This wasn’t your typical “How I Made A Buttload of Cash (and Here’s How You Can Too)” article. But only because the article leaves out the last part.
This article, thankfully, is mainly a breakdown of how Traf spent seven years preparing to be an overnight success — with a $28 set of icons.
Actually a pretty awesome outcome for him!
I got no beef with Traf’s writeup.
I have a lot of problems with how this post mortem — and others like it — is getting shared in the indie hacker, online entrepreneur, twitter-verse circles.
I just don’t want to see this kind of thing inspire a bunch of folks to drop what they’re working on and put together [checks notes] icon packs for iOS.
A pessimist looking at this from the outside could expect to see:
• People start selling similar-looking icons, for the same price, then…
• People start selling icons for less and less, until we start getting to $1 icon packs, then name-your-own-price icon packs, then to free icon packs in exchange for an email address, then to just free sites with pirated icon packs.
• Courses on how to make and sell icon packs.
• Indie Hacker-type articles on How I made $500 selling my course on how to make and sell icon packs.
• Well, that just leads to more Indie Hacker-type articles on How I made $500 selling my course on how to make icon pack courses.
• Product Hunt launches for icon packs, which then inevitably leads to
• Product Hunt launches for curated lists, directories, and newsletters sharing all the latest icon packs, articles, and resources.
• Launches of How I Launched My Business Selling Icon Pack podcasts
• SaaS apps designed to help people more quickly list their icon packs for sale
It’s a powerful thing when you discover you can “create something once with sufficient effort, then sell it repeatedly with minimal effort.”
It truly is.
It’s really the whole point of any business, right?
But be careful how you characterize the results without also mentioning the experience, the effort, and… the luck that went into it all.
Get it wrong, and it creates a gold rush of the wrong kind.
And yeah… the gold rush has begun: