ListSirv

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Create subscription email lists:

https://listsirv.herokuapp.com

ListSirv homepage

ListSirv is a way to create a subscription email list using your existing email system.

The original goal of the project was to provide freelancers a way to share extra work with each other. For example, if a freelance iOS developer gets more work inquiries than he/she can handle, he/she can create an email list others can pay to subscribe to, then send any extra received work to the subscribers.

Freelancers share referrals and work with each other all the time. In fact, a big inspiration for this project came from Juiiicy, a referral network for designers. I actually interviewed a dozen or so designers who used Juiiicy to figure out ways to improve upon a referral system.

I eventually created ListSirv with two main points of distinction in mind:

  1. I wanted users to use tools they were already using instead of ramping them up in a new environment. From my research, referrals mostly came in the form of forwarded emails, so I wanted to create something leveraging a user’s existing inbox.
  2. I decided to go with a subscription model where users can set their own subscription prices. This was in contrast to other referral systems where the platform takes a percentage based on the value of the referred work. My research indicated that users of such systems are incentivized to communicate through back channels (e.g. parties meet on platform, but settle up outside of it) so they don’t potentially pay large sums to the platform.

I’m not exactly sure what went wrong with this project in terms of traction. It’s possible the timing of the launch in the wake of Juiiicy’s failure might have put off people. I toyed with the idea of also targeting content marketers, but ultimately didn’t for whatever reason (probably because I’m personally averse to that particular group due to how “scammy” that industry feels).

It’s cool to know there are companies today like Substack who are doing similar things as ListSirv. Perhaps this is a lesson in timing? Or patience? In any case, as usual, I had a blast building the app and learned so much about the freelance industry.