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Launched a #BuildInPublic platform.

TL;DR

I have launched https://haptic.so on May, 13th. It's a platform for the #BuildInPublic enthusiasts. You create product pages and post public updates of your product development progress, ideas, troubles, learnings, etc. If you're seeking inspiration, you can browse, collect and boost (upvote) products.

As of this writing, Haptic has more than 60 users (one on the PRO plan) and more than 50 products.


One week ago I have launched a tiny platform for the build in public enthusiasts. 👉 https://haptic.so

The backstory

I had another side project which I used to build in public, using social media, blogs, etc. But it was all over the place, mixed with non-related posts, memes and random quotes.

I needed a place, where I could narrate a coherent and tractable story of the products I'm building and share it with likeminded people. And I needed it to be a platform, where people could interact and inspire each other.

So haptic is:

  1. your product's public journal (creator perspective)
  2. ProductHunt for products in development (a regular user perspective).

How does it work

You go on Haptic and create your product page. You fill in your product details and you're ready to start posting product updates.

As of this writing, most of the content-creation tools are still in development, except the "Quick Update". It's just like a Twitter post, but with 1000 symbols limit.

If you want to get inspired, you can visit the Browse page and see what other people are building and sharing.

You can collect products and boost (upvote) the ones you like the most.

A funny/sad story 😅

I have launched Haptic on May, 13th.

It went super well. On that same day I made my first $10. A user (Dustin! 🙌) purchased the "Creator" plan. That day 20-something people registered.

But here's the funny/sad part of the story.

In the first hour after the launch, all of the users were signing in with my account's session.

I have described what happened in details + one more big fail here in this Twitter thread.

The story has a happy ending, tho. Nothing critical happened and (almost) nobody noticed 🤫

It's all stable now. Pheww. 😌

What's in the roadmap

At the moment Haptic is quite bare-bones.

  • It doesn't have comments.
  • It doesn't have DMs.
  • It supports only Quick updates.
  • It doesn't have update notifications.

But all of these are on the roadmap and most of them are under development now.

With the release of the MVP I wanted to gather some feedback. I got waaay too much and my backlog has doubled it's size since the launch.

People are interested, so this makes me genuinely happy and motivates me to push this even more.

Here are some of the things that are planned in addition to the ones mentioned above:

  • Some sort of Twitter integration
  • Building roadmaps on Haptic
  • Milestones
  • Creating surveys
  • Long-form content (articles)
  • Video (haven't decided on this, yet)
  • Deals
  • Public/private product collections
  • Collecting posts
  • Product categories
  • More mechanisms of product discovery
  • Product pages customizations (logos, cover images, themes)
  • etc...

All of these are going to be built publicly on Haptic (talk about inception) 😅

So, thoughts?

I'm curious what do you guys think about Haptic. Do you have any suggestions, ideas, criticism? Anything is appreciated, as the platform is under heavy development and any feedback is super useful to me.

I'd like to invite you and try it for yourself.

It's free, the registration is super simple (Twitter), product pages take 10 seconds to create.

If you decide to go with the "Creator" plan, DM me here or on Twitter for a discount coupon.

Thank you for your time!

Have an awesome day!

  1. 2

    Great job, especially on design - love it!

    Have you considered other monetization models besides the current one?
    I personally wouldn't see myself paying $10/month, especially when there are many free options out there (IH, makerlog, ...) - might be just me though. Maybe with the other features, you're planning to add it might start to make sense to pay for it, but I don't see it yet.

    Also you mentioned that:

    Another thing is that I want to keep the social element relatively low. .... I don't want people on Haptic to waste their time, mindlessly scrolling feeds. ... As you open makerlog or wip, for example, you see a big feed of posts. That's the social-media take on the build in public idea. As you open Haptic (as a logged in user), you see a dashboard with your own products and nothing more. Again - focus is on the product.

    If everybody focuses on writing and posting on their own product then who's going to read it? If you don't interact with other people and their products, how does it then help you to gain visibility for yourself and your product? Isn't it what building in public is about?

