"I know you need some kind of validation, but if you see that there are (a lot of) competitors, that's validation as well."

Terry Verduijn
Terry Verduijn
Part-time Indiehacker

Terry Verduijn is an indie hacker building Emotmo in public while maintaining a regular 9-5 and raising a family.

You can follow his journey on Twitter where he shares his ups and downs:

Tweet announcing: The landing page for emotmo is live!

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In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?

Walking multiple times a week. And due to COVID, working from home. It allowed me to combine working on my own product(s) with my full-time job much easier.

What is your tech stack and why?

My tech stack has always been: .NET, C#, HTML, and CSS (bootstrap), but when I actually started building my own products I started using Next.js, Supabase, and Vercel.

The simplicity of setting it up was one of the biggest reasons. Lately I also added ChakraUI to the tech stack, as it helps me design/develop the UI much quicker.

What does a productive day in your life look like, and how often do you have days like that?

As I'm still working full-time a productive day looks like this:

  • 05.30: wake up and walk the dog
  • 06.00: have breakfast
  • 06.15: work on product
  • 08.30: start full-time job
  • 12.30: go for a walk (this clears my mind and lets me listen to podcasts about indie hacking)
  • 17.00: end full-time job
  • 17.15: cook dinner
  • 17.45: eat with family
  • 18.30: family time
  • 19.30: bring daughter to bed
  • 20.00: work on product
  • 22.00: go to bed

I have these days not often, most of the time my mornings are busy with taking care of my daughter as well, but 2 times a month it's like this. Most days I only get an hour or 2 to work on my product.

How many failed projects do you have, and how have they set you up for success? Or what is a failure you are grateful for?

At the beginning of 2022 I started the 12 projects in 12 months challenge. I created my personal website and worked on two other products but halfway through March I decided to quit. Too much pressure, too little time.

What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made?

My best investment was to buy a 34" curved monitor. Makes my work a lot easier with such a big screen.

Energy-wise I started walking more often, at least 3 times a week. It really benefits my thinking, my concentration, and my creativity.

What are bad recommendations you hear about building?

ALWAYS validate your idea first. I know you need some kind of validation, but if you see that there are (a lot of) competitors, that's validation as well. Apparently there is a market, you only need to find your competitive edge or USP.

How do you come up with new project ideas?

Looking at problems rather than ideas. And while working on my current product, I also came up with several ideas I want to build.