Damon Chen

Acquired and growing PDF.ai (chat with PDFs using AI) and Testimonial.to (grow your business with social proof)

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I have acquired 4 businesses so far:

  1. supportman.io: It has been 2-3 years since the acquisition, and the monthly recurring revenue (MRR) has remained at $600.
  2. quickyai.com: I acquired this business in less than a year and converted its pricing from lifetime to subscription. However, it has only achieved $31 MRR and can be considered a total failure.
  3. docsium.com: I acquired this business around the same time as quickai for $7k. The MRR has now organically grown to $600+ thanks to the Google Workspace Marketplace.
  4. PDF.ai: I acquired this business for $20k, and its MRR has grown to $50k.

The biggest surprise in these acquisitions is that sometimes things can go out of my control, especially when it comes to being on the hype of something. Among the 4 acquisitions, PDF AI stands out as it is right on top of the hype. However, this is not something I can control. Even if I put 10 times the effort into any of the other products, I wouldn't achieve the same results as PDF.ai. What I need to do is to keep adding new features to the product to keep it fresh, and there will always be new things I can share on social media every single day. This helps me stay on top of the hype. So, when an opportunity arises, seize it and try to keep it popular for as long as possible.

Tips from Damon:

As a solopreneur, I can offer some tips from my perspective.

Tip #1: Since we have a small team, when acquiring new business, it's beneficial to invest in products that have a product-led growth effect. This means that the product has the potential to grow on its own, without relying heavily on external marketing expenses like ads or partnerships. For example, with Docsium, an app in the Google Marketplace, Google will help promote the app to potential users without requiring additional marketing efforts.

Tip #2: It's important to buy things within our budget. If we can't afford a Ferrari, it's best to avoid purchasing it and wait until we can afford it. Personally, I only spend money that I have in my bank account, without taking out loans or seeking external investors. This ensures that if the new business fails, I won't go broke.

Tip #3: Consider purchasing products with a similar or compatible tech stack. This will help speed up the development cycle for our existing team, as there won't be a need to spend time learning a new tech stack.