Pieter Levels on how the Corona Virus affected NomadList and RemoteOK

In this series of interviews we talk with several Open Startups about the affects of the Corona crisis on their traffic and revenue numbers. We as indie hackers and entrepreneurs can learn a great deal from their experience and optimity.

These interviews will be unfolded in several parts, so stay tuned for more!

And by the way, if you like this kind of content and want to support OpenStartupList, you can buy me a coffee or a pizza.

So let's get to it!

Pieter Levels, Nomad List and RemoteOK

Nomad List especially has been affected losing over 50% of its revenue. The site is made for people working remotely and actively traveling so that is to be expected during this crisis. You can even see the complete disruption the Coronavirus brought to traveling members of my site, scroll down to "Trips Taken by Users" on https://nomadlist.com/open.

Remote OK is less affected and might even get a positive effect out of this crisis since remote work becomes more popularized and mainstream during and after this. There is in fact a rise in jobs posted, scroll down to "Job Posts Sold" on https://remoteok.io/open.

Personally I'm less affected financially since I don't have employees and I've saved most of my revenue over the last few years, hardly spending anything. Most people have told me to repeatedly over the years to hire and spend more,but I did the opposite. That means I have a very solid cash buffer now so I can weather this storm quite well. I feel sad/scared about other businesses with high costs that might not be so lucky, especially the employees involved.

On a personal level: I was in Penang, Malaysia in February and flew out on February 10 to Europe (where I'm from) back when the outbreak started to spread from China to the rest of South East Asia, even before it was in Europe. I would've been better off flying to South Korea but back then it looked like the situation in Korea would be bad, and Europe would be a safe haven from Coronavirus. Boy was I wrong! I'm now in the middle of the worst hit area in the world, aka Europe, with hundreds of deaths (half underreported) per day in my country Netherlands. To make it worse, I'm just above the region in the Netherlands where it's the worst, Brabant. It's been5 weeks of quarantining inside and washing groceries with soapetc. Terrible.

On a business level: I put a big notice on top of Nomad List the moment I felt it was starting to become unreasonable to be abroad for nomads: "🦠 Please postpone any travel and reduce contact during the current COVID-19 outbreak, see our live data". That was around early March: https://web.archive.org/web/20200314094246/https://nomadlist.com/. I recommended people on Nomad List in chat too to go home and get to safety. Most did, a few ignored and are now stuck in lockdowns in foreign countries and are in very bad situations. We do our best to help, but it's practically impossible to get them out now unless their embassies get involved. Dire situations.

To help with the data: I also started indexing the Coronavirus cases and deaths and charting them for people to keep updated: chart.

Finally, Nomad List traffic tanked but now seems to have recovered already, revenue has not yet though: https://twitter.com/levelsio/status/1251536336428961794?s=20.

Remote OK traffic is stable as ever https://remoteok.io/open and I predict growth especially for that site since remote work will now get more popular due to the lockdowns.