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28 Comments

My year-long passion project is live on Product Hunt! Coffee Chats is like if Calendly and Carrd had a baby.

  1. 2

    I'm looking to build on my personal brand and hopefully start consulting soon. Coffee Chats looks like an ideal choice. Congrats on the launch :)

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      Thanks! If you have any suggestions on how to make it more valuable for your needs, let me know!

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        You got an upvote from me on PH. This is super cool.

  2. 2

    Congratulations on releasing a side project! I think passion create the best products, so I wish this one lots of success. Upvoted. :)

  3. 2

    This looks really good and useful. Calendly and Carrd are 2 of the best sites so combining them is genius. Best wishes with your product. Can't wait to try it out!

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      Thank you! If you have any feedback, let me know!

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    Reposting more of the story behind Coffee Chats here, but if you have an upvote to spare, I'd really appreciate it!

    ---

    After a year of solo-building this project in my free time, I’m excited to finally share Coffee Chats with you all!

    In June 2020, I launched Coffee Chats to help people connect over virtual coffee chats during COVID. Over the past year, I’ve evolved Coffee Chats based on feedback, and today, I’m excited to finally share Coffee Chats (https://www.trycoffeechats.com) with PH: a no-code platform that lets you build a website that connects with your Google Calendar so you can easily host free or paid virtual coffee chats, meetings, consulting calls, etc. without writing any code (think Calendly meets Carrd in one app starting at $0/mo).

    Why Coffee Chats?

    Two coffee chats fundamentally changed my life.

    • One was catching up with a friend in 2012 and asking her if she could bring a mutual friend out for drinks the next day. I had a crush on that mutual friend for years, and surprisingly, she showed up for drinks. Fast forward a year later, we were dating. Fast forward, 6 years later, and we were married. Fast forward to today, and we're expecting our son in just a few weeks!
    • The other was also in 2012 with a coworker who I didn't really work with, but we shared similar interests. Through monthly coffee chats, we became good friends always pushing each other to do more to help the world. In 2019, he helped me get my job at Google, but in 2020, he passed away. Though I miss him every day, I'm eternally grateful for the wisdom he shared over our cups of coffee.

    So with those two coffee chats in mind, I've been personally blessed and understand how a simple coffee chat can change your life. Then, COVID hit. Everyone went inside, and in-person coffee chats vanished. And I was sitting at home one weekend watching the world change, and I decided to build an MVP of a virtual coffee chat platform, and Coffee Chats was born.

    How does it work?

    🖥 Build a website: Sign in with Google to start building your website. A Gmail account is required because Coffee Chats connects with your GCal to show when you’re free on the calendar that’s built into your site.

    💅 Personalize your site with the no-code editor: Coffee Chats has an easy-to-use no-code editor that allows you to customize text, links, colors, and fonts on your site. If you want to add custom HTML/CSS, you can upgrade to Premium (more on that below).

    💰 Connect with Stripe (optional): If you want to charge for chats, connect your site with Stripe. If you already have a Stripe account, just login with your existing Stripe login and you’re set. After this is complete, set your rate and you can start receiving money for your chats. This is great if you want to turn your chats into a side hustle or you want to use the funds to donate to passion projects and/or charities that you support.

    👋 Share your new website: With your site set up, share your new site with your friends, network, mentees, followers, and/or clients. They can book time with you using your site and you can say goodbye to all the back-and-forth emails.

    It's completely free to create a site with Coffee Chats and you’ll get your own SSL’d website (e.g. .trycoffeechats.com). If you want to add your own custom domain or waive the 5% transaction fee for paid chats, you can upgrade to Premium for starting at just $8/mo with the ability to cancel any time.

    Lastly, I just want to say that building Coffee Chats over the past year has felt like finishing my self-created programming course because, as someone who started teaching himself to code in 2016 with cheap online classes and Michael Hartl's Ruby on Rails book, I never would have thought I could build a website as a service product that supports a wildcard SSL's domains for the free tier, custom domain using the Heroku API for premium, the Stripe API to handle subscriptions and charging for chats, the Shopify Liquid engine to create the no-code website editor, and the Google Cal API to handle creating and scheduling events. And though I wrote the majority of the code base on my own, this would not be possible without the engineering mentors who helped me along the way so a huge thanks to Shane, Cam, Sami, Julian, and Eli.

    1. 2

      wow! I loved the story... super meaningful cups of coffee. All the best!

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        Thanks for reading!

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      Good idea, I upvoted you on PH, maybe I will get around to actually try it out for real.

    3. 1

      Nice journey! This comment would be a great post in in its own right 😄.
      Congrats on the PH launch and success! 🚀

  5. 1

    Looks awesome, can't wait to try it!

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      Thanks! Let me know if you try it out and have any feedback!

  6. 1

    Wow, you are currently standing at #3 Product of the Day! What was your launch strategy?

    Upvoted as well!

    1. 2

      Yeah it went really well! I’ll write a longer post about best practices but the key ones can be found here: https://twitter.com/chptung/status/1393230873764368384?s=21

      1. 1

        Thank you. I will take a look!

  7. 1

    Oh wow looks really great. Just upvoted.

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