    1. 1

      Thank you, glad that you like it :)

      So, the monetization is still under experiment. There are some alternatives that make sense - like monetization through selling promotion/ad space, sponsorships, donations (the least possible, but still an option), etc, but it's still early at this point to say what's gonna be final.

      I'm planning to do some experiments with putting some of the tools I'm willing to create under a paywall - like, say, roadmaps, or themes for the pages.

      For now I'm just focusing on the core of the platform.

      On the second point.

      Building in public is exactly that - building in public. Meaning, sharing in the open space of the internet how's the progress going.

      Now, there's this aspect of it - the interaction with others - that's a bonus, but not a requirement to build in the open.

      Having said that, I'm not against engagement with other makers on the platform. Not at all! - that's why I'm building comments at the moment - to enable those interactions. To make it possible to get feedback, to engage.

      But this social aspect of it is an opt-in in a way. It's not at the center of the platform. You have to go to dedicated page to browse and see what's happening, to dive into the feed. It's not the first thing you see. There's no pressure to be there.

      That was my point and I agree that I haven't articulated it properly.

      With "I want to keep the social element relatively low" I meant to say "I want to keep the social element a bit on the side, but still there for those who wanna engage."

      In that sense I want to make the platform anxiety-free in a way. Not having to come up with something in order to be on the top of the feed. But if you wish, then you have that option.

      I hope it makes sense :))

      I'd like to hear your thoughts on this.

      Cheers and enjoy Haptic! 🍻

      1. 1

        Building in public is exactly that - building in public.

        I understand your point, but you also need to have the audience part of the building in public, otherwise, you're just posting to the void.

        There are plenty of sites and groups where everybody comes to promote their startup, but nobody's actually reading it. The platform itself should incentivize users to engage with the content otherwise they won't do it on their own.

        But maybe, I'm misunderstanding what's the actual goal of the platform :)

  2. 2

    Super cool and love the design! How long did it take for you to build this?

    1. 1

      Thank you, Joao! It took me roughly 4 months of development. I have a day job, so I'm working on Haptic ~1-2hrs/day (a bit more in the weekends, tho).

      1. 2

        Oh wow, amazing work! Did you do the design as well? Im trying to teach myself design but finding it tough, so just trying to be a good copier for now...I welcome any tips 😂

        1. 1

          Yeah, I did the UI myself, even tho I didn't start from scratch. I have used tailwind css which has some predefined atomic classes/ui elements, which you can reuse. There are still some rough edges, but overall I'm glad with the way it came together.

          Copying is totally fine. And I'd say the right way to learn. So don't feel guilty of anything. Back in the days when I was playing around with photoshop 7 (yeah, I'm that old :/) all I was doing was to copy others. I literally downloaded images and recreated them.

          Do this for some time and you'll develop some sense of aesthetics, I guess. At least that happened to me.

          I'm far from a good designer, but I have a taste for how a good-looking website/app should look. Which is more important. Just look at what others are doing, think about why they did it this way and iterate.

          I have no better advice than this :D It take some time and practice.

  3. 2

    Congrats dude, been following your journey - looks great! Will be trying it out

    1. 2

      Thank you, Phil! I love 4dayweek as well. The whole concept, the implementation, everything. Keep it up, I'd definitely use it!

  4. 2

    Hi @borislav , First of all congratulations on the launch ! Great UI!

    Couple of questions if you don't mind answering.

    1. How did you validate your idea?
    2. How is it different from makerlog or even IndieHackers Product page?
    3. Why would users choose Haptic over existing channels where they already have a userbase?

    Would be interesting to know your thought process while building Haptic.

    Thanks and Good Luck !

    1. 1

      Thank you for the praise. 🙏

      Regarding your questions:

      1. The moment I had the idea, i started building a simple landing page with a waitlist form. The next day I deployed it on prod. Here's a snapshot of the first landing page: https://web.archive.org/web/20210320190043/https://www.haptic.so/#top. I got 10 subscribers that day and I decided to keep working on the idea. Two months later I had 50-ish subs. I was constantly sharing my progress and ideas, asking questions in surveys on twitter, etc. and in general the feedback from the community was always positive. That's it, more or less.

