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Dealing with lack of motivation due to failed soft launch

Hey IH,

It’s been a week since I soft launched WandererJS and there hasn’t been much response. Pretty brutal.

The feeling is compounded because my first ever launch was a smashing success. Thousands of users in the first week, front page of webdev reddit, and more.

But I’m committed to making WandererJS work. I’ll just have to go the more traditional route of marketing. Creating viable, long term distribution channels.

Onwards and upwards!

  1. 8

    Too bad your soft launch did not go as planned.

    What works for me, to soften the blow when something fails, is to already have one dedicated user lined up: me. I always try to build something that solves a problem I am facing. That way the time spent on the project is not a total waste if it does not pan out, always one happy user. 😁

    And judging from your earlier post, that will also be the case for you. So silver lining...

    1. 2

      This! 👆

      I soft-launched an extension about three weeks ago, and according to my analytics I have 17 user’s who’ve installed the extension.

      Am I upset, certainly! But there’s one things that keeps me moving. I’m building this extension to scratch my own itch. I have big plans and I’m slowly but steadily building what I want to see in this world.

      On another note, marketing is hard. I don’t know the first thing about it. I’ve been building in public and I think that’s helped to get my first users. I’ve connected with many people that want to see me succeed. This has helped with pushing forward. Would love to connect if you’re down!

      Keep on pushing forward Jacob!

        1. 1

          Hey Aliasgar, awesome! thanks!

          Happy to hear your thoughts on it! DM me anytime with anything I can help with

      1. 1

        I agree. It is frustrating. Also, I really resonate with the "marketing is hard". It is! How am I supposed to reach people with 50 followers on Twitter? I feel like I'm just throwing mud at a wall and seeing what sticks.

        1. 2

          You tweeting this exactly will probably get you 250 followers. There are many people starting in the exact same spot as you in terms of Twitter and marketing.

        2. 1

          yeh it's tough when you're just starting. I started Twitter in April with about a dozen followers.

          I don't have many as of now, but with consistent sharing of my progress I was able to get a small audience. I'm working on sharing more to gain a bigger following in the upcoming months. So my only advice, share your journey, your story, and progress updates for your work.

      2. 1

        Interesting! What does the extension do and what problem does it solve for you?

        1. 1

          My extension is TurboNav, a command-line experience for your browser that helps keep your links organized.

          TurboNav currently supports two commands: /save and /schedule tabs.

          1. 1

            Cool, looks interesting. Just curious, do you feel that having a homepage on its own domain makes it more visible than only having a listing in the Chrome extension store?

            1. 1

              It was originally to collect emails for early access.

              Now it’s a marketing webpage to share the benefits of the extension.

              Eventually it’ll be used to process payments for Pro features

    2. 1

      Haha, that's true. It does work very well for me.

  2. 3

    I checked out your site. You say it's a "user-onboarding library" but I don't really know what that means. Why would I want that? How does this help me?

    1. 2

      You’re 100% right. I’m in the process of creating a landing page which should clarify all confusion.

      When I say user onboarding, I’m talking about those tooltips for interactive product tours.

      1. 2

        Oh! Ok, when you say "interactive product tours" I know what you mean now

  3. 3

    I had a look and it looks cool! Actually a product we're researching for a project. One thing that's missing is either a demo site or video - lost of these walkthrough libs are very inflexible.

    I'll download it later and have a poke around :)

    1. 1

      I have a very basic landing page up and running at https://wandererjs.com/

      1. 1

        Looks good 👍
        Might try this on my next html project.

        Thanks!

    2. 1

      I’m in the process of creating a landing page with a demo walkthrough that shows WandererJS’s capabilities.

      I built it with the intention of being as flexible as possible. The underlying architecture is using basic blocks to build out the UI elements. In the future this will allow to me quickly create a builder which should speed the creation process up drastically.

      I’m working very closely with the first users so please reach out to me when you use it and let me know your thoughts.

      1. 1

        I wouldn't call it basic. It's pretty neat and user-friendly. I'm curious what did you use to build it? I'm trying to build my landing page for days and it's still incomplete...

        1. 1

          I built the landing page using Vue 3 and Tailwindcss

  4. 2

    Great work, thanks for sharing this with the world Jacob.

    This can happen for a variety of reasons, but it’s especially frustrating when you feel like you did everything you could to get people excited about your project, and then poof, there goes the interest.

