it's clear we are in the red zone :) . Asides from this, it is also a way to not have to deal with multiple cards, setting up limits and approval workflows.

Also plan to get better with marketing. I only explored Reddit ads and marketing for the most part this year but I do plan to pick up some basic knowledge about deploying ads monies into other places to see what works.