I'm John Lindquist. Joel Hooks and I started egghead.io. AMA!

Held on 16 September 2020, 4:00 pm

Hi, I'm John Lindquist ๐Ÿ‘‹. Many years ago I bought the domain egghead.io and started posting lessons. Joel jumped in and turned it into a thriving business. Over the years, many other instructors and employees have joined us on our journey of creating high-quality content that fits nicely into your time budget.

Iโ€™m happy to answer questions about egghead, teaching JavaScript, getting started with making lessons, and lesson creation workflow. Iโ€™m a huge fan of automation and recently released automatoes.com. Iโ€™d love to discuss tips and tricks around optimizing dev workflow as well!

egghead: egghead.io
personal: johnlindquist.com
twitter: twitter.com/johnlindquist

AMA starts on 16th September 2020, 12PM ET or 4PM GMT or 9AM PT. Add your questions below.

Chris on Code's photo

do you think you could start egghead.io today and it would be as successful as its become?

Show +1 replies
Benjamin Miller's photo

John Lindquist

John - I guess I saw it as, if someone launched Egghead today would it be more challenging due to the scale of the competition? Or does 2020 and all it has brought present a great opportunity for people looking to launch in this kind of area?

John Lindquist's photo

Benjamin Miller

The thing is, we're not "competing" with anyone. We're 100% bootstrapped and have always been playing a long game. We're just doing the best we can with the resources we have and the people we're connected to.

Our success is measured in "Can I wake up each morning and do what I want?" I believe we could replicate that success with the processes and values of egghead today.

Subha Chanda's photo

Hi John! Thank you for the AMA! I wanted to know

  • How do you map out the topics or the syllabus for your courses?
  • What is your process of writing posts?
  • Your Pro-tip to become a successful content creator?
John Lindquist's photo

Hi Subha, great questions!

  • We're currently re-working this entire process based on the concepts of Understanding by Design. We're starting with an internal group at egghead with a few instructors to go as a group through a new process to set this all up. Our goal is to go from "publish what we want" to "research needs and provide materials that lead to maximum success for the subscribers". We've tradionally allowed instructors to publish lessons based on whatever they're using at work, but we'd like to make our content even better for the community and we know we need to do the eductional research to get there.

  • For blog posts, I stick to a general "share what I've learned" formula. Sometimes that comes from research someone else's questions. Sometimes it comes from whatever I'm working on.

  • Create content ;) But seriously, we have a guide up at howtoegghead.com that walks through our process for creating content.

Subha Chanda's photo

Thank you John ๐Ÿ˜Š

Corey O'Donnell's photo

Hey John Lindquist

Thanks for the AMA!

  1. What sort of challenges you have faced on making Egghead.io a thriving business and what steps did you follow to overcome them?

  2. I see you are using Foam for your automatoes.com website. I love the Foam community. Do you have any resources you followed to publish your foam repository using Gatsby?

  3. If you had to become an inanimate object for a year, what object would it be?

John Lindquist's photo

Hi Corey, thanks for the thoughtful questions:

  1. I deal mostly with the "Instructor" side of things for egghead, so I'll touch on that. Our instructors have full-time jobs and personal lives. They're very busy. We help a lot of people get started on the instructor side of things, but then their lives get busy and we often lose contact with them. We've sunk a lot of time and effort into lessons that never happened.

We overcome this with patience and following-up. Sometimes years later. Instructors have always been grateful for our follow-ups.

  1. I just used the Foam Gatsby Starter :D. I'm seriously considering moving to Next.js though as we're rebuilding egghead with Next.js and I'm absolutely loving it.

  2. My wife's wedding ring.

Bolaji Ayodeji's photo

Hi John Lindquist, thanks for AMA!

You've been creating video content for years now, can you share a getting started guide, plan resource, and tools you used when you got started?

Syed Fazle Rahman's photo

What are the five things you wish you knew when you started Egghead?

