AJ (Carrd): The Accidental Founder
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.
[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?