242: Louis Pereira — When an Indie Hacker Strikes Gold

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Arvid Kahl: Welcome to The
Bootstrapped Founder. Today, I'm

talking to Louis Pereira. He's
the maker behind the audio

transcription product, Audio
Pen, which recently became very

successful after many not so
great attempts at building other

businesses. Louis shares his
insights into how he approached

pricing and subscriptions to
validate demand early on. And

then he dives into the
importance of building and

launching products in public to
grow an audience and gain early

traction, the true indie hacker
way. And I use his product every

week. It's really cool. And the
story of it is even cooler.

Before we dive into our chat, a
quick thank you to our sponsor,

acquire.com. More on that later.
Now, here's Louis.

It rarely happens that an indie
hacker makes it into TechCrunch

with their product, but you did
and your product Audio Pen is

seeing massive success at this
point. And it looks like you

came out of nowhere. It's
really, really cool. Big

congratulations on that. And
before we dive into how you

perform that miracle of getting
into TechCrunch and having an

amazing product that people
really like, let me ask you

this. How does it feel to hit it
this big? Was it a surprise?

Like how are you feeling right now?

Louis Pereira: Feeling pretty
good. Although like, it's like,

I would have expected it to have
happened sooner. Like I've been

at it for a while now. It's not
that it was my first swing and

you know, it was a hit. I've
swung 10 to 15 times maybe more.

And it was quite a difficult
journey throughout, you know,

difficult in the sense like
lacking monetary success. It was

enjoyable for sure. And I think
that's why sort of managed to

make these whatever 10-15 swings
until one finally, you know,

struck whatever gold. But it
feels good. Like, I know that

it's rare because at least for
me, it's rare because I've tried

so many times and I've finally
gotten one product that seems to

be doing quite well,
unexpectedly, that too. So

definitely feels good, feels
extremely grateful, you know,

that it happened. But like
having said that, like I feel

like if you keep swinging,
eventually, like you will hit

six, right? Like if you've got a
dice and you just keep rolling

it, it's gonna hit six at some
point. The game is to figure out

what dice you want to keep
rolling and what dice can you

keep rolling without getting

Arvid Kahl: Yeah, I do wonder
because I looked into your

previous project. You do list
them on your website and

everything, which is really
cool. You've tried a lot of

different things, right? You've
went into, I think niche lists

the blogging microblogging
platform. You had a like read

something great. You had a
curated articles. Do nothing for

a minute, that's one of my
favorites. So I just encourage

people to do nothing. But I feel
like with this product, in

particular, you have found like
what I would call product market

fit. There's a real need for
what you're currently providing

with Audio Pen. So I would like
to ask you about what do you see

being different about this
particular product? Or maybe not

even the product, but how you
approached it that resulted in a

much, much bigger kind of
audience for and customer base

of the product?

Louis Pereira: Yeah, I mean, I
don't want to take credit for,

you know, discovering this
untapped need of finding product

market fit through some sort of
rigorous procedure of feedback

and stuff because it. Like it
wasn't very intentional. I've

said this before. I think most
people that follow me will know

that I've said, Audio Pen was
quite an accident. I was just

building. I built about five
tools that week on my own

website, like tiny tools on my
own website without any

intention of making them
standalone tools or commercial

tools. I wanted to just learn
how to use open API's. And I was

trying to use them in a slightly
more novel way rather than you

know, try and you know, just use
one API and go from A to B. I

wanted to see what if I combined
a couple, you know, do a couple

of interesting things, see what
happens. And because I'd been in

the space, it was a bunch of
factors that came together. Like

I'd been in the space building
for a few years. I had a

relevant sort of Twitter
audience, not very large but

quite relevant. I had been
building publicly for a while.

People had used my products
before. And while I was doing

these experiments, I used to
talk about them on Twitter. Like

I just tweet about each one of
these tiny tools that week. And

I managed to hit some sort of a
chord with Audio Pen that I

didn't expect, like I got a lot
of sudden positive feedback from

people in my DMs and not too
much of it but enough of it to

make me sort of think twice
because I personally I'm not an

audio you know, notes sort of
person. I don't take voice notes

very often. Now I do but before
that I didn't. So I was like

okay, a bit taken aback as to
like this seems to have hit some

sort of a chord with people,
struck some sort of a chord with

people. Like maybe I should just
sort of zoom in and see if I can

build something out of this. So
I mean, I don't want to seem

like I'm some sort of Steve Jobs
that, you know, figure out what

the customer wants without the
customer knowing it. I stumbled

upon it. But I had been playing
the game long enough that, you

know, it worked in my favor.
Stumbled upon it, but it was a

function of taking so many
swings that, you know, I got

lucky in one of them. So yeah,
product market fit for me was if

I've reached it and maybe I
have. I don't know. If I've

reached it, it's not for my
genius or anything. It's just a

function of playing multiple
rounds and hitting one.

Arvid Kahl: Yeah, that does make
sense. It's a nice and humble

perspective on being at the
right place at the right time

with the right not just idea,
but also with the willingness to

just execute it to see if it
sticks, right? That's a big

difference because everybody has
cool ideas, but building it,

even if it's just a prototype,
that is too much for most. So

just having that and other
things that didn't work. And

seeing what the market resonates
with is an interesting approach.

It is a scattershot approach,
though, right? It's kind of you

try all these things and you see
what sticks. That tends to waste

a lot of energy and time. And
but since you did it, the time

that you invested and the other
things is not wasted. It's just

you know, it's now being
hopefully pulled into the

product that is actually working
out the bet that is going well.

So tell me more about like how
well Audio Pen actually is doing

if you're willing to divulge
these numbers? How many

customers or users do you
currently have with the product?

Louis Pereira: At the moment in
terms of registered users about

30,000, including free.

Arvid Kahl: Right. Okay, well,
yeah, it sounds like to me, I've

been thinking a little bit about
this being a user of the

product, I obviously want it to
keep succeeding and sticking

around, right? That's kind of my
interest as well. And I've been

thinking about it from a
developer perspective, from a

business owners perspective,
too. And I was wondering, like

how you deal with platform risk
because there is obviously risk

in building features and
building the wrong features or

going onto native platforms and
building this and that and

whatnot, that that's one of the
features that are one kind of

risks that I guess that you have
to think about. But the other

side is the actual platform that
you're building on, which is

open API's API, how are you
protecting your your business or

your product from your depending
too heavily on that particular

API and those with the platform
underneath it?

Louis Pereira: See at the
moment, I'm trying to get like

backups for it. So for instance,
for instead of whisper, which is

the voice model, I also have a
couple of others that I've got

access to deep Graham, assembly,
etc. They're not as good in

they're as good in certain
respects, but not in others. As

a package, I think opening eyes
is still the best. But I do have

those backups if you know,
things change. As far as like

GBD photo is concerned. I'm
like, I still don't have a very

strong backup I have. I have
like I'm on the waitlist for

Claude hoping to get that soon.
I don't think any others come

close to GBD for yet. But yeah,
hopefully that gets sorted. I

mean, fingers crossed. Until
then, worst case scenario, I'll

just get like another person's
API access or something for a

bit. But I mean, so far, I
haven't heard of any cases

where, you know, folks who've
had API keys revoked or


Arvid Kahl: Yeah. Well, that's,
that's kind of, I'm really

hoping for these these models to
be able to be used on the edge,

like on our own self hosted
systems eventually, I mean, that

is always going to be more
expensive, I guess, than just

you know, accessing the API, but
to be able to run a GPT four

model somewhere, right and you
know, own on your own datacenter

on your own Kubernetes cluster
or whatever that would be really

cool. A whisper is an is an
example of this, I use whisper

for my own podcast for this very
podcast. In fact, I, I use it to

get like a preliminary
transcript from which then I

generate potential, you know,
like descriptions for the video,

or tags for the video, all of
this stuff comes from whisper

that I run over the the actual,
you know, the final video files.

