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Jun 2022 updates, $100K ARR, reflections, and a screenshot app!

Tony Dinh
Tony Dinh
Hello everyone 👋
It’s Tony again with another monthly update! 😄

Phu Yen Province, Vietnam
Phu Yen Province, Vietnam
Welcome 313 new subscribers since my last issue!
👋 If you are new here: My name is Tony Dinh. This is a monthly newsletter of my indie startup journey. I try to document everything that happened in the last month and share my insights and knowledge as much as I can.
I’ve been doing this for almost a year! You can see all the previous issues here. Cheers!
In June 2022, I have 2 updates I want to share:
  1. Black Magic has reached $100K ARR.
  2. I added another product to my portfolio! 😄
Let’s go!
📈 $100K ARR, what now?
It has only been ~9 months since I quit my job.
I could never imagine building and growing a product to $100K ARR within 9 months, but here we go!
Passed that magical number $8,333 MRR :)
Passed that magical number $8,333 MRR :)
This is a big milestone. The next one is $10K MRR.
Here are a few things I’m thinking of doing differently from now on.
But first, some reflections.
What was the most significant growth factor?
At the time I reached $2K MRR, I wrote a detailed post about how it happened.
At the heart of it, Black Magic is a useful and unique product. If it was just another boring Twitter SaaS idea, I don’t think it would do as good.
And then, the execution also matters. How I did it:
  • First, build a cool free product and get free users.
  • Build an audience & build in public.
  • Pivot to a useful paid product, convert the free users and your audience.
In the case of Black Magic, building a Twitter product while having an audience on Twitter is extremely useful, and a lot of things become easier.
If you haven’t already, you can read the post to see the exact details. All of the points are still relevant.
$322 → $2K MRR in 60 days by building in public | Revue
Things I’m thinking of doing differently from now on
I started to see that my time spent on operation tasks has started to take up quite a lot. And I have less time for innovating.
“Operation tasks” include checking emails, answering questions, fixing bugs, implementing “boring but necessary” features, etc.
I like to do “innovative tasks”, like writing new content (tweets, this newsletter), building new exciting features, and experimenting with other aspects of the products.
Operation tasks are necessary for a functioning business. But it’s the innovative tasks that make the business different and give it the edge to compete in the market.
I also think I’m somewhat good at innovative tasks, and I’m more productive when doing them.
In the previous newsletter issue, I shared that I started working with a freelancer. Things are working out quite well! I’ll start to onboard them to work on some parts of Black Magic.
My mindset has started to shift around hiring:
  • I’m no longer trying as hard to avoid hiring, but I’ll do it very slowly and carefully.
  • The goal is to enable me to have more innovating time and less operating time.
  • Automate everything that can possibly be automated.
Reinvesting the revenue
As I shared on Twitter, I’m a cheap ass, and I never reinvest any of the revenue I have got so far 😂
Well, at least I pay for servers and domains and other costs of the absolute essentials things to run the products 😬
But other than that, I didn’t reinvest much.
Why?
I’m scared.
This is the first time I have built and run a business, the first time seeing it gain paying customers and reach profitability, and the first time having a business bank account with real $$$ in it.
So I just want to save it for a rainy day. Who knows 😂
I guess I still have that imposter feeling, and one day all of this will disappear.
But now, since I have reached $100K ARR, I feel more confident.
Even if all of my products go to zero, which is unlikely, I will still have enough to survive for a loooong time. That feels great 💪
So, a few other things have changed in my mindset:
  • I’ll start to reinvest more, gradually.
  • After I reach $10K MRR, I’ll reinvest all the exceeding revenue back into the product, like hiring, buying tools, marketing, etc. Hopefully, I’ll make good decisions on the investments. 😂
📸 Building a screenshot app in 2022. What? 😂
In June, I released a beta version of my latest product: Xnapper.
It has become my 3rd major product after DevUtils and Black Magic.
I opened it up for early-bird purchase and sold $7,802 worth of licenses.
And it’s a screenshot app, yeah!
Revenue from Xnapper so far
Revenue from Xnapper so far
I could have never predicted that I will build a screenshot app in 2022.
There are already so many screenshots apps out there, why bother to build a new one?
Story time…
If you know me, you know I’m serious about my screenshots on social media.
(I wrote an entire thread on how to take good screenshots)
Most of my screenshots on Twitter/LinkedIn look like this:
Tony Dinh 🎯
4 new license renewals after sending the latest newsletter issue! 🥳

I think the new features in this release are very attractive! https://t.co/KbcVAVXxS3 https://t.co/npAZrqF9y8
Since I started doing this, people keep asking about it again and again…
Faraaz Ahmad
@tdinh_me bit off topic but how do you create these images from the screenshots?
Dashiell Bark-Huss
@tdinh_me Awesome growth and analysis Tony! How do you do these really clean screenshots you always share?
Maurício Pradella ⚡️
@tdinh_me Hey Tony, what do you use to create these fancy snapshots like this one?
I could probably find a ton more if I spent the time. But you get the idea.
The trick: there was no trick.
Here is how I made these screenshots:
  • Take a screenshot (previously used the CleanShot app)
  • Put it on top of my desktop
  • Take another screenshot 🤷
It took me ~5 seconds every time, and people seem to like it a lot.
I get asked about it too much I have a dedicated page on my notion notes (the page has now been replaced with “I use Xnapper” 😂)
Every time someone asks me about the screenshot, I just share the link.
Why I decided to build the app
One day, after another person asked about the screenshot, I decided to build an app.
(I said this in the Small Bets Discord community)
(I said this in the Small Bets Discord community)
Why build an app instead of keeping sending people the link?
Well, there are a few problems with the way I was doing those screenshots:
  1. It takes ~5 seconds. I can reduce it to 1 second.
  2. There are similar web apps but zero native macOS apps.
  3. I like native macOS apps.
Besides reducing the time to 1 second, I also have many ideas to improve the overall experience to create a good screenshot, ready to share on social media.
Tony Dinh 🎯
Xnapper on mobile! 👀

Make your screenshots beautiful! https://t.co/BYxrMHa3e8
Many more crazy ideas in my mind waiting to be executed too.
In short, it’s the perfect screenshot app for content creators.
Or at least it is for me 😂
I don’t think there is anything like this in the market (yet!)
That’s right. I think I’m the first one to conquer this niche:
“Native screenshot apps focused on social media creators/influencers, to make beautiful screenshots, but macOS only.” – niche enough 😂
Sure, you can find tons of existing apps to make beautiful screenshots, but none of them is a screenshot app (i.e. can’t take screenshots with a keyboard shortcut).
They are more like photo editors. Very different.
In fact, I’ll share it with you now. Here are some alternatives to Xnapper:
They have mostly similar features. So if you are not on macOS and want something similar to Xnapper, check out the above 😄
Being first in the niche and having an existing audience on Twitter, I think it could be a good chance that Xnapper will be big!
Hopefully!
You can try Xnapper now
As of now, you can use Xnapper for free.
Download it here: https://xnapper.com
When it’s officially released, the license will cost $29 per macOS device.
There is a 30% early bird discount if you purchase today, but totally optional.
If you have read this far, you can download the iOS app here (secret link!).
Product Hunt launch soon! 🥳
👀 Other some small updates
👋 Aaaand that's all for today!
Thank you for all the support and for following my journey!
I hope this issue has been helpful to you.
Please consider sharing this on your Twitter for reach 🙏
See you all again next month! 😊
- Tony
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Tony Dinh
Tony Dinh @tdinh_me

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