AJ (Carrd): The Accidental Founder

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This is a podcast episode titled, AJ (Carrd): The Accidental Founder. The summary for this episode is: AJ never meant to start a company. He was building websites as a freelancer, but was frustrated with the popular website platforms. They were far too complex, so AJ built Carrd as the easiest way to make one-page websites. It launched on Product Hunt and took off faster than AJ had ever expected. Now with 800k users, it’s much more than a side project. And AJ has become much more than a freelancer. He’s a founder, even if it happened by accident. Tune in to hear AJ’s advice on what to do when your side project takes off with users and takes on a life of its own.
What Carrd is all about
01:21 MIN
How AJ learned about interface design
00:41 MIN
Carrd's users and use cases
02:42 MIN
How constraints unlocked more creativity
01:27 MIN
Starting with a blank canvas can be overwhelming
02:16 MIN
Why product testing is a must
01:18 MIN
Trusting the Carrd community
01:36 MIN
Carrd's unintentional growth
03:10 MIN
The accidental founder's journey
01:36 MIN
How to tell when to prioritize your side project
04:45 MIN

DESCRIPTION

AJ never meant to start a company. He was building websites as a freelancer, but was frustrated with the popular website platforms. They were far too complex, so AJ built Carrd as the easiest way to make one-page websites. It launched on Product Hunt and took off faster than AJ had ever expected. Now with 800k users, it’s much more than a side project. And AJ has become much more than a freelancer. He’s a founder, even if it happened by accident. Tune in to hear AJ’s advice on what to do when your side project takes off with users and takes on a life of its own.

Key Takeaways:

[1:37] What is Carrd?

[1:50] AJ shares how he came up with the idea for Carrd.

[2:52] What did the work look like before Carrd?

[3:57] AJ talks about what motivated him to create Carrd.

[4:36] Who uses Carrd today and what are some of the popular use cases for what people are doing with it?

[5:29] AJ talks about the use-cases he never anticipated for Carrd.

[6:23] Did AJ think about the offering of what else exists in the market already?

[7:33] Is there a product philosophy that AJ has embodied as he built Carrd?

[10:05] AJ shares how the constraints ended up unlocking more creativity.

[12:16] AJ talks about how he made an effort to make it easier for people to get into Carrd and try it out.

[13:24] AJ explains how he tried out different products and realized that being able to test them first was a much-needed step.

[14:35] AJ talks about the importance of following the community.

[16:33] AJ explains why you have to have editorial control over the features of your product.

[18:28] AJ talks about distribution, explaining how Carrd got to be known and used by over 800,000 users.

[20:53] AJ talks about the unintentional viral growth of Carrd.

[23:35] Does AJ consider himself a founder?

[25:14] Blake talks about the difference between a “reluctant founder” and an “unintentional founder.”

[26:46] AJ shares how he started noticing that this side project was becoming something more.

[29:28] What advice would AJ give to himself six or 12 months ago, knowing what he knows now?