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Ask HN: These making $500+/month on aspect initiatives in 2023 – Present and inform

Ask HN: These making $500+/month on aspect initiatives in 2023 – Present and inform

2023-01-22 15:28:57

During COVID I was in Mexico. At some point I wanted to go horseback riding. I was researching places to go horseback riding and I was not at all surprised to see I would have to make some calls to book.

Fast-forward a few weeks, I become pretty good friends with the owner at the ranch I went to. We grab tacos one night and he shares his concerns: They’re not doing so well financially and are worried about whether or not they’ll be able to afford feed in a month.

I got involved and we solved that problem and a few more: revamped the website (it looked and felt like it was from 2006), I whipped up a booking/reservation system to get more customers through the door, and exit surveys to make sure everything was perfect (and figure out what went wrong if it wasn’t).

Bookings this month are up 490% from 2018 (according to the paper waivers they had) and that’s without a single dollar spent in paid marketing. I answer a few emails every day from prospective riders and make sure everyone’s happy. I get a percentage of each reservation which is cool, but the coolest part is that I get to say I am a co-owner in a Mexican horse ranch.

Mexicos overall internet presence is literally stuck in the early 2000s.

Most business’ official website are a Facebook page.

In a country of 150M people and growing expat presence, there is a TON of opportunities for software businesses to enter the market.

For example: Riviera Maya has no MLS style real estate tracker/listing platform. The entire real estate industry operates on word of mouth, WhatsApp and Facebook messages.

Very cool to know.

I did something very similar for Surfing schools. Not yet making any money off it, but I am trying to. Reaching out to other surfing schools, improving the product adding new features.

Nice! Was the booking system simple CRUD, or did you require credit cards for payment or reservation?

Edit: Saw the URL from another comment. Great work, simple and does exactly what’s needed.

It’s mostly CRUD, and the stack is very boring: Rails/Hotwire/Bootstrap, about 10k lines (we have apps for the staff on the ground, agents and agencies that we partner with, and some other stuff in there). The tricky part of handling the bookings is that on any given day we have a limited number of horses and multiple types of rides: 3 trails at 10AM, 1 trail at 3PM. A few times a month we’ll max out the horses and not have availability for a given time. We can burst horsepower if we need to and accommodate bigger groups if we’re hitting capacity and suspect load will maintain its current HPH. (that was a stretch; I tried)

We also track what horses have been used and how much so that we’re not riding them into the ground — the people on the ground have an app I built in Framework7 to manage everything; they love it and Framework7 is very fun once you get rolling.

We ask for a 20% deposit to “hold [your] horses” and to prevent no-shows; the rest is transacted at the ranch (though we make the option to pay in full available if you email us). Our cancellation policy extremely flexible and though we say 24 hours on the site, we’ve never not refunded someone.

An absolutely amazing story. I’ve wondered for a while how powerful bringing skilled software engineers (let’s be honest, people don’t give us credit for the amount of actual business skill is required to effectively do this job) into small businesses would work. Most people who don’t work in tech or advertising don’t think so much about tracking everything. It presents a pretty big opportunity for both small business owners and software people.

One of the things I wanted to do was understand who our customer was. They had really no idea. Waivers are all digitalized and ask for the basics: name, date of birth, where you’re from, emergency contact. I use a “gender API” to get the gender of the rider the best we can, and from there we have learned a lot about who our typical customer is.

Some fun factoids:

* typical rider is 35-44. Less than 10% of riders are under the age of 24,

* about half of people book when they’re in Mexico

* average lead time is 7 days

* about 66% of riders have riding exp; about 33% consider themselves “novice” or “expert” riders

* 45% of riders are male, 55% are female

* 1 rider reported they are from Antartica

Thanks! We get a lot of compliments on the copy. I wanted to reflect that we are indeed a Mexican horse ranch without the site being incredibly boring. There’s only so many cool things you can show/say before you realize that horses aren’t really all that interesting on the internet.

> I get to say I am a co-owner in a Mexican horse ranc

You must get business cards made and start distributing them to friends and family whenever you get the chance. Not for marketing – to brag and to be able to be mildly annoying.

It’s definitely my favorite fun fact. I’m grow up in the city but I spent a few summer days on a horse growing up. One of my earliest memories was horseback riding with my mom. I must have been no older than 18 months.

