How Jarek Built The Number 1 Ngrok Alternative

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Going toe-to-toe with established tech is hard. But ambitious developers are up for the challenge. One of those developers is Jarek. He built LocalCan, the number one alternative to Ngrok. Ngrok has been a household name for developers for a decade, with a user base of over 5 million.

And Jarek has begun taking some of that market. In less than a year he’s already grown LocalCan to 1.8k MRR and 1500 licenses sold. I interviewed Jarek to see how he’s gotten here. Let’s dig in.

Did you always see yourself becoming an entrepreneur? Would you do it again?

Absolutely! I’ve always wanted to build products, especially tools. Tools allow people to make things faster, easier, and cheaper. Also, I tend to have strong opinions, don’t like to be told what to do, and I’m an introvert. Since I can remember, I have always tinkered with various products on the side such as IoT, robotics, and even leatherwork.

What led you to building LocalCan? Were there any initial pivots?

I was looking for a nice tiny product that I could build to start earning and kick off my solopreneur journey. At the same time, I had already been using .local domains for local development for a few years, and I didn’t know anyone else using it, despite it being really neat. So I pulled the trigger.

How did you get your first customers?

First, I validated the problem by posting a poll on Twitter, asking if people would like to access locally ran apps or websites on their entire local network/Wi-Fi. Most people said yes!

Then I built a website with a pre-order button and posted it on Twitter. There was no product yet at this point! I was also lucky that @tdinh_me and @ImSh4yy reposted it, which definitely helped. This is how LocalCan earned $500.

“Positioning matters a lot. Once I began communicating that LocalCan is the Ngrok alternative without a subscription, everything changed!”

What are the big lessons you’ve learned along the way?

As a solopreneur, don’t try to build novel products that will make people do things previously impossible! This is an approach for well-funded companies with big research teams that can run for years with $0 MRR and your focus should be to get to $100 MRR, then $1K, then $5K… asap.

Instead, focus on what people do today that cause them frustration or pain, then make it effortless. You can do the same thing as LocalCan by using terminal commands and a few open-source projects. But with LocalCan, you just need a couple of clicks – and that is its true value that people are willing to pay for.

Positioning matters a lot. Once I began communicating that LocalCan is the Ngrok alternative without a subscription, everything changed! People immediately understood what LocalCan is and its capabilities. Moreover, I challenged the status quo of people using Ngrok, making them rethink whether they are actually satisfied, and provided an alternative that is better in many ways.

What are your biggest traffic sources currently?

Webhook.cool – a free tool I’ve built to promote LocalCan

Google – I’m targeting 2 keywords “ngrok alternative” and “local domains”

What would you have done differently?

Focus on marketing sooner. And I’ve heard this advice many times, but still make this mistake. Main marketing effort: blog and free tools. Blog is still pending, but it’s planned to launch.

Connect with Jarek

Jarek’s Twitter

LocalCan’s Twitter

LocalCan

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