Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.
I've been working as a software engineer for the past 10 years. I started coding in middle school with Basic, and then learned C and C++ and eventually moved to Web Development.
I started working on Superpower ChatGPT right after Open AI released ChatGPT. I had the first version out two or three days later, though it only had some basic features like copy and export.
But I've been continuously working on it since the launch, and have added a lot of exciting new features like folders, search and community prompts.
How did you come up with the idea?
I've been in the AI space for the past two years, and I'm very familiar with the companies in this field. Even before I started working in the AI space officially, I was following updates from OpenAI.
Obviously, when OpenAI released ChatGPT, it went viral. Now everybody knows about it, and it has millions of users all around the world.
When something like that happens, it opens doors for people to ride that virality wave.
That, combined with how easy it is to build a Chrome extension and the marketplace that automatically comes with it, makes for a good product opportunity.
What have been the biggest changes you've seen in the tech industry?
Definitely the arrival of Generative AI. I consider myself someone who started quite early in this space.
But despite that, I don't think there is a single day when I don't feel like I'm behind. Everything has just been moving so fast, especially in the last six months. It's just been crazy.
One of the popular features of the Superpower ChatGPT is its daily newsletter which is mainly focused on everything AI.
I spend about 1-2 hours a night gathering and putting all the stuff together. This has helped me to stay up-to-date with all the changes in this space, but even with all of that I still feel like I can't keep up sometimes.
What tech tools and software do you use?
One thing that I use all the time is VS code. It's my favourite code editor. It’s very powerful and it comes with plenty of extensions to make it even better.
I also use Copilot, an AI tool made by GitHub, that is basically a coding assistant.
Other than that, I use ChatGPT itself for a lot of different things, whether it is SQL queries or writing. And since I'm building an extension for it, it's good for me to stay up to date with all the changes they make.
I also use GitHub, Google Analytics, the Google Search Console, AWS, and Discord. We actually have a growing Discord community of almost 2000 people, all users of Superpower ChatGPT.
How do you promote your product?
I think one of the biggest benefits of a Chrome extension is that the marketplace is already there. It really makes it easier to find your first user.
Believe me, I've built a lot of side projects, and it has never been this easy to find users.
I have to say the virality of ChatGPT also helped a lot. And the features I'm adding to the extension are pretty useful and unique.
For some of the features like Folders and search, there is currently no other extension that offers them. On top of that, this extension is completely free, and I plan to keep it that way. All those things combined helped me find lots of users.
I've also learned a lot about where to post about this stuff after working on various projects over the last few years.
Two of my posts on Reddit went semi-viral on the Open AI Subreddit. That gave me a large spike in traffic, and I was able to gather a lot of good feedback.
How did you fund this project?
All my side projects are fully bootstrapped. That being said, there were some people who generously donated small amounts to help the development of this project.
I had the WFH team project already running, and that project already had a backend itself. It’s built on AWS and has its own database and APIs.
I used the same backend for this project and that helped me a lot with launching this project quickly and saving some money in the process.
What's the biggest challenge you've faced so far?
For me, the biggest challenge is time. I have a full-time job that I like, so I can’t spend too much time on side projects.
I usually only get a few hours to work on this every night. Another challenge is the release cycle.
The Chrome extension has a lot of benefits, but one downside to making a Chrome extension is that you rely on Chrome for every new release.
They're the ones who ultimately release it to your users, and they have to review your extension before every release
When I first started working on the extension, it would only take a few hours for Chrome to review and release every new version.
But as the extension grows and the size of your code grows, the review process also grows with that. And now it can sometimes take a few days.
That can cause issues, especially if there is a bug in your code and people are asking for a fix.
You're like: “I have the fix. I've submitted it. But, I'm just waiting for Chrome to review and release it”. That has been a bit challenging.
I recently put the extension source code on GitHub. This has two benefits. Having your code on GitHub makes it easier to gain trust.
Some people don’t like to install extensions if the code is not publicly available. The other benefit is that users no longer have to wait for Chrome to review the new version before they can install it.
You can always get the latest version from Github and install it yourself.
Is there any advice you have for new founders?
Start with something simple and try to launch it as quickly as possible.
In the past, I've made the mistake of working on a project for too long before showing it to anyone. WFH was one of those projects.
I released the first version in two weeks and was happy with it.
But then, for the second version, I started completely changing it and fell into the trap of spending too much time on it.
I'm happy with how it turned out. But after building Superpower ChatGPT and seeing how fast I can grow this, I've completely changed my mind on how to build these things.
I'd say launch as fast as you can. Try to use something like an extension. It's easy to build, and there is already a marketplace.
And if you can combine that with some sort of virality, you can increase your chances of finding users significantly.
This is actually the first project that ever had any revenue for me. So it's pretty exciting.
Are there any details or stats you can share?
Absolutely. The extension has been installed by almost 80,000 people so far. The extension is free, and I plan to keep it that way for as long as possible. I don't want to charge users for any existing or future feature. So I've been thinking about different ways to monetize this.
There's a daily newsletter inside the extension which has been very popular amongst our users.
It takes me 1-2 hours every night to put it together. So far I’ve generated a little bit of revenue through the newsletter sponsorship. We have also had some users who have generously donated to the project.
I would like to focus more on attracting new sponsors. I do have one sponsor already, and I have signed up for a few affiliate marketing websites to put links in the newsletter.
To put it into numbers, in March I made about $250 in revenue. And so far in April, I've made about $650. I expect the number to grow to about $1000 by the end of the month.
What are your plans for the future?
I want to continue to build this. There are a lot of features that I want to add to the extension, both those suggested by the community and those I've had on my mind since I started building it. I just need to find the time..