So and that is local, that is
just a local installation of

that AI, if you can call it
right, which is just a machine

learned the system there. So
this being available is really

cool. And having that as a
backup option is an interesting

idea. How much of your time do
you spend on a front end or you

know, like feature work compared
to making the business more

stable or more resilient against
platform risk? And what's what's

the split there right now for

Louis Pereira: It depends from
week to week, man, like I'm

looking I'm a solo builder with
no team. So like, for instance,

this week has been terrible
because I wanted to build a

bunch of features. A couple of
days ago, I just like found out

that like audio Ben had been
like blacklisted from a couple

of by a couple of like antivirus
sites, just because there was

like a surge in traffic from a
couple of countries in the

Middle East. That was very
unexpected for me. So I don't

know what sort of traffic it
was. But I spent the past couple

of days just like reaching out
to these people and, you know,

creating false positive reports.
And they've just been like, oh,

sorry, you know, our bad. Like,
here you go. It's clean. Now.

We're like, I spent the better,
half better part of like, what,

48 hours, just frantically
responding and trying to clear

this thing out, like, it's
almost done now, for no fault of

mine, like I can't, like I
didn't do anything wrong. It

just happened. So like on a week
to week basis, like, if there's

no crisis to handle, I would
prefer spending my time building

features because that's what I
genuinely enjoy doing. Of

course, sometimes I have to
force myself to sort of create

content as well, about those
features. Like I've learned the

hard way that if you build too
many features, and customers

don't know that the features
exist, it's pointless having

built those features. So I spent
some time sort of creating

videos, you know, text content,
FAQs, etc, etc. Some tweets

maybe, so that people can sort
of get educated about what I've

what I've built for them. But
otherwise, if I have the time,

and if you left me alone, I
would I would just I would just

build out build from Warrington,
I love it.

Arvid Kahl: Yeah, that's that's
the the in the hacker life,

right? If you could just like
wake up, build cool stuff, go to

bed and repeat. That's fine. I
love it. How much? How much

customer service? Do you have?
How much conversations or how

many conversations do you have
with, with customers or

prospective customers right now?

Louis Pereira: Mostly with
customers. So I don't have a

chatbot. On the website. I
almost actually stumbled upon

this idea as well. And it worked
out quite well for me, where

when I launched the MVP, I think
soon after, or maybe on that day

itself, I didn't have the time
to sort of figure out what

chatbot to kind of add to the
site and, and stuff. So I just

created like a simple little
message box with a button. And

when somebody sends me in a
message, it comes to me as an

email along with that person's
email id that they've registered

with. So you need to be logged
in, in order to chat with or not

to chat, but to email me. And
that's been great. Like, I

don't, I'm not expected to
reply, instantaneously, I get

better responses from people,
like I get better feedback

longer, rather than just a high
or, you know, one or two lines.

Yeah. It's not front and center
on the app. It's not like, you

know, on the first page, you
need to click on the Account

tab, and then you see it. So
it's only people that have

reached a particular threshold
that they feel like, okay, I

need to contact this guy that
contact me. And of course,

besides that people reply to all
of the emails, I send them as

well. So on a weekly basis, I
send emails to to the users, I

get a bunch of replies. On
average, I would say I reply to

maybe 20 people a day, 25 people
a day. And that goes up and

down. depending on you know, if
I've sent out an email today,

then that number might become
you know, 100 for a day or two.

But otherwise 2025

Arvid Kahl: How many of these
are feature requests over

actual, like bug reports?

Louis Pereira: 5050? That's
really, yeah. Because so the

feature requests always come
from from Prime users, because

they've got access to the entire
feature set. And then they know

what they want. So that's it's,
it's sort of limited. If

everybody had access to
everything, I'd probably get

more. And bulk requests usually
come from like the free users

because they aren't like sure
exactly how to do certain

things, or you know, some things
at scale, of course, you end up

getting more bugs than than what
the Prime users experience. But

so far, like, yeah, so far,
there haven't been any like

crazy bugs, a bunch of minor
ones, the start the day, I think

I've sorted out on a couple of
like recurring ones that I know,

I can't sort out until I sort of
go native. Those aren't bugs,

those are actually just just
features that people think are


Arvid Kahl: That's that's also a
product education thing, right?

We have to just teach people how
to use the product. Right?

That's, that's always that's

Louis Pereira: an interesting,
that's an interesting thing to

think about, like I spent the
last week trying to think about

what sort of content to create
for people. And then, you know,

I went, I went on this tangent
of thinking, Maybe I should

create a page of like how tos,
you know, and tell people how to

do different things on the app,
like how to, let's say, Change

Your writing style, how to
download a note, etc, etc. And I

almost got started on it. And
then I was like, you know, if I

do this, it's going to encourage
me to create a less intuitive

app, then I start, depending on
this page, to teach users what

to do. That should not be the
case, I should be reworking the

app to make it intuitive enough
for people not to need this page

in the first place. Maybe Of
course, I can build it at a

later date when you have a lot
of users and they don't have

time or whatever. But like at
this URL in the product, like I

should not be needing that page.
I should suffer if my product is

not intuitive enough. And I
should maybe talk to customers

directly to explain it to them.
So at least to have some sort of

interaction with them to
understand what they don't

understand. So I've held off
from that for now.

Arvid Kahl: That's great. That
is a wonderful perspective.

Thanks for sharing it so
eloquently. I think the idea of

having a usable product is so
much stronger than having a good

documentation for an unusable
product, right? Obviously, it's

just, you know, one level
further down the complexity

hatch, right doing the you don't
want the things to be so complex

that you need documentation. I
agree with this, I think that

the problem there is usually
that the moment you change you,

if somebody gets upset, either
somebody who's already used to

the old stuff, or somebody who
wants it differently, like

everybody will get upset about
something at some point, which

is, it's not a solution for the
for the documentation usability

problem, but you that people
tend to not want their UI to

change once they used to it,
which is I think, why most

founders add documentation
rather than making big changes

in the interface. But I guess
you're at a stage where that is

still Yeah.

Louis Pereira: I think I might
have made one or two big changes

in terms of like moving buttons
around and stuff. But so far,

like I've not received, like,
I've received maybe a couple of

complaints about it being like,
Hey, I can't find this. But but

I'm guessing the others have
figured it out.

Arvid Kahl: Yeah, I guess I
guess they must have. One thing

that really interests me is the
subscription level that you have

to prime users, right? You You
have paying customers, which is

great for any any indie hacker
that actually makes money off

their product that is already
quite the accomplishment. When

did you integrate the
subscription level? Was it there

from the start? Or did you add
it at a later point?

