Darshan Gajara is Bootstrapping Product Disrupt at 500 USD MRR

In this post, we are interviewing Darshan Gajara, who currently runs Product Disrupt, which he is bootstrapping at 500 USD per month, providing curated resources to learn product design. Lots of value in this one, so keep reading.

 

[Xtartups Interviewer] What does your product or service do?

Product Disrupt is a curated list of resources to learn product design and build digital products.


[Xtartups Interviewer] What's your product's elevator pitch?

It's the internet age and we no longer need to go to an expensive school to educate ourselves about design. There are enough good folks out there who have created resources for everyone to benefit from.

Whether you're just starting out or already a PRO, there's always something you can learn. The resources listed on Product Disrupt are going to remain relevant at all stages of your career.


[Xtartups Interviewer] Tell us about your team.

I'm a solo creator :)


[Xtartups Interviewer] What motivated you to work on this product?

I went to an engineering college and transitioned to digital product design through freelancing. Naturally, my blog readers, friends & colleagues grew curious and often asked me questions like, How did you learn product design? What's your day-to-day job? How can I get into design?" and so on…


I always did my best to answer their questions and guide them in the right direction but eventually, I got tired of the repetitive nature of these questions and started thinking of ways to simplify this.

Of course, I'd have my go-to resources listed down, which I still refer to from time to time. I put them together on a website which anyone could go to and start learning from.


The first version became a stand-out success notching the #1 product of the day honours on Product Hunt. This made me realize that I'd got something here, I continued working on it and here we are.


[Xtartups Interviewer] Tell us where you are in this product/company's journey?

Product Disrupt now has a resource directory, blog and half-monthly newsletter. The newsletter has more than 100 issues and is read by over 4500+ designers and creators from all over the world.


A job board is in the making :)

[Xtartups Interviewer] What has been your biggest learning moment in this journey?

Here are my learnings from running this project for over 4.5 years:

1. Start before you're ready

2. Build momentum to stay inspired

3. Make it sustainable

4. Lower the friction to create

5. Stay in the know

6. Show up consistently


[Xtartups Interviewer] What hacks helped you reach this milestone?

Building in public helped me to stay motivated and accountable. Also, creating a system and cadence around the project made things easier over time. I now run the whole business in Notion.


[Xtartups Interviewer] Did you rely on paid promotions?

I've never done any paid promotions for Product Disrupt. However, I do cross-promotion campaigns from time to time.


[Xtartups Interviewer] How did you find your first 10 customers?

Product Disrupt had two successful launches on Product Hunt – notching the number 1 & number 2 product of the day, respectively. The majority of the early users came from there.


[Xtartups Interviewer] If you weren't working on this product, which other product/idea would you be pursuing?

I got a few ideas piled up. I would like to spend more time creating resources for people to crack a product design interview and move abroad with a job.


[Xtartups Interviewer] Who is your favorite bootstrapped founder? And why?

Pieter Levels – the guy is the original indie creator. I admire his no-bs approach to creating products and finding ways to make them profitable while staying small.


Paul Jarvis – always been a fan of his writing. I like his mindful approach towards creating products and the ideas like knowing you're enough, building a company of one, etc.


[Xtartups Interviewer] What book or podcast has helped you in this journey?

I hardly read any books but here are a few of my favourite podcasts:

  1. Yo! Podcast by Rob Hope

  2. Indie Hackers

  3. The Futur

  4. Creator Lab by Bilal Zaidi

  5. The Nathan Barry Show

[Xtartups Interviewer] What do you wish you knew when you started working on this idea?

Capturing emails from the get-go would have been useful :)


[Xtartups Interviewer] For someone who is thinking of starting a bootstrapped business, what would be the one thing they should watch out for?

Don’t give up when things get difficult. Grind through it and show up every day. Talent can only give us a head start but it’s the consistency that helps us grow and move forward. I'd been abided by this learning since the time I started working and have reaped the rewards of it. I don’t see why this won’t work for you.


Stay humble and support other creators. Creativity isn't a zero-sum game.


[Xtartups Interviewer] Are you hiring for any positions? If yes, how can people reach out to you?

Not hiring right now but feel free to say hello to me on Twitter. I'm @WeirdoWizard.