13. Two Customers!

Wednesday, September 29th, 2021

Holy crap! Paper Website is in business! So much happened yesterday. This might be a slightly longer post. I'll try to streamline my thoughts.

Paper Website now has 2 customers! Not 1: 2. It all started yesterday morning. My girlfriend kicked me out the flat so she could take pictures of it to rent it out. I went to a nearby café with my laptop and ordered a hot drink, then started doing some work.

I refreshed the analytics on Paper Website out of curiosity and noticed 30+ people had visited in the last 30 minutes, a lot higher than the usual 1 or 2. "That's weird", I thought. I checked the usual places: Twitter, Hacker News, Reddit, but it hadn't been posted anywhere. I had no idea where the traffic was coming from.

I then checked Stripe, and before my eyes I watched as that flat line I've come to know and loath shoot up. Someone had purchased a monthly plan! (I took a picture of the moment):

It felt awesome - I let out a small fist pump that hopefully no one else in the café saw. Traffic was still going up though, and now 100+ people had visited in the last 30 minutes. What on earth was happening? Google Analytics is slow, so information on traffic source is delayed.

My girlfriend was done taking pictures, so I downed the rest of my coffee and fast-walked home to my proper laptop setup. On the way, the heavens opened up with god-like rain.

Traffic was still coming in. I was not prepared for launch. There were still things to fix and tweak - so I meticulously just went through fine tuning a few things. However, every bit of code and every fix felt way harder because I had so much adrenaline pumping through me (and was tired from waking up at 6AM to play New World).

My brain was scattered, but I managed to get all systems in place and stabilized. During the panic, I got an email from my friend Craig, who told me where the traffic was coming from. I'd been featured as a tiny footnote in a newsletter called The Hustle. They have around 1.5 million subscribers - mad!

I went for a run, then came back and started cooking a roast dinner, when I got another alert that someone had purchased an annual plan at $72/year - there was now a very big spike on that stripe graph!

Mid boiling some potatoes, I opened my laptop. I'm doing a deal where I offer a free Moleskine notebook to users who buy an annual plan, so I literally sent my new customer an email asking for their name and address, then shipped them a Moleskine notebook. What a crazy evening.

That's it really. I had a beer to celebrate and called it an evening. There's still lots to figure out, these customers could cancel any second, but I'm so pleased Paper Website is up and running with some real customers now.

As my girlfriend said when I got that first sale:

Thanks for reading!