Note that you can also use the ranch business cards as ‘get out of jail cards’ to avoid social chatter when you need to change the subject: You note that the in-law starts taking the discussion towards some uncomfortable topic during thanksgiving dinner. You immediately use the card: “Say, have I given you my business card?” – and then you move on to talk about the ranch. Even if they interrupt you and try to get back to the topic, the topic will be derailed for good. Usable every 6 months by pretending that you forgot that you already gave them your business card…

Python concurrency has a super bad wrap (the gil) and I’m trying to help out even change opinions (e.g. work with it rather than throw it all out).

I write short focused how-to ebooks that on the different Python concurrency APIs in stdlib. Content marketing leads to email marketing to one-off sales. Doing about $2K/mo. Might expand into third party libs this year.

I built in a lock down as a manner for my distant staff to see when persons are on vacation, going to web site, or wfh.

Since then it’s grown to incorporate different options like desk reserving and PTO approvals. However at it’s all been constructed across the core idea of seeing when your colleagues are working and the place they’re planning on working from.

I make far more than $500 per month in cryptocurrency staking and various types of lending pools. For the curious it’s like a hobby that can make you a lot of money.

I got pretty into Stable Diffusion soon after it came out. Like a lot of users, I tinkered around with different ways to run it, going the usual route of running on my weak local machine, then going on to runpod, then implementing my own custom solution.

What I came up with worked pretty well for me, so I created a site that allows users to upload custom models and run Stable Diffusion “in the cloud”.

I launched in early December and it ended up being more successful than I expected. I just got to $700 MRR, which I’m definitely happy about after years of side projects making exactly $0.

The site in question:

Unless you’re wanting people to save the images on the landing page, please optimize the images. WebP and only as big as they need to be rendered.

If I go to a service designed around images and it’s taking 5 seconds on a SOLID fiber connection to fully download, it doesn’t give me confidence that I’m going to get a fast experience in the rest of your site (even if it’s not directly related).

It’s a great point. I had been using BunnyCDN to optimize the images/serve as webp, but there are a few on the model preview page that I definitely need to shrink further.

Thanks for the feedback!

When previewing models and your email is no validated, the link comes up in glorious html on the screen:

<a class=”font-semibold hover:text-red-700″ href=”/verify-email”>Click here to verify your email.</a>

While we’re both here, it’s not exactly clear to me what that whole thing means and does. Arguably i’m not too clued up in SD models and what they are and why would I want them. Might be a good idea to explain this or if explanation exists make it more prominent to hook ignorant people like me. 🙂

Great point. I might need an entirely separate landing page for the artist/general audience vs the prosumer type landing page that currently exists.

(If you’re interested, the gist is that custom models allow for completely distinct “styles” as well as unique characters. For example, if you wanted to generate art in the style of Monet, you could train a custom model in that style)

I sell handmade sculptures of influential people and famous monuments on Etsy – Income is 2-6k USD relying on the season. I employed somebody half time who took over manufacturing and delivery. it is principally passive income for me aside from rising the enterprise by creating new merchandise after I really feel prefer it. The revenue margin is round 50% in any case materials and labor prices are paid.

I love the selection and I’m thinking of buying a couple! Is it possible to have special requests made? Wittgenstein would be a great addition (the tryptic Nietzsche / Freud / Wittgenstein has been what forged my weltanschauung )

This is super cool. Admittedly, I know nothing about creating concrete figures — I imagine the real artistic work is in creating the mold? Can you share how that is done — is a sculpture created and then surrounded by the mold material? — A extremely easy manner for browser extension builders to take funds of their extensions. I made it to make use of in my very own extensions since it is a ache within the butt to take funds in browser extensions.

It has an open supply library that works throughout all browsers and permits for one-time or subscription funds. Since 2021 builders have revamped $125k with ExtensionPay which makes me glad 🙂

I made collaborative painting apps, and (there could be some slight NSFW content material). In the very best months I made 800€+ in advert income from malmal however presently it is rather a lot much less. I believe there’s potential to make much more although, though I would wish to cease displaying advertisements and swap to some extra predictable revenue mannequin. I do have a patreon however it solely brings in ~100€ per 30 days. I may advertise extra although.

I sell cheap but high-quality Anki decks for language learning:

Created utilizing a mixture of automation (TTS, machine translation, and so on.) and human opinions.

Constructed it with a buddy, making round $500 a month, very secure over the past couple of years. Spend 1 or 2 hours a month on it, principally buyer help.

See Also

I just downloaded your sample deck for Spanish. One of the sentences is:

  Front: I'm not happy.
  Back: No soy feliz.

This doesn’t seem correct to me.

