Workspaces · Ryan Gilbert

From humble Wisconsin beginnings to a booming $2K MRR: the story of a supply chain worker's leap into the tech worlds

April 5, 2024
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  • Ryan Gilbert
  • Wisconsin, United States
  • Started in 2020
  • $2K MRR
  • 12K+ Members
  • 70K+ Monthly visitors
  • Bootstrapped (Acquired)

What's your backstory?

I grew up and have lived in Wisconsin my entire life... far away from the typical "startup" scene. I've always been interested in startups and have wanted to start my own projects. I went to college for marketing and ended up falling into a job in the supply chain right out of school. I ended up staying in the supply chain for far too long knowing that it wasn't the right path for me.

What does your company do and how did you come up with the idea?

So in early 2020 as COVID was forcing more and more people into a WFH situation, I saw these same people tweeting pictures of their new setups at home. Some were great and professional and some were makeshift setups on the kitchen counter. I loved all of them. And all of these tweets were getting tons of likes and interactions.

I figured there might be something there. So I quickly set up a free Substack (didn't even have my domain at first) and set out to interview as many people as I could to highlight their WFH setup and the tools that made it up.

How did you get your first 10 customers/subscribers?

From the start, I had a hunch that my featured guests would happily share their published posts since it's their workspace that they're proud of after all...

This proved to be true!

After publishing the first edition of the newsletter, the guest shared it and I instantly passed 10 subscribers.

How did you align your product or service with your target customers' needs?

Consistency was key here. Since the first edition of the newsletter I never missed a scheduled post. This meant that every single week I needed to find and interview a new guest so that on Saturday morning a fresh edition was in the subscriber's inbox and on the Twitter feed.

This consistency led to a steady increase in subscribers from week to week.

From the start, there was pretty much a confirmation that readers were interested in this content. The question was how many guests would be willing to share this information with me vs doing it themself?

What distribution channels did you try that didn’t work?

Instagram hasn't really "popped off" in the way I thought it would. I figured with the visual nature of Instagram and the content of Workspaces that it would be a perfect match. It's grown to a few thousand followers but the engagement is super low and growth is much slower than Twitter or Threads.

What tools, software, or resources have been crucial in scaling your business?

Substack, Gmail, and Twitter in the early days.

Loops, Webflow, Gmail, Twitter, Threads in its current form.

Who do you recommend to follow for business growth insights?

Chris Frantz of Loops

Jaisal Rathee

Pieter Levels

How did you shift from a side hustle to full-time entrepreneurship?

I guess I haven't. I leveraged this side project to make the move from supply chain into tech.

Product Hunt luckily took a chance on me. I was working on their community team when Loops sponsored an edition of the Workspaces newsletter. The week after their sponsorship ran, Chris (the CEO) reached out and asked to chat.

A week or so later Workspaces was acquired by Loops and I joined as employee #1 to do content (and keep publishing Workspaces)!

What drives you to do what you do?

I cannot go back to the supply chain life.

Your links + socials

Ryan Twitter

Ryan Linkedin

Ryan Threads

Workspaces Website


Workspaces Twiiter

Workspaces Threads

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