Hello ! Who are you and what are you working on?
Hi! I'm Miguel Piedrafita, a 17-year-old who loves to code and make projects in its free time. I'm working on Blogcast, a service that generates audio versions of your articles using AI.
What motivated you to get started with? How did you come up with the idea?
I was inspired by the audio revolution we're experiencing this days. I started to listen to some podcasts and tried an audiobook. After being totally amazing by the possibilities of audio, I started to think about ideas to build in this space. Frustrated by the quantity of good content I found everyday to read, I decided to build a tool that'd help publishers add audio versions of their articles.
Can you tell us the story of your business from idea to where you are now?
I wanted to do something different, so when I knew what I wanted to do, I set myself a goal of building the entire product in one week. Here's an article covering in detail my work on that first week: https://miguelpiedrafita.com/building-blogcast/
After I was done, I started reaching out to potential customers and promoting it via Twitter, and started getting some customers. With their feedback, I slowly tweaked and improved the product, until it was ready for launch.
What has been your biggest failure or struggle?
I'm awful at cold emailing, and I'm sure that has limited the number of customers I have right now.
And what has been your biggest achievement or success?
For me, getting people to care and pay me for a product I made is an amazing achievement that takes me one step further on my indie maker "career".
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
Adding sync functionalities so I can keep providing value without customers having to do any work has been a big step forward in retaining customers. I'm also really responsive via chat, so people can ask me any questions they might have.
Describe the process of launching the business.
I posted Blogcast on ProductHunt and tweeted out a link, then proceeded to share it on maker communities like Makerlog. I spent most of the launch day replying to tweets and PH comments.
Did you use Betalist or PH or other Startup Launching Platform for Launching ? How was that experience ?
Well, I've found it's a great way to get some exposure on launch day, but you have to prepare your launch, have some media assets and launch near 00:00 SF timezone if you want a chance
What’s your business model, and how have you grown your revenue?
Blogcast uses an usage-based billing model. Each article you convert to voice will cost you $0.5, and you can get a volume discount by bulk-ordering multiple articles.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced and obstacles you’ve overcome? What are your goals for the future?
If building the whole thing in only a week was the biggest challenge, acquiring customers was the second one, but I'm quite happy at how those two have turned out.
In the future, I'd love to continue running Blogcast and grow it so it provides me with some side income.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
I'm still going to school, and working on Blogcast and other projects on the side, but in the future I'd love to become a full-time maker.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
I've learned that if you want to succeed you need to care about your customers and help them as much as you can. If you don't care about your customers, they won't care about you or your product.
Who’s your most inspirational CEO or founder?
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
The Build Your SaaS and Megamaker podcasts have been really insightful and provided me with a lot of resources required for building & launching startups.
What’s your advice for fellow aspiring entrepreneur who are just starting out?
Build in the open. Make something small today and tweet about it, you might be surprised with the results!