How This Founder Grew Queue to $1 Million+ Revenue In Three Years

How Masud Hossain Grew Queue to $1 Million+ Revenue in Just 3 Years

Masud Hossain used an unusual approach to launch and grow Queue. He acquired his first customers and promoted this SaaS business through a variety of Discord channels where his ideal customers already interacted.

As you’ll see in this interview, Masud’s approach worked! He grew Queue to more than $1 million in revenue in just three years and received backing from Y Combinator.

👇 Key Takeaways

  • Free marketing methods (like participating in niche-specific Discord servers) proved to be incredibly effective for securing initial users and customers.
  • Loom videos helped Masud to improve cold outreach conversions by 300%.
  • Pivoting to a different target audience allowed Queue to reach prospects able and willing to pay.

Overview

Business Name: Queue
Website URL: https://www.usequeue.com/
Founder: Masud Hossain
Business Location: Online (USA)
Year Started: 2020
Number of Employees/Contractors/Freelancers: 5

How much revenue and profit does the business generate?

Our revenue is currently at seven figures, and we’re growing tremendously in the last three months. 

Tell us about yourself and your business.

Mas here! I’m the founder of Queue. We built an all-in-one platform for agencies to integrate payments, client portals, and project management to their website so their clients get a seamless experience. 

I’ve been coding since I was 12 years old and have been building websites for people since then. Being a first-generation immigrant, money was always tight from an early age. So being able to learn a skill like coding is what gave me the opportunity to help out. It helped pay rent, college, and other expenses. It’s one of the reasons why I started Queue. It’s empowering to know that I’m helping people turn their talent into a business so they can sustain themselves doing what they love. 

Masud Y Combinator

How does Queue make money?

We make money by charging a monthly subscription of $49/month for two seats. We have enterprise plans, which can range from $200/seat to $1,000/seat, depending on the needs of the business. 

When we first launched our platform, we made it extremely cheap. $9/month. Why? Because we can increase prices as we go and grandfather in old customers. 

We also have an affiliate program that gives 25% of the subscription revenue every month they’re on our plan. 

What was your inspiration for starting Queue?

I originally built Queue for a friend of mine who was an esports coach. He would take videos sent to him by other players and then review them. It was a cool business he loved doing, and so I hired him to help me in Overwatch.

I got pretty annoyed with the video and Excel sheet of comments with timestamps. So, I built a tool that lets you pause the video, draw on it, and leave a timestamped comment. That was the first review tool we built for Queue. And I shared this tool on various Discord servers for video editors and it took off. Next thing I know, I’m getting requests to build various tools like image review, PDF review, and even website review. So I did, and it made the product better and better. 

About two years in, we were looking for a design agency to hire, but it was very difficult since most had a contact form with no pricing on their website. And getting into a call with them took days, and getting the contract took a week, and the start date would be weeks away.

That’s when I blurted out, “Why in the world isn’t pricing transparent with these people? Put me on a subscription, and I’ll send tasks to you!” and we hit the epiphany. We’re going to build this and make sure every agency has transparent pricing. So we did, and that’s when Queue really started to blow up. 

How and when did you launch Queue?

We launched our product in 2020, right before we started Y Combinator. Back then, we launched the product on Discord servers that we were part of, and that is what gave us our early traction. We would answer questions anyone asks and then plug Queue in any chance we got. 

Masud promoting queue in Discord

One thing we didn’t do from day one was marketing. So no content creation, no blogs, and no videos. This was a BIG mistake on our end and something we regret. But we’re doing it now! Learn from my mistakes. You don’t want to market your product, but you should.

How much money did you invest to start the business?

Since we started the company, we raised a total of $2.3M from investors. Our first check was from Rashid Gargash, whose family acquired my last startup. Our second check was from Lucy Guo from Backend Capital. She found us on Twitter and reached out to have a quick call. Fifteen minutes later, the documents were sent to us for signing for $100k.

When we first started the company, I spent a total of $200/month, which included servers, databases, Intercom chat, and some Webflow templates.

How did you find your first few clients or customers?

