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CSS Scan / Developer Tools / Brazil / $ 5000 MRR

How I made $5K MRR from a CSS inspection Tool - Story of CSS Scan

Hello ! Who are you and what are you working on?

Hi! I'm Guilherme Rizzo and I'm currently working on CSS Scan, CSS Scan Pro, and toast.log. CSS Scan is a browser extension that lets you check the CSS of any element you hover over, instantly. And you can copy the CSS code of any element on the internet with a single click.

What motivated you to get started with? How did you come up with the idea of CSS Scan?

After failing many times to build a "silicon valley"-ish startup, and after watching Pieter Level's video, I wanted to create and grow a bootstrap business. I came up with the idea because I was always interested in knowing the border-radius of a website I like, or a box-shadow, the font-family, etc. So, inspired by the extension WhatFont? I created CSS Scan. It took me 50 hours, here's the speed video:

Can you tell us the story of your business from idea to where you are now?

So, I reached out to some Brazilian Developers Facebook groups, asking if they would pay $1 for this extension, and the result was good enough, so I started coding. After 50 hours of work, which took like maybe a month, I launched it on Product Hunt and it was a success (compared to my previous launches). In the beginning, the pricing model was Pay What You Want (but with a minimum of $1.99). After seeing some people paying $5, $10, $25, I slowly raised the price. Until one day it was already $10, so I made it a fixed pricing. Then I added packages of licenses (2 licenses, 5 licenses, 10 licenses) and kept raising the price. Today, the extension has more than 7,000 users from 116 different countries.

What has been your biggest failure or struggle?

My biggest struggle was thinking too much about product. I'm now focusing more on marketing, sales and overall business strategy.

How many hours a day do you work on average & can you describe/outline your typical day?

Depends on the month, some are busier. I usually work from 1 to 5 hours per day. But sometimes I don't work. There's some freedom - although I'm hoping to get even more with a recurring pricing model such as with CSS Scan Pro.

Every day I pick my notebook, write down what I need to do, and tick the boxes throughout the day. I post on Twitter every day - except Sundays. Sunday I turn off all my phones and computers and try my best to don't use internet or work at all.

I usually work at coffee shops, but I can also work from home.

I used to travel a lot in 2019, but now I'm staying in Taiwan and just traveling sometimes (inside the country).

And what has been your biggest achievement or success?

I think it would be having 3 good bootstrapped business running at the same time: CSS Scan, CSS Scan Pro, and toast.log. It's very nice.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Good product, building an audience, constant launches/updates, learning business strategies and hacks.

Describe the process of launching the business.

The first launch of CSS Scan was very simple, I just posted on Product Hunt. The 50 hours video was nice though. Now I always try to warm up and get people ready through Twitter before I launch something (saying like, hey, I'll launch X product on X date), and tweeting like 2 weeks before, then 1 week, then 3 days, then 24 hours, etc.

Did you use Betalist or PH or other Startup Launching Platform for Launching ? How was that experience ?

Yes, I love Product Hunt and Betalist.

What’s your business model, and how have you grown your revenue?

CSS Scan and toast.log: One-time payment.

CSS Scan Pro: Subscription

Do you have a model to get product feedback? What’s your favorite way to get product feedback? Did product feedback help you get the results you hoped for ?

There's a feedback button on CSS Scan and CSS Scan Pro. I also add a support email on the receipts.



What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

Think and Grow Rich

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind

HOOKED

TRACTION

Obviously Awesome

Ogilvy on Advertising

The MOM test

What’s your advice for fellow aspiring entrepreneur who are just starting out?

Focus on the business side.

Are you a nomad?

I used to be, I think. But now since the coronavirus I’ve been in Taiwan for almost a year, and I’m probably gonna stay one more year here. I do travel quite often inside Taiwan, between Kaohsiung - Kenting - Taipei - Changhua. I love this country.

How are you finding money for your nomading life?

With my business: CSS Scan, CSS Scan Pro, and toast.log. This is my full-time work since the beginning.

What’s your favorite country you stayed at?

Thailand and Indonesia. Both are beautiful countries that are easy to live and the cost of living is really cheap. Most beautiful country I’ve been so far is Slovenia.

What’s your advice to people who would like to become nomad?

I recommend starting in an easy city like Chiang Mai, it’s gonna be fun and cheap. Lots of people can understand or speak English too. I’d also recommend starting a business so you have more freedom.

About The Author : Binu Mathew

Binu Mathew is the CEO of itmarkerz technologies. It has been catering to the custom software needs of SMEs in India and abroad since March 2011. Binu started his programming and freelance carrier at the age of 17. over around 13 years of experience in startups, startup visas around the globe, and Blogging. You can reach him on Twitter or LinkedIn