Can I ask a favor?

Last month the online business that I'm building,, went into early access. I want to thank you all for your support! Over 20 people took the leap and signed up (detailed numbers at the end of the newsletter). I'm grateful for the support. It feels like I'm running a real business now!

Speaking of real businesses: Starting in this newsletter, I'll be sharing some numbers behind — things like customer signups, revenue, expenses, etc. I can't promise I'll continue this indefinitely, but I appreciated other business owners who were transparent about their numbers and I want to embody that same openness.

The curse of the unknown

Now that I've tamed the big, scary milestone of actually launching, I find myself asking an important question: What's my long term goal?

Now that is out in the world, I've noticed my perspective shifting towards the pragmatic. I left a full-time, very lucrative job as a software engineer at one of the world's largest technology companies to do something on my own. However, the longer I exist outside of the corporate machine, the more I understand why few people start businesses.

The curse (and excitement) of projects like this is they'll never live up to the vision in your head. You can keep iterating forever. There's always more to do: more ways to improve, more ways to scale and expand, and more things to learn. In my dream scenario, I wouldn't have to go back to the corporate world. I could continue iterating. I could grow the product, add content and features, and even expand my offerings outside of Git.

Seeking sustainability

The problem is that my time is not as unlimited as my imagination. The financial viability of continuing on this path is top of mind.

If the punchline of this section was a TikTok video, the clickbait hook would be, "I left my 6-figure tech job with the eventual goal of making 5x less as a solo entrepreneur!!!" But since we're talking actual numbers in this newsletter, I've calculated that the minimum take-home for me to remain a full-time solo entrepreneur is somewhere around $3K a month.

Obviously, money isn't everything, or else I wouldn't be doing this in the first place. Pursuing a non-standard career path that allows me to more directly help people I care about is emotionally fulfilling. Plus, the empowerment of self-employment has been a natural fit for my unique combination of skills, but I've written about that before. Heck, you've already read 8 months' worth of newsletters dissecting the philosophical ups and downs of this journey, so now we have our first concrete financial goal to shoot for together.

Numbers (January 2024)

23 New Signups

23 Total Customers

$1393 Revenue

-$735 Expenses

Starting with this month, I will be aggregating the juicy numbers behind the business. I appreciate creators who are transparent like this and I strive to follow in their footsteps. Since this is the first month of sharing numbers, let me contextualize a few things:

  • does not have recurring revenue. Memberships are a 1-time price, so new signups are my primary growth metric (at least for now).
  • My recurring monthly expenses include a $600/month office that I rent in a co-working space — having a studio space is necessary as my core offering is high-quality, professional video. Various other SaaS services (email, auth/billing, analytics, video hosting) make up the rest of my expenses.
  • My upfront investment in was somewhere between $6K - $8K. This number includes ~6 months of initial development without revenue where monthly expenses were ~$700/month.

Can I ask a favor?

Speaking of goals and pushing ourselves, I'm reminded of this quote from Coach K, the well-known former coach of the Duke men's basketball team. In an interview, he spoke about the journey of self-improvement.'re not going to get there alone. Be on a team. Surround yourself with good people and learn how to listen. You're not going to learn with you just talking.

In the spirit of surrounding yourself with good people, can I ask a favor?

If you know someone (just 1 person) in your network who might find my ramblings educational, insightful or entertaining, would you mind forwarding them this newsletter? (

I've made such quality connections from this newsletter, far surpassing any other medium — including my YouTube channel, where I've posted videos since 2016! Don't get me wrong, I think both platforms have their places. But I find this newsletter more conducive toward finding meaningful connection without filtering first through dopamine-optimized algorithms.

I'm mostly writing about the journey of choosing a path different from the typical 9-5. So if you know anyone else who might resonate with that, please send them my way. If anything I've written about today or previously has resonated with you, reach out to me. I'd love to hear from you.

There is a lot more to come in future newsletters. Thanks again for joining.


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The Modern Coder

My name is Jack Lot Raghav, I'm a tech industry professional (ex Amazon) & growing YouTuber (28k @themoderncoder) building an online business ( In this newsletter, I'll be sharing monthly technical & business insights as I strive for self-employment.

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