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Interview with the founder of ProjectionLab

Kyle Nolan
Founder, ProjectionLab

What is ProjectionLab

ProjectionLab ( is a tool for planning your money in a private way. It helps you make financial plans that are more detailed than the usual calculators you find online for planning your retirement.

ProjectionLab is a single founder business that is doing 10k monthly revenue.

How did you come up with the idea for the business?

A few years ago, I dove head-first down the financial independence rabbit hole. I learned about leanFIRE, fatFIRE, regular FIRE, coastFI, Barista FIRE, and everything in between.

But something was missing. I wanted a hands-on and visual way to map out all the options and explore the trade-offs between different life plans. So, I went looking for a long-term planning and forecasting tool. Something modern, fluid, nuanced, and actually fun to use.

One thing led to another, and I ended up building ProjectionLab!

How did you build the product?

I've been working on ProjectionLab as a solo developer (and side project) for about 2.5 years now. My tech stack includes Vue.js, Vuetify, Firebase, Paddle, and GCP.

How big was your team when you started?

Just me. And still is :)

How did you launch the business?

As a solo dev building a complex software solution as a side-project, I've taken a product-first approach by necessity. It took several months just to create the MVP. In fact, at the beginning I wasn't even building with monetization in mind -- I mainly wanted this tool so that I could use it.

There were 0 paid users when I posted it to Hacker News on a whim. I closed the tab, expecting that to go nowhere, and came back an hour later to my email inbox blowing up. I was astonished to see that the post had made the front page and more than a dozen people immediately signed up for Premium.

Sometime in the following weeks it reached 100 paid users. Word of mouth and the occasional post to places like r/SideProject gradually propelled it into the low hundreds.

How have you grown the business since its launch?

As a solo developer with significant time constraints, the main thrust of my efforts has simply been to make the product so dang good that eventually people in this space start to take notice.

So far, I've spent nearly all my time on development, while also nurturing a community of users who love the tool.

Over the past year, I've been lucky to see some solid growth from word-of-mouth and a few shoutouts from prominent members of the financial independence community.

What are the main marketing channels that work out for you?

Word-of-mouth, posts to relevant communities, and shoutouts from personal finance bloggers/influencers.

Which tools do you use most often to help grow your business?

Here are a few of the tools I use on a daily basis: Discord, Plausible, Firebase, Paddle, ProfitWell, VSCode, Vue.js, GitHub Actions.

What is the business model (ads/subscription etc)?

There's a free sandbox you can explore without needing to create an account, and then a subscription model for folks who want premium access to comprehensive financial planning features and persistent data.

What do your finances look like?

It took 2+ years of bootstrapping solo on nights and weekends, and frankly I did not believe I would get this far... but as of this summer, ProjectionLab finally reached $10k MRR!

Since June, it has continued climbing a bit higher, and is probably due for another public revenue update soon. So stay tuned ;)