๐Ÿ™‚ You can add more than 5 points if you want to

John Lindquist's photo
  1. Learner Advocates
  2. How to run a community
  3. Cohort/club/group learning and how to support it
  4. The principles of "Understanding by Design"
  5. Our instructor on-boarding process
Syed Fazle Rahman's photo

Hey John ๐Ÿ‘‹

Thanks for hosting this AMA. What's the process of registering a new instructor for Egghead? Can anyone sign up? Or is it an invite-only process?

John Lindquist's photo

It's invite-based. You can read about getting invited here

AISSA BOUGUERN's photo

I have a lot of things to teach to others,

I want to start a Youtube channel, but i'm procrastinating because of perfectionism. I want to produce perfect video tutorials. Platforms like Egghead.io set those standards very high!

Please give me some advices to get started and to overcome perfectionism.

John Lindquist's photo

Hey Aissa, great question. The best way to overcome perfectionism in content is by producing in the smallest bits possible. Can you make a perfect 3 minute video? Probably not. Can you make a perfect 20 seconds? Definitely!

Add up enough 20 seconds and you'll have a video you can post and be proud of. You got this!

Alexis's photo

What advice do you have for entrepreneurs who are just getting started and are trying to build an online business?

John Lindquist's photo

We played (and are still playing) the long game. We worked on egghead on the side for a couple year before we had enough income to work on it ful-time. We never took VC money. We're 100% bootstrapped. We own the business and have complete freedom over what we do with it. It's wonderful.

Alexis's photo

Hey John, thanks for the AMA.

What's Egghead's current ARR and MRR? I love the product and the tutorials.

John Lindquist's photo

There's a great podcast/article over at Indie Hackers that goes deep into our history and financials.

Benjamin Miller's photo

Hey John! Thanks for doing this, I think Egghead is great. Two questions from me:

How do you make sure that your lessons are the right quality?

In online learning it is notoriously hard to sustain interest and retain students. What have you learned about this?

Show +1 replies
Benjamin Miller's photo

John Lindquist

Thank you!

A wee follow up - do you use or have you considered using a third party learning management system or are you building everything on your own platform?

John Lindquist's photo

Benjamin Miller

We've looked at LMS's and more recently diving into SCORM, but we'll build out our own thing as we integrate exercises/progress/etc into our courses.

Mike Albert's photo

How many instructors do you have on the platform today? And who's your personal favorite and why?

John Lindquist's photo

309 instructors. They're all my favorite!

Mike Albert's photo

What's an ideal lesson creation workflow according to you.

John Lindquist's photo

Coming up with a great demo. Clear A->B before/after path. A quiet hour to record and go through the steps to get from A to B.

Mike Albert's photo

Hi John, how did you come up with the name Egghead? What was the thought behind purchasing the domain name? Many users found it easy to remember the brand because of the name.

John Lindquist's photo

"egghead" is defined as "a person who is highly academic or studious; an intellectual." It's a bit pretentious as a brand, but I hoped it could be a term people would aspire to.

I also like the ".io" aspect. Input/output from one egghead to another since we all learn from each other.

Crescellia Yu's photo

Hey John, congrats on making Egghead a success. I am a fan of the website.

What's your future goals with the website? Do you see yourself competing with Udemy and Coursera in the future?

John Lindquist's photo

Future goals all revolve around helping the community succeed. Higher quality material. Well-planned learning paths. Elevating anyone who visits the site.

We're bootstrapped. We're not competing with anyone.

Jamis Charles's photo

You mentioned "we're not 'competing' with anyone. We're 100% bootstrapped". I love this mindset. Could you elaborate more on this and how you arrived at this model?

I think it's really easy for beginners to think they are competing with everybody for attention and feel bad because so many people are putting out great content.

I was chatting with Joe Eames about this, and his take was "the internet is huge. Even if you only have 1% of the market, you're set". My takeaway was that there is a giant pie and plenty of room for quality educators.

Any thoughts on this?

Ugorji Miracle's photo

I just got to know about egghead. What is it about?

Horacio Herrera's photo

Hey John!!

What is more important to you, broadness (do a lot of things) or consistency (do a couple of things for a long period of time) ??

John Lindquist's photo

Yo Horacio,

Consistency, by far. Kind of like taking care of your health, doing a little each day goes a long way to take care of all the big things.