🏰 Everyday Empires: A One-Page Website Making 4 Figures a Month
Discover how Yifan launched a one-page website, turning an idea into a $1k/month venture in just 4 months
Welcome to the first issue of Everyday Empires, your weekly interview series with everyday founders. I’m thrilled to kick things off with Yifan Goh!
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I’m featuring Yifan in my first issue for a few reasons:
He tried several other ventures before finding traction (including dropshipping - twice!), highlighting the importance of being willing to fail.
He was unsure about his idea, but opted to let the market decide if it was worthwhile. It’s easy to sit on an idea and debate it. Yifan shows us the value in putting it out there.
He found a simple solution to begin testing his idea immediately, rather than after days, weeks, or months of building.
Today, after only launching 4.5 months ago and with minimal development, OurBabyAI is doing $1,000/month. While Yifan is already stoked about this, he doesn’t plan to stop there. His current target is $10,000/month, which would enable him to quit his day job and focus on building a multipreneur empire.
Now, let's get to the conversation (5 min read):
Yifan, can you tell us what OurBabyAI is, who it’s for, and what sparked the idea?
OurBabyAI is a baby photo generator that uses artificial intelligence to predict what your baby will look like. It's for couples who are curious to know how their child will look. The idea struck me randomly one day.
Can you share what your mindset was like before launching OurBabyAI? Were you considering other business ideas?
I had lots of self-doubt, if I'm being totally honest with you. I built the landing page in one day but hesitated to launch it because I thought the idea was stupid. I announced the launch on Twitter and all I got were crickets. It brought me down a bit, but didn't stop me from continuing. I had another startup idea to create the best time converter on the web, but didn't work on that in the end.
At what point did you feel confident that OurBabyAI was a promising idea worth pursuing? Was there a specific “aha” moment or sign that you were onto something?
I think that the sign of any idea worth pursuing is traction. After submitting my product to a few AI directories, organic traffic started to come in. Some of that traffic converted to sales and, when traffic went up, sales went up too. I also received helpful feedback from my customers and they were delighted to receive the photos. This is when I knew I was onto something and should invest more time into the project.
Can you outline the main steps you took to get OurBabyAI off the ground and the timeline from decision to launch or first customer?
April 1st: Idea struck me. The next day, I built the landing page and launched on a few AI directories to get traffic and see if there was interest.
Rest of April: First sale came in on April 11! I was beyond excited, and generated the photos manually for my customer. Made 9 sales for the month of April, and crossed $100 in total revenue. Sweet!
May: I can't generate the photos manually forever, I need a backend to do it for me automatically so that I can scale. So I wrote the first line of code and deployed my backend app to production. Got 18 sales for the month of May. Brought in $325 of revenue.
June: Crossed $1,000 in total revenue! It seemed like an unachievable goal at first but I did it omg.
Today: The startup is growing at a rate of 100% MoM on average and I'm hoping it will remain that way.
💡Note from Ken: Yifan manually generated the images before automating, recognizing that he should first confirm that customers wanted his product before investing too much time building. I like to think of this as “Human Heroics.” It’s a useful tactic to test ideas, enabling you to provide a seemingly automated solution to customers before investing the resources to build.
Have there been any key drivers of growth for OurBabyAI?
80% of my traffic actually comes from Search. Whenever there's a trend on TikTok related to my startup, people search for those keywords (e.g. baby ai generator) and I get spikes in traffic and sales! This is not reliable so I've been exploring other growth channels. I'm sure there's some word-of-mouth marketing too, but I can't measure that unfortunately.
What does a typical day look like for you at OurBabyAI?
I work full-time as a software engineer at a Series A startup, so I can only work on OurBabyAI as a side hustle during nights & weekends. A typical work session would be:
Making sure every order has been fulfilled.
Making sure every customer's enquiry has been answered.
Working on influencer marketing and content marketing. I'll reach out to influencers to see if we can work out a deal, and write blog posts to capture more search traffic.
How do you manage work-life balance?
It's tough to manage work-life balance if I'm being totally candid. I used to go for walks at the park and work out at the gym regularly previously but that time has been occupied by OurBabyAI now. I've gained a bit of weight because of that and I wish I could exercise like before!
How do you envision success, and what significant milestones are on the horizon?
OurBabyAI is already a success as long as the project remains profitable, but it's a bigger success if it can replace my full-time income. When that time comes, I'll quit my full-time job and work on many other new startups. The next milestone I'm gunning for is $10,000 in total revenue and I think I'm on track to reach it! I'm working really hard on marketing because I believe that I just need one viral video on social media to bring in 6 figures.
Would you be comfortable sharing any key financial indicators or customer metrics that underscore OurBabyAI’s performance?
OurBabyAI has around 90% profit margins, with fixed costs only (hosting & email etc.) and close to $0 variable costs (per unit sold), so I'm really happy with that! I have yet to send out surveys to my customers to know my Net Promoter Score and Product-Market Fit metrics but it should be soon.
💡Note from Ken: Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a common way to measure customer satisfaction with your product, but note that its value is fairly hotly debated. Measuring customer satisfaction is paramount, but don’t overthink it. As mentioned earlier, Yifan receives positive feedback from customers after they receive their images, which is a great indicator he’s onto something.
What’s the best piece of advice you could give to aspiring entrepreneurs? And where should my readers go to learn more about OurBabyAI or connect with you?
Never assume anything, and always test everything. If you think your startup idea is stupid, it probably isn't. Even if you fail, please don't give up. Pick yourself up and take another shot again. Because sometimes in life, one shot that hits is all you need. Connect with me on X/Twitter at https://twitter.com/imgyf! I'm pretty active there. 😀
💡Note from Ken: I’ve spoken with hundreds of everyday founders throughout my career and a common thread is the willingness to test an idea, to fail, and to try again.
That’s a wrap
If you take anything away from Yifan’s journey, remember:
He’s not afraid to fail
He took action and let the market decide if his idea was any good, rather than sitting on it and debating it
He initially used human heroics to power the service so he could be sure people would pay for his product before he spent time building it
A big thank you to Yifan for sharing his journey! I’ve genuinely enjoyed getting to know Yifan through this conversation and am excited to share his story with you. Follow him on X/Twitter at imgyf – he's a great follow for anyone interested in building a digital product or indie hacking. Plus, he’s super friendly and a big supporter of what we’re building here at Everyday Empires.
Since our chat over the summer, Yifan has also launched onepagesaas.com, a community dedicated to helping people build one-page SaaS businesses, and launchbuff.com, a database of online directories to post your startup and get traffic early-on. I find it fascinating that both of these subsequent ideas were clearly influenced by problems he solved while launching OurBabyAI.
Lastly, Yifan has also recently added the ability to receive AI-generated photos from 4D ultrascan images, which sounds like a fun idea. If you haven’t already, take a peek at OurBabyAI.
Questions or feedback?
If you know someone (or are someone!) whose journey could encourage others to launch a venture, please let me know. I’m always on the lookout for relatable and inspiring stories.
Until next week,
Thanks for reading! This newsletter comes out once a week—and you can support me by subscribing, forwarding to a friend, or even just clicking the “like” button below. 🏼