7 min 6 sec

Engineer Codes His Way To $3,700 Per Month

A South African engineer obsessed with efficiency uses the Internet of Things to create a reliable source of recurring revenue.
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What It's About

A resourceful programmer helps employers take workplace efficiency to the next level.

Business Model
Skills Required
Coding & Bootstrapping
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

For anyone looking to start a similar business, Colin has one piece of advice: Google is your friend. He says there are so many great free resources, from podcasts to ebooks and blog posts, to help you solve your problems you can solve many problems for free if you’re willing to rummage around on search engines.

Fun Fact

One of Colin’s customers completely changed his staff roster and created a "skeleton crew" to keep the factory ticking during lunch breaks once he saw the production data and realized how much lunch breaks were costing him. I guess the saying is true that you can't manage what you can't measure!

Notes from Chris

Episode 363
South African engineer Colin Myburgh wanted an interesting side hustle that would one day help him quit his day job.

Obsessed with efficiency, he noticed many of the factories he worked with were using outdated systems to collect information. They had people walking around with clipboards to monitor input and output—a practice that cost them thousands of hours and dollars every year. It was here Colin saw a side hustle opportunity.

He’d been learning about the Internet of Things—connecting objects to the internet to improve their functionality, including thermostats or appliances or even your doorbell—and felt he could put his engineering and programming skills to good use. Using this know-how, Colin created his own system that factory owners could implement to increase their productivity through his new business, which he called Production Reporting.

He would go into a factory, install a simple piece of hardware that he could source locally, and have the data transmitted back to one easy to use dashboard. The hardware would monitor: cycle times, production counts, downtime reasons, and other relevant info that could be used to make better decisions.

Colin’s business works on a subscription model, which makes his monthly income much more predictable, and he charges $800-1200 for installation and around $400/month for ongoing service. When clients subscribe to his service they receive emails every morning from Colin with the previous day's reports. And, if they want, they have twenty-four-seven access to real-time data through the online dashboard. This can be accessed through their mobile phones, tablets or desktop computers. Basically, they can get their information whenever they need it.

Thanks to the subscription model, Colin has been able to generate recurring income of $3,700 per month through his business, and he continues to grow month to month.


  • Production Reporting: Learn more about Colin's super efficient productivity solution on his website
  • Amazon Web Services: Where he got the cloud space that he used to store the data for his clients
  • Upwork: The platform that Colin used to reach out to freelancers when he encountered coding hiccups

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,


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Quote of the Day
"Try to find something that interests you or that you think might be a gap in the market—even if it is trying to get your fridge to order milk automatically!"
—Colin Myburgh #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau