Today, my cofounder and I released a blog post on our app's website. In it, we reflected on the past, discussed the present and shared our plans for the future for our project, Curated.
Things hadn't exactly been going very smoothly lately. After working full time on our project for a year our bootstrapped funds ran out and now we're back consulting in order to continue financing it. This means that now all new development is done in the little time we have left in between that and taking care of our families.
Since the beginning of the year we've been doing "monthly update" type blog posts where we share what we've been doing and what we're planning on doing in the future.
But we'd never before shared details of what the company internal financial situation is or how our own personal lives are.
My partner decided to take the opportunity of the next update blog post to do just that. I felt a bit hesitant at first, like feeling we were exposing a bit too much. Thhen I remembered reading here and listening to founders say that being open and honest with your users is one of the best approaches you can take, so I said "go for it".
It was absolutely the best thing to do.
We released the post today and within an hour we had two long, thoughful and encouraging emails - each by a user that's been with us for a long time. An hour later a few people reached out to us via DM on Twitter. They all thanked immensely for everything we'd done, said we had their full support. One of our core users, a student, said this "I'll use my savings account or any money I have to suppprt Curated".
I felt elated. After a long period of slow development and slow growth this has completely re-energised me and made me believe that if a few of these users exists, then there must be a lot more of them, we just need to reach them.
I guess the advice I want to share is this - do not be afraid to be open and honest with your users. Even if you have just a few of those "1000 true fans" that Kevin Kelly talks about they will come out support you in your lows.
The blog post is here for context: https://curated.app/blog/summer-update/