Marko Saric, the indie co-founder of Plausible Analytics, dared to create a better Google Analytics. Marko and Uku currently generate $3,182 MRR with 509 customers as of Aug 2020 – their secret weapon: riding a wave of a growing market interest + adhering to sound marketing practices.
About This Indie Interview
This is the
#3rd installment of our Indie Interviews series to help aspiring indie founders & indie entrepreneurs to get inspired by listening from those successful indie founders who are already highly involved on the startup scene and *being there* taming the waves & surfing better than ever to achieve their dream – seeking financial freedom, working on projects that matters to them, getting a sense of accomplishment (in their own eyes) and working on their own schedule.
It is also an opportunity for new indie founders to get to know other like-minded indie entrepreneurs.
I hope you will derive as much fun to read my interviews as I’m having by interviewing those awesome indie founders, entrepreneurs & businesses.
And Now the Interview With the Indie Co-Founder of Plausible Analytics
<\> Table of contents
- Please tell us about yourself
- Tell us about your business
- Who is your ideal customer
- How are you building trust
- What is your business model
- your revenue stats & traffic stats
- What tech stack, infrastructure & tools are you using
- How is Plausible Analytics different from Google Analytics?
- What ONE mistake (failure) you made
- The hardest part about launching a business
- Your best advice for indie beginners & indie founders
### Spotlight on our today’s indie person & his web analytics business
I’m Marko (@MarkoSaric on twitter) and I’m a co-founder of Plausible Analytics, a simple, open-source, lightweight (< 1 KB) and privacy-friendly web analytics alternative to Google Analytics.
I try to use open source tools as much as I can. So I’m running Linux on this laptop that I’m writing from. I wrote about my journey from macOS to Linux
Plausible Analytics was started early last year by my co-founder Uku (@ukutaht on twitter).
He wanted to build an independent and privacy friendly alternative to Google Analytics. You can read the post he published about this moment
Our customers are website owners, freelancers and agencies.
More website owners are becoming increasingly aware of the different privacy issues around websites analytics and user tracking.
GDPR and other privacy regulations have specific requirements for website owners around needing to give visitors options and get their consent.
Having a fast loading and speedy website makes the user experience much better, especially on mobile phones. It is even a signal for search engine algorithms.
Plausible Analytics provides a great and simple solution for all of the above. It is privacy-first, compliant with the different regulations and 45 times lighter than the market leader.
We are transparent and open in everything that we do, which is very important when working in the privacy-friendly industry.
We are entirely open source so anyone can view, review and inspect the code we are running to verify whether our actions match with our words.
We share our website traffic stats with the public. We share our revenue numbers with the public. We share our development work with the public and our roadmap too.
Our goal is to grow a sustainable open-source project funded solely by the fees that our subscribers pay us. We are not interested in raising funds or taking investment.
Our business model has nothing to do with collecting and analyzing vast amounts of personal information from web users and using these behavioural insights to sell advertisements. We choose the subscription business model rather than the business model of surveillance capitalism.
Revenue – As of the time of writing (Aug 2020), we are on $3,182 MRR with 509 paying subscribers.
Here is our crazy milestone:
- May 14, 2019: Got our first subscriber
- May 27, 2020: But then it took us more than a year to reach $1,000 MRR
- July 6: And then things shifted quickly. $2,750 MRR in 40 days
- August 7: And now $3,182 MRR in 32 days
Similar numbers for subscribers. It took us one year to reach the first 100 but we went from 400 to 500 paid subscribers in 15 days!
Traffic stats – We have our traffic stats completely open too.
NOTE: For more in-depth insights, you can view them here.
It is much easier to promote a product if it rides a wave of a growing market interest.
And Plausible Analytics is riding a rising trend. It is privacy-first and compliant with the different regulations.
Plausible Analytics is a standard Elixir/Phoenix application backed by a PostgreSQL database for general data and a Clickhouse database for stats.
On the frontend we use TailwindCSS for styling and React to make the dashboard interactive.
Plausible Analytics is built with simplicity, speed and privacy in mind. We’ve used Google Analytics for years and understand its pitfalls.
Plausible Analytics gives you a web analytics tool that is:
- Fully open source with the code available on GitHub
- Simple to understand and get insights from in one minute
- A lightweight script of less than 1 KB so your site keeps loading fast
- Doesn’t collect personal data so no need for GDPR and CCPA consent prompts
We believe in sound marketing practices and here are a list that we say no to at this moment:
- We don’t do paid advertising
- We don’t do A/B testing
- We don’t have spy pixels from Facebook and Google so we can re-target you
- We don’t have a podcast, we don’t do videos
- We don’t have a fancy email sequence where we try to “nurture” you into paying
- We don’t do any intrusive popups
For more details, see: “Why you should stop using Google Analytics on your website“
It’s a bit too early in my journey with Plausible Analytics to talk about mistakes and failures.
In the last few months that I’ve joined the project, everything has gone very fast and we’ve been making great progress.
It will take me a bit longer time to be able to step back a bit, zoom out a big and understand whether we have made some big mistakes. For now, I have nothing to complain about.
If the product is not easily differentiated from the rest of the market, it makes marketing and growing it so much more difficult.
So the hardest part is to create something that stands out and that people love to use.
When you have that, the promotion becomes much easier.
Everything takes time and effort. So don’t have high and unrealistic expectations that things will happen overnight.
Work on growing your startup every day, make small improvements and tiny achievements every day.
You will come a long way and see great results over a longer period of time.