Its been a three months since I've switched the business model of UnderlineMe over to Saas. And its been terrible.

Retention rates are low, almost 0 customer signups and a clear lack of vision.

Needless to say, I'm wrapping this up.

This is what went wrong:

  • Bad data from the beginning. This whole project was started from market analysis, not from user research. For the first six months, I was being fed wrong data. People who would be interested won't use it after a week. Even if I tried asking them, they would reply in the positive.
  • Lack of analytics. For a good 6 months, there were no analytics. I had to manually query the database to see how many notes were being created. When I switched analytics on, it was like turning on the lights. Except the room was ugly.
  • Didn't niche down on a target audience. Even right now, UnderlineMe is torn between casual users, 'knowledge workers' and students.

Other problems:

  • Taking people too seriously on Indiehackers. That place(and other such forums) are full of low quality spam. From now on, I'm blocking that site and well as other 'maker' forums.
  • Implementing feedback from bad customers. They aren't bad per se, but in the context of UnderlineMe, there were a few users who were very vocal about features they absolutely wanted. But they didn't use the app even after the features were implemented. Honestly, charging monthly from day 1 would've alleviated this problem.
  • Not fully understanding Saas. The holy grail, the money maker. This every entrepreneur's wet dream, to own a profitable saas. But a saas business is a very very different beast from any other business model. Not fully understanding the implications of this caused a lot of grief.


To build a profitable Saas business, it must fulfill 3 conditions:

  • Provide value(Snapfont did this)
  • Provide value at scale(get your marketing channels in order)
  • Provider value over time(UnderlineMe failed at this, in some ways)

Also, B2C is a joke. I needed a signinficant amount of traction to make a decent wage out of it. And selling subscriptions at $5/m is quite frankly, thankless. I'll be doing something in the B2B space next time.

So what happens to UnderlineMe?

Currently I'm writing code to turn it back into a serverless app. This means that new users don't need to signup and can save their notes locally. I'll still be keeping the server up. This is for me as well as for my existing customers. If it makes any money, it will be like a small passive income stream but I won't be pushing any major updates after this.

This isn't a bad thing. I learnt a lot about building dashboard, handling complex interactions vis browser extensions and building a Saas business from a technical perspective.

But it hurts knowing it won't be the unicorn I hoped it would be.

This was the time I went on a one day trip to Hotham. It was a very memorable(and dangerous!) trip.

This was back in 2018 - which was my worst year of my life. I used to work 6 days a week and all I did afterwards was gym and work on my side projects. One good thing that came out of it was that I got really buff by the end of the year. But anyways, I really worked my ass off that year and it paid off in 2019.

I'm particularly proud of this particular moment, when I managed to convince a friend 24 hours ago to skip work and go to hotham early morning. This was taken in the evening when I was really tired but I was proud that whatever I've done till this very moment, I did it myself. There was a odd sense of contentment that evening ride back.

I won't be posting about entrepreneurship anymore. I got what I needed - a sense of accountability.

Here's to hoping I can pull off a 2018 once again.

Fuck this year, what else can I say!

Alright, swings and misses:

  • This month was somewhat slow. Between contract work and weekend getaways, I didn't get much time for my projects.
  • Work is underway for a big update for UnderlineMe. I've also built a gameplan to keep me occupied till Feb for newer updates.
  • Snapfont will definitely get a new update in Feb too. There's this awesome widget I'm prototyping for Snapfont which will be used for UnderlineMe too.
  • Gym is back in full form! I'm hitting the gym almost everyday and am trying to get 2 sessions in each day. I'm also eating at surplus and have already gained +4 kgs. The goal isn't to simply get ripped again but to make up for lost time.

This month marks the last segment of my 2 year plan. More on this next month.

Anyhow, last year and half went in figuring what to work on. Aptly titled "Throwing stuff on the wall and hoping something sticks". Now I have a much better idea on what to work and I'm already working on my projects.

Next goal is get a sustainable income and establish a solid business out of my projects.

Alright big wins, small losses

  • Pulltherope had a big update this month. I've removed monetization and just focusing on growth. This will take some pressure off me as I can't be arsed to support it.
  • UnderlineMe had a really big update this month. I've added some important features which makes it at parity with other highlighter extensions.
  • Started gymming agin(yaa, everything's opening up) but damn I feel like shit with my bellyfat.

Its kinda funny how I feel with being fat. For the first time in my life, I'm consciously aware that I have a belly and it wobbles. Makes me feel really horrible. Once gyms are fully open from next week, its game on. I'm planning on hitting the gym at least twice each day with a 2 day break on the weekends. The goal is to not only get back to where I was, but to make up for lost time over the lockdowns.

Speaking of lockdowns, they are almost over. The Vic government is slowly(abeit terribly slowly) opening everything up again. At this stage, mostly everything is open but with weird restrictions in place. By the 1st week of December, literally everything should be open. Fingers crossed though.

Also, this month marks a important milestone for UnderlineMe. Until now I was playing defensively, with 0 focus on marketing and everything on product development. From now on, its time to go for crazy amounts of growth. Not that development has stopped. But I have to focus more on the marketing side of things.

