Tarek, from 0 to 6k$ MRR in 2 years.

Tarek, from 0 to 6k$ MRR in 2 years.
Photo by hookle.app / Unsplash

Tarek is a successful indie hacker in addition to be a full time worker. His journey is very interesting, and I’m pleased to receive him to share it with you today.

Hi Tarek! Thank you for your participation to AboutStartup! Can you introduce yourself?
Hey Pauline, thanks for having me :))
I am Tarek, I am Lebanese and French, Fintech dev by day, indie hacker by night.

You built an app for shopify users, Materials Inventory App a few years ago. Can you tell us the story behind it?
During the covid lockdowns (Nov/Dec 2020) I saw restaurants going online and thought they would increasingly use Shopify to do so.

So I went on the Shopify forum and started asking questions in posts related to restaurants to find a problem to solve. Someone mentioned the problem of managing their inventory of ingredients (while Shopify only handles the inventory of finished products - meals in the case of restaurants).

I liked the idea and started building an MVP. Built it (in my free time) in 6 weeks. My girlfriend helped me a lot with the non-dev stuff during the first 3 months, very thankful for that!

With the first users I noticed I was completely wrong and that very few restaurants would use Shopify, but small makers and manufacturers started using the app because they had the same issue with their raw materials inventory.

So I adapted the wording used in the app and started getting users and their feedback. Since then I’ve been improving the app :))

Can you share stats?
Yup, reached $6k MRR recently
Some MRR milestones:

  • Feb.’21 got my first $, did $14 MRR
  • Sept. ‘21 reached $1k MRR
  • Dec. ‘21 reached $2k MRR
  • Apr. ‘22 reached $3k MRR
  • Jul. ‘22 reached $4k MRR
  • Oct. ‘22 reached $5k MRR
  • Dec. ‘22 reached $6k MRR

You are listed on Shopify marketplace, it gives you a nice visibility. Do you do other marketing?
I don’t do any other marketing than being listed on the Shopify app marketplace. It is very bad to do that. I should be doing marketing.

How do you organize yourself to do indie hacking and work full time for another company?
With a full-time job, I have no other choice than being very focused during the few hours I can allocate to the app. Also being ruthless with prioritizing the work.

Love the Eisenhower matrix:

What are the main issues you encountered during your entrepreneur’s journey?
Definitely the fact that I am building a SaaS to solve a problem I haven’t encountered personally. So I have to listen a lot to customer feedback, but at the same time not let users dictate which features get  built and how. If I follow requests blindly I end up with a mix of random custom features instead of a coherent product, strategy and vision.

What are your tips for people who want to create a SaaS too?
First, distribution matters, think about it before building. Second, ship the MVP as soon as possible - nothing beats market/users feedback.

Final words, do you have a fun fact that happened to you?
The person who mentioned the problem on the Shopify forum/gave me the idea behind the app, never replied when I shipped the app and never even tried the app 😅

Tarek's links

Materials Inventory App

Interview made by Pauline_Cx