Dagobert Renouf started https://www.logology.co/ with his wife in 2018 as a passion project. They wanted to build a business that made use of both their talents, so they could be happy to come to work everyday. As a team of 1 designer + 1 developer, they settled on the idea of building an online tool in the design space.
They spent 2 years building the product, and 2 more years leaning how to market it properly. Although they went through many ups and downs, Logology is now an established online tool in the indie startup community. It helps dozens of founders every month to automatically figure out the right brand identity and logo design for their next project.
While trying to promote his product, Dagobert also stumbled upon Twitter as an under-rated marketing strategy for new founders. In a bit over a year, he went from 150 to 40k+ followers. Simply by talking about the lessons he learns on the startup journey.
Where did the idea for Logology come from?
My wife was a freelance designer who specialized in logo and brand identity design. She worked with a lot of startups and noticed that early-stage companies often couldn’t afford her services. So we looked for a way to make it cheaper without losing the quality. Eventually, we stumbled upon the idea of automating the brand research and design aspects and cut the price by 10.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My day consists of two parts. I spend the first part communicating and promoting our product to other startup founders. I do this mainly by building an audience on Twitter. The second half of the day is spent on either writing content for our marketing or building and improving the product.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I spend a lot of time meditating and relaxing, that’s when I have the best ideas. It’s hard to balance with the need to be productive though. So my strategy is to alternate between times when I think of new ideas and times when I work intensely to make them happen.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I love to see more and more people quit traditional careers and start to build their own thing. I dream of a future where 30% of the population is working for themselves and building their own business. I think people would be generally happier and more creative. This would be a net gain for society as a whole.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I’ve been tracking my time very precisely for the past 10 years. I also timebox everything. I started doing this while freelancing as a way to know how much time I should build each client. But over the years I saw how helpful it was for my own productivity. Timeboxing is a great way to not get sucked into a mindless task for hours and then wonder why I didn’t accomplish what I wanted on any given day.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I don’t have many regrets in life, but I do feel that I could have started the entrepreneur’s journey much sooner. When I was 20 I wanted to build many things but chickened out because I didn’t think I was capable. Then when I finally took the plunge at 28, I realized it was all I ever wanted and not as scary as I thought… So I would tell my younger self to go for it and not give up on his ideas!
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
You don’t need to go fast to succeed. All you need is to never quit. For example every year I waste months by not working on the right things, or stressing out and procrastinating about the future… Yet we’re growing every year! It’s about time we loosen up on the need to grow like a unicorn or rocketship. Building a small business that goes slowly and allows me to make mistakes gives me more happiness.\
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Start talking and sharing your journey with the public. It’s a bit weird at first but eventually will build up and open new doors for your business. From finding customers to getting new partnerships or investors. You are the public face of your company and have a lot to win by connecting with the world directly.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Twitter was the game changer for me. I had spent the first 2.5 years struggling to find customers. Couldn’t get any growth using marketing channels like paid ads or sponsorships. Then in the summer of 2021, I started tweeting about my journey. Eventually, I noticed more people were coming to my website, talking about my product, and recommending us to other founders. So I made it a part of my daily routine and now spend about 2h a day on it. Which led us to get 10x more traffic per day, being invited on 10+ podcasts, finding new partners, and so on.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
My main failure was with the marketing side. I couldn’t figure it out and felt like a huge failure because of it. I almost quit after 2 years because I thought I wasn’t the right person for the job. But I didn’t want to quit and decided to keep trying different marketing ideas. And one day I found the right one (growing a Twitter audience).
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I feel a bit shy to share this because it’s an idea of mine I’ve wanted to work on for so long. It’s a social book notes app. The core of the app is that you can take notes about the books you read, and then share them on a dedicated online page with all the books you read and your notes on it. You become a curator of books and can make money from affiliate sales to the books you recommend. I don’t know if it has legs but I’d love to work on it. Maybe someday? 😅
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I bought a set of LED lights to improve the quality of my webcam and video recordings. Seemed expensive at first but the result is so much better now that I wonder why I waited for so long.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I’m a big fan of llamalife.co. It’s a simple productivity app focused on timeboxing. It’s a lifesaver for me to make sure I plan and accomplish the right things every day.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I always recommend the book Zero to One by Peter Thiel because of how original, simple, and yet actionable it is. And yet I’ve only read the first third because the rest didn’t apply to me. That’s telling you how much value there is in the first few chapters!
What is your favorite quote?
My favorite of all time is from a French painter: “I like the rule that corrects emotion”. To me, it means that creativity is the source of the effort, but not sufficient. We need to express it within certain boundaries to give it life. This describes my approach to creativity perfectly.
- The best ideas come from problems you’ve noticed first-hand
- Alternate between times of quiet rest and intense work to make the most of your creativity
- Don’t be scared to follow your big dreams even if you’re very young. Chances are you’re more ready than you think.
- Even if you fail at something for a long time, keep trying and you could finally succeed
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.