How do you know if you have enough people interested in your product?

Hello everyone,

We know setting up a landing page is a quick way to validate an idea before building something. I just launched https://indiecollab.club, a place where you can share your product ideas or work in progress and collaborate with other indie makers to work on your side projects.

I am trying to understand how one would figure out if the interest generated by your landing page is enough to continue working on the project.

How do you personally feel about it? Is it like "okay I got 50 signups so I should continue building it" or do you have a different metric?

  1. 4

    I’d say early sign ups are not always a great indicator of actual product demand.

    People sign up for all sorts of reasons, maybe just to see what you are doing, to get ideas for their own projects, or to be the first to try something new.

    If you ever see those results threads for product hunt launches you’ll be amazed how many sign ups people get but few actual paying customers.

    To build a community like you are, you need people to get in there and make their profiles and start getting value as soon as possible. A waitlist for a community is just pushing off the answer to the question - will anyone use this? (Clubhouse says they have 10 million people on their waitlist yet now it’s open and a ghost town)

    If you believe in your idea then jump in and hustle to get those early users something that they can use and get value out of, even if it’s not your final solution.

    As for the idea itself, I’ve seen this kind of thing discussed on Twitter before and I think it is a good idea - I think more of us should team up and make things collaboratively like products and courses but the fact that these are side projects for most of us means it’s hard to dedicate the time and split the responsibility evenly. Then there is splitting the reward as well.

    Maybe an idea for the reward splitting is more along the lines of a tip calculator that distributes revenue based on the makers agreement for the side project.

    I’ll keep an eye out to see how you do!

    1. 2

      As a new indiehacker, this is the part I'm having trouble with - understand the actual product demand.

      I am a developer and I can quickly build things. But I cannot design or sell them just as well. This is the reason why I'm building IndieCollab. I am sure there are other people like me. The question is how do I reach out to them and convince them that IndieCollab is worth their time. I guess this is something that I have to learn along the way.

      A waitlist for a community is just pushing off the answer to the question - will anyone use this? (Clubhouse says they have 10 million people on their waitlist yet now it’s open and a ghost town)

      Thank you for reminding me about Clubhouse. I'll now get back to building the MVP.

      Maybe an idea for the reward splitting is more along the lines of a tip calculator that distributes revenue based on the makers agreement for the side project.

      This idea crossed my mind. Even if I implement a reward distribution system, there's no guarantee that the collaborators would stick to it. Because most of the products/ideas are not going to be serious projects and it could be a while before they can start gaining rewards. So, I thought it would be best if I limit the platform just for discovery and making connections, at least for the initial phase.

      Thanks again for your response.

  2. 2

    First, I think it's more useful to think about conversion rates. How people many saw the landing page? If 100 people saw the page and 50 signed up, that is an excellent conversion rate of 50%. Then you can image buying ads to drive a million people to your site and expect half a million new users. If 100,000 people saw the page and you got 50 sign ups, then even with ads you would have a hard time growing the user base. Conversion rates are typically 10%+/-5%.

    Second, you need to consider how many users you need to make your product useful. If you are selling a single player game, then everyone can have a good experience regardless of how many people bought your game. As a consequence your conversion rate from before could be relatively low. For a networking site you want to have a decent number of users such that your daily active users is more than 2. You can get a feel for this based on Indie Hackers. Take the number of posts, comments, and updates on a typical day and divide by the total number of users.

    You can also use Google to find much more professional estimates for these variables.

    1. 1

      Thank you, Artur! I agree about conversion rates. The single player/multi player analogy is very helpful.

  3. 1

    Here's an alternative perspective : Considering how you can set up the community using a tool like circle.so in just a few minutes + maybe a few days to write some content to get the community active, why don't you just do it, launch, see if people join, and iterate from there.

    1. 1

      True. I also need to focus on building a community given that IndieCollab is more of a networking platform. Thanks.

  4. 1

    Took a look at your landing page. It's a good starting point, but I think a couple of things would make it both more compelling and a better indicator of interest:

    1. Make examples of the types of collaborators you can find. Entrepreneurs need skills gap fillers. Do they need someone who's good at sales? Someone who's good at coding? Whom will they be able to collaborate with by joining?
    2. Add a layer of trust to the equation. What does IndieCollab do to help make partnerships gel well? Do you vet peoples' background? Is there a trust / review system in place? Will someone scam you and run off with your idea and build it themselves? Where is your value add beyond connecting strangers?
    3. Ask potential users what kind of gaps they are looking to fill with a collaborator. Tell them you'll connect them with exactly the people they need as soon as you launch, to get people more invested.
    4. I wouldn't ask for a password. Or, personally, their full name. Those fields are frankly unnecessary and make people feel like they're signing up / getting an account, which feels like a commitment, rather than a casual expression of interest.

    If people add their email, and tell you what type of collab they're looking for, I think that will be good validation. But also, talk to entrepreneurs. I know they're hard to find, but maybe search on entrepreneurship groups on LinkedIn?

    Finally, Jeff Meyerson tried this exact concept and called it FindCollabs. He wasn't able to get it off the ground. Maybe you can see what his efforts were like, and spot where he could have done better?

    Best of luck!

    1. 1

      Thank you so much! This makes me wonder why I haven't thought of them before. Haha. I'll make the changes to the landing page.

      I didn't know about FindCollabs because it never showed up in my initial research. It would be interesting to talk to Jeff Meyerson. Thanks again.

      1. 1

        Jeff has an amazing podcast called Software Engineering Daily. Really a great show to listen to, featuring interviews with people building great products.

        Here's what he built with FindCollabs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erU0XUBbGic

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