WIP

A community of makers shipping together
You can now log your todos via email ✨
If you enable the daily digest email, you will receive a daily email summarizing that day's activity. It shows you all the pending todos you added, and the todos you completed.

Starting today, you can reply to this email to log more todos.

Every line is considered a separate todo. Todos are presumed to be completed, but if you want to add a pending todo just prepend the line with /todo or an empty checkbox: [ ]

For example:

Redesigned homepage
[ ] Increase pricing
[ ] Apply for AWS Activate

Give it a try and let us know what you think. Props to @jankeesvw for shipping this in one day! πŸ‘

πŸ“Š Calculating activation rates
As previously discussed I'm looking to make my product designed more data-informed. One metric I'm especially interested in is WIP's activation rate. That is: what percentage of new users actually become active community members?

It's pretty hard to grow a community if new members leave right after they join. And for WIP specifically, it needs to become part of your daily workflow to really provide value. It's not really something you use occasionally. You're either all in, or you probably don't use it at all.

So making sure people immediately start getting value and become active is key. Let's look at the numbers:

Stripe shows that about 15-20% of subscribers cancel within their first month, or in other words about 80-85% remains. In month two about 60-70% remain, and month 3 only 50% of members are still there.

That means on average there's a 50/50 chance a new member has left by month 3. That's bad.

I kind of expected this though. It's quite common to see new members leave after 1-2 months because it just didn't click. It can be hard to join an existing community of people who already all seem to know each other. Using a new task management requires some commitment as well. And up until a few months ago simply signing up for WIP and connecting to Telegram was quite a hassle.

We did improve the onboarding flow a bit and started sending onboarding emails as well with tips on how to use WIP. This seems to have had a positive effect (from 81% retention in the first month to 88%, which is a 9% improvement), but if I look at actual activation rates we still have a long way to go.

The above percentage are really retention rates (what percentage of members keep paying). We'll take a closer look at those later. But for now I want to look at activation rates specifically.

So how do we calculate the activation rate?


For WIP, I think it makes sense to look at the number todos a user completed. This is quite subjective, but I'd say if you haven't completed 5 todos within your first week you'll probably not stick around.

So to calculate our activation rate we divide the number of users in any given time period who have completed 5+ todos within their first week by the total numbers of users who signed up in that same time period.

It's not perfect. There are members who would have been considered not-activated by this formula, but ended up being some of the most active. The reverse is probably also true. I'm also aware of people who are active in the chat, but don't really use the todo functionality.

So yeah, it's not a perfect metric, but it's something to start with.

Right now the activation rate to be around 30-40%. Our goal will be to improve that. I'm not sure yet how, so I'll probably start reaching out to new members who haven't activated yet. And see what's blocking them.

πŸ΄β€β˜ οΈ AARRR! Which metrics I plan on measuring
In the previous post I explained I want to take a more data-driven approach when it comes to product development. But which metrics should I look at?

Ultimately the goal of a business is to generate a profit. Setting aside costs, we can just focus on revenue for now. In case of WIP, that's our monthly recurring revenue or MRR.

But focusing on just MRR isn't really giving us much insight. What's more useful, is looking at what makes up that MRR. Basically that comes down to this:

MRR = number_of_website_visitors Γ— signup_conversion_rate Γ— retention_rate Γ— average_revenue_per_user

Notice how they are all multipliers. That means that if any of those numbers is particularly bad, itΒ  brings down the whole thing. It also means that something small like increasing the conversion rate from 2% to 4% (not real numbers) has the same effect on MRR as doubling the amount of website traffic.Β 

As you can see it pays to know which metrics to work on. Knowing these numbers will help us better understand where our weaknesses are and opportunities for growth.

The numbers I mentioned don't tell the full story though. For a more complete picture we want to look at AARRR as pioneered by Dave McClure. Here's what that means for WIP:Β 
  • Acquisition: new makers who sign up for WIP
  • Activation: get them to actually use the product
  • Retention: make sure they keep getting value and don't cancelΒ 
  • Referral: help them spread the word and refer new members
  • Revenue: optimize pricing based on value
Specifically, here's what I plan on tracking:

Acquisition
  • How many website visitors do we get (not logged in)
  • What percentage vies the join modal
  • What percentage actually signs up
Activation
  • What percentage of users completes at least 10 todos within their first two weeks
Retention
  • What percentage of users is completing X+ todos per week (will need to figure out good number)
  • What percentage cancels their subscription every month (churn rate)
Referral
  • How many invites does the average user receive (currently really low)
  • What percentage of these invites gets given away
  • How many of those invites get redeemed (redemption rate)
  • What percentage of invited users ultimately signs up to a paid membership
Revenue
  • What's the total MRR
  • What's the average revenue per user (ARPU)
  • What is the life-time value of a customer (LTV)
They are mostly percentages/rates as those are the most actionable. Absolute numbers like overall signups don't really tells us much, but know what percentage of website visitors ends up signing up does give us a good indication of how well the website converts (regardless of how much traffic we get at any given time), and whether our changes are having the desired effect.

My next step is to calculate some of these metrics so we can start measuring them. I'll follow up with that later.

Let me know in the comments what you think of these metrics and if there's anything else you think I should be measuring. Also let me know what you're measuring for your product.

P.S.
For more inspiration check out this slideshow by Hiten Shah.

πŸ“Š My experiment with data-driven product development
When it comes to product development and deciding what to work on next, I have never really followed a specific methodology. I just fixed the bugs that seemed the most annoying, and built the features I thought people wanted.

