What It's About
Two friends streamline the act of giving credit where credit is due.
Words of Wisdom
There are all sorts of ways to make money. What is something in your industry that other people might never think of, but you know is a hassle or otherwise takes a lot of time? What could be a possible solution or just a substantial improvement to it?
Although Endcrawl is a SaaS product with a login area for customers to use, we served about 100 indie films before we even rolled out our first UI. Over time we built out an api and automated more features but the core product is still very similar. Since then over 1,000 movies have used Endcrawl.com. Including movies like Moonlight and The Big Sick.
Notes from Chris
When it comes to business models, software has to be one of the most profitable. Huge companies like Microsoft make their billions by selling software to customers worldwide. But, is it possible to create a software business as a side hustle? Today we’re featuring a side hustle that proves it can be done. Introducing Endcrawl, a software product built by John Eremic AKA “Pliny” and his co-founder Alan. Endcrawl is what’s known as a SaaS—software as a service—product. Unlike conventional software that might be installed on your computer, (like Windows or Excel). SaaS products run in the cloud, and customers pay a fee to use or access them. Endcrawl serves a very specific purpose—t creates end credit sequences for movies. You know, the type you see scrolling along in black and white when you’re leaving the cinema. Where every person that had a hand in making the film gets their credit. Well, each of those names had to be added to a list, sent to a typographer then sent to a videographer who would compile and edit. The sequence then needs to be rendered for film so it can grace the silver screen. Endcrawl completely automates that process using software, and aspiring and professional filmmakers the world over are paying for the privilege of using it. Let’s take a look at how this came to be. It all started with a couple of drinks. The guys both worked in the film industry, and they had both brainstormed ideas in the past but never committed to anything. One night at a party, they committed to building a project together, solving a problem they’d long knew existed: the time consuming and painstaking task of creating end credits software. Pliny and Alan threw $1,000 each at the project to get started. That would enable them to get a server and the tech required to run something like this, as well as cover any small expenses that might crop up. Alan had a coding background and was able to whip up a very basic version of Endcrawl. When I say basic, I mean really basic. They had a programmed script that would run on their laptops, and customers would email them a spreadsheet that they’d feed into the script. It would automatically generate the credits and they’d send them back in 15 minutes. Even with the manual process, it was a big improvement, because this process used to take up to 24 hours using the old methods. The customers loved it! The fact that it was a crude version and wasn’t automated didn’t matter much in the beginning. They were able to charge $500 a pop for each end credits sequence generated. Even with this super basic, and in their words ‘janky,’ proof of concept software, they served their first 100 customers using this system, for $50,000 in income. Things have begun to ramp up over the last two years though. Now in 2018, Endcrawl is generating around $20,000/month. After expenses are factored in, this gets John and Alan very close to being able to quit their day jobs. Their plan is to double revenue over the next year while holding down their jobs, and if everything goes well look at dedicating the full-time commitment to Endcrawl. By then it will pay them both a livable wage. So, it is possible to build a software-based business as a side hustle, but it isn’t simple. It can take time to build and the process is slow, methodical and not always certain. But Endcrawl proves it can be done. From an idea conceived over a few drinks to a script running on one laptop to now generating end credits for films like Moonlight, Snowden, Lady Bird, and The Big Sick, Endcrawl's days of crawling have dramatically sped up. In fact, they’re off and running!
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Endcrawl: Learn more about Pliny and Alan's credit software over on their website!
- 99designs: The platform that Dariusz used to design his logo for Rocket Vodka
- Gmail Tool Generates $1 Million a Year: After looking for a way to send mass emails by Gmail, this web developer stumbles on more than a million dollars a year in recurring revenue
- Senior Center Director Creates Virtual Training Service: A director of operations at a senior center comes up with a way to improve training services—while building a sustainable side income
- Craft Beer Fan Becomes Digital Bouncer: A Starbucks employee with a love for Pacific Northwest beer stumbles upon a profitable endeavor helping breweries become compliant with website age verification
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