Interview with Luca Restagno of Userdesk.io & Shipped.club

updated on 16 May 2024
Luca Restagno
Luca Restagno

Introduction

Hello and welcome to the inaugural Indie Affiliate interview! 

I'm excited to kick off this series with our featured guest for the week, Luca Restagno. You've probably seen him on Twitter or Indie Hackers sharing product updates, helpful tips, or giving back in some capacity. He's built 7 'side projects' since 2019 and is an inspiration to many aspiring devs in the Indie Hacker community. 

Some projects Luca has launched. Check out his Product Hunt profile here.
Some projects Luca has launched. Check out his Product Hunt profile here.

Interview

Will: Luca! Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule for this interview. You have built 7 products since 2019, what’s the one biggest piece of advice you can give to anyone just starting out?

Luca: My best advice is to keep your full-time job, and start building on the side. Go full indie hacking only if you can afford to, you don’t want to feel the money pressure (trust me 😄). Make many different experiments from a product point of view. You’ll fail a lot of times and learn a lot along the journey. And ship, launch your product even if it’s not as good as you’d like because you need feedback from the users as soon as possible. You’ll understand if you are on the right track or not.

Will: You recently launched userdesk.io and shipped.club - what specific tools do you use to juggle multiple projects and life? 

Luca: I don’t have a specific process, I just ship. I think about product ideas, and I work to deliver them as soon as possible. I think I’m quite focused, and I learned consistency. I’ve been active daily on Twitter since 2021, I have a streak on Duolingo of 392 days. Make consistency your secret weapon.

I like to use LLama Life to time box the time I spend on Twitter/X, I think it’s the only productivity trick I use.

Check out Userdesk here
Check out Userdesk here

Will: In what ways have you seen your affiliate programs contribute to the growth of your products?

Luca: The affiliate program of one of my previous products, Hivoe, contributed to a very low percentage of the MRR, but it is usually a matter of time. That product had an affiliate program for just a year.

Will: What tools or platforms do you use to manage your affiliate programs? What do you like best, what needs to be improved, what do you wish existed?

Luca: I’ve used different platforms in the past. Rewardful, it worked great but it’s quite expensive, Reflio, but I’ve never received an affilate from them due to a short time frame, and lately Lemon Squeezy.

Will: What’s a funny story, something unexpected, or a unique insight you learned recently.

Luca: Well, you need to learn to ask questions to your users and customers as much as you can, and as much as possible. You’ll discover a lot of things about how they found you, how they use your product, and so on. Sometimes it’s mind-blowing 😄

Will: What special features separates Shipped.club from the other SaaS Boilerplates out there right now?

Luca: Well, I don’t know much about other boilerplates, I try to focus and understand what the customers want, and I try to give them the best offer possible. For sure the Discord community is a big plus, I’m able to support the shippers there. I simply love helping people succeed!

Visit Shipped here
Visit Shipped here

Will: I recently played around with userdesk.io and it’s definitely a few steps ahead of Copy.ai and others. In your opinion, what are some of it’s best features?

Luca: Userdesk is very much appreciated for his simplicity, and ease of use. I got this feedback from many customers. Feature wise, I think it’s quite reliable and stable, but the UX makes the real difference from the others.

Will: You’ve famously said that a product is all about marketing and traffic. What’s one piece of advice you can share about getting users to a site?

Luca: That’s the tricky part of each online product, how to get traffic.

Recently, a friend of mine suggested to focus on SEO, social, and influencer marketing. I like to think at SEO as the constant traffic generator, social to spot unpredictable opportunities and influencers… well the right sponsoring can really help you spread your voice.

Will: What’s something that you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting out? This doesn’t have to be tech specific… nutrition, more sleep, time off, anything!

Luca: That you need to focus 80% of your time and effort on marketing, and just the 20% on building the product. As a tech founder you tend to think that if the product is amazing, customers will arrive auto-magically. Well, it’s not the truth. Without marketing, no one will know that your product exists.

Will: Care to share a hint or sneak peak on any upcoming projects?

Luca: I have some surprises for Shipped, but I can’t reveal it yet 😄

Luca!
Luca!

Luca's Quick 10:

Favorite Business Book: The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco

A CEO you are studying: Elon Musk

Favorite video game as a child: Grim Fandango

Favorite sports team: Golden State Warriors

Favorite movie: Pulp Fiction

PC or Mac: macOS

Favorite color: Blue

Favorite food: Lasagna

Favorite holiday: Trip to Japan

LinkedIn or X: X!

Back to the Interview with Luca Restagno

Will: What upcoming trends do you foresee occurring in SaaS in the next 5 years. Any hot takes?

Luca: Well micro SaaS seems to be trendy this 2024. I don’t know exactly why, maybe because many people started thinking of launching digital products after the Covid, and they discovered that recurrent revenues are like the “new” big thing.

Will: Where do you see artificial intelligence headed?

Luca: The AI is revolutionizing the world. It is unpredictable how it will evolve, but I’m sure it will not stop. Instead it will improve over time, at a very rapid scale. The revolution has just started. I can clearly see a future where AI will be completely undistinguishable from humans, and even smarted and quicker than humans (they already are). It’s up to us to leverage it in a good or bad way. I would be really scared of sophisticated AI scams in the near future.

Will: When you are not building products, marketing, or hanging out on Twitter, what are you up to?

Luca: I run in the woods, hike mountains (3000 meters high last summer!), play guitar and watch movies and TV series.

Will: Scale from 1 - 10. How addicted are you to domain names?

Luca: I purchased way too many domain name, with the hope of building that new product idea I had in mind—that never happend Now I learned to purchase only those for the product I can actually deliver. So I would say 5 😄

Will: Luca, thank you again!

Luca: Thanks buddy!! 🙌

What did you think of this interview?

This is my first ever interview. Let me know what you liked, disliked, or anything about what you read 🤷‍♂️. 

You can reach me at will@indieaffiliate.io or https://twitter.com/helloIamWilly

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