"I think of an idea and try to develop it with the technology I am most comfortable with."
Manoj is doing the 12 startups in 12 months challenge with a mentality of: Building products. Failing. Building again.
From mobile apps to APIs to interactive webpages to AI. Manoj is building it all.
What is your tech stack (languages, frameworks, services, os, devices, etc.) and why?
I use NextJs for frontend. For backend I go with either Java or Python. When my product offering is an Android app, I develop it in Native Android (Java).
How do you stay up-to-date with technological developments, and how do you incorporate this knowledge into your projects? Or how do you keep learning and improving your craft?
I think of an idea and try to develop it with the technology I am most comfortable with. This is also the advice I give to others.
But if my idea requires me to learn a new technology, then I learn the tech stack by directly applying that to my new project instead of learning and then developing it.
For me “build while you are learning” is a great way to learn anything new.
How many failed projects do you have, and how have they set you up for success?
Where to begin, I started building products in 2015. I wouldn’t call all of my products a failure but most of them I offered completely for free. Some of my products had 3000+ and even 6000+ users but with no revenue.
These products have made me realize that getting users is fine but your product should be able to generate revenue. And that is the lesson learned for me that I am now applying to my new products. I will be offering products for free but not all of the features.
How and when did you get your first user/subscriber/follower/customer? Your first 1000? And how are you getting people in the door today?
It happened for me when I launched my first product Pixap.in (not alive anymore). It quickly grew to more than 3000 students. But I got my first paying customer in one of my recent products.
Most of my users are coming to my product organically, with very little marketing.
How do you monetize what you build? Any advice as to what has worked for you and what hasn’t?
I try to categorize features into free and paid. I add a one-time purchase for some products and subscriptions for others. But when I feel that a product does not have any paid features, that’s when I run ads in my products to generate ad revenue from them.
What does a productive day in your life look like, and how often do you have days like that?
For me a productive day is when I start developing my product in the morning and put on a headset to be in the zone. I try to get as much work as possible done in a day. If I can see the results of my work at the end of the day, that’s when I consider it a productive day.
How do you come up with new project ideas?
Most of my ideas are solutions to problems that I faced. Also if I am repeating something in multiple projects, then it’s best to offer that feature as a standalone product.