$630K ARR - Simple API to generate images

How Bannerbear went from 0 to $530K MRR in 4 years

$630K ARR - Simple API to generate images
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Jon Yongfook is one of the cooles independent, solo SaaS founders.
Just for being so open about his numbers and his journey with his product Bannerbear over the last few years.
The Bannerbear “open” page has so much startup wisdom we all can learn from.
Right now, Bannerbear is at $630K ARR, this it’s revenue chart from the “open” page -
notion image

Early Days

Revenue looks great today, but the beginning wasn’t easy.
Jon quit his full time job with the hopes of building his own bootstrapped business. But didn’t have any validated ideas yet.
So he tried to do the “12 startups in 12 months” challenge.
He was able to launch 7, but didn’t make any money from them.
notion image

Pivoting and Positioning

Eventually, he decided to focus only on one idea - Dynamic generation of Open Graph Images.
It got some success, but not enough to say that the idea was validated. So Jon pivoted again to an API product.
A simple Rest API that marketing teams can use to automatically generate images for their social media posts.
He called the tool Bannerbear.
And it took off🚀
The product worked the same way, but it was positioned differently. It went from being a vitamin to a painkiller.
From being a simple OG image generator, to an API to generate marketing images for businesses.
By the time he reached $10K MRR 2 years after quitting his full time job, he knew exactly who his ideal audience is, and what pains his product solves for them.
And what jobs it does for them. JBTD is a powerful framework you can use to position your product.
notion image

Product-Founder Fit

Jon has extensively documented his journry over the last 4 years, going from 0 to $52K MRR.
But one insight that stands out, and is probably the most important to understand is his idea of “Product-Founder Fit”.
notion image
If you don’ have passion for the problem you’re solving, it’s very hard to stay in the game for long enough.
So aim for product-founder fit even before you aim for product market fit.

Top Lessons -

Top Lessons from the Bannerbear story -
  • Take on challenges like 12 startups in 12 months to explore ideas and discover your own interests.
  • Focus on one idea when you find something that works, and you like it as well.
  • Aim for Product Founder Fit.
  • Pivot and Reposition as you discover the core problems of your users.
  • Find what jobs your product can do for the user. Apply the “Jobs to be done” framework.

Further Reading -

From the Bannerbear blog -
I did a deep dive on Bannerbear couple of years ago -
Also, make sure you follow Jon Yongfook on Twitter to learn from him every day.
Cheers 🙌

SEO Strategy for low ticket SaaS

If you have a low ticket SaaS (<$49/m) -
SEO is your best bet to get sustainable long term traffic
Simple SEO strategy to try -
  • 10 winning blog posts
  • Each getting 500 views per month
  • Converting at 1%
  • So 50 New signups
  • ARPU -> $20
  • $1000 new MRR added every month
More details and discussion in this tweet.

Say No

Realize this last weekend when I was losing my precious time doing something because of an external request -
Every time you say yes to an external request.
You're saying no to an internal request.
Do that enough times and you'll start to feel jaded, lost frustrated.
Burn out isn't about doing too much.
It's about not having control over what you do.
Take control.
Say No.
More in this tweet.

From the vault -

3 random post from the Superframeworks archives -

Useful links you don't want to miss -

Last week’s top link -

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Eternally Curious. Writing, Learning, Building in Public. Writing about Ideas + Inspiration + Insights for creators, solopreneurs and indie hackers | Simple tips and frameworks to help you build a sustainable solo business

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