I recently read the interview the folks at Moonlight gave on Indie Hackers who talked about how they built a developer marketplace for jobs without writing any code. They've recently hit the milestone of $55k/mo in revenue.
I'll lift a few points to highlight but encourage you to read the full post (linked below).
We started Moonlight as a marketplace to help developers find part-time projects to make money in their spare time. Developers would sign up and give us their work preferences and background. Companies would post jobs to find developers to hire.
The first version of the “product” was a manual process that we hacked together without writing a line of code. We hooked our existing Typeform sign-up into Zapier to notify us about new projects. Then, we would make a Google form to collect proposals and email it to matching candidates from our spreadsheet. Once the client hired a contractor, we made a developer timesheet using another Google Doc, manually issued weekly invoices using Paid Labs, and sent payment to the developer using Payable. We processed our first $100K in gross merchandise volume before automating anything. We made money by adding a 15% markup on top of each invoice sent by developers.
After issuing our first few invoices, we knew that we needed to automate the process, so we started designing and building an app. We first made a new homepage to replace Squarespace. Then, we slowly started replacing Google Sheets and Typeforms with code. First, we built developer onboarding, then we coded an integration with Stripe Connect for payments, then we built developer profiles and search, then we added invoicing, and then we added the company sign-up. Along the way, we published each part of the app as it was ready, so our site was a hybrid of manual processes and automated ones.
Read their interview over on Indie Hackers: "How Launching a Membership Model Grew Our Revenue by 300%"