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Strapping Yourself to The Back of Someone

Strapping Yourself to The Back of Someone Else’s Rocket

The idea

  • It’s much easier to piggyback on someone else’s success than to start something from scratch.
  • Examples include building a plugin for a new piece of software, launching a browser extension that automates and simplifies workflows on a new platform, creating a course that explains how to effectively use a new technology, or building a user-friendly wrapper around a newly launched API.
  • As the rocket you’ve attached yourself to takes off, so does your business.
  • The earlier you strap yourself to the back of a fast-growing business, the higher your chance of success. When a software or platform is already huge, it’s much harder to stand out and make a name for yourself. But during early days founders are often very approachable and happy to support plugins, extensions, or really anything that enhances the ecosystem around their product.
  • There is of course platform risk. When the rocket crashes or simply decides to “shake you off”, you’re screwed. However, as many successful examples demonstrate the upside in many cases outweighs the downside.


1. Roam Research

It is a note-taking tool that supports bi-directional links. It quickly developed a cult-like following on Twitter and just recently raised $9M at a $200M valuation. 

Nat Eliason saw this opportunity. He created Roam Research course that brought $300K in sales.

2. Discord 

It started as a chatting app for gamers to communicate while they’re playing but is now used by all kinds of teams. According to news reports, they recently walked away from a $12 billion acquisition offer by Microsoft. 

MEE6 is, despite its strange name, one of the most popular Discord moderation bots. Given that MEE6 is installed on more than 3 million servers and is used by more than 12 million users, it seems obvious that they’re doing very well.

3. Apple Watch

It’s a personal device that is worn on the wrist and can be used to do a variety of tasks, such as making phone calls, reading and sending text messages, listening to music, playing games, and providing information about the wearer’s physical activity.

In Q4 2020 Apple sold around 100 watches per minute which boils down to 1.5 watches per second.

Nate Schmidt was able to grow a store selling third-party Apple Watch straps to $1.5M in sales in less than 12 months.

The WaterMinder app for the Apple Watch is netting $40k in revenue per month.

The Outcast podcast app for the Apple Watch is generating around $1k in monthly revenue (all from $0.99 one-time payments).

P.S. Don’t forget the platform risk while strapping yourself to the back of someone else’s rocket.


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  • Button for Google Calendar is an amazing chrome extension that allows you to overview your Google Calendar in one click. It also provides notifications and the ability to join meetings quickly. Try it and never miss your meetings again. It’s free and open-source. 
  • Uni of Threads is a free collection of 250+ curated Twitter threads to learn product management.
  • Stripe launched Stripe Tax to simplify tax compliance for startups and indie makers like you. It tells you when and where you need to collect tax and automates sales taxes, VAT, and GST on your Stripe transactions during checkout. Currently, it’s invite-only.
  • AppSumo grew to $85 million in sales. Now, they are looking for a new CEO. They are offering $100k to help them find their next CEO.
  • Moz Technical SEO & Site Audit Checklist is a brilliant checklist to do site audits. It includes details for crawling/indexing, structured data, content & more.
  • @Jason Patterson — every job ad I see for a Marketing Manager contains enough responsibilities for about three people.
  •  @Tina Donati — Don’t hire good marketers who are decent writers. Hire good writers who are decent marketers. Marketing’s easy to teach. Writing? Not so much.
  • @Mike Saas — Upgrade your user, not your product. Help your user become a better artist. Build artists, not pencils.

Worth Reading

1. Ten months ago, Blake Emal had 700 followers. Now he have 42K. Here are excellent 29 tips that helped him grow his Twitter account

2. A person first becomes rich on the inside through their mind and then later in the outside world. Here are 7 books you must read if you are a founder

3. The three self-sabotaging steps of every indie hacker

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