Does the indie community need a market correction? It's easy to think that doom is always ahead, but as many who were overly bearish during the market bottom in October in 2022 found out, the market recovers and will reach new all time highs just a few months later.
I've just finished a short week of snowboarding in Zermatt, and it was one of my best weeks yet surfing on snow. I've only started 2 years ago and even with hiring a private instructor for a week I was still falling face down in the snow from time to time. It only took hard delibarate practice focusing on drills, repeating the same moves and focused on improving parts of a technique to get a good holistic level.
If you're focused on the trees you'll end up crashing into them. It would be more practical to plan for what comes after a market correction to anticipate what is ahead and build for a future that is evident based on cause and effect:
Just like how mobile apps, geolocation and fast internet enabled the likes of Uber, Airbnb and TikTok, so will artificial intelligence bring in the growth of new super-apps.
We're still extremely early in this wave, as we don't hear so often still about a mega "disruption" like how Uber destroyed taxi companies, Airbnb "disrupted" hotels or Netflix killed off video stores.
I think mid-wave, we'll need to start seeing:
- social changes: like more men opting into AI girlfriends
- economic changes: disappearing of job sectors or industries
- legal battles: like the recent NYT lawsuit to OpenAI, more sites like Stackoverflow or Quora will follow
- education: AI parents or teachers
- massive news / market disruptions due to hoaxes, fake news by AI-generated images or video
If you go out in the real world, you still don't see massive impact into the real lives of people. Yet, if you look around, everyone has a phone and is scrolling on Instagram, TikTok, now more than ever.
It will be common and normal to talk to your AI assistant via voice just like the movie Her, this will be a full reality in 2024, especially with how good text to speech and speech to text has become. Your AI bot can sound perfectly real and understand, connect and learn more about you than ever before.
Just like in Her, the next decades will lead to us connecting the individual AI memories, unlocking perpetual training and conversations with an AI hivemind, causing our human and robotic minds to blend into a global superintelligence. If something like Neuralink happens, this could be literally and physically be true. Something similar to Gaia from Asimov.
- Better tools and tech
- Better frameworks like TailwindCSS, Bubble (no-code)
- Better AI autocomplete, easier to build with Github Copilot
- More resources like courses, YouTube tutorials, boilerplate templates
Easier and faster than ever to build a MVP than ever. We'll see more SaaS apps and people building as a solo dev. The bar to actually get users and money will be a little bit higher, so the overall skill level will need to improve for this as well. But creativity and good distribution will be the differentiator.
Since we have so many apps and the barrier to build is low, distribution and marketing will be super important. Indie hackers will need to focus on getting real users and getting paid.
You'll need to focus on running a sustainable business with your time, show you're an expert on YouTube, get followers, show more of your personality and authenticity to provide real value.
Building in public is useful to show your expertise and to teach people your techniques, some of the best indie hackers and startups follow this path to leverage their followers. You show what you're building on Twitter, LinkedIn or TikTok and get real people to follow you and love your content. The best apps will have strong personal brands behind them.
The most successful, user-driven B2C companies will use platforms like Discord or Slack to create "dark forest" communities that feel personal and that allow a continuous feedback loop between users and the developers. This is for example why Midjourney is so great, they have 200M+ people in their Discord forum, something that OpenAI might lack, so they get a constant flow of feedback.
And to differentiate, position and improve your app, you'll need constant feedback from real users talking about their problems so you can build for them. Figuring out "the truth", as Bezos puts it, is the new oil. Figuring out what your customer want is key.
Email lists and newsletters will be amazing distribution channels in 2024, helping you combine social media and retain an audience with a direct line of communicatio. Email, that is useful, will be key to customer engagement and retention.
Finally, SEO will always remain important, as it's still the best chanel for direct commercial interest into what people are searching for, despite AI being more important, it will still be crucial to rank high for competitive keywords to get good organic traffic. Even AI like Copilot or Perplexity will do a "Bing" or "Google" search first to get the most up to date information on a topic.
It will be impossible to ignore content marketing and SEO. And I want to double down on this for 2024. Together with other social media platforms like Twitter and Email.
I'm going to focus on marketing and growing my apps, my audience on Twitter and my email list. For me, the focus is still on SEO and content marketing. Let's see how this goes!