Marc Köhlbrugge

@marc

Maker of WIP amongst other things.
  • 39
  • Eindhoven, Netherlands
  • Joined September 2017
Roast Backlogs landing page
Maker of WIP amongst other things.

My main two issues with these kind of collaborative roadmap services are:

  1. Customer don't generally know what they want. They often request a specific feature, but if you follow up and really get to understand the problem, there's likely a better solution than what they came up with. You can't blame them though. It's your job as the entrepreneur to translate their feedback to a useful product.

  2. Most customers won't bother filling out a form to request a feature. They just tell you through support what isn't working or ask about something you currently don't have a solution for. Asking them to add it to a roadmap is customer-unfriendly. Plus, you're better to continue the conversation 1:1 anyway as that's the fastest way to understand their underlying needs.

I've seen some other startups tackle these problems, by integrating with support services like Intercom. The support team can then create "feature requests" or link support tickets to existing "feature requests". This lets the product team see all the relevant custoemr conversations in one place, and support can follow up once the feature is shipped (or solved in a different way).

This requires a vastly different approach, but I think that's more likely to fullfil its promise. Many people have tried creating these public roadmaps, but I have yet to see anyone succeed. In all those years think I've only participated in one as a user.

Your landing page mentions "loved by indie hackers" and I think that's exactly the type of person that likes this idea. They like building in the open, but aren't sure what to build. They hope with a public roadmap their problems will be solved. But I think it's unlikely. They are likely to have limited budget, so monetizing properly will be hard.

I suggest focusing your efforts on the most successful users you have. And really try to understand their needs. And disregard any feedback from customers with small budgets.

A lonely IndieHacker at lonely.dev

Thank you so much for you inputs Marc 🙏

You are right that customers sometimes don't know what they want. But it would be a good start to spark some new ideas, not necessarily to be exact the same with what customer wants.

I also agree the 1:1, real-time chat is the most efficient way. Actually we do have the comment area where project owner can chat with customer directly. It just provides a central place to manage all these discussions.

This micro saas product is only targeted for indie hackers and bootstrappers like us. I haven't yet created those integrations and ticket assignment process. It wouldn't fit in the indie hacker's mode. So I wouldn't bother to add those features into the current version, haha

We do have people signed up, but not yet converting one to the paid user. Yeah, monetizing would be hard. For me, just want to offer the most comfortable price for indie hackers with small budgets.

Imagine you need a solution to enable customers to manipulate photos (e.g. a profile picture) on your SaaS, what search terms would you use
Maker of WIP amongst other things.

javascript image cropper or javascript image filters depending on what I'm looking to do.

I would look for example code. I prefer vanilla javascript over libraries as they usually come with a lot of features I don't need. I might still end up using a library though, if it's lightweight.

( Might be worth writing some blog posts for different JS frameworks including plain old JS, with simplified ways of doing what your library does. Then when somebody wants extra functionality they know where to find you. )

How to incorporate a company in Singapore?
Maker of WIP amongst other things.

No complaints, but it does come with a price tag of about S$10k/year

Let’s roast #WIP. Tell me everything that’s wrong with it and why it will fail.
Maker of WIP amongst other things.

That's a good idea, we should definitely add it.

Do you remember the context of the comment? I might be able to find it

Pele
💎
New

Thanks Marc! I ended up finding it.

I'm fluent in RoR. Should I learn a new stack?
Maker of WIP amongst other things.

100% agree with Wilbert.

I've been developing my products in Ruby on Rails for years and plan on doing so for many more.

I do enjoy learning, but I'd rather learn about building a better business, than a another programming framework. Of course you might have different goals, so do whatever feels right. There's no right or wrong here.

Roast my landing page for Pliik
Maker of WIP amongst other things.

Oh, turns out there's a demo. I completely missed that link initially. I'd just embed the video on the homepage.

Although I don't think the video actually demonstrates what the product is like. I just see a bunch of Airtable screenshots (?) and loud music.

I wonder if some static screenshots would do a better job communicating the product.

Roast my landing page for Pliik
Maker of WIP amongst other things.

I briefly scanned through the landing page as I would normally. I intentionally didn't read each and every paragraph.

To better mimic when seeing someone recommend it on Twitter, or finding it through a Google search, etc.

Do you know what the product does?

It seems like you somehow take customer tickets and turn them into a roadmap for me. I've never used Hubspot, so I'm not exactly sure what data it can provide.

I'm not sure what Pliik will provide me either. It can't possibly recommend fully thought-out feature ideas. I'd like to see a preview of what Pliik is going to suggest me and how.

Do you know why someone would use the product?

When you have an unclear idea of what your customers want (for example because you're an established business and you're not doing daily customer support yourself).

What improvements would you suggest?

  • Show a demo of what the product will look like
  • Prove to me that Hubspot has enough data to generate feature ideas from
  • The texts are hard to read. Low contrast and centered. Abstract language
Maker of WIP amongst other things.

Oh, turns out there's a demo. I completely missed that link initially. I'd just embed the video on the homepage.

Although I don't think the video actually demonstrates what the product is like. I just see a bunch of Airtable screenshots (?) and loud music.

I wonder if some static screenshots would do a better job communicating the product.

Founder, maker, writer. Built Graphite Docs and SimpleID. Taught myself to code in my 30s.

Thanks so much for the detailed feedback. It echoes a lot of my gut feelings, so that's good to hear.

Feedback on my landing page
Maker of WIP amongst other things.

I feel like people have a desire to be a part of a community, but I'm not sure they necessarily realize they want to join a community. Does that distinction make sense?

I think the current page is too focused on the concept of communities, while really it should be about finding your peers. Meeting people with similar interests, hobbies, or tastes. That this can happen through joining an online community, is secondary.

What does that mean in practice?

Well, I think rather than showing a list of online communities, you could perhaps have a questionnaire. Asking people what they are looking for. Are they looking to connect with like-minded individuals? Or do they want to expand their worldview and seek out opposing perspectives? Do they want to meet new friends to hang out with in real life (perhaps initially through connecting virtually), or are they looking to connect with people in a more professional way?

Based on what people are looking for (their actual needs), I think you could guide them to the right community to join. Perhaps you even could include tips to get the most out of that community. Like you pointed out yesterday, WIP isn't the place for self-promotion. So that's something you might want to point out if you recommend WIP to someone. But perhaps some other communities are totally fine with it, and so it's worth explainig that as well.

I think with that approach Community Finder becomes more of a personal guide, helping you find your peers, rather than just a list of places where the reader has to wade through him or herself.

Uncommunity - Honest feedback please.
Maker of WIP amongst other things.

Roasted

  • I'm not sure who's it for. I run an online community (WIP), but the list of tools doesn't immediately speak to my needs. Rather than categorizing by type of resource, I think you should categorize by need.
  • For example "Getting you first 10 members", "Growing a community", "Monetization", etc
  • Who's doing the curation? Why should I trust you have a good sense of what tools are good? That isn't clear. Perhaps it could be solved by letting people upvote their favorite tools and showing the vote count.

Toasted

  • Love the simple design
  • Online communities are very trendy right now, it seems like a good market to be in
@GOJEK</a>

Loved the feedback. I think it make sense. To categorize based on the need.

About the upvote count - I'm already working on it and thought to launch the upvote once I made the intiail launch so that I keep momentum saying we released something this month, etc.

Thanks a lot, Marc.