Samy Dindane, founder of Hypefury
As a part of our interview series, here is our talk with Samy Dindane (@samydindane), founder of Hypefury – Twitter scheduler tool.
I’ve first heard about Hypefury in winter 2020, because of @WellPaidGeek tweets and from that time the tool caught my attention. At the moment Hypefury crossed $7K in MRR and growing!
How Hypefury started?
Andrii: So when did you start Hypefury?
Samy: I started in August. Last August.
Andrii: And there’s already a team, right? So how many people are on the team?
Samy:That’s a very good question. So there’s me, there’s my partner, Yannick, who is the marketing guy, the growth guy. So now we have one person, for customer assistance. She’s going to be on probation for a few weeks.
Samy: Then I have two interns. That’s pretty much it. But then we will work from time to time with contractors. For example, I worked with a contractor for the new design. I worked with another one for the new design of Hypefury. So, yeah. A very small team. Me, Yannick, and the new person.
Andrii: Are you based distantly or in an accelerator or something in Paris?
Samy: No, we’re all 100 percent remote. 100 percent bootstrapped. No investors, money. No accelerator. No nothing. I applied… It wasn’t necessary to start at an incubator or some stuff like that. I applied and then they asked me to do a demo of Hypefury and I was like, “Come on. F*ck it. Who cares?” So I just did my thing and hopefully we won’t need investor’s money. We’re growing decently, like 10-15 percent and I think we could do much better than that in the next few months. So hopefully we’ll have more cash to hire people, hire developers. That’s it. It’s a long answer.
Andrii: Pretty cool. So it’s a profitable business? Or not?
Samy: How do you define profitable? We can pay ourselves?
Samy: No, no, no, no. We’re making five thousand dollars a month and we reinvest everything. We have a variety of costs. We have contractor costs. I pay my interns. I don’t like to make people work for free so I pay them. Now we have a person joining us that’s going to take a big part of our revenue so we’re not profitable at all. I could be. If Hypefury was still a single man project… If it was only me right now, yeah, it could be profitable. But for me, I’d rather reinvest all the money. So we’re making 5k. I mean, I hope we’ll be at 100k. So we’re still very far from where I see Hypefury in the future.
5k MRR milestone
Andrii: So that’s pretty cool. Congrats on 5k because I think it’s a big milestone already for a SaaS business and stuff.
Samy: Yeah, it’s crazy. Actually, every number is a milestone. 1k is a milestone. First customer is a milestone. 5k, 10k. We should be happy and grateful and proud.
Andrii: I was looking and some people spend years just to bootstrap to 1k and then they project, “OK, to 1k it took me one year and it should take me six months to 5k.” They have these projections. So you said you’re growing 10-15 percent, right, per month?
Samy: What? Sorry.
Andrii: So you told me you are growing like 10-15 percent per month, right?
Andrii: Pretty cool. So maybe you can tell, who is your biggest customer right now?
Samy: We don’t really have biggest customers. We’re pretty much B2C. Our plans are between $14 and $39 a month so we don’t have big customers or big companies. We dabbled with a growth program where it’s an agency-like model where we help people one-on-one grow their brands by their Tweets. Stuff like that. That’s one of the reasons our revenue grew that much. It takes a lot of work and we are probably going to branch out from that. With that program we could have high-paying clients, people who pay three, five, eight hundred dollars a month for something really custom.
What about competitors?
Andrii: What do you think about your competitors like Hootsuite, or Buffer, or all those guys? Or you don’t care and just focus on your product?
Samy: Yeah. That’s pretty much that. We don’t care because we don’t… In the beginning my competitor was Buffer. But then I branched out to entrepreneur brands and online entrepreneurs and creators. That’s not Buffer’s business. They don’t help creators. They just help general people. We want to be the growth tool for these creators, for people who sell stuff online, who have a Gumroad shop, who have a course, who make YouTube videos. So I don’t think at all that Buffer is our competitor or Hootsuite. Hootsuite no way. Just open Hootsuite and open Hypefury and take a look at the difference. Hootsuite is more for social medial agencies. For people who manage a lot of accounts, who manage a lot of social media and stuff like that. So I don’t think we are really competitors.
Andrii: That’s true. In my experience, how did I find out about Hypefury, I’m just following this guy from England. He’s called WellPaidGeek on Twitter.
Samy: Ah, OK, WellPaidGeek. Yeah, yeah. He’s used it for a long time.
Andrii: He was promoting your product. I was like, “What is this thing, Hypefury?” And then I just tried it.
Origin of Hypefury name
Andrii: Yeah, I think it’s kind of a cool name. Why did you choose this?
Samy: It was a random name. I don’t even remember when I chose it. I think it’s when I created the GitHub project. I think in GitHub when you create a new project, they suggest a random name to you. So I used help from the random name and I think help from my friends. I’m not 100 percent sure but it was really a random and spontaneous thing. I didn’t think about very long and the thing is, later on, before I released it, I was like, “Oh, I need to change the name, Hypefury.” Maybe it was too childish and I searched and I searched. I thought and thought and was like, ok.
