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9 Comments

How do you deal with a failed launch? 🥺

Hi everyone!
I've been building an alternative social-network based on RSS and the syndicated web.
Even though I know that the numbers of RSS/Atom fans are not that great, I was hoping to find a bit more excitement with my first attempts to promote and get users to try. (by the way, its all free).

But it has been very demoralizing to find so little interest.

One side of my mind tells me "let it go, stop wasting more time in this and move on". But other side tells me to keep going a bit more, give it more time.

There are no significant monthly expenses (servers costs of course), so I can keep going for a while but honestly not sure if I should.

I know this will vary a lot from person to person and depending on the project/audience/purpose, but still... any advice/tips on how to proceed? How to decide?

thanks in advance
(btw my project is at https://www.kalaksi.com if you want to check it out)

  1. 3

    You haven't failed yet.

    What you have:

    • a super interesting technical solution to the problem of proprietary social network, a return to the open web if I could say
    • landing page is geared towards early adopters, as it's mostly a very technical explanation of how it works with no marketing fluff

    Your market:

    • the people who care about the open web: namely devs who are at least 30y.o and with some experience

    Where you launched it:

    • Product Hunt is a place where mostly young startup founders and marketers hang out. They are not that technical, although they are some devs there too.
    • Hacker news, which is geared towards dev and your target audience

    Failing on product hunt was expected, as it's not the audience for your product. And to me, getting 17 points on hacker news for something so young isn't bad at all. You got some very enthusiastic comments there too.

    It doesn't seem like it warrants giving up at that stage.

    A couple of thoughts, do with them what you wish:

    • the value of a social network is in the network, maybe try reaching out for devs who have been vocal about wanting a more open solution on twitter and see if you can get them on board, they would then drive some of their audience to your site
    • don't waste time on product hunt at this stage, stay focused on places where your audience hangs out (dev.to, stack exchange, GitHub, hacker news...) and try to prioritize stuff that they would find interesting
    • since existing social network are ubiquitous, a way to import / sync with them might be a good idea. That way someone could maintain both feeds at once without losing all their audience (but I'm not 100% sure it's a good idea as I don't understand your product fully)

    Hope it helps, you've built something valuable!

    1. 2

      wow thanks so much for this reply, I can see you really took a deep look at it. Much appreciated!
      will explore some more places where the audience is more likely to exist.
      thanks again!

  2. 2

    I know the feeling, as many do. Either kill it or keep going. I personally just stop if I don't see the traction i'm expecting. I don't "kill" the project entirely but I don't invest anymore time developing it.

    When you make a hit product, you'll know but then again some projects just take a long time before it starts gaining traction. All in all, the signs will be there.

  3. 1

    Each user has its own kalaksi - a place where planets can be created.

    I had a gut feeling as soon as I read this that it would take work to get value out of this product. I don't even know what problem you're solving and I already have to learn your terminology? Not how I want to spend my evening.

    You may have more success if you make your value proposition clearer.

  4. 1

    Learn from it.
    Did you build
    a solution for a problem or
    a solution looking for a problem?

    1. 1

      I think a bit of both. In a way I was scratching my own itch, I really do like using it daily :)

  5. 1

    Howdy partner.

    We don't use the term "failed launch" around these parts.

    We say "pivot." :)

  6. 1

    How do you deal with a failed launch?

    By simply relaunching it.

  7. 1

    The LP reads like a lvl3 AWS API doc, why do I friend planets (half sarcastic)

    How about you just make a few core something to demonstrate, like public profiles/lists/.. of a few topics, show the potential without me figuring the platform out first

    And find some common word for your planet

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