Go big or go home.

  • Work on UnderlineMe is still underway. However, I'll need more time to fully complete the product developement arc. Possibly +2 more months.
  • I also started work on a big Pulltherope update. Why? Over the last few months I saw that my personal retention was the highest for this app. I've been using this app multiple times almost every single day. The short term goal is to make it a freemium product.

Lockdowns has eased now. Everything is slowing going back to normalcy. Covid is no move around these parts.

Unfortunately the past 9 months of these lockdowns have come at a very big personal cost.

  • I'm ridiculously unhealthy. Gyms are slowing opening but there are still limitations. I really need to hit the gym, twice a day at least.
  • I also need to get a lot of stuff out of my way. License, dental checkup, medical checkup, etc. Also get a haircut
  • Bank account is not looking too good, nor too bad. I'm taking all contract jobs I can land.

On the plus side:

  • February - made my first dollar
  • March - made $100
  • September - came very close to $1000
  • Launched 3 projects. All of them made me money in some way or another

If there's one thing that's ingrained in me, that is - stop wasting time. Stop wasting it on frivolous pursuits, projects or people.

There are 2 months till the end of this clusterfuck year. Here's to hoping for a speedy recovery.



Swings and misses:

  • Only made progress on UnderlineMe. Pushed a massive update + work has kicked off on the v2 version.
  • No updates for Snapfont. Guess I'll work on it in late October/early November.

Unfortunately lockdowns are in full swing and there's nothing else to report on.

Swings and misses

  • Work on Underlineme is going on full swing. I've accumulated ~30 users and have set a aggressive product update strategy
  • Snapfont is still lingering on. After most of the heavy lifting is finished on Underlineme, I'll focus on Snapfont. Most likely in late September/early October.
  • Hard to say this but Pulltherope is dead. I still use it but I don't have the time to market it nor push updates for it.

I don't like to write about this but I believe this post will have some historical significance.

Melbourne has nearly been under near constant lockdown state since the last six months. This is bad for multiple reasons but I'm not going to go into details.

But here's the kicker - we'll be in this till October, unless a miracle happens.

This is dumb for many reasons. The local government wants to completely eradicate the virus, but at what cost? The whole state is economically bleeding right now. Everything is closed. You can't go outdoors except for work. Heck, they even removed the basketball rings from the local park.

How does this affect me?

  • My health has gone from bad to worse to terrible. I've never been this fat in my entire life. Forget those bodybuilding goals, I need to get rid of this fat asap.
  • Since I don't have anything to do, I spend 8-10 hours working. Productive? Yes. Efficient? Hell no.

Times are tough, gotta ride it out.

Swings and misses

  • Snapfont Pro is finally in open beta and out now
  • Built UnderlineMe in 2 week's time with a big PH opening
  • Still no update for PullTheRope. I'll need to the cut the cord on this one now. Doesn't mean it was unsuccessful, I just need to find more time for it.

About UnderlineMe - if you've been following so far, I built something which didn't gain much traction and I abandoned it before it went live. Few weeks later I though I could salvage the tech and build a product out of it. UnderlineMe is that product.

The case study of building UnderlineMe is on reddit/r/entrepreneurridealong for future reference.

The best bit? - I've achieved product-market fit with this.

Now onto the bad stuff:

  • While local lockdowns were lessened in early July, they went up after about a week
  • To make matters worse, masks were made compulsory in mid July
  • Just when things couldn't get any worse, the lockdown was extended on August 1st and it because even stricter, with more drastic measures being enforced.

If there's any silver lining to this, if I get successful I can always say I started my biz during the Great Melbourne Lockdowns of 2020.

"All in, or nothing"


Swings and misses:

  • Snapfont has a big update(the Pro version) cooking in the background. No new updates otherwise.
  • Pulltherope still hasn't got any updates yet, although I'm very keen on releasing one soon.
  • Also, I'm officially a fatass now.

There was a expectation that the end of June will ease the restrictions in Melbourne. However that's not the case.

Things are still iffy here. Libraries are not fully open yet. Gyms kick you out after 50 minutes. A few pubs are open but you need to make reservations. Life sucks right now.

This also means I wasn't as productive as I wanted to be at this time. Here's to hoping everything opens up by July end.

In the middle of these updates you may be wondering why am I posting these things online? In the middle of '19 when I was done with my PR application and finally left behind a lot of cruft from my past work, I realized I had wasted a lot of time and started focusing on my business. Problem was, my online business(wpplugincheck) never really worked out, so I had to start from scratch. So I started writing this journal as a means of accountability.

The goal of this journal has always been to get me on my feet running. To force myself to push as hard as possible in as short time period as possible, I've constrained myself to 2 years of maintaining this journal. I'm nearing the end of my first year and it will be good to know what has worked and what hasn't in the next update.

What has been accomplished since the last 12 months?

Finding a good idea to work on. Right now its been Snapfont but who know if I need to change tracks in a few months time.

What's the goal for the next 1 year?

Stability. Get Snapfont(or something else) up and running and create a sustainable business around it.

What after that?

I don't know. The goal is to build a sustainable business. The rest I'll figure out on the way.