      2. In it's core, Haptic is not much different from the other build in public platforms. It's a slightly different take on the process tho.

      Let me start the comparison with makerlog, wip, etc.
      Haptic's focus is on the product itself, whereas in makerlog, wip, etc the focus is on the maker (from my experience with these platforms).

      Another thing is that I want to keep the social element relatively low. In other words - I don't want Haptic users to merely go on Haptic to interact, but to share their own stories, to think about what they did, what they've learned and to transform it into content, thus narrating their product's story.

      I don't want people on Haptic to waste their time, mindlessly scrolling feeds.

      I know this distinction might sound subtle, but it's a consideration I always have when developing something for Haptic.

      As you open makerlog or wip, for example, you see a big feed of posts. That's the social-media take on the build in public idea. As you open Haptic (as a logged in user), you see a dashboard with your own products and nothing more. Again - focus is on the product.

      Yes, there's a browse page on Haptic as well, but it's not the focus of the platform. It's somewhat optional. You don't have to see it when you go to Haptic. It's for the times when you need some inspiration, or simply want to keep yourself updated on someone else's story.

      Yes, subtle differences, but I really want Haptic to be the more blog-like, focused on the subject, than social-media-like platform, focused on the author.

      Third distinction. On the other BIP platforms, there are mostly posts in the style of "todo items". I did X. I did Y.

      With Haptic I want to nudge people into narration. Not simply logging, but narrating their journey. I want to provide tools to help them answer the "Why" question, not so much the "What".

      That being said, the "what" is also a valid content and there's no specific way haptic stops you from using it as a todo list. :)

      **Compared to IH product pages" - won't go deep here, cuz I haven't played around with product pages on IH and I'm not aware of what's possible and what not, so I'll leave this to the users to decide :D

      1. I don't think the question is framed correctly. Haptic is another platform where you can present your ideas in a concrete format. In that sense it's not replacing anything. It's just another way to express yourself / your products.

      People are using both IndieHackers and Twitter. And facebook, and instagram. And it's rarely exclusively the one over the other.

      Speaking of this, one of my top priority tasks is to provide some sort of integrations between different mediums (twitter, notion, etc) thus lowering the friction.

      Oh, it came together a bit longer than I'd expected. :D I hope I answered your questions. :)

      I reserve my rights to change my mind on all that's said above and pivot Haptic in the future the way I want to hahaha 😂 jk

  5. 2

    Congrats & sweet design! The page mentions "content creation tools" often, but are these to be announced or does this include the roadmaps, (Haptic) feedback, etc?

    1. 1

      Thank you! 🙏

      The tools are:

      • Quick update (the only one currently deployed on prod)
      • Roadmaps
      • Milestones
      • Surveys (feedback forms)
      • Long-form content (articles)
      • Video (haven't decided on this, yet)
      • Deals

      I plan to have all of these in the following 3-4 months. 🤪

  6. 2

    Congrats on the launch of Haptic! I really like the browsing option because for new entrepreneurs like myself, building in public is tough. Especially when I don't know what to write and it's hard most of the time to produce quality posts. Looking forward to your progress!

    1. 1

      Thanks a lot, Gina. I'm glad that you're finding value in the browse page. That's exactly the idea - both to provide exposure to active makers and to inspire those who seek inspiration. 🙂💡

  7. 2

    good luck with the project, it is nice to see another person from Bulgaria active here :)
    let me know if you need help :)

    1. 1

      Niiiice! 🙌, thanks for the encouraging words!

  8. 2

    Great UI and concept. Don't make it for buildin public alone. Let any product start using it so your market will become big!

    1. 1

      Thank you, Sreekanth! Appreciate your comment 🙏 I'm gonna stick to the concept for now and decide if any pivot is needed based on the feedback :)

  9. 2

    Signed up! 🚀

    The UI is clean and super awesome!

    1. 2

      Thank you, @sucipto. Already a fan of what you're building. Looking forward to seeing the progress on Quest! 🚀🤩

  10. 2

    Looks great! Really nice design!

    1. 1

      Thank you, Jeff! 🙏

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