Ideas and Validation September 16, 2020

[Howitzer] Pivoting, the hard decision


TL;DR: The basic philosophy behind accepting the 'hard truth' and pivoting your product. Is it a good decision ? Let's discuss.

Hello, guys!
I wanted to share something with you, and also hear your opinion on this.

I'm pivoting my product Howitzer.
For those who haven't heard of it - it's a marketing (automation) tool for Reddit, made for Entrepreneurs, Indie Developers and Indie Hackers.
Before deciding to pivot it, Howitzer offered these features:

  1. Collect data from Reddit
  2. Marketing Automation (auto-post, auto-comment and auto-message on Reddit)
  3. Monitoring Reddit
  4. Subreddit Analysis

But, after few tests, discussing with potential clients and re-validating the whole idea - I concluded that this is not the way to go.
Auto-posting and auto-commenting on Reddit ?!
Subreddit Analysis ?!
Who need this ?!

So, I decided to combine the direct marketing with Reddit's huge user base.
Now, Howitzer is this:

  1. Collecting TARGETED users
    You don't need posts or comments... You need the people who posted them. But also, you need only the people who will be interested in your product
  2. Messaging the targeted users
    Messaging 1K targeted Reddit users in 1 day ?! - We did it!
  3. Monitoring subreddits
    You are contacting 1K users daily... someone WILL mention your product and open a discussion about it

I decided to pivot Howitzer, and release it only with the features that would really do the job.

So, What do you think about this decision ?
What do you think about the pivoted version of Howitzer ?
Is it the right way to go ?

Let's discuss in the comments.

Would you use the pivoted version of Howitzer ?
  1. 2

    I voted no because I'm really skeptical of messaging 1000 users a day.

  2. 1

    Messaging 1K targeted Reddit users in 1 day ?! - We did it!

    I haven't read the TOS but are you sure this is even allowed by Reddit?

    Also, you think Reddit users are going to like receiving promotional DMs?

    I'd be ok with someone sending me a DM regarding a comment I made, but a bot or some API sending me an automated message is an instant block.

    1. 0

      Yes. Reddit allows sending PMs (as long as it's not spamming), it's part of their open API.
      Also, Howitzer will help you get targeted users, so you won't be receiving some random bot messages, but messages that will bring value to you.

      1. 5

        What you're describing is exactly what spam is.

        1. 0

          Well, spam by definition is "sending irrelevant or unsolicited messages". Howitzer, enables you to find users that are relevant to the product/service you are trying to sell.
          As you said "I'd be ok with someone sending me a DM regarding a comment I made" - that's what Howitzer does.
          Howitzer finds the users that have discussed or shown interest in something that is closely related to the product/service you are trying to sell, and enables you to contact them.

          1. 2

            A user sending a DM to another user is one thing, a service that allows you to message "1K targeted Reddit users in 1 day" is another thing entirely.

            1. 1

              Thank you for your opinion :)

  3. 1

    nice idea. been looking for this feature set. your website says coming soon, how soon?

    1. 1

      As soon as I "tighten" the whole infrastructure.
      Making a third-party tool for a well known service require some time for testing the edge cases. Join the waitlist, and I'll inform you as soon as it is done :)

      1. 1


  4. 1

    I think it's a good idea. My app Kaffae did well early on in Reddit so I appreciate the power of Reddit promotion.

    Having said that, I haven't done any direct messaging on Reddit and not sure which keywords and subs to narrow down to the point of automation. Maybe you'd be able to target/educate those who already do cold messaging on Twitter since I imagine automation is much more common there.

    One note on the website: I find the illustrations somehow non-reddity. It's too 3d and cute if you know what I mean.

    1. 1

      Yeah, thanks for your comment!
      The illustrations are just temporary, will change them for sure

  5. 1

    Nice product, I'd (personally) appreciate a scheduling option as well.

    Reddit is one of the top 5 growth channels I've identified from my ZerotoUsers.

    Also another idea you might find useful: When I'm looking at a particular (sub)Reddit, I always wonder: What are the most successful (recent) posts with links in them? Many subs just don't have many posts with links and it's hard to to find (and get inspiration) from relevant posts on that sub.

    1. 1

      Thank you for your ideas! :)

  6. 1

    i saw your post about Howitzer and even then i thought that auto-messaging will be the feature i'll use most of the time. It is in the "grey zone" a little bit, but us, the growth hackers don't really care about it! +1

    1. 1

      Yeah... I was not so sure about it, but run a test on few Reddit users, and concluded that if you are providing value and not spamming the Reddit community, they'll be open about being messaged about a new product.
      The main power lies in the targeting of the users