Louis Pereira: So I actually
built the first version of the

product during a hackathon that
I organized once every two

months, called half day build.
And the goal of that Hackathon

was is rather to go from idea to
revenue within 12 hours. So I

was forced to have, you know, a
payment link on the website, the

day it went live, like the
minute it went live. So yeah, I

mean, I built it on that. And on
that during our hackathon. And

it was, in fact, I had invited a
bunch of beta users from

Twitter. All right, I just
tweeted out saying, hey, you

know, this product seems like
it's ready to launch. Does

anyone want to be a beta tester?
So I got like, you know, 1015

people that are like, Yeah, I'll
do it. So I gave them access.

And a few of them bought it,
like, it wasn't even live yet. A

few of them bought it. And
that's when I was like, Okay,

I'm gonna, there's something
here, like, I got to double down

on this, and keep making it

Arvid Kahl: That's cool. Yeah,
that's a great, great way to

start, I think, a big lesson
here, put put a payment link

into even the first prototype of
your project, if you want to see

if people find it even valuable
enough at that point, right? To

pay for it. Pricing. How did you
deal with pricing? How did you

set the prices, and you earlier
said that you, you started a bit

too cheap, and you made it more
expensive. So tell me more about

the pricing journey of audio

Louis Pereira: Cool. Like, I
like keeping things extremely

simple. When I started off, I
wanted to, like I want I thought

I'd do like a whole
subscription, you know, monthly

thing and stuff. And then I was
just I think I just ran out of

time to like build a whole
subscription thing during that

12 hour. Hackathon. So I said,
let me just do a lifetime deal

for early users. And I priced it
like dirt cheap, it was like $19

for lifetime, with like, GPD for
access and stuff, or whatever I

would pay for at that time.
Maybe it was GPA 3.5. I don't

remember. Service, it is very
cheap. But I was basically

validating demand. And I know
people have this, like there's

this whole debate of like,
should you have a lifetime deal

if you have recurring costs. And
I spent a lot of time thinking

about it. Because of course,
like I have recurring costs,

right? Like every time somebody
uses the product, I pay a small

amount. And my solution to that
was twofold. One is, as I

increase the number of features
in a product, or increase the

amount of ways that a person can
use or wants to use this

product, and if I have a
lifetime deal, I keep increasing

the price of that lifetime. So
for context, the lifetime deal

at once was $19. At the start is
now 150. And people are still

buying it because I've increased
the number of features that I

offered as compared to what it
was at launch. And the second

thing I do is I include an
annual deal as well. And I play

with the pricing with the
pricing ratio of the two until I

get a split that I'm happy with
that is sustainable. So for

instance, right now the annual
pricing is at $75. And the

lifetime deal is at one $50. And
I'm happy with the split the

number of people picking this
over that or that over this. So

I want it to be sustainable like
at any point of time. I need to

be able to service people, at
least morally if you're paying

for a lifetime deal that is
worth twice as much as an annual

deal. I need to be able to
assure you that I will give you

at least two years if not More
at any point of time, if you buy

today, I have to guarantee you
two years are not I mean, I'm

not explicitly guaranteeing it
to people. But like, morally, I

feel that responsibility. So I
make sure that that ratio is

correct for my costs to sort of
be sustainable. And of course,

I'll probably end the lifetime
deal soon, in a couple of

months. But until then, I think
it's a great way to get like

early supporters on board, get
people who, once they've bought

a lifetime deal for your product
become like vocal advocates of

it, because they feel like
they're part of the journey.

They're not just here for a
month, or a year, or whatever,

they're here for life. They want
to see the product get better.

So they give you better
feedback. They want other people

to know that, hey, you know, I
was an early believer in this

product. And I'm part of his
journey. They tell other people

about it. So it's, it's got a
lot of benefits that that I

think are worth considering,
even if you have recurring


Arvid Kahl: Yeah. Yeah, great
idea. I think the lifetime deals

subsidizes the first, you know,
the first couple months and

years of building this business
where you need to you still you

have pay, you have to pay your
expenses, or anything has to

come from somewhere, and you
have to be able to invest into

it. And at a certain point, you
kind of have to either really

increase the price, as you said,
to make it still valuable, or

just turn off the lifetime
stuff. Now, now turn it off for

people who have it, but turn it
off for new potential customers.

I do wonder what this lifetime
mean to you? Because I think

there's like three or four
different lifetimes that we

could talk about your lifetime,
your products, customers

lifetime, which one which one,

Louis Pereira: if you if you try
to buy a lifetime deal on audio

panel, very explicitly written
in multiple places that you will

have access to the product for
as long as the product is alive.

I don't know how long I'll be
around. Maybe I'm here for 100

years. I don't know if the
product could be around for 100

years, I don't know, maybe you
will be around for 100 years, I

can't guarantee you to be there
for 100 years. If it is great,

like you'll have access
throughout. If it isn't then

like, you know it isn't. But
I've made made sure that that

front and center lifetime is
lifetime of the product. But I

mean, that's important. Yeah.

Arvid Kahl: Do a good job, I
think you have, I think a lot of

people who run lifetime deals
are not that specific. And that

leads to a lot of problems,
right lifetime, it could also

just be of that version of the
product. And I've seen this a

lot recently in the wizard like
video and audio tools that, you

know, like filmora was one of
them. They had a lifetime deal.

And for one version up to like
version 12 or 14, and they

released version 15. And
wouldn't honor lifetime anymore.

And there was this whole outcry
in the community for a pretty

established product, right? It's
a competitor to the DaVinci, or

Premiere Adobe product. So you,
you have a sizable community,

and they were not happy. Like
there was this whole YouTube

outrage about this. And you
don't want to be on the

receiving end of this for as a
business, particularly not as an

indie hacker. So being very
clear with this, that's, that's

great. I'm really happy you made
this very, very clear from the

start for our lifetime. Yeah,

Louis Pereira: I mean, the way I
think about it, like not only

for this decision, but like for
anything I decide with the

product, whatever it may be, I
really like doing this stuff,

right? Like I really like
building like, I've done a lot

of stuff, like I've
experimented, you know, I've

played around, I've done a few
things in life. And I found this

one thing that I really liked
doing actually like building

stuff, you know, like showing it
to the world, sharing it to the

world on the internet. If given
a choice, I want to do this for

the rest of my life. Now, if I
want to do this for the rest of

my life, I cannot afford to lose
people's trust, I cannot just

have them say, Hey, this guy is
a cheat, right? Like, that's the

last day, if that happens, I
stopped being able to do the one

thing that I really like to do.
So like priority above whatever

else, you know, money, whatever
is just customer trust. Because

I like like, I lose if I lose
trust. It's not only that, you

know, I can run away with the
money tomorrow. Like, what will

I do then? Like, I'm going to do
things I don't enjoy that

stupid, why would I want to do
that? So that's like, that's the

lens I look at all of this stuff
from so yeah, I mean, just one

thing that makes me

Arvid Kahl: makes me so happy to
hear this. Like this is such a

such a kind of empowerment focus
perspective. And also it's it's

selfish in the best way you want
to do the thing you love. So you

will not risk like cheating
people. Or the you won't cheat

people just to just to get
something short term, you want

to do this long term. It's a
it's the infinite game theory,

right? You want to play the
infinite game of indie hacking,

instead of just getting short

Louis Pereira: It's very, it's
very difficult. Like I I know

this because like I've tried a
bunch of things in life, right?

