Hi AJ, you are the anonymous founder of
Carrd, can you shed some light on who you are, and talk about your background?
Just another random person on the internet making stuff. That’s … sort of it I guess! I mean I’m not on the run or anything, but I’m pretty big about keeping the focus on my work so keeping myself out of it (to the extent that I can) has been really helpful towards achieving that goal.
How would you introduce
Carrd? Do you have any favorite stories you’d like to share from the early days?
I’m generally not that great at writing copy but I think the tagline I wrote for the landing page actually does a decent job: build one-page sites for pretty much everything. Didn’t start out for “everything” mind you (as it mostly catered to profile-style sites) but it didn’t take long for users to show me otherwise!
Hmm, favorite/funny story?
I’d say running my private alpha and very quickly learning templates (something that wasn’t included in the alpha let alone something I planned to support)
Although there are a lot of site builders,
Carrd shines through its simplicity, can you tell us how did you end up focusing on that, and what went into building the product?
Mostly practicality. As a solo project (which, at least initially, was the point of doing this) I couldn’t really go head to head with your Wixes and
So I decided to focus on that and realized it was not only simple enough for me to pull off
If you compare your
Carrd from when you started to now, what were the main things that allowed you to expand your business?
Twitter was extremely instrumental early on, and then launches/features on places like Product Hunt really kicked things into overdrive. From there, however, it was and continues to be driven almost entirely by word of mouth (as I don’t spend any money on marketing/advertising).
I think a big part of what makes that possible is the low friction “no signup required” approach it uses to get you into the product and it definitely shows as Carrd’s doubled (and in some cases tripled) its numbers every year since it launched back in 2016.
You have an impressive community online, any advice on how should entrepreneurs approach
It probably sounds cliched but
I think just being responsive to user feedback/concerns goes a long way to build trust between your product and its users and I guess over time that can evolve into a community of sorts.
And while Carrd doesn’t really have an “official” community spot in the form of, say, a forum, it’s probably getting to the point where it needs one.
Can you tell us about the cool part and not so cool part of being a solo founder?
Within the context of “solo foundering” (if that’s a word), I’d say the coolest parts are definitely the early days. It’s just you, your idea, and in some cases a handful of dedicated users coming along for the ride you as you build and grow your product. It’s easy to try new things, discard the things that don’t work, and in general just move as quickly or as slowly as you like.
The not-so-cool parts, at least from the perspective of solo foundering, IMO happen later on. That is if your product manages to gain traction and grows beyond the point where a solo founder can run the show, some of the things that made the early days fun have to make way for the realities of running what’s effectively now a business. Not to say that’s a bad thing, however, but I guess it’s a bit like graduating from school — time for shit to get real.
What is the kindest thing someone has done to you?
Hmm, within the context of work?
Probably all of the times I’ve received extremely detailed feedback from my peers about why something doesn’t work and/or why they think it should work some other way. Not only is this extremely helpful for the product itself, but simply knowing you have peers who’ll take time out of their busy schedules to ultimately help you succeed — definitely a soul-warming experience to say the least.