Growth July 3, 2020

How can I know when to give up?

sungho

It has been 5 months since I launched my product, but there are still less than 10 users actually using it. Should I give up and not get into it anymore? I have spent over two years on this...

My landing page is https://learnobit.com

  1. 6

    It looks like a really cool product, don't quit yet :) I think it needs simplifying though, as there is a lot of text on the landing page that seems confusing or overwhealming.

    At first glance, it reminded me of Workflowy. Why not take a leaf out of their book, check out their landing page: https://workflowy.com/ super simple and to the point right?

    There's also something a bit off with the whole design, it doesn't feel welcoming or easy to read. Some of the sentences have weird structure or even typos (English perhaps not your first language?). On my screen, the fonts look almost blurry and jagged at the same time (could just be my browser though?).

    I love the animated gifs of what you'll get, but maybe shrink them a bit and split them out instead of in that carousel as it is hard to notice that it is even a carousel or the transitions between slides.

    Some of the features pieces should be split off of the main page to their own feature page and keep the landing page mostly about the benefits of the product. People can then click deeper if they want to understand HOW you deliver those benefits.

    I think you could do with getting some design help, or at the very least spending time looking up modern designs and trying to replicate them because to my eyes the whole thing appears a little bit... amateur (please don't take offence).

    Overall it looks like a very cool product that just needs presenting differently. At least give it another try before giving up. Good luck!

    1. 2

      I agree with @JamieO - you seem to have a good product, but the landing page could be structured more clearly / simple.

      Just improving that will get you more users almost guaranteed. It's not time to give up!

    2. 1

      On my screen, the fonts look almost blurry and jagged at the same time

      Oh I didn't know what was it but I noticed that too. It turns out it has a weird shadow

      text-shadow: 0 2px 0 white, 0 -1px 0 #3f2c6b;

      I think you can get rid of this, compare:


      vs

      I agree the landing page can be updated to present better the product features.
      I really like https://linear.app landing page.

      The product itself look really cool, but also looks complex and hard to use.

      I don't think you have to quit just yet, just work on simplifying things.

  2. 2

    Do you know why you only have a few users? Is it because a lack of traffic and exposure or people just don't need your product?

    If the first I believe you should push your product into the market first.
    But if you have spent thousands of dollars on ads/marketing and still have a few users, I'd say it's time to move on.

    PS: Looking at your landing page, I don't have any idea what's your product doing

  3. 2

    Overall, this is a great tool. It beats standard flashcards and is similar to how I organize learning on paper. Unfortunately, I downloaded the tool and found the navigation a bit confusing. Definitely could use some UX touch up. Same with the website, as per other comments. Here are a few idea that would make adoption easier.

    • Preload with Science/History/etc.. Facts (this tool would of been useful for biology). This also allows people to understand how to use this in action
    • Cal Newport wrote a few book on best way to study in college. I think tieing your tool to specific learning techniques, and showing on the website/blog how they are related would help
    • Consider writing medium articles about learning techniques as a way to advertise your tool
    • This should probably just be a web app (SAAS) instead of something I download to my mac
      Fundamentally, I would have used this tool in college. I might also have resisted it due to the difficulty in understanding the UI/UX.
    1. 1

      I love the idea of preloading sample contents! I'd try the product if you could summarize and preload ideas from The Mom Test book :D

  4. 2

    Don't hate me, but, yes, you should give up.

    Not on entrepreneurship, but on this idea.

    In fact, don't think about it as giving up. That's the wrong paradigm.

    Think about it as trial-and-error (which is what entrepreneurship really is at its core), now it's the time to go back to "trial," because the "error" has materialized.

    Your idea, or more likely your execution thereof, has been proven wrong, so it's time to take the L and go back to the drawing board.

    It's like trading in the stock market -- once your trade has been proven wrong, it's time to exit, instead of hoping for the miraculous turnaround to happen.

    The market doesn't care about your hopes and dreams. It does what it does. It's up to us to adapt to it and put ourselves on the winning side. In both entrepreneurship and financial investing.

    There comes a time to cut your losses, and 5 months is plenty of time to see if you'll get traction. If you didn't, your chances of making a breakthrough in the next 5 months are very slim, even slimmer than the first 5 months.

    We can't afford to be emotionally-attached to one idea, one path, one decision. This is money and business; there's no place for emotions. We must be flexible and willing to admit that we're wrong instead of being stubborn and trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

    This is completely anecdotal, as most things on IH are, but I wasted 8-9 months of my life trying to sell a product that no one wants, or more specifically no one wants from me. I tried to sell a SaaS payments platform to the healthcare industry (welcome B2B hell), and nobody cared to buy from me despite agreeing that it would help them tremendously in their workflow. Because it's mission-critical, healthcare providers wanted to play it safe and not buy from a startup, and who the hell am I, but a no-name indie hacker?

    So I decided to pursue a new product idea, something that's up my alley and something I understand, so I started Zlappo, a Twitter growth tool.

    I started with zero audience (like I used a new Twitter account to start building my audience), and I launched with an embarrassingly-sparse MVP.