That kinda works, but I'm always wondering: is this really the thing I should be working on? Will this move the needle? How do I know these changes are actually helping my business? What if they are actually hurting it?

Looking at signups and MRR gives me some idea how my business is doing, but they don't really show me where the potential problems lie and opportunities for growth are. So starting today I'm going to try out a more data-driven approach.

I've also decided to share the process with you. As I figured many other makers might struggle with the same questions. So hopefully this will be a useful exercise for both of us. I encourage you to follow along and share your own progress on WIP so we can learn from each other.

Stay tuned for the next post where I'll dive deeper into the metrics I'll be tracking.

I'd love to hear your experience with metric-driven development. Let me know in the comments!

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦ Collaborate with your team mates
Starting today you can invite your team mates to WIP and collaborate on your products!

Here's how to get started:

  1. Visit your product page
  2. Click the edit button
  3. Enter your teammate's username in the additional makers field
  4. Your teammate will receive an email asking for confirmation
  5. You can now both add todos to the same product

Note that your teammate needs a WIP account in order to get invited. If you would like to extend a free 30-day invite to your colleagues send Marc a message ( @marckohlbrugge on Telegram, or [email protected] ).

Right now you can only complete the todos you yourself added. In the future it will be possible to complete each other's todos as well. Give it a try and let us know what you think!

Shout out to @jankeesvw for his work on this new feature.


⏰⚑️ Streaks now support time zones!
⏰⚑️ Streaks now support time zones! Set your time zone by sending your GPS location to @wipbot (we don't store your location). Your streak will then be calculated based on your own time zone. Make sure to complete at least one todo before midnight, local time.

⛔️ This feature is in BETA. Use at your own risk. There's a chance things work unexpectedly and you will lose your streak. Feel free to hold off changing your timezone until the feature is considered stable.

Please let me know if you notice anything weird. Other feedback welcome too.

Coming soon:

πŸ‘‰ Ability to manually set your time zone without sending GPS.
πŸ‘‰ Personal /countdown command adjusted to your streak.
πŸ‘‰ The /countdown in main chat will be removed (doesn't make sense if people have different timezones).

Introducing Keyboard Shortcuts ✨
Too lazy to click? No worries. You can now use Gmail-like keyboard shortcuts to navigate across WIP!

The following keyboard shortcuts are currently supported:

  • Type gp to go to your pending todos
  • Type gd to go to your done todos
  • Type gh to go to the homepage
  • Type gq to go to the questions

Give it try, but be sure to come back and leave a comment with any feedback or other shortcut suggestions you might have!

πŸ“… Monthly Report – April 2018
Now that we have Product Updates on WIP, I figured I'd share a monthly report. Here it goes…

Metrics


Numbers are a little down compared to March. This was to be expected as we launched last month leading to a lot of new members and increased activity. Overall though, the numbers look really good. MRR is steadily increasing.Β 

  • βœ… 7,861 completed todo's
  • πŸ‘©β€πŸ’» 73 new members
  • πŸ€” 136 new questions
  • πŸ’¬ 602 new answers
  • πŸ›  214 new products
  • πŸ€‘ $4,830 total revenue
  • πŸ’° $4,163 MRR

New features


  • πŸ—Ί Makers Map – See where everyone is.
  • πŸ’Œ Product Updates (beta) – Announce new features, monthly reports, etc.
  • πŸ”” Follow Products – Stay up to date on your favorite products.

Minor Improvements


  • Better editing of todo's and answers
  • Attach images to question answers
  • Test coverage for Stripe payments
  • Product Hunt links for product pages
  • Ruby code example for API
  • Using CSS variables
  • Media gallery to product pages
  • Improved introduction blocks to primary pages
  • Dedicated products page for maker profiles
  • Behind-the-scenes code refactoring
  • Bunch of other small stuff

What's next?


The coming month I'll focus on improving existing functionality and making WIP more welcoming to new members. Specifically:

  • Make the group chat less intimidating to new members
  • Officially launch Makers Map
  • Fix long-standing bugs and UX problems
  • Refactor wipbot code

πŸ”” You can now follow products
With over 1,000 products on WIP it can be hard to stay up-to-date on your favorite ones. So starting today you can follow products.

By following a product you will get notified of their Product Updates. You also get a handy list of all the products you follow.Β 

πŸ’Œ Introducing Product Updates, easily share your product progress
Today I'm introducing the beta of Product Updates, a better way to share your most important product changes, milestones, and other changes.

Todos are a great way to share incremental updates on your product. Whether it's a bug fix or small feature. However, some changes deserve more attention than just a checkmark and a one-liner. That's where Product Updates come in.

Product Updates are like mini blog posts that describe something new you want to share with the WIP community. This post you're reading right now is a great example. Besides allowing for longer content, Product Updates also can be applauded and discussed within the community.

How does it work?


  1. Go to your product page
  2. Click the "Write a product update" button on the left
  3. Write your update and publish it

This feature is still very much in beta. I think it solves a real issue, but I'm not 100% certain yet so I figured I'd just ship this prototype and see how people use it. If there's no interest I'll just remove it again. (and let you export any posts you've written already).

Here are some of the features that are still missing:

  • Adding images to product updates (need to figure out how to integrate uploads with the Trix editor we're using.)
  • Drafts (so you don't have to immediately publish a post)
  • Better distribution so that your product updates are seen by more people. For example show them on the WIP homepage, etc.

Please give them a try and let me know what you think!