Apparently doing the same two things over and over seriously impacted my ability to come up with “outside the box” ideas, and what few I did come up with were either too boring or just too damn cliché (yes I considered doing a to-do list app 😅).
So, perhaps the solution was to not think too far outside the box, and instead stick to the same general category as all my previous work — that is, web design, and specifically the “do-it-yourself” variety found in site templates.
And that’s when it hit me: how about a site builder?
Not only would this be a fun challenge (and one that would encompass both the frontend and backend), it also felt like the next logical step after years of making increasingly sophisticated site templates that were kind of edging towards proto-site builder territory anyway.
It’s an interesting experience, especially since he mentions in an AMA on the site (IH) that he raised VC money when he was already profitable and it wasn’t for the money only, but mainly for the network and advice.
Guess you could say I was in denial about Carrd’s growth and what it was becoming. I still thought of it as a side project even as recently as a couple of years ago, but a combination of events in 2020 (COVID-19 and protests in the US being the most significant) crazy accelerated growth and made it very, very clear that was no longer the case and I needed to treat Carrd — and, more importantly, the users who relied on it every day — with the importance it deserved.
Which was all well and good, but WTF do I do next? Do I spin up “Carrd Inc”? Do I begin hiring? If so, who do I hire? What sort of business/legal shit do I need to know about given how much user content is being generated literally every second? Questions I was reasonably confident I could figure out in time, but as growth continued to accelerate — we went from adding hundreds of sites a day to literally thousands within the course of just a few months — I realized there was a good chance by the time I did figure it all out, it’d be too little too late.
And that’s where the idea of the raise came in. As something of a solo bootstrapper I’ve always been pretty insistent on doing everything myself so the thought of getting others involved (let alone taking their money) wasn’t exactly appealing especially since we were profitable and didn’t actually need the money. However, I knew from talking to others there was a lot more to VC than just being cut a check, and that the network, expertise, and connections I’d gain would go a long way to address the issues I was facing at that moment as well as better equip us for taking Carrd into the future.
… which I guess is what it comes down to: doing what’s best for the product — even if it does bruise your ego a bit :)
The AMA is here and it’s worth reading all of it.