    But people were excited to try it out, I signed up users, they were eager to offer feedback, and eventually -- I knew it would happen, with mathematical certainty -- a user converted into a paying customer. Then another. Then another. And then it just snowballs from there.

    (If you're interested in my story, you can read it here: https://www.indiehackers.com/product/zlappo/first-paying-customer-booyah--Lw2qly2I2AFSjcnz_zQ).

    My point is you're doing yourself a massive disservice by trying to make an idea that has been shown to not work, work. You're incurring enormous opportunity costs, and you have no idea why your product isn't taking off.

    In the absence of any other tenable explanation, the answer has to be: the market doesn't want it.

    Never fight against the market. You'll lose. Big time.

  5. 1

    It depends what you have spent those 5 months doing? How much marketing effort have you put into it? Where did the 10 users come from?

  6. 1

    Maybe simplify the explanation of the product a bit more, i honestly had difficulty trying to understand it. It does look pretty cool tho

  7. 1

    Yo! This is really an awesome tool. As you said there are only few users who are using. I guess it's because you haven't market your product well. If I were you these are the things I might do -

    1. I'll conduct user research with some of the users and I'll know better about my users
    2. I'll update my landing page. You see landing page is what makes us product stand out. So take some time to improve your landing page. Think as an end-user to answer questions you get regarding the landing page.
    3. I'll then market my product 😁
    4. Bonus: See note taking tools are really game changers in the coming future and you're really ready with your product. You can take it to next level by applying game design to your product. ( Not gamification) you can see here
  8. 1

    It's a good product, but I don't think that quitting is the solution.
    In your place, I'll give a complete redesign to it; you need to search around and improve your UI/UX to make it better.
    It not easy but just don't quit now. - Good luck :)

  9. 1

    5 months does not sound like much and the actual product idea seems great. I feel like you could improve the UX a lot. The front-page could use some work also. Then you have to start thinking about the correct way to market it. Try to simplify, keep the very core. Take a look at those 10 users, what are they using the most? Focus on that.

    Don't start a new project, let it sit for a bit if you need but don't turn it off.

  10. 1

    OK , I am not a professional website evaluator, just an user, I will give you my feedback FWIW.

    Website Name : OK, good.This is not that important, but you did good here.
    Loading Speed: Good

    Header-Top content: Terrible. The color contrast is terrible the image take 80% of the space, the text is small and I still do not understand what the site it's about. "Skip & just get it now" Skip What? Get what?

    The scroll-down effect is right down user-hostile, you scroll down and all you do the first moments is to increase the already -annoying image.

    "What is it?" Ah ha! Actual information at least! I kinda get the concept and I am interested so I will continue reading. (The small paragraph with white background looks bad and cheap)

    "What will you get?" I still dont know what I will get. Is it an app, a web-app, a desktop app, all? both? No idea.

    "Okay, then get it now".. I still dont know what I will get.

    Why oh why you dont have the actual gif of the app bein used at the top? That is your meat and potatoes.

    I dont know if your program has a future or not, but if you keep with the project I would suggest to re-design your landing page.

  11. 1

    Just from your landing page it is hard to tell what the product actually does and why I should use it. It could in fact be a fantastic product, but I wouldn't know. Focus on conveying that message, instead of just hoping visitors will read everything. This is of course if you are having traffic/signup issues.

    On the other hand, how much time have you invested in analytics, feedback, and user reach-out. Do you know why (IF this is the case, I'm just filling in the blanks here) users are churning? The ten users that do use your app, do you know why they do?

    I'd try to answer these questions before cold turkey giving up.

  12. 1

    Impressive project. But is there a market for it?

  13. 1

    If you have the bandwidth to keep going, keep going! What do you know from the 10 users? What feedback do they have? What features do they think are interesting? I think that information could point you in the direction of where to focus and where to target your outreach.

  14. 1

    Reminds me of RoamResearch.com. Check out some of their growth strategies. Very community driven.

  15. 1

    It took me a while to understand what your tool is about. At first I had an impression that it is about regular expressions. But after scrolling and checking you gave your value proposition: "LearnObit promises to make you learn faster and more reliably like other traditional Spaced Repetition tools. "

    You should move this to the top. So that it will be immediately obvious why it is good for me to use the product.

    I'd also suggest to pay hire a proofreader, they are pretty cheap on fiverr or upwork.

    And of course don't give up! You've already launched which is great! Now you have to put much more emphasis on marketing.

  16. 1

    You have built an incredible product that is absolutely unmarketable :)

    I can't believe it has LaTeX blocks! That's amazing.

    Imgur

    Aaaaand the bottom menu (bottom menu!) looks like this:

    Imgur

    Yikes.

    I don't think you should give up, no.

    I feel like you've built 11 or 12 really cool tools, and then stuffed them together in a blender.

    The database schema would probably melt my brain :)

    Treat LearnOb as a vanity project that will never appeal to a mass audience. Recycle parts of it for your next idea.

    Make that next idea something so simple, so amazingly basic in every way, that nobody can question it.

  17. 1

    I looked at the website for a few minutes and I'm really not sure how this works or why I'd need it. Do you have a video walkthrough or something that shows what "good" looks like?