Hypefury tech stack
Samy: Tech stack is a pretty good question because I created Hypefury to learn tech stack. I learned tech stack to make Hypefury. So Hypefury was a project for me to learn serverless technology. So Google Firebase. Everything hosted elsewhere, not managing any infrastructure or anything. So I use Firebase. So Firebase, what is it? It’s basically a whole system for having storage, a reactive database. That’s pretty cool. What else? Authentication, hosting. You know, all that jazz. That’s Firebase.
Andrii: Do you have computer science degree or not?
Samy: Yeah, I do have a computer science degree. I don’t think a computer science degree is important. I pretty much think university is a rip-off, but I think computer science curriculum and background is important. I don’t think a degree is important. I think every developer should have computer science knowledge like not just like, “Oh, how do I do install or how do I change this file so I can vertically align?” I think every developer should already have basics of computer science.
What about Hypefury marketing?
Andrii: What about marketing? So your co-founder (Yannick) is responsible for the growth part? Did you try some ads or it just grew organically?
Samy: I never tried ads. So there’s that. I don’t know how to do ads. I tried to do ads for other projects. It was a big failure. So, yeah, just some context. Yannick joined me in the end of January, the start of February, you know, so from August to the end of January, I was alone, so I had to grow it alone. What did I do? What do I do? I did a lot of things that don’t scale. I did a lot of reaching out to people from DMs.
I did a lot of demos to people. I’ve given one hour, one hour and a half demos to people who never joined. What else did I do? I was already liking the Twitter sphere, if you wish, the Twitter money sphere because I had a side hustle which was fitness coaching, so I wrote an ebook about how to train at the gym if you’re a beginner. I tried to sell it. I was just really experimenting. I wasn’t trying to make a lot of money out of it because I make a different living doing consulting. So I already knew people were in that sphere, like who sold ebooks, sold courses, who made money off Twitter.
So I tried to leverage my network, ask for introductions. This is very powerful. Ask. If you have 10 users, ask each one of these users, “Hey, introduce me to one or two people you think would benefit from my product.” Don’t send a generic email or a mass email. Ask them straight. And if they bring in one person and you ask that person to bring another person, imagine how you can grow. That’s crazy. That’s pretty cool. Yeah, to go over it again. Do a lot of things that don’t scale. Reach out to people by DMs or emails or whatever. I was on Twitter, so it was obviously DMs. Ask for introductions. I have an affiliate program. It’s cool when you tell people, “Hey, tell your friends about me,” but it’s even cooler to tell them, “Hey, bring your friend and I’ll give you 25 percent.”
Andrii: Yeah. I think you’re…
Samy: I actually… Sorry. Excuse me. I interrupted you this time. I made a YouTube video about this so you can go watch it if you really want more content for your newsletter. You can go watch it.
Why Twitter is important for creators and entrepreneurs?
Andrii: Yeah, OK, you have a YouTube channel. So I just wanted to ask. Why did you specifically focus on Twitter, this social? Because there is also Facebook, you can do Instagram.
Samy: Because this is what I know. This is what the idea was about. Oh, I didn’t tell you why I created Hypefury. OK. So there’s a lot of why. I told you, one of the whys was to learn tech stack. Back then I wanted to learn tech stack but I didn’t have a project. So then I realized that people posted threads on Twitter but there was no thread scheduler ever. So I asked around. You can find the tweet. I can send it to you if you want to put it in your newsletter. It’s on our website: Hypefury.com/about.
So I asked is there a need for a thread scheduler? And people were like, “I don’t know. Not that I’ve heard of.” I was like, “OK, I’m going to do that one.” So I I went and did it. It took three or four days to have a really ugly but working MVP. I was actually pretty surprised because I was working in not a big company, but decently big so I’m not used to creating a small project like that. But in three days I set everything up and I had enough to schedule a thread. So that’s how the idea came to life. At this point, I didn’t know if my project was profitable or not. If I could sell it or not, obviously. I wasn’t even trying to sell it.
But I made something I’m proud of and I wanted to share it with the world. So I said, “Hey, guys, I’m proud to show you. You can see that tool again. I’m proud to show you a tool. I did over the last few days. It allows you to schedule threads.” I started showing it to my friends and acquaintances of the Twitter money side of Twitter. They were like, “Oh, add this button here. Add this here. It would be cool to have this. It would be cool to have that.”
That’s how the project started. And I think it’s a very good lesson for your readers. Basically you don’t know anything. That’s one of the most important things. You don’t know nothing. Your user knows. Your users know. You think you’re going to do this and that and you don’t. Because if you go back to my Tweet about HypeFury that I’m proud to present to you, I said that HypeFury is going to duplicate and of course, I wasn’t trying to cheat twitter terms of service. Because my idea back then was to use some linguistics algorithm to generate variations of tweets. But that idea is completely crap because no one asked for it so far. So do something, show it to people, and see what they’re going to tell you.
