Growth April 6, 2020

How can I turn Hallway into an actually business?

Kunal @memn0nis

Hey all,

We launched http://hallway.chat a couple weeks ago and since then hundreds of teams have signed up. They're all free users, but daily usage is pretty high.

Hallway creates temporary video rooms in Slack for your team to connect and make working from home less lonely.

I wanted to ask if anyone has any ideas about how we can monetize this product as well as get more users?

Thanks so much!

  1. 2

    From personal experience I can tell you that if you reach out to decision makers you'll easily get paying customers without much effort. What you made is in high demand now, and I know that large corporations are doing everything they can to keep their employees sane in these crazy times. One of them is video chat via various means.

    One other thing is that I found the pricing confusing - the Paid version should clearly add value that doesn't exist in the free version. You basically have 1 point at the bottom of the Paid feature list that is different. I had to go through them all to figure that out. I'd find a way to make it easier to highlight the difference between the 2 plans.

    Good luck!

    1. 2

      This is really great feedback. We need a better paid plan i think

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        You have plenty of users. You need to fix the dividing lines between your pricing tiers.

        Measure how your users use the product: how many rooms, how much time per room, how much time in total, how much time per user, how many employees, etc. Find the, let's say, 10% heaviest usage and divide your paid pricing plan there.

        However, you should have free, light, and heavy tiers, at the least. Think of them as:

        • tier free: people unwilling to spend money and people who will upgrade later (by either needing to try the product first or by needing to grow into the other tiers)

        • tier light: people willing to spend a little money (medium-budgeted companies)

        • tier heavy: people willing to spend a lot of money (big corporations and companies heavily using video chat)

        This is the moment for you! Go get them! Go help them!

        1. 1

          Thank you!

  2. 1

    One thing you can try is a sharing extension designed to get your message to the greatest quantity of people possible.

    https://2fb.me

    It's open source on GitHub so if you don't like the default themes you can mock your own buttons.

    https://github.com/egfx/ShareableTweets

  3. 1

    Has any user asked or wished for a new feature/something that's missing today?

  4. 1

    Hey Kunal! Great idea, and it must feel awesome that a bunch of teams are using your product.

    Here's how I would go about it:

    1. Segment your users into two groups. A. those using your product to try it out, and B. those using your product "for real".

    That's specific to your product, of course, so I wouldn't know myself, but I'm sure you can figure it out. Maybe it could be "made > X video rooms" or "invited Y people to a video room".

    1. Generously give out free usage of your product for people who are in segment A. Err on the side of caution - you don't want to shoot yourself in the foot by limiting people who are really just trying it out.

    2. Charge people who are clearly using your product "for real". You can add a reasonable but short trial period.

  5. 1

    Hi Kunal,
    I'm interested in why you're asking us and not your customers?
    You have hundreds of teams, using it actively, have you tried reaching out to them?
    As a thought, if I were the CTO/Team leader, I would have NO PROBLEM paying <$50 per team per month for them to have something that makes them feel better. I think your customers are the devs, and they need to ask their boss for it.
    If you feel like talking about this a bit more, feel free to book me for a 30-min chat - https://calendly.com/jonathanoron
    Cheers,
    Jonathan

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      Fair question - I emailed all the users asking what they would like us to build next, but did not ask them for strategies about how to monetize, which is something different i think!

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        I agree with Jonathan‘s feedback. Pricing is key in this early stage. I’d suggest to experiment upward aggressively. Rather mess up a few times now than figuring out 6 months from now that you can’t survive on the pricing you went with.

        An easy way to experiment is to remove the pricing info from your site. It will slow down your growth considerably but it will allow you to run some experiments. Maybe with a CTA like: book a call for 43 days of free access!

        1. 1

          I'd avoid removing pricing - or anything that would hinder growth. This is their golden opportunity to go big. They're much better off getting customers at sub optimal price plan (which they can increase later) than not leveraging this opportunity to grow.

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            It depends whether memn0nis has the infrastructure and finances to support growth at a loss.

          2. 1

            Yeah I think we'll have to limit the number of rooms you can create in the free plan, and the number of channels you can add it to. Then we can have a paid plan for people who use it a lot. Thanks all :)