Beta Testing April 5, 2020

I have failed my first beta launch. Any advice?

edoardobevilacqua

2 weeks ago I have published a landing page to promote the beta program of my new app (you can reach the landing page here: https://www.feriapp.it/). I promoted the landing page on twitter and on some tech websites.

Unfortunately the program was a failure, almost nobody have subscribed.

I want to pivot my beta strategy. What are the needful ingredient for a great beta program? 🙏

  1. 10

    You need to understand something first: Products don't just succeed.

    There is a high volume of businesses today in the world. 10 different products are made every 10 minutes. You have to be lucky to have initial success. But your luck depends on someone else's luck too. If you can't handle a customer or if you can't handle users, others coming to your site/product is a waste of their time so it's their bad luck.

    You need to create good luck for both, you and your users.

    So first look at yourself. You might not be perfect or even good enough. And if you are, start with 10 people. Solve problems for 10 people. Gradually go up from there.

    There is no such thing as instant success. Look at the app called Byte founded by co-founders of Vine. It instantly got fame because it was made by people who made Vine but as soon as it got some press, people flooded the website with spam comments. The company was not able to handle it this early.

    A similar example is ZOOM. It has 10m monthly users in Dec 2019 but in march, each day, 300m users log in. The company was not ready for such a huge volume of users. You can see plenty of bad press.

    You need to understand something in life: It's always 0 in the beginning. With effort, patience, and perseverance, it's 0 to 10m. But with luck, it is 10m to 300m in 90 days. Like I have demonstrated before if you are not prepared, 0 is a blessing. And without effort, time, trials and errors, moving from 0 to sustainable business is hard.

    Here's how you can access the luck: Keep working on your product. It's at 0 right now. Keep working from 0 to 10, 100 and 1000. At some point, you could hit the luck that changes your entire life for the better.

    Jeff Bezos said,'If you know you have truly created something of value, stay right there and let the wave catch you.' The "wave" is luck. Luck is like the unexpected fruit in your tree. If you plant an apple tree, luck is that tree bearing fruits of gold.

    The success you meanwhile you talk about your beta launch is luck. You are not prepared for the best-case scenario yet. Keep working. Keep trying to figure it out. Keep growing that apple tree. If you are truly lucky, you will get golden fruits. If you are just like 7.8 billion of us, you will get apples through persistence, intelligence, and bravery.

    Hope this helps.

    1. 2

      Solid comment. This “wave” happened with my company. We were growing every month but now with the quarantine we are exploding. You’ll grow slowly and then you’ll get lucky spikes.

      1. 1

        Yes I know about you guys. I first found about you a couple of months ago. Cookies in your website looks delicious. Your website is even pretty cool. Best wishes to you. I pray that it becomes even tremendous and you become very successful. A billionaire sounds fine to me. ;)

  2. 5

    I believe you're feeling very similar to @neu and this post from the other day might help:
    https://www.indiehackers.com/post/im-lost-somebody-please-mentor-me-de1fe4802d

    Specifically I'm thinking of @schoon who said:
    It's so important to remember, it doesn't mean that you have a bad product, it just means the internet is a huge place and it's very easy for your product to get lost in the mix.

    1. 4

      It sucks and I get that and can sympathize.

      Take some time, lick your wounds, and remember why you originally started working on this project. If you haven't read The Lean Startup by Eric Reis that might be a good idea. He talks a lot about identifying assumptions, building hypotheses, then testing each hypothesis to move forward. He also talks about 10 types of pivot:
      https://openclassrooms.com/en/courses/4544561-learn-about-lean-startup/4716471-learn-how-and-when-to-pivot

    2. 1

      Thank you, it's a really interesting post. I will certainly take a cue!

  3. 2

    I'm sorry that your beta tanked, that must suck. @neu was correct that "Products don't just succeed". What I think is cool may not be cool to you, and what you think is terrible may be what everyone has been waiting for.
    Also, look at your analytics. If few people saw your site, then it follows that few people signed-up.

  4. 2

    Bad timing... Nobody is interested in a travel app at the moment 😩

  5. 2

    Under covid-19, everyone is locked down. It may be too risky to launch a travel-related product? Personally, I don't understand what it's about. Why not find travel products on airbnb / trivago / etc ?

    1. 1

      Thank you for your feedback. I am realizing that nobody actually understand what the app is about.

      As I just comment in another post here core idea is to build an application that suggests you when to use your available vacation days in order to maximize the length of your holidays.

      The app works differently from Skyscanner, Trivago etc... as these apps helps you to save money finding the cheapest flights. Feriapp helps you saving time (in term of vacation days) by suggesting you when to go on vacation. Once you have found the best days for your holidays, you can find the cheapest flights.

