How my stock app in Flutter reached $1k MRR in 6 months

It's been 6 months since I launched Stock Events and recently the subscriptions for my app have been surging. How did this happen?

I created something I actually need

I created a lot of things so far, but this is the first time I actually created something that I personally need. I didn't even want to make money with this at first. It was okay if if's useful just for myself.

You may ask: "But there are tons of stock apps available, why creating something like that again?"

Yes, there are heaps of apps for stocks available. Many of them with a lot more data, more graphs, more of anything than mine, but they were all not what I was searching for.

I was interested in events that happen around stocks. Namely earning reports. Now almost every stock app shows when the next earnings will be and how past earnings turned out. But it's always very cumbersome to actually see which earnings are next. You'd have to click through all the stocks on your watchlist and look for the next earnings.

"Nice, but when will the next earnings happen?" 

What I wanted instead was some sort of calendar view, with all important events of my stocks in the past and future lined up, so that I can see what's happening next or what happened last week. After not finding anything to my liking, I decided to just created it myself.

I created something unique

By deciding on some sort of calendar view for the app instead of a watchlist, I created something no other stock app has.

But that wasn't the only unique feature I have. I integrated the most popular Subreddits on Reddit for stocks (yes, even the infamous /r/wallstreetbets) and added events that indicate when stocks are dipping.

I created the right thing at the right time

COVID-19 has conquered the world and almost everywhere people are on lockdown.

This impact caused the stock markets to crash.

SPY past Year

Actually many people have been waiting for some sort of correction of the markets, so that they can buy stocks at a low price. Stock brokers reported as many new signups in the first quarter this year as they had in the entire last year.

All those people want apps that help with their investments.

I used something that helps me create fast.

Why did I use Flutter? Because I'm able to create apps for both platforms with a beautiful UI, blazingly fast.

I created apps with other hybrid frameworks like Cordova or React Native in the past, but the results were not to my liking.

Cordova is just a webview and you can clearly see that. I want something that looks and feels native.

React Native is good, but creating a beautiful UI is a lot harder than it is in Flutter and oh lord if you want to upgrade to a new React Native version. You're in for ride!

As for my back end: It's lots of go services in some Kubernetes cluster, hosted in the Google Cloud.

I charged enough with a tight restriction.

I descided to go with a freemium model. You get most of the features for free and can subscribe to some sort of PRO version for more features.

Most of those features are nice to have but not mandatory, except for one. That one is a very rough restriction on the most crucial part of my app: The amount of stocks you can watch. Without subscribing, you can only add 8 stocks to your watchlist. Most people have a lot more than that.

I was sceptical whether that works or not, but it turns out it works like a charm. People are willing to pay for apps, if they think the features are worth it.

As for the amount. I'm charging ~29$/Year. At first I thought that might be too much, but no. Again, people are willing to pay for apps.

I created something that just works

Many apps are bugridden or have a lot of steps to actually get started. Why do I have to create an account if I just want to watch some stocks? No, thanks.

I focused on ease of adoption from the very beginning. No account, no login, no nothing. Just install the app and add your favorite stocks. I even added a list of the most popular stocks, so people don't have to search for themselves.

I tested the app rigorously to avoid any sort of bugs. Well, of course there have been bugs after go live, but they were fixed immediately.

I used Google AdWords to rank fast

To gain visibility, I wanted to rank high, fast in the Play Store. The best way to do that is to have a lot of installs. So I just hit AdWords without restriction to countries for a low bid price and it worked nicely.

Google AdWords at work

I did this for two weeks. That was enough to rank within the first 10 apps for my desired keywords.

Closing thoughts

I'm very happy with the way things went. Especially since it's the first time I actually created something I personally need.

By doing that I was very relaxed when it came to selling the app. Since even if it doesn't work, I still got this app that's useful just for myself.

Thank you for reading and I'm happy to hear from you!