I have a problem with starting projects and not shipping them. 🤫
I have a graveyard of them, some with big potential, some with small. Time and energy wasted on useful things that never saw the light of day. For whatever reason, I would get stuck adding features to them, thinking they weren’t quite “ready” to ship.
Despite what I’ve read and know about releasing v1 early (thank you Reid Hoffman), it was some kind of subconscious hurdle I needed to overcome.
If I could make something interesting in a short amount of time, maybe it would reduce whatever friction was keeping me from shipping and break the cycle.
So, I came up with a small app to aid making decisions called 🧐decisionize.com
I sat on the MVP for a couple weeks to “see it fresh”. Then, after some updates, I launched to Product Hunt (PH) on a whim.
I had 36 users the first day… I posted late and got no love, but I wasn’t sad because I had launched. 🙂 Success!
Around midnight, the PH algorithm moved me to the start of the following day. This gave me the exposure to hit the front page. 😲 And, I stayed there the whole day.
Had 4-5 users on the site at any time, ending the day with 800+.
And after a bit of marketing (see below), referral distribution ended up like looking like:
Plus, I got a sweet mention from @ProductHuntHi among others.
Traffic dropped a lot as I had expected. 📉
Results after 10 days
I’m getting ~10-12 users a day. Here are the past 7 days:
I’m getting 1-3 new twitter follows a day.
I’m up to 186 upvotes on PH - close to where I was when I dropped off the front page for that day (Sep 27th, 2018)
The bounce Rate was high: 90% because it’s a single page application (SPA) without URL based navigation. So, interactions weren’t picked up by Google Analytics.
The engagement was there when looking at my Heap analytics funnel.
Marketing during launch
Posted to Twitter Twitter Post
Posted to BehavioralEconomics Subreddit
Posted to IH Indie Hackers
Posted to Startups Subreddit & SideProjects Subreddit to crickets
Had some moderators tell me I posted in the wrong area and to read the rules. Doh!
I tried to stay open and honest, but it’s hard when you’re subconscious is trying to sell.
Posted a little something to Facebook. Went something like:
👋 Hi friends and family, I made a little side project aimed at simplifying complex decisions. Useful? or Waste of time?
A no pressure approach is great for overcoming launch friction
- Pressure comes in a lot of forms and eliminating as many non-critical ones as possible is the key.
For a more successful launch, prepare…
Here are some good resources (found post-launch):
But, be careful preparation isn’t procrastination in disguise.