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How I Built This In Public: Louis Pereira
Lessons from building AudioPen to 600+ paid users to clinching #1 on Product Hunt
Hello everyone, it’s KP. Welcome to the 8th edition of “How I Built This In Public“, a special series that features top founders and creators who’re boldly building their projects, startups and creative ventures in public. My intention is to ask them a consistent set of simple questions and distill insights and lessons so we can all learn from their experiments.
I myself am a happy paying customer of this innovative tool and have been admiring how Louis has been building this in public.
Without further ado, here’s the full interview. Enjoy :)
“I’m Louis Pereira! I live a dual life.
During the day, I work with my family to run a traditional, offline first business in Goa, India. At night, I build assets on the internet. ”
1. At what point in your startup journey did you begin your “build in public” journey and why?
I’ve been building stuff in public since early 2021. Each time I build a product, I find that the easiest way to get the word out is to just share its journey from idea to finished product and beyond.
2. What personal / business benefits do you believe you attracted from building in public?
Early users, early feedback, and early paying customers. Sometimes all three, sometimes just one. Always, useful.
3. In the early days, did you have any specific challenges or hesitations on whether you should build in public or not? If so — what were they and how did you overcome them?
As always, the biggest fear is that building in public will be like shouting into a void and hearing nothing back. I was fortunate to have a helpful community (via the On Deck NoCode fellowship that you hosted) that ensured that wasn’t the case. Today I try to recreate something similar for peope with Half Day Build.
4. Are there any myths or misconceptions about building in public from before that were debunked by your personal experience?
Building in public is marketing. And some people believe that marketing is more powerful than it actually is. Those people are marketers. And they are wrong.
You need to have a good product that keeps improving, otherwise you’ll be building something that no one wants (I’ve been there). Whether you do that in public or private will not matter.
The easiest way to overcome this is to build in public, but make sure you’re talking to people who are watching you build. It’s not enough to have the proverbial garage door open; You have to invite early users in. To tinker with your product. Risk free. Then, use their feedback to keep improving it.
And then if you fail, at least you made some friends.
5. What are your 3 tips for someone who’s just starting their “build in public” journey?
Find a community to build alongside.
Talk to your early users.
Be ready to fail (just assume that the first 5 things you build will suck, so get them out of the way).
6. In your experience, how did the 80-20 rule play out? What few vital activities of BIP do you believe have resulted in high leverage outcomes for you?
Something I discovered recently – videos of your product in action work really well. They’re an easy way for people to see how it works without having to go to your site or app.
7. How much time do you allocate for building in public on a daily/weekly basis?
I don’t really allocate time to building in public. I just focus on building, and when I think I’ve built something useful (or when I want input from early potential users) I just tweet about it. That’s the advantage of building in public. It lets you focus on building.
8. How did you stay motivated in the early days when generally you don’t see quick results or super high engagement as you begin building in public?
I was fortunate to have a bunch of really supportive friends. Although the stuff I was building was pretty terrible, they were very encouraging. With time both things improved – the products I was building, and the engagement I got on Twitter. I think the former propels the latter.
9. How did you handle copycats while you built in public?
I only just got my first copycat! Inititially, I was quite flattered. Then I got a little annoyed because it was obvious to me that he had blatantly ripped off stuff. After a few minutes I realised that there was no point worrying about it, since it was out of my control (I successfully channeled my inner Marcus Aurelius). I don’t really want to get copied again, but oh well, I guess it’s part of the game. I will just keep playing.
10. Who are 3 people you would recommend for others to follow in the BIP niche?
Other blog posts and Twitter threads where we can learn more about you/your story?
The home page on my personal website explains my story decently
That’s a wrap for now! Hope you enjoyed this piece.
Here are the rest of the interviews in this “How I Built This In Public“ series.
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