How to test a product idea?
Andrii: That’s really good advice because for me, it’s also important. How would you test the idea before even developing an MVP? So how to very early spot on know what could be the next channel or something like that? What would be the ways for you to test the idea even before having the product? So for example, if you have to build everything from the beginning, so you can just, let’s say, build the webpage in weeks or something like that. Have a form and then just ask people what would they like to solve or something?
Samy: So I don’t know about that. I’m not like these startup experts to tell people what they should do in a different situation than mine but what you just said makes sense and a lot of people did it. So just create a landing page and see what’s up and gather people’s email. So if someone decides to give you their email it means that they’re at least slightly interested in your idea.
Then when you can get emails, you can reach out to them one by one and say, hey, you know, just ask them questions, you know? So I think that’s a good one. But it’s all about the initial idea and taking action. So there isn’t a magic way. I think if I had to give advice I would say keep your eyes open and your ears open to what could be improved. I’ve seen that. Like I told you, my goal was not to make Hypefury in the first place. It was to learn a tech project. But I think there was still a little part of me that was like, “Let’s do something that people could use.”
Hypefury in the future
Andrii: OK, cool. So what is your plan in the future, to continue slowly growing revenue or maybe try to raise some angel round or investment?
Samy: No, no, no, no. That doesn’t sound great to me at all. I hope I won’t have to do that. I can’t say never. If some investor comes tomorrow and tells me I’m going to get a small part of your company and give you a sh*t ton of money, I might say yes. I don’t know. Never say never. But it’s not something that sounds sexy to me. You know, there are people who think… Recently I started playing Call of Duty II with some friends and there was a guy and I told him I had a startup and he was like, “Oh, when are you’re going to raise money?
Are we going to have a party or something like that?” I was like, man, it really doesn’t sound sexy to me, raising money. There are people who think you need investors and money and stuff like that. I’m totally not in that mindset. Right now I’m working with a developer. He’s a contractor. He actually has his own startup. He loves contracting on the side. He’s telling me that he raised money and obviously the investors are trying to tell him what to do. They’re literally telling them just change business. Just completely pivot and try something else that’s not hit by corona. I’m like, “Yeah, that sounds like a nightmare situation.” You know what I mean?
Samy Dindane on Entrepreneurship
Samy: So I don’t want to owe anything to anyone. The only people I want to owe something to are my customers who pay me. I have pretty good working conditions. I work a lot and have kind of a messy schedule but I do whatever I want. I work on whatever I want. I figure out what’s important. I can be late if I want to. I don’t care. I’m just my boss. I’m really my boss. That’s awesome. That’s the goal. The goal of this whole entrepreneur journey is just to have more freedom. It’s not money. It’s money because money brings you freedom. But yeah, the goal is just freedom and being able to do what you want, however you want it.
Andrii: It’s kind of just like an instrument. Money is just an instrument.
Samy: Yeah, money is just an instrument. You can’t do much without money so money is important. Money is made to solve problems. You can’t eat money. You can’t write money. You can’t travel money, you know? So it’s just an instrument.
Andrii: OK. So I think that’s about it. I don’t know if you want to add anything.
Samy: What can I add, man? Just f*cking do it. That’s what I can say. Just ride it. Just f*cking do it. If it doesn’t work, you’re going to have learned tons of things. If Hypefury dies tomorrow for whatever reason, I learned a crazy amount of knowledge and I can just apply it in my next venture. So just f*cking do it.
Andrii: It sounds inspirational…
Samy: I didn’t expect Hypefury to be where it is today at all. If you would have told me in August that I’d be here, I would have a partner, I would have two interns, I would hire a person to do customer support, I would hire contractors, I would have 250 people giving me money every month, I would have hardly believed it. But the thing is I think Hypefury is a success. We’re not making millions, but we’ve managed to do something. So what I wanted to say is that success arrives quicker than you think. It just happens. It’s not overnight. It’s step by step, milestone by milestone and then you get there.
Andrii: It’s a constant hustle…
Samy: It’s a constant hustle, yeah. It’s really a constant hustle. The thing is, you don’t really have the choice because you like it. Like yesterday I worked the whole night because I wanted to finish some stuff and I just couldn’t stop. I don’t want to work like this forever so I want to put in the force in the beginning and then, you know, have an easier life work balance. Better work life balance. Somewhere in your… Remind your users that I’ve be doing fitness coaching on the side on Twitter and you can say that that business didn’t work much because I did a lot of mistakes and it took a lot of time to make money but it put me in the place to make Hypefury. So, yeah, just do it. You don’t know what’s going to happen and you don’t find opportunities by doing nothing.
Andrii: OK, thanks a lot.
Samy: Yeah, sure.
Follow Samy and Yannick on Twitter and try Hypefury!