November 8, 2018

Netcrumb: 7 Months And $23,000 Later My Web App Is Ready


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    Congrats! Reading your blog was inspiring, well done! I appreciate openess about you, your way to work and organize work!

    Last year I've done a little website using wordpress and after some work on theming I simply decided to stop and choose a theme and done. I think this is a strong pain point for developers (or agencies) and a service like yours is really interesting.

    You should take in consideration also small-agencies or part/time developers: they should be interested in building a quick site and take care of "dev things".

    Like many people already told to you (I think) cover the full pipeline from design, to buy domain and upload an go live will be a game changer, you could think to contact companies and try to find a common ground for future collaborations. They will provide a high value service to their customers and you will expand your audience (maybe indirectly?).

    I've read here on IH also a guy that made a sort of wizard to create apps (sorry, no link) and he said that put a little gamificaion inside his work help to bring customer from create a quick test to be a real paying customer, something you want to do in order to optimize funnel :D

    Note: sorry for disorganized mess of feedback, free thoughts ! :D

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      This is why I love this community. Thanks a lot as everything you said is very good feedback.

      The full pipeline is on my list, but in the next period.

      Never thought of the gamification thing, but to be honest I don't even know where to start for that. Have any suggestions?

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        You are welcome!

        About gamification, my idea is you should identify key points in your users journey provide feedback on every step. It's like a videogame, where a step 1 means you reach level1, and so on.

        I've worked in a gamification system for sustainable challenges, so if you need more info, there is a lot publications and stuff around, don't lost in it! Keep focused on your objective, that should help users too. For example: a nice achievement should be "create my first wordpress website", another one "I go live with wordpress website created on netcrumb" (with backlink! So you could start to collect success stories too) or "create basic page (CTA,about, etc..)" so user can appreciate that with netcrumb you can do more than one page with one section (to educate users!)

        From my experience is amazing how simply set goals can change people behaviour (you can take a look to videogames too to be inspired), even in real life.

        Take a look here: https://www.indiehackers.com/@EO/how-i-bootstrapped-my-side-project-to-6k-month-while-hating-everything-it-stands-for-43c35faa25

        @EO could provide ideas and support on this

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          @Vokail : Thank you for the mention.

          @ivandrag : Really cool story, congrats on getting it done. I can definitely help with gamification, just send me a message whenever. However, since you're not a Dev, this might cost you a bit more money and from what I understand, you've already exceeded your initial budget.

          From my experience, gamification can do wonders if you have a complex/long onboarding process ( seems like you do ), but it probably wouldn't be a good idea right now. You need an existing user base and analytics in place to identify bottlenecks that can be removed with gamification.

          Writing about it like nathan barry is a great idea, you should definitely do it.

          Best of luck!

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          I think it takes some time to create it. Maybe I can do it optional, but not integrate it in the flow for now.

          I will take a look and come back. Thanks a lot for all your feedback!

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    Hi Dragos, congrats for pushing through and learning a ton :-) We've been in the exact situation with another app, only it was around 20k more and no one was interestedin the project. But what we've learned along the way was priceless.

    We're building a new app again right now (hypervault.co), keeping in mind what our pain points were in the previous project. We've got some initial traction and we've landed around 2K in sales in september, with LTD's.

    If you want to talk about the process we're going through and what we've done to get in some revenue, feel free to hook me up on Facebook. Happy to help!

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      Thanks, Glenn.

      Let's have a chat. Added you on Facebook.

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    Thanks for posting Dragos. I checked your link to AWS and couldn't find the builders package. Did it go away just now?

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      Hi, Philipp,

      It seems that they removed it: https://aws.amazon.com/activate/builders-signup/

      I'm sorry.

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        Ah, too bad. Would've been too good to be true :) Good luck with your service. Keep us in the loop how it develops from here.

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          I received my acceptance email on 1st of October. It's strange they removed it. Try and contact them and ask for it.

          Will do. Hope it goes well.

          Thanks!

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            Great idea! I'll get in touch with them and see what happens :)

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    Congrats on the launch Dragos! Best of luck :-)

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      Thank you!

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    Awesome post Dragos! If you were to do it again, what would you change to attempt lowering your development costs or accelerating shipping time?

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      Thanks, Eddie!

      Time was not a constraint to be honest. Obviously, shipping faster is always better.

      I would probably try to do it myself or create a simple MVP ( simulate the functionality of the app and do it manually )

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        Thanks for the info. You're right, I think giving yourself some time constraints forces you to be more resourceful. I am going to set some constraints to reach certain steps in my side project too.

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          I had a plan to launch in 3 months initially, but the developers were delaying it from month to month.

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    I'm curious about your process used to find developers to work on this project -- are you a techie at all?

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      I'm an Android developer, so I guess that makes me a techie. I thought that rather than learning some new technologies it would be better to hire.

      Before hiring the agency that did Netcrumb, I looked into Upwork and found some agencies from Ukraine and Russia, but their prices were a bit higher and I was not able to explain what I'm trying to create.

      Later I had some Facebook connection who I knew he was a web dev and I asked him and that is how I started working with them.

      I don't think is hard to find developers.

      I think is incredible hard to find the right developers and then ask them to develop your vision.

      To be honest, I wouldn't start again. If you are a developer, it's better to learn and develop it yourself.

      If you're a non developer you have two choices, either find a techie co founder or hire someone in house or be sure to test him a lot before starting.

      I'm gonna write a detailed post about my experience and how to have more chances to find the right developer.

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        I was more interested in the how you would validate their expertise if you're a non technical but you're a techie so it's okay :) I too am a techie haha

        Congrats on your progress thus far

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          I think there are a few things you can do, but that doesn't guarantee anything.

          Some things that a non-techie can do:

          • Ask for a portfolio and based on that you can go and ask the owners of the apps how it was when they worked together.

          • Have very clear requirements and never some overall understanding of how the app should work.

          • Create very clear user stories and work on that and don't work on several things at the same time. Don't allow developers to develop 2-3 tasks in parallel.

          • Try to make the app as modular as possible, in case you are not happy with the actual developer, try to search for a new one.

          • Establish very clear milestones and NEVER pay before they finish those.

          These are just some ideas that come to my mind right now.

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    Great post! I built, but never published, a page builder similar to yours. Yours look very nice and a lot more digestible with more features :)

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      Thanks, Andrew! What happened? Why you didn't launch?

      It's still an MVP that lacks some features, but it does the first job!

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        Nothing. It was just a small side project I wasn't sure would go anywhere. I also built a small a-frame (WebVR library that uses HTML elements to build the scene) template and that turned into its own project for a while :)

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          And then you lost focus on it or why did you stop? Are you working on anything, right now?

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            Think I kinda lost focus because of the WebVR stuff. I was also a little unimpressed with my own compared to the fancy stuff available. On top of that, I was building a back-side that let you visually chop up a plain template to make it into a configurable page, and it was pretty difficult to use.

            Always working on something new, but I want to start being more methodical in the way I decide on projects to work on - find smaller projects with actual demand rather than build based on my ideas.

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    Thanks for sharing Dragos!

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      Thanks for your support, Emil!