What a year 2020 has been. I remember when I was a kid, 2020 was described as this super modern environment in Malaysia where flying car is finally a thing. Malaysia was supposed to be the first-world country by now. I never imagine that in 2020 that I won’t actually be there in Malaysia and be in the UK instead. And I was for sure didn’t imagine that there’s a pandemic affected the whole 6 billion of the world population. If I could sum-up 2020 in a word, it will be “different”. Different from what I was imagining it would have become. Just totally different.
But if there’s one thing that I would be thankful for this year, it would be for my indie making journey has finally started to take off this year.
I’ve started indie-making 10 years ago actually when I first got into university. But there’s no term for it back then. And i didn’t really think that it is possible to make your actually app/startup that really took off. I thought it was either super lucky, or really only certain people can pull it off.
When I got to the UK I still think that way. But i was started to believe that I could do it especially when I joined the accelerator program indirectly etc. But in 2018 that all changed for good. I no longer found that it is impossible. I met all these amazing indiehackers all around the world through and we;ve made amazing connections. Thanks to sites like Twitter ,ProductHunt, Indiehackers.
The #indiemaker journey can b lonely sometimes, but connecting with all the amazing makers has always keep me motivated & get me back on track.— Ryzal Yusoff 🇬🇧🇲🇾 (@ryzalyusoff) December 18, 2018
Btw, this is wht my work space looks like everyday for the past couple of months. How about your work space? Let’s share them here ✨😊 pic.twitter.com/LLjrCvUnJ5
The above tweet was me doing my work at Nero cafe in Altrincham, UK – the town where I was living back then in 2018. I went there almost everyday. Hustling from usually 9/10am till they close at 6pm. I made some great connections there, meeting lots of different kind of people. And most of the stuffs there already know me and my favourites.
Reader Mode has been my baby for the past year. Reader Mode has been my focus and what I spent most of my days on. It was crowed 1st Product of The Day on Product Hunt and was featured on the front page and and top position of Hacker News. It got featured on Mashable, among many other publications. And most importantly, it has earned me enough income to pay for my rent, food etc.
Met amazing indie hackers
I met a lot of amazing people whom mostly are indiehackers from Twitter. My followers at this time of writing has grown from 700+ to now 1600+.
Moved to my own place!
After had been living with either family/friends/housemates all my life, I now finally live on my own now for the very first time! My new home now is a tiny 150sqft studio apartment. For a minimalist like me, I really really love this studio! It has everything that I need, and it is really cozy.
Speaking at Jomlaunch Asia
This year also has seen me speaking at a conference for the very first time ever. I spoke at Jomlaunch Asia conference in November about my journey on how I bootstrapped Reader Mode from just a side project into a profitable micro-startup. It was a fully online conference done via AirMeet platform, given the state of the world right now. But that’s what makes it so unique 🙂
In conclusion, 2020 has been a blessing for indiemaking journey and my life, eventhough the world in general has been in a really terrible situation because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a way, I feel really lucky to have gone through this year as a person, as this year is really unique in it’s own way. And will surely be remembered as a really strange and worst, but also a good and amazing year for me.