Hongbeom Park

How Valor.sh got started

HongbeomAug 22, 2023·Last Updated On Dec 4, 2023Diary
3 min read|

In early 2023, I started looksmax, a site to find Korean stylists, with my sister. I needed help building a gallery, so I posted a job on Upwork. Ash jumped in instantly with a list of his articles about building galleries with Next.js.

He was exactly who I was looking for. He was a joy to work with—fast and reliable. I offered him 7% equity to join looksmax, and he said yes! Just like that, I had a co-founder for my side project.

At the time, I was working full-time on Tweetbase and we needed a full-time engineer. I asked Ash to join. We worked together for a couple of months, and he was great. I offered him equity but he got a better offer from another startup he was working with part-time. So we just kept in touch and worked on looksmax a couple hours a week.

Later, a client from looksmax offered me a project. An app for matching Russian women with Korean men. I reached out to Ash, and this became the first project of valor.sh. Things are going well; our client has 100K+ YouTube subscribers, and we've got 115 new users without any marketing. This is the first time I've really felt the power of influencers and distribution.

Our client has no experience building digital products, so we're handling everything. I think this could be a big opportunity for valor.sh, partnering with those who have distribution but lack digital product experience.

We're doing $4K MRR, aiming for 20K by year-end. Our plan is to only partner with those who have marketing channels but lack software or project management skills. This is a win-win; we get to work with clients who'll be profitable from the get go, and they can outsource their product entirely.

Why am I doing this side project? Don’t I have to worry about Tweetbase? A couple reasons. Tweetbase is pre PMF. It’s not generating any cash and we are running low on the investment we raised. With our current metrics, I would be wasting time trying to fundraise with a product that has no traction. So I'll reinvest the profits from valor in Tweetbase. Second, doing valor might be the best way to come up with B2B projects ideas. I already came up with one that could help automate things ourselves and other agencies. We will be shipping it in a few weeks!
I'll keep sharing the progress on my blog and Twitter.

Thanks for reading.

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