Building an AI Product in 10 Days and Scaling it to $5k MRR

Fernando Pessagno built aiCarousels to distract himself from the possibility of being laid off—and changed his life in the process

3 min read

Fernando Pessagno was about to leave for vacation. He had one foot out the door when some unexpected news slapped him in the face.


As an Argentine Product Designer working in Sweden on a Visa, it was a worst case scenario starting to unfold. Try as he might, he simply couldn’t relax—let alone enjoy his vacation.

In need of a distraction, he turned to a 10-day build-in-public challenge that he came across on Twitter and YouTube (you can binge-watch the entire saga here).

“To me, coding is like a meditation—headphones on, coding, and everything else just fades away,” says Fernando. “I just wanted to ship something—anything—to keep my mind off the fact that I’d probably be losing my job.”

10 days that changed Fernando’s life

Fast forward to today—just 8 months later—and Fernando is the founder of aiCarousels, a tool that helps non-designers create social media carousels for LinkedIn, Instagram, and TikTok using AI. 

The product is currently generating almost $5,000 per month in MRR.

“The inspiration struck when I noticed how popular carousel posts were on LinkedIn,” says Fernando. “As a former multimedia designer who worked with marketing teams for start-ups and created carousels myself, I knew firsthand how time-consuming they can be to create even for experienced designers. So I thought, why not create something that simplifies the carousel creation process for everyone—and especially non-designers?”

Fernando did end up losing his job, and with it his desire to return to a 9-to-5.

“I couldn’t be happier with how things turned out,” says Fernando. “And here’s the thing—I’m not a good coder!”

Building with an emphasis on speed to market

Without any formal training in programming, Fernando is a self proclaimed “index.php kind of guy.”

“You might laugh if you could see my code,” he says.

As such, he only focuses on making things work—even if his code looks like spaghetti. And having worked previously as a designer at an AI start-up, AI wasn’t too intimidating to him. His technical limitations were in many ways a positive constraint, as he set out to build a product that was simple and not overly ambitious.

“Thankfully OpenAI’s API is extremely-user friendly, and Outseta dramatically lowered the barrier to entry into the SaaS world for me.”

In the context of a 10-day build-in-public challenge, speed to market was not just top of mind—it was a requirement.

Due to his lack of back-end knowledge, Fernando’s previous projects had all been very simple one-time payment products. But Outseta’s ability to handle the complexities of integrating authentication and recurring payments opened up new possibilities for him to take on more complex SaaS projects, while offering other features he needed like supporting ticketing, too.

“Outseta has been absolutely instrumental in enabling me to ship aiCarousels so quickly. I can't emphasize enough how good it feels to only focus on product and marketing rather than the tech stack the business relies on. Outseta was a game-changer for me.” 

Launching aiCarousels

Just 10 days after he started working on aiCarousels, Fernando had to launch the product.

“To be honest, I had no idea what to expect,” he says. “Launching a product without testing it properly was certainly a bit of a shot in the dark.”

Despite his concerns, his Product Hunt launch went surprisingly well. aiCarousels was the 9th most upvoted product of the day, earning 154 upvotes, 64 comments, and 7 stellar 5/5 reviews.

While the upvotes were nice, it was the positivity of the comments that caught Fernando’s attention. A few examples:

  • “Nice! I’m going to have my content creators try this and see if we can move away from Canva and save some time and $! It looks slick but it seems like the creation process too is super straightforward and simple!”
  • “I just paid a content creator on Fiverr to make me a load of carousels and ngl the stuff that your product has made for me is much better. Oh I wish I found this a couple weeks ago.”
  • “As a social media manager for some Instagram accounts this tool is pure gold for me, I love it! Congrats on the launch! ❤”
  • “Beautiful! I was looking for a tool like that, even though I can use Figma for it. Your tool helps to make it quick, which is super beneficial.”

By the end of the day 5 paid users had signed up, strong validation that Fernando might just be on to something with his product.

Marketing and growth

While Fernando is quick to acknowledge that the excitement around AI gave him a good head start in terms of growth, he believes a first-mover advantage in terms of carousel tools also helped him early on.

aiCarousels was the first AI-powered Carousel Generator, resulting in a lot of shares on different websites, blogs, newsletters, and social media. 

Those shares often resulted in high quality backlinks, which were great for SEO—currently his biggest source of sales and traffic. A good domain name helped, too.

Fernando kept the momentum going by frequently sharing updates on both Linkedin and Twitter, where he has a relatively modest sized audience.

“The build-in-public approach has made marketing much easier for me,” he says. “I feel more comfortable doing this instead of “selling” all the time, and other indie founders have helped a lot in spreading the word about my tool.”

Going forward Fernando is turning his attention to affiliate marketing, writing blog posts, and building free tools to continue driving growth.

My experience with aiCarousels

I couldn’t publish this post without giving aiCarousels a try myself—after all, as a marketer with a strong emphasis on content marketing and non-existent design skills, I very much fit the ideal customer profile for aiCarousels.

Without any prior knowledge of the tool, I was able to create this carousel which I then shared on Linkedin. The process was easy—I picked a template, edited it to use Outseta’s brand colors, and then fed the tool one of our blog posts that talks about Outseta’s organizational design and compensation model

While I did rework the content significantly, the AI certainly gave me a starting point and there’s lot of value in the templates and design tools alone. 

The results speak for themselves:

  • 87,424 impressions
  • 214 reactions

In short, this carousel was the most viewed social media post I’ve ever shared—and the most viewed thing I’ve ever shared online aside from articles that have reached the top of HackerNews.

While I think the content itself was certainly a factor, I’ve shared similar content before—it’s clear to me that carousels are particularly effective in driving engagement (especially on Linkedin). aiCarousels made it dramatically easier to create a nice looking carousel than it would have been otherwise.

What started off as a project to distract himself from looming layoffs turned into a project generating almost $5,000 in MRR very quickly.

“The truth is aiCarousels almost didn’t happen,” says Fernando. “But if I can do it, so you can you—with tools like Outseta available there are no more excuses!”

If you want to learn more about Fernando’s projects head over to or ResumeMaker.Online. You can also follow his #buildinpublic updates on Twitter @fer_momento or LinkedIn.

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