    Sometimes you keep getting positive feedback, but nothing seems to be happening in terms of traction. I really know that feeling and you're not alone.

    But that's not the end result. It's a process. Keep trying and iterating based on the feedback of early users.

    There's also the possibility that you may have focused on the wrong segment of customers. Try another segment or community.

    Stay strong, you're gonna make it 👍

    1. 1

      Thanks for your encouragement! I'm really doubling down on this. I truly believe that there is a market out there for this, and I'm going to find it!

      Also, I took a look at fastlaunch[.]io and it looks really cool!

  5. 1

    Jacob - stick with it! There is definitely a market for this. I would consider going slightly more up market to early stage software companies who might have more $ and are willing to try it before deciding to purchase Appcues or your competitors. Keep in mind these tools have 2 users: the dev. And the marketer.

  6. 1

    I empathize with how really rough it must feel right now, but from my perspective:

    1. I think that’s all the success and validation you need! You have proved that you can build and then follow through. Seriously, I don’t even know you but I am proud of you. Congrats!
    2. I am certain someday you will look back on this launch as a success because it became a valuable stepping stone on your path.
  7. 1

    Agree with @daangemist. You're solving your own problem, no doubt others share - I think I'm one of them. I've been looking for this type of library on and off throughout the year for different projects. Will most certainly give yours a try and offer any feedback I have.

    1. 1

      I'd love to hear whatever feedback you have. My twitter is https://twitter.com/JacobBeckerman

  8. 1

    I totally agree with @daangemist, nevertheless it’s worthy of note to know that things doesn’t always pan out as planned, many times it doesn’t depict failure, it might only mean you need to humbly accept that your strategy isn’t working and do a re-work, and boom 💥.
    Also note that sometimes it might not just be a user needed solution as conceived by you, at that point, self sincerity is needed, so you can move on quickly..
    Nonetheless, whichever way it goes, it’s never a waste of time in my opinion..

    1. 1

      You bring up great points. I know that there's a market for this, I guess my messaging is just a bit off still.

  9. 1

    It's a cool product, I'd say give it some time and post about it every now and then.

    What was different on your first launch?

    I'm always kinda bummed when this happens, but I try to bounce back immediately. I love and I'm proud of everything I'm working on but I try not to have any hard feelings when it fails miserably.

    1. 1

      Well my first launch was for a free web-based video editor and it just exploded. This has been slightly more lukewarm. I didn't post it on Reddit or Hackernews yet, so there's still hope. I'm waiting for it to be a bit more solid before I post it there.

  10. 1

    That actually looks like an interesting product. It was something I was looking for recently but all the options I found were paid and were pretty expensive.

    I think a lot of products just need exposure. That takes times but I think this is an interesting product.

    1. 1

      I hope you're right. It's hard to find that exposure though.

  11. 1

    Hi Jacob! Bravo for getting to the point of launch. 👏 It takes a ton of work to get that far!

    What's your current marketing plan? What channels are you targeting?

    I see that some of the comments below are helpful. Have you talked to any of your early users about their experience with the product?

    1. 1

      My current marketing plan is to approach solo founders (who usually don't have the greatest UX) and pitch it as a solution for them.

      So far people have said they'd try the product, but I haven't heard back yet, so...

  12. 1

    Keep going,the fact that you launched is a big milestone.... and ofcourse many lessons yiu learned on the way

  13. 1

    What was the first product that launched successfully? And, if it really was successful, why didn't you stuck with it?

    Honestly, I don't know what to say. Because I really don't understand why you expected hordes. Nowadays, there is a product for every single problem - free or paid, simple or complex. So, instead of expecting hordes, I'd just keep working on the product - to make it better than existing solutions and marketing - to let potential users know.

    1. 1

      It was a web-based video editor. I initially built it just for the technical challenge and am not really interested in that space. Once I finished it, I wasn't very excited to work on it any more.

      1. 1

        Okay, I checked it out. When did you launch it?

  14. 1

    Hi Jacob,

    Could you please let me know what do you mean with "traditional route of marketing"?

    1. 1

      Haha! To be honest, I'm not actually sure.

  15. 1

    Hey man this looks really cool! Interested in getting this setup on my own product, I'll have a go later on tonight.

    1. 1

      Great! Let me know what you think.

  16. 1

    This looks like a great project. I've been wanting to implement something like this for my own project. I'll look forward to when its fully ready though :). Good luck with it

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