8 years ago I was lying on a green carpet from IKEA in my rented apartment in Moscow staring at the ceiling and thinking why I was so poor. I constantly changed my full-time jobs getting a slightly bigger salary. But my income always remained average. I went to mediocre restaurants, wore mediocre clothes, rode the subway and didn't understand what I needed to change to make decent money.
At that moment I couldn't even imagine that the company I was going to co-found would earn its first $1,000,000 in as little as three years. It seems that I've found a way out of the mediocrity trap and now I want to share my experience with you.
I started my business accidentally. I gathered my design assets, made a UI Kit, uploaded it on Designmodo and made it freely available
. We got an incredible number of downloads during the first month - 100,000! I thought it was a sign and made a paid version in a couple of days. I added a few dozens of additional elements, set a $19 price tag and put it up for sale
Two months later I made enough money to quit my job. Leaving for nowhere scared me but I knew it was the only way to abandon my mediocre life and start to build the one I had always dreamt of.
Gradually, we began to make larger UI Kits adding new elements and improving the design. At that time products like this were free on the internet. Alternatively, we constantly raised the price while improving the product quality. First - $39
, then - $89
. Sales were gradually growing.
We were always thinking how to make our products useful. We knew that the majority of people bought our UI Kits because of their appearance. But most of them didn't even open the archive with the elements after downloading. People buy hope, not the product.
We didn't like that. So, we decided to make Startup Framework
. This is a kit of HTML and CSS components. People could use the design as well as had the access to the blocks' code. This allowed our clients to create a full-fledged website in a couple of hours.
We grabbed a camera and went in the streets to shoot a promotional video for the new product. Though we had no experience in video recording it was clear to us that a video would big up the product's status and draw people's attention to it. We were right. We set the price at $249 and launched the new product.