So finally launched FutureTales on Producthunt last week.
As regular readers of this blog will know, that had been the goal for a couple of weeks now, to get the product ready to launch to the public.
I created the ProductHunt launch page, clicked publish and…nothing. Got a couple of upvotes, but nowhere near enough to hit the “Featured” page, and so as a result I think very few people actually saw the page.
There are a few lessons here. Firstly, I think I didn’t put enough effort into the launch. For example, I think if I had just got my real life network (ie friends and family) to upvote the launch, that probably would have made a big difference. My experience with TodoBot, where I got immediate traction on Hacker News, probably made the game of attracting eyeballs on the internet seem easier than it is.
However, I think ProductHunt isn’t that useful for a product like FutureTales. ProductHunt is part of the “developers selling SaaS products to other SaaS founders” ecosystem. Whereas FutureTales needs to be marketed to the mainstream. Trouble is, I have zero idea how to do that.
So, I’m at a bit of an impasse right now. Do I stick on my current ideas, and learn better how to market them, or twist add try to generate some new ones?
I need to learn more about marketing. My current marketing strategy is “post on hacker news and hope for the best”. That’s definitely not good enouggh.
I’m guessing that the time I have spent on building my two products so far has been 95% dev/product work. If I am going to do all the marketing myself, I think that split probably needs to be a lot closer to 50/50.
I at least need to find a way of generating enough traffic to send people to the site so that I get some actual users, and I can then iterate the product based on their feedback.
Also, if I drive a reasonable amount of traffic to the site, only for most of it to bounce away uninterested, then I will have proved the hypothesis that FutureTales is not something that the world needs.
So I think that is my main goal for the week ahead is to learn some marketing approaches, and put together a plan for how to market FutureTales.
However, I also spent a good time this past week researching future projects. A thought that has stuck with me is that I need to build:
- a B2B product
- that solves a specific pain point
- in a small niche
- that businesses would be willing to pay for
There’s a lot of people saying that this is the easiest path for small teams/solo developers (for example, this talk by Jason Cohen).
Trouble is, I do not have such an idea. 🤔 I also don’t really have experience of a small business niche that would lead to this sort of idea.
I spent a while this week looking into that most boring and B2B focused of applications: a shopify store plugin. Building for an app store puts you directly in front of people who are looking to pay for a product to solve a business problem. You can also get a really clear idea of the state of the market, problems that customers have with existing solutions (via reviews), the price points that customers are willing to pay.
I’ve spent a while reading through this guy’s experience. Trouble is, his experiences are from 3 years ago, amd I worry that Shopify App store has become over saturated with developers trying to do something similar. I also don’t know anything about e-commerce. Still, I think this is an idea I want to keep looking into.
Someone else’s idea?
I also have been looking into co-founder matching. I would love to find a domain expert who has a great idea they really want to develop, and then I can build it for them. I have matched with a couple of people on the Y-Combinator co-founder matching platform, and even have a call scheduled with someone next week.
We shall see if this bears fruit… (🧸 🍎)
I’m off on holiday at the end of July, so don’t really want to get too stuck into building something new before then. So the plan is:
- learn a bit of marketing
- drive some traffic to my two products
- come up with a great B2B idea ready to start in September.
See you next week!