I've tried different types of
products, different types of

experiments, etc. And it's not
very easy. Like I have friends

and you know, family, etc, who
haven't yet they're still

trying, they still haven't found
the one thing they like to do.

So I know it's not easy to
stumble upon the thing that you

want to do, or to even have the
opportunity to try and find it.

Like yeah, I'm 30 years old, you
know, I've spent whatever the

past, let's say 10 years of my
career, trying different things.

And now I found something maybe
you know, a year ago so I found

two years So I found something
that I really liked doing. The

very fact that I was able to do
it for two, two and a half years

without any, you know, major win
or any major income is because I

like doing it. Like if if audio
pen did work, I would still be

building things online, I would
still just be building random

shit and sharing it, because
that's what I want to do. Like,

I don't want to not be doing
that, because it's not paying,

like the fact that it's paying
me is like the cherry on the

cake. I'm like, Great, I'm
making money from it amazing.

But if I wasn't, I'd still be
playing. So yeah, I mean, it's,

it's, it doesn't have to be
building, it doesn't have to be,

you know, writing, it can be
anything, like whatever you like

to do, if you find out that
you'd like to do it, and you

really enjoy it, you should do
everything in your power to make

sure that you can keep doing
that till the day.

Arvid Kahl: Yeah, and that's and
that's where community comes in.

Right? Because the community is
the place where you find

prospective customers where you
find peers that help you with

your business decisions or with
your design decisions are your

UX decisions, that's where the
other people come in. And that's

the thing, why I'm really really
applaud your choice to put trust

over anything else over money or
fame, over wealth, whatever,

that because if the trust does
not exist, the community does

not exist for you. You are an
unknown untrustable entity in

the community, and you're doing
the opposite. You're building in

public, you're sharing
everything you do, you're very,

very open like this, this
conversation is an example of

this. You talk about the things
that you enjoy, and how much you

enjoy them. And it's really
noticeable. I'm really happy

that you're doing this building
and public has just been

something that you've that
you've done for a long time, or

have you only recently found
this to be something useful for

your business building efforts.

Louis Pereira: I think for as
long as I've been building on

the internet, I've built in
public, mostly influenced by by

KP show, you know him. I had
actually. So I think back in

2020, during the pandemic, I had
just stumbled upon Twitter, I

think and you know, see, like
seen a couple of things there.

And I was like, this was this
was a couple of years after I

had moved back home from the
city. So I now live in a town

called Goa, small state in
India. And I had moved from

Delhi, which is where I studied
and worked for a bit. So I had

seen like my social circle sort
of shrinking, at least I'd seen

the interestingness of the
conversations I was having also

sort of dropped because most of
my friends are, you know, all

over the place in the cities of
the country and the world. And

I'd found Twitter as this like
one new outlet. That was Oh,

interesting. People are talking
about interesting stuff. That's

nice. And then I decided in 2020
Have I not decided right? I

thought to myself, Okay, let's
let's try and do something on

the internet. Because the
offline world I like I work with

my family business during the
day in the offline world. And I

I enjoy building things there.
But it's very high friction,

right? Like it's everything
requires permissions and

investments. And it's
complicated. You can't go from

idea to revenue in 12 hours like
you can on the internet. So I

decided in 2020, okay, let me
try and do something online. And

I decided to start with like
writing, because that seemed

like the right or the easiest
way to enter. Had some moderate

success, etc. But then I
realized very quickly that, hey,

you know, this never gets
easier. Like you can have 1000

subscribers, you can have 10,000
subscribers, it doesn't matter.

Like you still have to write for
20 hours a week to put out a

good post. And it's still hard.
Like, every time no matter how

much of an established writer
you are, you will still want to

tear your head out your hair
out. Every time sure you want to

write a post, it's horrible.
It's good after you've done it,

you know, after you've published
something, you feel good, but

the process is pretty grueling.
And I learned that the hard way.

And I you know, I figured that
that just wasn't sustainable for

me. Because although I enjoyed,
you know, becoming you know, a

writer and creating stuff
online, I have a full time job,

like I don't have 20 hours a
week, every week that I can sit

and suffer through. So then the
next best thing was to start

building. Coming back to my
first point, which is why I then

joined the ondeck they had a a
no code Fellowship, which KP was

heading back in, I think 2021 I
was part of the first cohort and

it gave me like this nice entry
point into the indie hacking, or

the world of people building
things online, and chatting them

as well. So that ethos of just
sharing things online initially

to not much response kind of was
born there. But the fact that I

had that community around me to
make sure that hey, I would at

least get some response. It's
not that I was tweeting into the

void, like, like three of my
friends from my focus group

would would like my tweet, or
like, share it or something. So

it was nice, got started. And
then enjoy the process of just

building and like building in
public like I I don't take it

to, like I don't I don't I don't
know what the word is. But like,

I don't try to make it very
performative. Right? Like I just

say what I'm doing, like, if I'm
building something, I just say

that I'm building this and like,
Hey, here's what I'm doing. Like

here's how I'm doing it. Here's
my rationale behind Let's see

this decision Oh, that's that
decision. I like, like most of

my tweets are just like tweeting
off the cuff or like a small

screen recording with a some
text that's just off the cuff.

But yeah, I try not to make it
like another chore. It's just

like, it's like an update. It's
like a, it's like a stream of

consciousness sort of update.
And it seems to work like people

seem to like it so far.

Arvid Kahl: That's great that
you already had a couple of

people to interact with around
this, that makes it so much

easier to write a cohort, if
anything, I could be the on deck

fellowship, or, you know,
another little community just

with people that are all
building at the same time,

right? People who are just
sharing their work in progress

kind of stuff, that makes such a
big difference. And I love your

non performative approach to
what is always kind of a

performance. Because it is a
thing you act out in public,

right? You write about a thing,
like if you just were building

and not talking about it to
anybody, you would never think

about sharing this particular
step. So there is this kind of

conscious choice about its
intentionality. But it's still

not an act, you're not not
changing anything, you're just

sharing the reality of it, which
is what building a public is,

I'm really happy you're doing
this, you're a great example of

this with the product that
you're building, the products

that you have been building, I'm
really, really happy to see you

do this. And the consequence is
you meet a lot of cool people,

right? You get a lot of
opportunities just from sharing

those stories. So is there any
particular story about building

in public that you want to
share? That was really

interesting to you?

