From Google form to $1000 in revenue in one month

 In a month, has gone from a Google form-based MVP to a bona fide job site that’s made its first $1000. Here’s how I did it on my own for under $20.
It started September 15th at midnight when I read Tim Bray’s “Old Geek” post about ageism in tech. I registered for $9 and spent an hour putting up a Google form and static site on a cheap Digital Ocean instance. I posted a Show HN to HackerNews and called it a night.

My submission only had 8 upvotes by morning. Fortunately, someone who saw it did a Wordpress write-up with a strong message and submitted that to HackerNews too. That post garnered 500 upvotes. The Wordpress site crashed under load, so the HN moderators replaced the submission’s URL with a direct link to my site. Employers started posting jobs, and I copied and pasted them from the Google form into static HTML.

I’ve read news often flows from targeted sites like HackerNews to more mainstream outlets, and it’s true. The next day a reporter from Quartz contacted me about my site and wrote up this piece. If a reporter contacts you about your product, give them sound bites they can plug into their articles that make both of you look good.
“I’m excited because employers will post jobs knowing beforehand older people plan on applying,” he says. “That in turn will make older people feel comfortable about applying. It’s a simple idea that can make a big difference.”
The following day, the story made Inc., and I knew I needed to focus. I spent the next few days building out a legitimate site powered by Flask and Postgresql, so I wouldn’t have to copy and paste job listings anymore. At that point, I’d gathered 50 jobs, so I didn’t spend much time on design and just enumerated the jobs on a single, fast-loading page.

I slapped a $50 price tag on, but it was just a test to see if employers would continue posting. I didn’t waste a minute hooking up a payment processor until I could prove it’d be worth it. Employers kept posting with the faux price tag, so I hooked up Stripe and started making money. Like the Google form-based MVP, this was another cheap test to gather information before expending effort.With jobs selling at a rate of about 1 a day, I decided to spend time on the site’s UX to make it something I’d want to use personally. I built an aggregating script that pulls jobs from StackOverflow and significantly overhauled the interface breaking out jobs by city and state. I highlighted the jobs posted on the site in green placing them above the jobs pulled in from StackOverflow.One of the reasons I want to work on OldGeekJobs is because I’ve experienced ageism first-hand. I’m only 37 years old, but I was rejected by a startup of twenty somethings a few months back. I was told I wasn’t a cultural fit, and I knew it was partly due to my age. I turned the negative experience into a positive one by writing this blog post and submitting it to HackerNews. It resonated with people and made the front page. That exposure gave me the gas I needed to keep cranking on my idea.For the last two weeks, I’ve been heads down coding. I swapped out Jinja templates for a jQuery based front end to facilitate realtime keyword search.

I’m just getting started, and I’m going to keep pushing hard on this idea to see how far I can take it. I’ll be blogging about my journey along the way, sofollow me on Twitter for updates. If you’re in the job market and worried about ageism, check out these open listings. If you’re an employer, post a job now.
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