Hello ! Who are you and what are you working on?
I'm Gautham Santhosh, a programmer, designer and Nomad.
I'm 23 years old. 💛
I am currently a final year student at Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad.
I am originally from Mannanam, Kottayam, Kerala, India. 🇮🇳
I love building new things and helping others build things. I have launched around 5 products till now.
I had built
Machine Learning Jobs List - a machine learning jobs portal
Karma - A new page extension to track habits
Anna Assistant- a virtual assistant for web browsers
Pelican Facebook - a Facebook experience minimal and focused optimizing extension.
My focus is on building more products at the moment, to test out which one sticks. Hence i am focusing a lot on making more. You can see all the products I made here
What motivated you to get started with? How did you come up with the idea?
I couldn't find a job in machine learning anywhere, i had campus placements but all the companies were traditional software and i wanted to be machine learning engineer. So i ended up visiting multiple sites to search for jobs.
So i wanted to have a place where people can just go and find all the machine learning jobs from all over the internet.
Can you tell us the story of your business from idea to where you are now?
I started by building a normal job board without taking posts form other boards. But then I later realized this is was a chicken and egg problem, as no one was posting since there are no visitors and no one wants to visit since there are no jobs.
So i started automating the job posts from other boards like stack overflow, GitHub etc. But in between i had to do school and had taken a break for the past 6 months.
But then one fine day, i started realizing I am getting customers now. Now I am back on the idea and trying to build it. I am trying to build better features, and launch it soon, but its not ready for version 2 yet.
What has been your biggest failure or struggle?
I launched too early for version 1. It was buggy, had unnecessary features and had not focused on things that matter a lot to customers. Hence after the initial traction, i couldn't retain any customers.
Like for example i made this login system for posting jobs, i took me a long time to understand that its not needed. I just wanted people to post and i can review it and add the post. On boarding is a major deal, i think as an engineer i didn't think much of UI/UX before. But now i am more focused on getting the best user experience.
And what has been your biggest achievement or success?
There is nothing better than getting your first customer by Indie making.
It feels much different than working for someone or winning a prize. When you add value to someone life and they want to pay you for it, is priceless. It is one of the best things that happens.
You can read more about it here
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
The mailing list works. It helps growing more customers everyday.
Describe the process of launching the business.
ML Jobs List has not been launched properly yet. But i had launched some products very successfully. I had made 3 top 5 products in Product Hunt in the past.
First you need to launch somewhere to validate the idea, i prefer Hacker News or subreddit.
Then the next obvious choice is product hunt. To launch in Product Hunt, what you need is make people interact as soon as possible.
- Make your logo a gif
- Make sure your tagline or caption is very easy
- Before launching making sure, the communities know you are launching. You can join communities like wip or makerlog. As they help a lot in figuring out if your product is actually worth it.
- Adding a bit of different helps, sometimes. I haven't used it much, but it is very powerful.
When i launched karma - A new page chrome extension. I added this feature to pay to delete habits.
What’s your business model, and how have you grown your revenue?
Two tiers of job posts
Paid and Free.
Paid ones get more reach. I have an automated pipeline that ensures they get more reach. By posting on reddit and twitter.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced and obstacles you’ve overcome? What are your goals for the future?
I need to automate for job boards. I don't want people to search everywhere. It should be like google. One place to go for machine learning jobs.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
I am still in college and going to pass out soon. I think future is mostly working on something that has a large impact.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
Kill features, if no one is using. Your code is not as important as people using it.
It was hard for me. Since i had to logically make the decisions to kill features that people are not using, and i think of the weekend i had spending making the CSS work for that feature. But now i have to say good bye.
Who’s your most inspirational CEO or founder?
Musk, Naval from Angel List, Ryan from Product Hunt and Tim Abbot from Zulip
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
What’s your advice for fellow aspiring entrepreneur who are just starting out?
If you can't launch it somewhere. You are probably not going to ever make it into something. And you are not going to make it after X months or vacation.