Louis Pereira: Well, I don't
know if I have a particular

story off the top of my head,
but like, I think in general,

like the kind of people that you
know, I've interacted with

through Twitter, like you, for
example, like, yeah, actually

one story like man product on
that launch for audio open my

mind. Like, I didn't know what
was happening there. Like, I was

like, What the hell like, I
don't know why it happened. I

think a function of it might
have been that, you know, I had

been around for long enough that
people sort of recognized my,

my, you know, profile picture,
maybe they sort of knew, Okay,

this guy's around. He's building
stuff. Maybe some people, I

don't know, maybe they're just
nice human beings. Maybe some

people just liked the product.
Maybe they just felt good on

that day. I don't know what it
was. I had no, like I had

expectations of let's say, three
400 upvotes. That was my goal

for the day and it crossed 1000.
Because like you said it a bunch

of other bigger concerto. I was
just like, What the hell is

happening here? Like, this is
mad. Because like, you don't

expect that kind of stuff,
right? Like, you go into this

stuff, as like a solo guy saying
like, Okay, I'm gonna give it my

best up against like, funded
teams that are putting out their

products. And let's see what
happens. You know, like, worst

case scenario, I'll get some
traffic on the website, maybe a

few people will buy my product
and whatever, that's fine. But

yeah, that was definitely like,
a big big moment. I don't I

don't know what how to express
it. But like, it was a win very

big. Like, it's something I'll
never forget the fact that

people I did not know, people
that just saw my stuff on

Twitter, not only like upvoted
it but like shared it, like,

wrote stuff about it. commented
on the product and page. Like to

that volume with that much like
love. Like, yeah, it was, it was

wild, like very, very grateful.

Arvid Kahl: That launch was so
cool. I remember it too. And

it's not even my product. It was
so cool. Because they you know,

that's the thing. Like we have
this established relationship.

And I think that's how many
people feel who follow you on

Twitter, they see you succeed,
and they are invested in you.

And a little bit of your success
kind of comes back to them

because they know they've been
pushing they've been helping

they've been supporting you
wherever they are, whenever you

need a like or retweet or just
input right? They were there.

And I was said to and I saw you
saw that being launched. And I

saw Wow, product of the day. And
then second of the week and

fourth of the month like Dude,
you just exploded. That was so

cool. Yeah, it's crazy. I was
gonna ask you if you had any

cool strategy, but apparently
the strategy is to just make

friends with a lot of people and
build cool stuff.

Louis Pereira: Right? So I did,
like I did prepare for the

launch in the sense like, you
know, I created a nice page, I

spent a lot of time on the copy
for it. You know, I spent a lot

of time creating, like images
and stuff. I don't know if that

helped. Maybe did like, I
definitely gave it my best

before I launched. I spoke to
Chris Messina, like he had a

conversation with me. He gave me
like a few strategies here and

there. Which I think like I
don't remember off the top of my

head, but I've shared them on
Twitter somewhere. So I had

prepared for it as best I could.
But like in no way did I

anticipate like that what
happened would happen? Like I

thought, okay, best case
scenario, maybe you know, for

500 votes, not not what
happened. But yeah, I think it's

a function of just being like I
don't think that would have

happened if I had just joined
Twitter that day and said, Hey,

guys, as a school product, it
wasn't about the product. It was

about the product that people
liked and had seen being built

for a month and a half. Some of
them had used it. And they had

maybe seen me around that I
can't see but

Arvid Kahl: yes, yeah, that is
better grateful. Yeah. 100% my

my impression of ProductHunt To
Product Hunt is not a product

display case, it's an audience
amplification machine. Right? If

you have an audience already,
they will come and applaud. And

I think like India plays a big
role there, too. I remember both

of my launches of the books, and
I don't think they even launched

books or product. But I had a
strong enough audience. So that

my stuff made it there and was
not immediately bad, which is

really cool. And I think the
biggest push that I always had

was from my, my friends in
India, because they are the ones

that are awake the most, when
it's when it's midnight pm on

the west coast in the US, and
they're the first ones and if my

Indian people by Indian friends,
if they start uploading you

shoot up in India is such a
pivotal thing. Like it's most

people don't seem to understand
how important India is for

Product Hunt, because they are

Louis Pereira: 12 Noon. Yeah,
it's like 30 or something in the

afternoon. That's exactly right.

Arvid Kahl: It makes a big
difference. That's something

that most people don't really
seem to understand. Because they

like wake up at nine in the
morning. And then they start

like, or eight or six or
whatever, and then they activate

their existing audience. But
that is already six, if not, you

know, four or five hours,
depending where you live in the

States, if you do it into the
day, where a lot of people had a

lot of opportunity to upload
already. So yeah, that's really

cool. That's important. Yeah,
for a long time, it's

Louis Pereira: an interesting
space, though, I still don't

think it's a good place to
launch a brand new product, I

think it's a good place to find
more customers. Once you have a

product that you know, works.
Like once you have a product

that has a monetization model
has a set of like core users

that like it, and then you go
then amplified, it's not it's

not a place to launch a brand.
No, it's

Arvid Kahl: and that's, it's
called, it's called Product

Hunt. It's not prototype hunt,
or idea hunt, or, you know, like

this business idea, maybe let's
see where this goes hunt. But

it's really for for things that
are established and valuable

enough for people to immediately
use that are not buggy that are

that are bug free, hopefully, or
at least they have social proof

already around them. Right
Product Hunt itself has social

proof, but on product and you
also need social proof to get

anywhere up in the list. So
you're absolutely right. It's an

advanced late stage launch

Louis Pereira: I learned that
the hard way as well. Like, this

was my second launch the
previous product I launched,

which was read something great.
I launched it on Twitter on like

a Monday and like I think in
like 24 hours somebody DM me

saying, Hey, I've hunted your
product on product and and I was

like, okay, cool. Like, I don't
know what that is. But like, go

for it, man. I'm gonna, I'm
gonna see what happens. And a

few friends were like, Dude,
don't do it. You know, wait till

the products like whatever, more
mature. But I was like, hey,

like, you know, let it be this
guy seems legit. Let's just do

it. It did. Alright, it finished
at like number four, after a lot

of hustling, but it was like 24
hours old or something like 48

hours maybe. But then like from
then I was like, Okay, this is

not a place to like, I didn't
have a monetization model or

anything. It was just a bunch of
traffic that came and then went.

So yeah, I learned I learned
then that like, okay, don't do

this again, do it when you when
you have a more settled product.

Arvid Kahl: There are also
certain things that that won't

perform on Product Hunt that are
so niche, so specific to one

particular group of people that
getting the full attention of

the tech community, which is I
guess, who goes to Product Hunt.

That's that's just a lot of
attention. That doesn't really

resonate with the product. Do
you see this a lot, a lot of if

you just scroll down, if you
don't look at the top 10. But if

you look at the bottom 500,
that's good launch every day.

Most of these are really cool
products, just for a really

small group of people. That is
not necessarily the audience

that goes to Product Hunt,
right? And that's also a thing,

you have to go where your
audience is to launch the thing.

And you do this so well on
Twitter. How did you launch

audio pen? Did you just kind of
just throw it out there and see

what happens, like after your
hackathon? Or was it more of an

elaborate launch on Twitter for

Louis Pereira: So I was building
those those tiny tools on my

website the week before the
hackathon. And like every day or

so I would launch one of them.
And the launch would be like

just basically a tweet saying,
Hey, I built this thing, you can

do this thing with it. Go check
it out. So audio pens initial

launch, like the one that still
lives on my website, which if

you go to Luis Pereira dot XYZ
you can still find was just a

link with like, I think maybe a
couple of lines of of what it

does. And then after that, the
Hackathon was about five days

later. So I kept that hype up,
where I kept tweeting about

like, Hey, okay, I'm going to be
building this for half day

build, which is the hackathon.
And then like a day before the

hackathon, I tweeted out a few
figma files that I had created

with like preliminary designs,
saying, Hey, this is what it's

going to look like, I spent some
time thinking blah, blah, blah.