We found our clients through Discord servers. There’s a server for almost anything nowadays. Productized services, Webflow, Figma, video, gaming, etc. We joined the ones that had a lot of members and waited for someone to ask a question on how to do something. And then we would quickly answer it with a plug for our software, saying we’re way better than our answer. 

Besides Discord, we also did cold outreach. Cold outreach was definitely way less conversation than Discord. Most people are smart enough to know when they’re being sold to, so they always have a guard up. But you know what worked really well? Sending a screenshot or Loom video to prove we are not spam-blasting everyone. This increased our conversion by 300%. 

What was your first year in business like?

I’m a workaholic. So in my first year, I worked about 70 hours a week. I was a single guy living alone in my one-bedroom. So, I had all the time in the world to spend on the startup. My usual routine was getting up at 10 am and working till 2 am. With breaks here and there.

I enjoy coding, so to me, it wasn’t draining at all. Sales, however? Definitely drained my energy every time I did it, but I still did it because you gotta do what you gotta do to get results. 

What strategies did you use to grow Queue?

We used Discord servers, LinkedIn, and cold email outreach. We knew that we needed to hit revenue targets fast, so we did sales from the start because it allowed us to hit revenue markers consistently. Once we found something that worked, it was a matter of how often we can do it in a single day. 

Masud promoting queue in Discord

We also launched on Product Hunt, and that gave us a decent amount of paid accounts. One advice I have for this is to do outreach to get in the top 5. 

Queue on Product Hunt

Tell us about your team.

We’re a team of five. That includes me (engineer and CEO), a frontend engineer, a designer, an SDR, and a mobile app developer. We’re all 100% remote and met up early for a retreat. We plan on hiring more roles, specifically content creators. 

What are your future plans for Queue?

Since day one, our main goal has been to create a platform where people can turn their talent into a thriving business. We’re committed to continuously developing tools that support this vision. Just a month ago, we introduced a new feature allowing users to get referrals from friends, family, and clients.

We plan to keep adding more of these useful tools. The idea is for businesses to find everything they need on Q, making it simpler to run and grow their business. And more importantly, we want to ensure that they provide such great experiences to their clients that it naturally leads to more referrals and better client retention.

We also plan on raising a series A in 2024 to help us build the team. We’re looking to hire content creators to make a big push on YouTube and our blog. 

What was the turning point when you knew your business was successful?

I knew there was a possibility of a business when someone asked to PayPal us money on day three of the product release, but I wasn’t always 100% sure if it would be a venture-backed business from day one.

You see, one of our biggest groups of customers was esport coaches. And esport coaches don’t make a ton of revenue that would help us reach $100M/ARR. So, eventually, we did have to pivot and focus 100% on creative agencies. Because these were real businesses making way more revenue, so they had the budget for software. 

How much traffic does your website receive, and what are your primary sources?

Our website receives about 25,000+ traffic a month. We don’t look at our traffic much, if at all, because the majority of our customers add their own domain. So a customer will come to usequeue.com and then 5 minutes later usequeue.com is now being run on portal.example.com, so the traffic is “lost”, but we gained revenue. 

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned growing Queue?

  1. If you don’t use your own product, you’re going to build a very bad product. You can’t assume what’s wrong or what’s good. YOU have to use it yourself and fix any issues. At least this way, you’re happy with the product.
  2. Promote your startup anywhere and everywhere. You have to be its cheerleader. Get on blogs. Get on videos. Tell the world what problem you sold and how. And make sure you do this from your personal account and not the companies. People want a face to see. 
  3. If you don’t know who your first 10 customers are, you’re in big trouble and will struggle getting off the ground. This is usually a sign that you’re entering a market you’re not familiar with, which is a red flag. 

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome?

Being comfortable creating content. Marketing is something no one wants to do in our startup. They felt shy about voicing their thoughts. But unfortunately, if you want your startup to be successful, you have to bite the bullet and get it done. I don’t like doing it, but I will do it because results need to happen. 

What is your favorite quote?

“We’ll figure it out.”

If you had to start from scratch, where would you begin?

I would build an audience before launching any product. Having a large audience helps get your product off the ground and word of mouth spreading. 

What are your favorite books, blogs, podcasts, or YouTube channels?

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