I’m not happy (right now) => No estoy feliz.

No soy feliz means something like “I’m not a happy person”.

You are correct, but I’d say this one is fundamentally ambiguous (I’m Portuguese myself, where this also applies), as it is a one-to-two mapping here. Without further context you can’t really choose one or the other, so we just left it as is :).

Cool product. One bit of feedback: after downloading a deck, the page redirects away to “how to use our decks”. This is confusing and not intuitive – my workflow was that I wanted to download the Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced deck for one language and I had to navigate back to that language 3 times.

I read through the entire site and was convinced there was no price, but when I came back to reply I found that there is an element at the top of the homepage (next to “No subscriptions. No frills.”) that says “Get access to all our decks for just €15.99.”

I have a weird set of skills that I’ve grown from just doing things that are interesting and fun.
– Assume Anki, however optimized for pace, and can be centered on content material creators. First sale this month (>$500_ from guide outreach to a giant content material creator Particular person purchases can be turned on finally, however we’re not centered on that proper now. This can be a labor of affection as by way of school and 20+ skilled certifications I wished one thing quicker and simpler than what was out there.
– I spend round 4 hours every week on this, however I used to do that full time. Presently it runs excessive 4 to low 5 figures 100% organically, however can simply do extra if I ran advertisements. It 100% would not be price my time if I weren’t utilizing it to show my youngsters issues like customer support, product design, easy methods to make content material worthwhile to folks so that you get search visitors, single piece stream, and so on.

It is also cool as a result of I can geek out on a brand new factor within the space and apply it to one thing to see if I make any cash on it or simply have enjoyable making artwork. Issues I’ve executed previously is consists of making a guide for the sport these are used for, a “select your personal journey” type Fb messenger journey linked from hidden inserts in merchandise, and dealing with visible and voice over artists to make tales round completely different merchandise. My newest was utilizing midjourney to create a personality that I animated to say a script speaking a few product.

Did I earn a living from that? No, was I entertained? Heck sure.

Back in college (2016-2020), I used to work part-time for my university’s IT department. Most of my time was spent doing software development, but when I wasn’t busy working on a project, I helped work the help desk ticket queue.

Believe it or not, our ticket queue did not have an auto refresh feature – and manually refreshing my dashboard webpage drove me crazy. As a die-hard macOS user, I’ve always used Safari as my primary browser, but unfortunately no auto-refresh web extensions were available on the App Store at the time. So I learned how to package web extensions for Safari and sell them on the App Store.

Fast-forward to today, and I now have a collection of Web Extensions that net me ~$750 a month. Feel free to check out Simple Refresh for Safari here:…

I had 3 sources of side income last year.

1/ Started a niche dating app in 2017. Revenue ranges form 700-1,100/mo. Hosting is about $50/mo.

2/ Bought a house and rent our spare rooms for $3,100/mo.

3/ Contracting projects for a small dev shop earned $3-10k/mo (depending on how many hours I worked). – Means that you can export content material from Google Docs and Notion to Content material Administration Techniques like WordPress, Webflow, Contentful, and so on. I’ll export the content material with the right formatting, export photos, and in addition handles different components like tables, embeds, and extra.

Nothing really to show visually but I make about that passively selling/trading high end watches. More a hobby than anything just to wear them but some easy cash.

I’m one of the cofounders of PriceTable. [1]

About a year and a half ago I posted about it on HN [2] and back then our revenue was $2,500/mo. We recently passed the $6,000/mo.

At this point we have a few very happy customers who make up the bulk of our revenue. We have been trying to grow more, but our challenge is that we haven’t been able to figure out a cost-effective way of reaching potential customers. We target the landscaping market, and most landscaping companies are either too small, or they don’t have tech-savvy owners/staff who are motivated to learn and leverage a software solution effectively in order to grow their sales. Phone and email outreach haven’t worked well.

If anyone has experience in this market or similar, please drop me a line!

[1] –
[2] –

There are some YouTube channels that specialize in landscaping. I could see digitally and entrepreneurially minded landscaping professionals being a good part of their audience. Might be worth sponsoring a video or two. – guide and workshop serving to folks with the shift in mindset that goes into being a senior [software] engineer.

You may tldr my philosophy as “enterprise outcomes trump technical excellence”

No MRR however made about $40k in gross sales final 12 months. Greatest problem is determining easy methods to flip that into secure income. Greatest alternative is that not like my earlier (technical) infoproducts, this one doesn’t expire in 6 months.

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