And then on the day of the
hackathon, of course, it helped

me because the community of
people that were building

alongside me like as part of
this hackathon, like all of us

amplify each other's work. So
like, that's the purpose of the

hackathon. It's like, give you
this short term community that

comes together for a day or half
a day. And just like booths,

each other to build something in
public and try and go to

revenue. If you don't go to
revenue. It's fine, but you got

to try. Everyone sort of amplify
As each other's tweets or

whatever, so that happened as
well. And I had that community,

I had a bunch of people that had
already sort of followed me on

Twitter. Prior to, to audio,
Ben, and I had been building a

little bit of whatever hype or
anticipation or whatever you

want to call it. And then yeah,
and then then on the day of the

hackathon, typically, what I
tell participants is create like

a running Twitter thread of your
progress. So like, announce your

product into each one. And then
as you're building it, tweet

about your progress, where
you've reached what you're

doing, why you're doing it, how
long it's going to take you how

much time you have left, you
know, like ask people if they

want to be your beta testers,
within that thread, maybe

retweet a particular like a
particular tweet, and ask people

if they would pay for it, etc,
etc. So that kind of builds its

own hype, because every few
hours, you have like an upgrade

coming up. And yeah, I mean,
that's, that's basically what I

did for the launch.

Arvid Kahl: Awesome. How often
do you run these hackathons? Do

you still run them? Is that
still happening?

Louis Pereira: Yep, yep, every
two months. I think the next one

is on this. I do the 17th or the
ninth of September if you go to

half day build.com You'll see it
I can I can check later but


Arvid Kahl: link in the show
notes this episode at out way

before that. So you know, it's
not like it's not

Louis Pereira: a very like
formal hackathon. It's just

literally a discord 17
September's when the next one is

it's literally a temporary
discord that I create, like

three or four days before the
hackathon. With a few like

resources, you know, a place for
people to interact etc. On the

day people just help each other
either in discord help each

other on Twitter by by sharing
the link, sharing each other's

tweets. And then two or three
days after the hackathon, I

delete the discord. So people
don't have like discord bloat.

They just it feels like a
sprint. They come in, they make

friends they build, and then
they leave. And if they want to

keep friends, you know, they can
follow each other on on on

Twitter or wherever.

Arvid Kahl: That's cool. Like
indie hacker speed dating.

That's awesome. That's really
cool. Yeah, it's really nice.

And to, to think that such a
revenue generating and attention

generating product came out of
it. Hmm, isn't? Isn't that

awesome? What a what a glorious
example of what can come? Yeah,

Louis Pereira: I mean, I went a
couple people. I've been doing

it for what, I don't know, over
a year now, two years, maybe?

Every initially it used to be
every month, then I switched it

to every two months, because
like, it just got too hectic.

But yeah, like most of the
products I built during these

half a bills of like all of them
have died. Not maybe there's one

that survived. All of the others
have died. But yeah, I mean, you

gotta enjoy the process of
swinging, right? Like, it's, it

shouldn't feel like hard work.
Like, you know, people say

grind, grind, grind, and you
will finally make it. But like,

that's not the point. Because
then even if you make it, you're

still going to be grinding on
the thing that you were grinding

on. Which, by definition, it
means that you don't enjoy it,

you're grinding because you
don't enjoy it. So you shouldn't

be wanting to grind. Yeah, you
shouldn't be wanting to do that

you should want something that's
smooth, like something that you

enjoy doing effortlessly.

Arvid Kahl: That you know what
that reminds me of? You recently

tweeted about productivity porn,
that was something that you were

talking about. Because, you
know, Peter levels posted this

picture of all these books, like
the self help books, these are

books that founders would read
to learn how to be more

productive, and you thought
about it. And you just want to

say what, what you were thinking
and maybe the discussion around

that, that that came out of it?

Louis Pereira: Yeah. So for
context, I mean, there was a,

there was a picture of, you
know, a very aesthetic picture

with a bunch of books that were
all white in color, for some

reason, most of which was self
help books. And the context that

was shared by the person who
tweeted out was that, you know,

you don't need to be reading. If
you you know, you just go and do

stuff, like you should just go
and build. And I agreed with

that. On first glance, I was
like, yeah, like, a lot of these

books are, you know, just, they
should have been a blog post.

But there are a couple of
reasons why I later sort of went

back on my own thoughts, and
thought that maybe I was wrong

with that initial thought. One
was that I believe in this

concept of, for I called Bridge
books, okay, so it's very easy

for a person who's who's not
read a particular book. It's

very easy for a person who's
read a particular book to feel

that that book was worthless,
because he's already crossed

that bridge is reached the other
side. But for somebody who's on

the other side, on the on the
previous side, that book might

still be useful, right? So like,
I know, a couple of books like

self help books, particularly
get a lot of hate saying, Oh,

this is, you know, a waste of
your time. But you know, what,

maybe you were the person who
read this. And that made you

advance to reading, let's say,
more complex stuff today.

Because you read that, you know,
five years ago, it's not fair

for you to be to be sort of
shitting on someone who's doing

it now. Like, let him go on his
own journey. Let him cross that

bridge. So that was the first
thought I had where I was like,

okay, you know, this stuff might
seem like child's play to

somebody today. But if that
person I To rewind his own life,

it might not have been the case
back then. That was one. And

then there was like a very meta
thought I had, which was just

like we live in a world of
abundance, right? Like we have

all of our basic needs met,
we've got food, we've got

shelter, etc, at least most of
us, at least those of us on the

internet, trying to build
things. And the purpose of our

lives right now are what we're
trying to find is we're trying

to find meaning, meaning, we're
trying to feel good about

ourselves, we're trying to wake
up and feel like we're doing

something useful. We're trying
to, you know, in other words,

we're trying to optimize for our
emotional states, at any point

of time. And if reading a book
that is about, say,

productivity, helps you feel
productive, or helps you feel

good, even if you don't act on
it. And you start to say, you

don't end up being productive,
or you don't end up implementing

what that book told you to
implement. If you felt good

during the process of reading
that book, and then you just

went and picked up another
productivity book, and you felt

good again, and you repeated
this, you know, all the way for

the rest of your life, until you
died. And you just felt great.

You had all of your needs taken
care of by default, because you

had a day job or whatever. And
in your free time, you felt

good, because you read these
books, you didn't have to go and

start building stuff online. If
you didn't want to, then there's

nothing wrong with that. Like,
why what who am I to judge that

this person is reading
productivity porn and not doing

anything? If he's feeling good,
let him feel good. Like, maybe

he's reading productivity porn,
and he's not doing anything but

feeling good. It's probably
better than him say, going out

and, you know, drinking by
himself by a river or something.

All right, let him read his
books. Like, who cares? Anyway,

we've, we're not, we're not at a
point where you have to work.

We're at a point where we want
to work where we want to do

things, you don't have to do
things for most of us.

