Taro was born in 2022, so of course it's been a special year for us 🐣
- 350,000+ views on Taro's video and Q&A content
- 17,000+ registered active users
- 650+ Taro Premium members from 20+ countries, with dozens of engineers at companies like Meta, Google, Amazon, and top startups.
- $100K+ in revenue booked
When we started, Alex and I agreed that we’d be long-term players in a long-term game (h/t to Naval). Taro was founded on the premise that a meaningful number of software engineers are not getting the career guidance and insights they need. (And 1:1 mentorship programs are too high-friction and expensive to actually work.)
We spent months trying to figure out what exactly the product would be, how we'd measure success, and which engineers we'd target first. In August, we had office hours with Paul Graham. He listened to us ramble about our product vision and growth anxieties, then replied very simply:
"Just be genuinely useful"
These 4 words have become our guiding principle. Our goal is to be genuinely useful to software engineers, even if it’s not clear how the business will profit. We'll do things that don't scale, like talking to every engineer who signs up, replying to questions they have with videos, and reviewing their promo packets. When these stop working, we'll figure out how to automate.
The benefit of playing a long-term game is the magic of compounding. The true benefit of compounding is only apparent on the 5-10 year time horizon. This applies to our content library, SEO ranking, YouTube channel, and the word-of-mouth from our community members.
A timeline of our year:
- 𝐉𝐚𝐧𝐮𝐚𝐫𝐲: Left our cushy Big Tech jobs
- 𝐀𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐥: Finally decided that we’d build something for individual SWEs (and not businesses)
- 𝐉𝐮𝐧𝐞: started Y Combinator S22
- 𝐉𝐮𝐥𝐲: public launch of Taro Premium, our paid product
- 𝐒𝐞𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐦𝐛𝐞𝐫: officially hired Charlie (we were in the same freshman dorm 13 years ago 😮)
It wouldn’t be a startup unless we also had lots of problems:
- It's starting to become difficult to keep up with the amount of emails/messages we get in a given day.
- Few users are organically opening the Taro app — most of the traffic is coming from a push notification, YouTube video, or LinkedIn post.
We have tons of exciting plans in 2023! If you’re a software engineer and want to join Taro Premium before the end of the year (use your learning budget), join here: jointaro.com/membership
Happy holidays :)