Build To Sell: A developer's guide to launching profitable side projects while employed full-time

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When I began my indie hacking journey eight years ago, there wasn't a guide like this. Now, I've penned the manual I wish I had back then. Every lesson, strategy, and insight is distilled from hard-won experience. Equip yourself with the tools I lacked; Make your journey more informed and efficient than mine ever was.

Who Is This Book For?

Welcome to "Build To Sell: A Developer's Guide to Launching Profitable Side Projects While Employed Full-Time." If you've picked up this book, it's likely because you find yourself at the intersection of technical skill and entrepreneurial ambition. But who exactly will benefit from the insights and strategies presented in these pages? 

The Employed Developer

If you're a software developer currently employed but looking to diversify your income streams and put your skills to use in new ways, this book is tailored for you. It addresses the unique challenges and opportunities of balancing a full-time job and a side project.

The Aspiring Entrepreneur

You may not have a technical background, but you possess the drive and vision to bring a digital product or service to life. This book will provide a roadmap, teaching you how to validate, build, and scale your idea, even while juggling other responsibilities.

The Side Hustler

Already have a side project but struggling to make it profitable? The lessons in this book delve into how to transition from a hobbyist to an entrepreneur, offering tactical advice on marketing, growth, and, ultimately, selling your project.

The Student or Bootcamp Graduate

Still in school or freshly out of a coding boot camp? Starting a side project could be an incredible learning experience, and it's never too early to consider profitability. The principles outlined in this book help set the stage for future success.

Whether you identify closely with one of these profiles or find yourself somewhere in between, "Build To Sell" aims to equip you with the practical knowledge and actionable strategies to make your side project not just a line on your resume but a profitable venture that complements your career.

What’s Covered in this Book?

This handbook is for strategically validating, building, growing, and exiting a side project with no external funding—all while maintaining your full-time job.

  • You will pick a strategy that aligns with your end goals, quick exit or long-term hold, doing it solo or with a team.
  • Minimize risk and wasted effort by learning how to validate your idea with budget-friendly methods before diving into development.
  • Gain a solid framework for developing a minimum viable product (MVP) that meets user needs while incorporating feedback loops for ongoing refinement.
  • Learn how to fuel your project’s growth organically, capitalizing on SEO and multiple platforms for maximum visibility and user acquisition.
  • Master the art of the exit by understanding when to sell, where to list your project, and how to make it appealing to potential buyers.

This book assumes you are a software developer so we won't delve into specific technologies or coding tutorials. Instead, we focus on a streamlined, step-by-step approach to launching, growing, and potentially exiting a side project—all while juggling a full-time job. Expect actionable advice with zero filler, designed to provide the most value in the least amount of time.

Meet the Author: Navigating Full-Time Work and Side Hustles

Hello, I'm Russell Henlin, a software developer at a Fortune 100 company with a penchant for entrepreneurial endeavors. My journey into the startup world began eight years ago with a Chrome extension that eventually garnered, at its peak, over 10,000 total users and 600 weekly users. My ventures continued. I delved into AI with a SaaS speech-to-text solution for students during the pandemic, although it didn't gain the traction I had hoped for. Shortly after, I launched SecuQR, a secure, private, and anonymous way to share files using QR codes and one-time links, which was acquired just two weeks post-launch.

Today, I am the Founder and CEO of Real Web Properties, a burgeoning portfolio of profitable web properties that I started to house all my side projects turned businesses. My vision is to build a collection of profitable online assets that can supplement my salary and offer financial freedom. I also run a weekly newsletter,, where I share free startup ideas, growth strategies, and acquisition opportunities.

Why am I sharing all of this? Because I've been in your shoes, juggling a demanding full-time job while nurturing various side projects. My experiences have given me invaluable insights, and this book encapsulates those lessons. I'm here to guide you through the maze of validating, building, growing, and potentially exiting your side project—all while managing a full-time career.

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A comprehensive guide distilling eight years of indie hacking experience into actionable insights for launching and profiting from side projects while employed full-time.

3.64 MB
35 pages
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Build To Sell: A developer's guide to launching profitable side projects while employed full-time

0 ratings
I want this!