Alex Preston / blog

My first (Micro) Exit.

Mon Jan 2 2023

A few weeks ago, I completed the sale of a side project that I worked on for two years in college. The project was called and it used extractive text summarization algorithms to summarize articles and books. This was my first fully developed piece of software, complete with a backend, frontend, database, and real users. Over the years, I slowly added improvements to the project, and it gradually gained traffic. However, I wanted to move on to other things, so I decided to sell the project.

At the time of the sale, the site was averaging about 10K monthly page views, so it seemed I could find a buyer. It's funny, I remember when I first realized that actual people were using it; I was so excited that I even built a bot that texted me every time new summaries were generated. Ironically, that same feeling of excitement prompted me to want to sell the project. I wanted to chase that feeling with other projects and focus on building bigger and better software, and I was tired of paying monthly hosting fees for a site that didn't bring in any revenue.

I used Microacquire to sell the project, and they made the process very easy. I set up an account, verified my identity, listed my startup, and a day later I had a few bids. I then selected the bidder who seemed the most serious about buying. A week later, we had a Zoom call to discuss next steps. We agreed that he would pay me half upfront, I would give him the app, and then he would pay me the rest. A few days later, he paid me $875, and I set up the web app and database on his Digital Ocean account. We only met one more time so I could transfer the domain ownership to him and he could pay me the rest.

The whole transfer took only a few hours of work. It was the quickest $1,750 I ever made, although it's not really true if you consider the hosting fees I paid and the approximately 100 hours of development and maintenance I did over the years. Either way, I'm happy to have made any money at all. I started the project simply to scratch my own itch and build something I wanted to see in the world.

I have a few new projects in the works currently, and I'm excited to release them soon. Stay tuned.