Arvid Kahl: That's fine. Yeah,
it's, it's certainly like most

of us, I think it's the
important term because there

will be people who have to, of
course, but those those are not

part of this conversation,
right? That there are people who

really have to work, they're not
thinking about, Oh, should I

read my productivity book? No,
they, they need a job they need

to work. I very much agree with
this, I found this such a

compelling thought, the idea
that in a world of abundance,

just even considering or, or
simulating productivity is as

good as productivity, at least
in certain under certain

constraints. I really enjoy
enjoy the idea because what

you're what you've said
effectively is an anti

gatekeeping argument. That's
kind of what you made, right?

Because you shouldn't read your
short work is also gatekeeping.

In a way, it's like, oh, no,
don't read those books. Yeah,

better just be, you know, bogged
down and work, work, work, work,

work, and close yourself off to
the potential revelation of that

bridge that the book might
actually take you, it's kind of

keeping you where you are. I am
very much I am a big fan of

reading. Like I'm a writer, I
kind of want people to read for

somewhat selfish reasons, but
also for for selfless reasons. I

want other people to help
themselves. In reading. That's

kind of what reading books is
like. And I love the idea of the

bridge book. That's something
that I think I had conceptually

in my mind, but never put into
words. So thank you for giving

me this. This idea. It's kind of
Crossing the Chasm by just

putting putting like, literally
a gigantic book over it. Right,

and then walking over the book
on the other side, that's that's

such a cool idea. And the
keeping people away from books,

that should have been a blog
post, I liked that phrase as

well. Well, the good thing is,
some people love blog posts. And

for them, it probably there is a
blog post out there summarizing

the book. And other people
really need it slow and steady.

And for them, the blog post
would not have been enough for

them, the book needs to read the
book, right? So there's, there

are all kinds of gatekeeping
arguments in this you shouldn't

read but work. So I'm glad

Louis Pereira: to sort of expand
on the last point you've made

like, like, very often I think,
Okay, this book should have been

a blog post. But the fact that
you spent six hours reading

about the same idea over and
over again, even if it could

have been shortened, has meant
that that idea has had more time

to kind of, you know, percolate
into your brain. So even if you

feel like it was, you know, the
same idea repeated, you've given

yourself more time to understand
the idea, or to kind of flirt

with its, you know, whatever its
potential 100%.

Arvid Kahl: That's why I love
books that are like really

thematically focused on one
idea, and look at it from all

different angles. Because if
when I write about something in

my own articles, I try to look
at it from at least two or three

different perspectives, so that
anybody who has that

perspective, or that other
perspective, finds an accessible

way into my thinking into my
thoughts into the idea that I

want to convey, because I know
that we are living in a very

diverse, diverse world of many
people from different

backgrounds, some things are
just not gonna resonate with

certain kinds of people. But if
I give myself the space and time

to look at it from all these
different angles, I can make it

easier for people to absorb the
knowledge write a blog post will

always be opinionated. That's
the kind of idea of a blog to

begin with. But a book doesn't
have to be a book can be quite

accessible. So in fact, it's
about accessibility.

Louis Pereira: Yeah, I mean,
maybe in the future, you know,

like just thinking out loud,
like we might have, you know, AI

versions of books now. Yeah, but
like personalized versions of

books, right? Like, for
instance, I love if you have

five angles that you want to,
you want to kind of cover for

each of the five different types
of people. Maybe you buy a book

on your Kindle, and the Kindle
knows what angle you deserve to

read from what angle is best
suited to you. And it just gives

you that angle. It doesn't serve
you the other four, and itself

someone else differently as
well. Maybe that'll happen. I

don't know. But yeah,

Arvid Kahl: I mean, if there's
any technology that might make

this happen, that's the one
you're currently working with.

Right? That's, that's what you
GPT for and all these things are

doing. They're like contextually
rephrasing things to sound

differently, but still say the
same thing. That is what this

stuff is really good at. Man I'm
so I'm so excited about the

world of like generative AI. And
the tools that have come through

it, like audio pen is a great
example of this, it's a to me,

just a really small, tiny little
step on top of existing steps,

but into the absolute right
direction. They're making,

making things easier and making
things more accessible. I think

accessibility, that's also an
important part of taking audio

and converting it into text
where people who can't write

well or who don't enjoy writing
can still write because what

you're doing is effectively, you
allowed me to write with my

voice. That's what a good audio
plan is. And this is not an

advertising for audio. But
although it might just as well

be because it's a good product,
and I use it, my affiliate link

will be down below. But no, but
what I'm, what I'm trying to say

is it is it is so empowering.
That's the thing that you build

in this half day, Hackathon is
opening up writing to people who

are not necessarily primarily
good writers. That is what this

technology can do.

Louis Pereira: I love this
again, through my dad, like he

is exactly what you described,
like he's a very deep thinker,

but English is not his primary
language. So he would always

write like, he would always, you
know, type on his his Google

Keep and send us these long
essays. But they will always not

be very well framed, right? Like
there will be typos, they would

be, you know, grammatical errors
here or there. And he would

still, like share it, he would
share it, you know, maybe within

the family because it's like a
smaller group. Now with audio,

and he just talks to his phone,
he gets what he wants. And he's

more confident to be able to
share that with anybody. Because

it's grammatically correct. It's
well structured. It's easy to

read, and just ready to share
from like, the get go. So he's

probably like power user. Number
one, the list of users have the

moment where like, every time is
every day, creates an order,

like shares it to everyone.
Well, he was quite proud of you

for that. Like that's, that's
the best gift you could give,

right? Yeah, accidental again,
but like great, great, concise,

Arvid Kahl: I guess you'll take
it though. The cool thing about

all human let me let me throw
this one at is the translation

stuff as well. Like you can you
can talk to it in any language

you want, which is hopefully
your your, your native tongue.

And the thing that comes out of
it can be in any language that

you like, which is that's also
what an empowering move this is.

Now all of a sudden, you're
turning this into a globally

critical communication tool is
kind of like the the

communicator in Star Trek,
that's what you're doing. Like,

you know, the communicator

Louis Pereira: I'm just
facilitating it like GPD for and

I'm opening eyes, like, doing
most of the work, but like,

Yeah, I'm glad to facilitate
that. Glad to be a channel for

people to be able to. And it's I
mean, it's, it's great. It's

great to be building something
that like people use that way.

And like it impacts them. Like,
you know, forget the money but

like when when I get like a user
telling me hey, you know, you

changed my life because of this.
I'm like, Oh my God, that's,

that's crazy. That's crazy to

Arvid Kahl: Yeah, my my example
here, and I hope this story is

something that you like a couple
of weeks ago, I was in a just in

a thinking mood. And I just
wanted to write but I didn't

want to write you know what I
mean? So I just I think I

dictated 510 15 minutes, ideas
into audio pen. And I had had

five articles done. I took the
transcripts, I put them into my

notion documents were headed and
like within just a couple hours,

not even, I think, what three
hours, two hours, it was super,

super quick. I had to a month's
worth of writing work. mostly

done. And that was so cool.
Knowing that oh, now I can focus

on all the other things I want
to do. I don't need to sit down

for like four days I have done
this in a couple hours. That was

such a such an amazing thing
that I feel I still underpaid

for the product. Let me let me
just say this. You know, it's so

so worth it to have a tool like
this. I'm excited. You know, I'm

Louis Pereira: still I've not
spoken about this to people

before but like I'm still
slightly conflicted about

whether making it easier for
people to think and to write.