      1. 1

        So what makes one day better than another to go on vacation? Any day is a good day for vacation! So you're still not telling us what your app does.

        1. 1

          Let assume in your country Wednesday June 3rd and Thursday June 4th are public holiday, if you take a vacation day on Friday 5th you can have a 5 days holiday with just one vacation day used. Now imagine that in the year there are like 5/6 combination like that.

          Feriapp helps you to discover all these "vacation days optimization" opportunities. I know it looks quite hard to understand. If you are interested I can send you the beta app so you can try it by yourself, it will be much easier once you try it.

  6. 2

    Your landing page is actually pretty polished. It has a professional feel to it, which is pretty uncommon around here. I have two bits of feedback for you though:

    1. I don't understand what your product does. Your landing page talks about keeping track of your "days off" but I have no idea what that means. Maybe it's a cultural thing? Or does this app somehow manage my work schedule? And if so, I don't know why I would need it. Keeping track of my days off is already easy. And what does that have to do with booking flights? It's unclear to me what it actually does or what problem it solves.

    2. Flight booking apps are a dime a dozen. There are thousands of them out there. What makes yours different or better?

    1. 1

      Thank you very much! I just realised that the english translation is a huge problem as nobody understand what it is about. 😅

      The core idea is to build an application that suggests you when to use your available vacation days in order to maximize the length of your holidays. Is it clearer now what does the app do?

      To answer your questions:

      1. The app helps you to keep track of the vacation days you can use throughout the year. This is just a feature that could be useful because usually people don't know how many available vacation days they have left.

      2. It is exactly the opposite of the others app. Apps like Skyscanner helps you to save money finding the cheapest flights. This app helps you saving time (in term of vacation days) by suggesting you when to go on vacation. Once you have found the best days for your holidays, you can find the cheapest flights.

      Please tell me if my answer make sense for you because it is crucial that everybody understand what the app is about. If it is work for you I will change the site to make it clearer. Thank you! 🙏

  7. 1

    Hey there,

    We're actually in a similar position. We've delayed our launch as our app is a social market place-based around travel and experience. Reviewing your idea, the problem you're tackling we're also trying to tackle in a less direct way.

    I do have a few suggestions on your landing page along with some tactics on user acquisition

    1. Present a problem on your landing page perhaps. "Running out of time and bad organisiation when you travel?" , "Ever feel like you never have enough time for the fun things when travelling"?

    Something rhetorical that might touch a nerve with personal experiences people have when travelling. I remember due to bad organisation during a trip to the Venice Biennale lead to a lot of missed exhibitions. Perhaps a fun explainer video, detailing a similar pain point.

    1. From a user acquisition point of view, perhaps travel groups in Reddit, Facebook etc. Probably not the best suggestion, but we managed to get some responses from specific travel groups.

    2. Have you considered business partnerships with local travel companies? Offering it as a free service to anyone that purchases travel packages? It can help promote your app, if you're still in beta stage, you can start contacting them anyway and start explaining what you're building and how it might help them with their package sales. Suggesting that having this app will maximise peoples travel experiences?

    I hope that was helpful, I can see a need for something like this.

    Cheers & Stay Safe!

    1. 2

      Thank you for your advice! Looking at your comment and those of the others I guess that from the existing landing page it is not clear what the app actually does. I need to improve it so user understand it and then using some user acquisition tactics as you suggest. Thank you!!

  8. 1

    Looking at what's been written so far, I have to wonder: What's your long-term strategy for this idea? Your landing page is targeted at consumers, so how much money are they going to give you? How are they going to find out about you given that they need your app only about three or four times per year? I still don't understand what your app is supposed to do exactly even after the various comments you've left trying to explain. The only ways I see this making financial sense is if you sell the service to human resources departments at companies and/or get venture funding. I can't imagine that it would get the immense number of pageviews needed in order for advertising revenue to pay the bills.

    The reason why it's hard to have a launch with this app idea is that the product will be used only a few times a year. Take it to the extreme by imagining you're going to offer a service related to weddings. Launch it on Product Hunt: no one is going to care. Tweet it at a wedding magazine or website: you'll be lucky if you get a retweet.

    1. 1

      I completely agree with you when you say "The reason why it's hard to have a launch with this app idea is that the product will be used only a few times a year". We are trying to figure out how to engage more our potential customers. The idea is to provide people with something to manage every aspect of their vacation days, so they will use it every time they need to plan a vacation.

      Regarding business model for now we have hypothesized a freemium app and a fee over the flight sold on the app, but we are open to change it.

  9. 1

    I like everything about your site apart from the nav links

    1. 1

      Hi, thank you for your feedback. What don't you like about the nav bar?

      1. 1

        The links don't seem in tune with the design of the site. Every text on your site is in bold except for your nav links.

  10. 1

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