Newsletter Glue, a plugin I’m building that lets you send posts to subscribers, has been in closed beta for the past week. Which means I’ve lived in a state of constant insecurity and anxiety for the past week.
Out of the initial signups, 2 people tried it.
From my first series of posts (when Newsletter Glue didn’t have a name and was still an idea), I got:
40 interested people. Of which…
18 actually responded when I followed up with them. And of those…
10 let me interview them on Slack, email or Google hangouts. And when the closed beta was ready…
2 people were a good fit, actually tried the plugin and gave me helpful feedback.
~5% conversion rate seems decent, I think?
Now to keep going…
I’ve since cast a few more nets and found a handful more users.
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the actual experience so far has been a slow, gruelling, uphill battle in which constant learning is an entry-level expectation.
Since I started working on Newsletter Glue, I’ve had lots of great conversations with incredibly kind and generous people.
I’ve learnt and gotten so much better at customer discovery, product management and product design.
I’m even getting better at Twitter, even though I bitched about it last week.
This shit takes time, and I suppose it’s unreasonable to expect overnight success when I myself am just learning.
- Brian Krogsgard mentioned Newsletter Glue in the Post Status newsletter. I immediately got a bunch of requests as a result. Thanks Bryan! 😉
- I heard from my accountant that I’m comfortably in the black for 2H2020. I thought I’d been treading a fine profitability line (which I was okay with since I’m spending the year building plugins). But it turns out things are a little better than expected!
- I ran barefoot for the first time on the road and got a bunch of blisters. So I haven’t run on the road for awhile. But I’ve started running barefoot on the treadmill, which should improve my form and help my muscles get used to barefoot running. Looking forward to seeing how this goes.
- Finish my Newsletter Glue landing page
- Publish my blog post. Yes, the one I was meant to finish this week. Shut up.
- Knock off a bunch of housekeeping items that we need to do before launching.
What’s the right approach to new products? Pick three key attributes or features, get those things very, very right, and then forget about everything else.
Those three attributes define the fundamental essence and value of the product — the rest is noise.
For example, the original iPod was:
1) small enough to fit in your pocket,
2) had enough storage to hold many hours of music and
3) easy to sync with your Mac (most hardware companies can’t make software, so I bet the others got this wrong).
That’s it — no wireless, no ability to edit playlists on the device, no support for Ogg — nothing but the essentials, well executed.If your product is Great, it doesn’t need to be Good, Paul Buchheit
🍊Fresh From the Interwebz
Soothing video that follows a baker for a day and shows everything she does. I always enjoy the quiet of the night. Link to video →
What I like best about this in depth article was that it also covers your hesitation to negotiate and explains why that’s all in your mind. Link to article →
Oldie but a goodie by The Oatmeal. If you haven’t already heard of him, you’re in for a treat and I suggest you click immediately. Link to comic →
“A hedge fund is paid a LOT to take risk. Otherwise why would you invest in a hedge fund at all? Just stick everything in an index ETF and call it a day. Our real job was to manufacture confidence for taking risk. We weren’t stock analysts. We were Confidence Men.” Link to article →
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