2023: Revenue, what worked, didn't and what's next

In 2023, my design agency, Product Alchemy, earned €77k. In this article I break down, what worked, what didn't and what's next.

Diego Menchaca
January 15, 2024
 min read

2023 was the first year in my life where I did full-time UX/UI design work and the first year for Product Alchemy, my one-man design agency.

Financially, it was a solid year, and I was able to dial in my subscription model and reap the benefits of selling my expertise as a productized service.

This was the year I got to hug so many close friends in Bhutan again, surprise my mom in Chile for her birthday, and spend quality time with the people I love.


2023 I did €77k in revenue. This 2x more than my living expenses. This revenue came from Product Alchemy and from serving six clients. The dip in Q3 and Q4 was due to my pseudo-sabbatical, where I went to Bhutan for three months to teach UX design. During that time, I considerably scaled down my subscription to focus on the training I was giving.

First batch of UX/UI design course. My dear "UX Warriors".

My kick-ass clients this year were:

What worked

Offering free trials

This worked like a charm. At first, when I launched Product Alchemy, I was offering a 1-week free trial, which was too much; I shrank that to give only a few hours of free work. Offering a short free trial has lowered the pressure for new clients, and I will continue to provide a limited amount of free work because it's such a powerful marketing driver.

Offering money-back guarantee

This is the crux of what allows me to onboard new clients quickly. I didn't have to do a single refund last year, and the chance of that occurring is marginal. In contrast, offering a money-back guarantee takes a ton of weight off the shoulders of someone who doesn't know me or hasn't worked with me before.

Standing out is crucial for a freelancer. We live in a noisy world.

Giving a money-back guarantee is a simple and compelling way to stand out from other designers and add new clients at lightning speed.

What Didn't

Using Slack to communicate with clients

Back at Teamscope, Slack was our primary internal communication channel. Then, I was okay with using it, and I wasn't aware of what other method we could use that could be more effective for day-to-day communication.

Fast forward to today, where I'm managing work with different clients, taking regularly new courses, and trying to stay as productive as possible. Slack has become a drag on my productivity. Nowadays, every product has commenting features: Figma, Notion, Loom, etc. This is getting out of hand, and Slack only makes this worse. I've chosen to say goodbye to using Slack to communicate with my clients and turn off the commenting feature on my loom videos, which leaves only two places where comments and feedback can live: Notion and Figma.

Working from home every day

It may be highly productive and financially attractive to work from home and have 15 seconds of commuting time daily. Still, I need at least occasionally to socialize face-to-face with someone other than my two cats and beloved girlfriend. I'm making a change on this for 2024: to work one day a week from Startup Nijmegen, a nearby coworking space.

What's next

2024 is lining up to be another fun and challenging year. I recently launched a new agency called Motion Gurus, a service dedicated to helping startup founders boost conversion and revenue by creating custom feature animations.

With the advent of Lottie and Rive animations, we see a renaissance in web and product marketing. I'm having a ton of fun learning about Rive and trying to get this side project off the ground.

I'm looking for a handful of startups to give a limited free trial. Please let me know if you need kick-ass animations to boost your product's storytelling!

Diego Menchaca
Product Designer
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