I used ChatGPT to build a simple Chrome extension in 10 hours. Here's how I sold it for thousands on Acquire and what I learned about my fastest launch-to-exit ever.
- Ihor Stefurak is an entrepreneur with a background in Ukrainian startups.
- He used ChatGPT to build a Chrome extension and sold it for thousands on Acquire.
Three weeks ago, I brought ChatGPT on board as my CTO on a project. We crafted a Chrome extension and received $1,000 worth of pre-orders within 24 hours.
Last week, I sold it on Acquire. It was only listed for one week, and out of the 50 people who contacted me about it, five proposed bids.
I'm an entrepreneur with a background in the Ukrainian startup ecosystem. After a six-year stint at a startup accelerator, I transitioned to working full-time on my own ventures. Since 2017 I've launched and sold multiple projects, and I currently manage a diverse portfolio of five businesses.
My newest project, Type Slash AI, was my quickest launch-to-exit
It started as a fun experiment to see what was possible with ChatGPT. I'm not a programmer and haven't crafted Chrome extensions, but I've written apps script for Google Sheets.
I love simple products and built something last year called Lofi Garden. It's an app with a single play/pause button on the menu bar that controls a lofi playlist on your Mac.
With that project in mind, I wanted to create an invisible AI assistant that could be prompted by a simple command in any text area of any website. All a user has to do to get an original tweet or Replit coding, for instance, is type "/ai prompt" and press Enter.
For example, I prompted Type Slash AI to write me something about happiness in the style of entrepreneur and former AngelList CEO Naval Ravikant:
It produced an original paragraph:
I started by upgrading to ChatGPT Plus
Then, I fed it my first prompt by asking it to write code for a simple Chrome extension that monitors input boxes on websites.
I made $1,000 in the first day
I devoted hours to testing, reporting errors, and requesting revisions. When I was content with the results, I recorded a demo, designed a landing page with a 'pre-order' button linked to Stripe, and tweeted it. The tweet went viral and 500,000 people saw it. I made $1,000 within 24 hours.
In the end, ChatGPT helped me develop a working project in just 10 hours and I played the role of prompt engineer. Was it easy? Somewhat. Can people who don't write code do it? Yes, if they understand the code logic.
A human developer could have undoubtedly built this faster and better, but the idea here is that I'm not a developer and still managed to create this.
A marketing strategy was essential for a successful exit — and winging it won't cut it
I saw many makers trying to capitalize on the same idea without success weeks after. The barrier for entry is low because the project is very simple, but grabbing attention is crucial. My story — a man utilizing ChatGPT as CTO — made all the difference.
Most of those who launched after me relied on Twitter to get users. But this wasn't my first launch, and I knew from the get-go that I needed a more comprehensive approach. So I took a pen and paper to outline what channels I could use to bring in sales.
I managed to get a feature in an AI newsletter from Ben Tossell, the founder of MakerPad. I also reached out to TikTok influencers, shared my story with the media, and reposted it on Hacker News, Reddit, Facebook. I even cooked up a programmatic SEO project for the extension.
Not all of these avenues succeeded, but I did receive pre-orders and engaged early users, which was my primary focus.
Because my extension went viral and gained traction, I was able to make a choice: Should I grow it, sell it, or shut it down?
I chose to sell and move forward. I plan on using the money from the sale to buy a small house in a village here in Ukraine, and my girlfriend and I are currently location hunting.
I recommend beginners use ChatGPT to help with certain types of projects
I'm now focusing on using AI to help people learn how to think better by using "mental models," or an explanation of a thought process about how something works in the real world.
Modern thinkers like Naval Ravikant, psychologist Jordan Peterson, and billionaire investor Ray Dalio are big on explaining their mental models. Leaders, engineers, and investors use already-formed mental models as well as personally-developed ones. These models help enhance self-understanding and ultimately lead to better decisions and big overall improvements.
I still believe the ideal startup team should consist of a tech expert and a marketer. Combine them with ChatGPT for an indomitable squad.
Ihor Stefurak is an entrepreneur with a background in Ukrainian startups.
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