Whether it's a good thing on the
whole, like, for instance,

writing is difficult work right?
Like, should people wrestle

their thoughts in order to get
them out on the on paper? Should

they be fighting that blinking
cursor on a blank screen for

their thoughts to you know, for
the for their own? Whatever

structure of that that talks to
be to be improved? Or should it

be easy for them to do it like,
you know, it almost feels like a

cheat code, like you talk to a
phone or your computer and it

creates this stuff for you. I
don't know, like, I'm still, I'm

still conflicted about whether
it's, you know, a net

Arvid Kahl: thing. 100% I very
much understand. I think from a

from a social philosophy
standpoint, you could argue that

every kind of technology, it has
this problem that the typewriter

was effectively a cheat code to
writing, because you could argue

that the hand eye coordination
of long form writing also

creates different thinking and
different sentence structures

and different you know,
different texts than if you were

just typing it. Or if you were
doing it on a computer with

like, automatic suggestions of
words or grammar, correction,

Grammarly, that kind of stuff,
all the tools that have come up,

I think every technology has the
potential to be achieved, in the

sense of that it makes something
that has a certain connection to

your brain slightly different.
And I agree with you, I think

this in particular, just kind of
skips the writing part all in

itself. But maybe its purpose is
not to be a replacement for

writing. That's kind of what
what most AI tools are

misunderstood at as our as
replacements I don't think they

are I think they're
augmentations to the process.

Like in my process. As a writer,
I use your tool, or any kind of

GPT based tool, not as a final
product generator, I use it as a

brainstorming tool, I use it for
the first step that I would do

anyway, in the way I do it by
dictating and then taking a

transcript and writing out
particular parts of it or taking

particular parts of that thing
and turning them into bullet

points or whatever, your tool
just facilitates that more

easily. And I still write the
article from there, I'm not

done. Once I've dictated this
into into audio PIN, I've just

getting a much better interim
result from which to write even

better text. So I think the
moment we take the notion of

tools, replacing processes, and
just look into how tools,

augment processes, I think this
becomes less of a problem,

because you're not replacing
writing. And you're definitely

not replacing thinking, because
thinking still needs to happen

in the process of you know,
people talking into their

microphones. It's just a
different kind of thinking that

happens. It's a more fluent one,
it's less of a wrestling to

type, you know, whether the
actual act of typing comes comes

in. It's a it's a more free
version of thinking. It's

different. And I think that's
all right, you're offering a

different way of thinking. I
like that.

Louis Pereira: Yeah, I mean, I'm
glad I'm glad you you think that

way. Yeah, makes me feel better
as well. Because ultimately, I

want to make sure that I mean, I
want to be creating a net

positive impact, right. So yeah,
I'm glad you feel that way. I

definitely got to stop writing.
I mean, I definitely still want

to, like build out like some of
the features I was mentioning

that I you know, I'm thinking of
like some of the directions I'm

thinking of, I still want to
push people to use this as a

first draft where they can then
edit it within Audio pen as

well, and then maybe even share
it. So for instance, like the

focus mode for writing, where
you go into like a full screen

mode that's like very minimal
and sleek. I want people to use

that to kind of take that first,
you know, draft that they get,

and then physically sort of sit
down and and think through it.

And let's see, maybe I can nudge
people in other ways as well to

use this as a starting point.
And you know, as you said, kind

of take it from there.

Arvid Kahl: Yeah, it's
definitely going to be an

interesting journey to watch
where this product is going. And

let's maybe close it up right
here. Where do people go to

follow that journey? Follow your
products, your thinking and your

cool features that open will get
in the future? Where do you want

people to go?

Louis Pereira: I mean, Twitter
is the best place I have. I have

a website as well. But I would
just say Twitter. I'm just at my

full name. Louis Pereira. No
spaces. No, no dots, no numbers.

Yeah, you can find me on
Twitter. I'm fairly active.

Arvid Kahl: Yeah, I've used
certainly aren't, I hope you

stay that way. I really, really
enjoyed our conversation here.

Today. I'm gonna put all of this
in the show notes, all your

projects, all your your Twitter
handle, and even your website,

which I think is cool. It's cool
that you have one way to just

share all the things you've done
in the past as well, because

that's important for other
people to see, too. Man, Louis,

thanks so much for being here
today and talking to me about

your blazing success story and
your humble perspective on how

this came to be. That was
really, really interesting to

hear. I'm looking forward to
seeing where this goes. And I'm

really, really excited for the
future of your Indie hacking

journey and your products. Thank
you so much for being on the

show today.

Louis Pereira: Thanks for having
me, man. Like it's been a it's

been a pleasure. I didn't think
I would be talking to you. You

know, if you were to tell me
like a few months ago. Yeah,

it's just it's great to actually
be able to speak to I'm very,

very grateful for it. So thanks
for the opportunity.

Arvid Kahl: I feel the exact
same way. Thanks so much. And

that's it for today. Products
like audio pen are incredibly

sellable, right? They're small
scope. They don't need that many

employees, if any at all.
They're completely digital and

ever Anything is automated.
Let's be honest, most indie

hackers want things to stay that
way. They don't want to hire or

build multi year sales
processes. And often that causes

things to slow down. Now imagine
this, your founder who's built a

really solid SAS product, you
acquired all your customers and

you have generated just
consistent monthly recurring

revenue, things are looking
good. But the only problem is

you're not growing for whatever
reason, lack of focus, lack of

skill, or just plain lack of
interest, you feel stuck. And

you might not even know where to
go next. Because it would change

the way that you run the
business. It would change your

lifestyle business, and you
don't know what to do. Well, the

story that I would like to hear
at this point is that you

buckled down and somehow
reignited the fire you got past

yourself and your limitations
and the cliches and you started

working on the business rather
than just in the business and

you start building this audience
and move out of your comfort

zone, do sales and marketing all
these things that six months

down the road have tripled your
revenue. Wouldn't that be great?

Well, reality is not that
simple. And this situation is

different for every founder, it
is facing this particular

crossroad. Too many times
though, this story ends up being

one of inaction and often
stagnation until the business

becomes less valuable or even
worse, worthless. And if you

find yourself here, or you story
is likely headed down a similar

road, I offer you a third
option, consider selling your

business on acquire.com At this
point, because this really about

your time right you capitalizing
on the value of your time is a

pretty smart move. And
acquire.com will help you with

that it's free to list and
they've helped hundreds of

foreigners already. So go to
try.acquire.com/arvid and just

see for yourself if this is the
right option for you right now.

Thank you for listening to The
Bootstrapped Founder today. You

can find me on Twitter
@arvidkahl provided that Twitter

is still around when you listen
to this and you'll find my books

and my Twitter course there too.
And if you want to support me in

the show, please subscribe to my
YouTube channel, get the podcast

and your player of choice and
leave a rating and a review by

going to

This really, really helps to
show any of this really helps to

show so thank you very much for
listening, and have a wonderful

day. Bye bye

Creators and Guests

Arvid Kahl
Arvid Kahl
Empowering founders with kindness. Building in Public. Sold my SaaS FeedbackPanda for life-changing $ in 2019, now sharing my journey & what I learned.
Louis Pereira
Louis Pereira
Building assets on the internet.
242: Louis Pereira — When an Indie Hacker Strikes Gold
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