New Indie Hacker - Need help validating my MVP

I created this project called Launchweb - launchweb.me. It is a website builder like versoly.com but specifically for One-page portfolio websites.

The central feature is that you have pre-built templates for different SECTIONS of your website. Like you have a bunch of templates for ABOUT sections, PROJECT sections, and so forth. Users can choose these templates and customize them according to their needs and create their portfolios all inside the app. I developed it in such a way, that users who are not developers, can also easily create their portfolios without much learning.

Currently, it has the following features:

  • Choose pre-built templates of different SECTIONS of a website.
  • Capture leads with form templates in your websites.
  • Create subdomains.
  • Create any number of websites.
  • Access to new templates every month.
  • Preview with password & publish.

An example of a portfolio website I created for myself - zohaibsak.launchweb.me

I would really appreciate it if you can check my MVP out and provide some feedback and validation. Should take you no more than 15 mins. :) My email and DM's are open. Thanks

  1. 3

    For me, just add the ability to assign custom domains and you should be fine. I would use it for small clients when you do that.

    1. 1

      I think you could do the custom domain thing yourself. Buy a domain, and in the DNS Manager, you will something called Domain Forwarding. You enter your Launchweb subdomain in the Domain Forwarding field and you should be good. When someone enters your custom domain, it forwards it to the Launchweb subdomain.

      Having a custom domain is very tough from a technical point. I can see so many issues coming up with it.

      Please let me know if you have any other ideas.

  2. 2

    Good start. I like the idea. I think you have a good level of granularity in your editor.

    That being said, the design needs a lot of work. For this type of project, the design is the most important thing -- I would find a designer to work with if you're planning to continue.

    1. 1

      Hey @sobbuh, thanks a lot for checking it out. I would love to talk to you more about the user experience you had. Will send out a Twitter DM.

      Great advice on the design. I am currently in the stages of revamping it a notch. Hopefully, the design will be a lot better after I am done.

  3. 2

    Its really common for a lot of founders to spend a majority of their time focusing on coding and creating their product instead of validating the idea because they are so in love with it.

    Here are some good case studies of validating an idea without a product that I think you can replicate to get some early paid users:

    1. Getting 400 signups and 5 initial sales of a product that is yet to exist, just by uploading a video on how it works.

    2. Getting initial sales without any product, using just a landing page with a checkout process.

    If you're interested, you can check out more summarised growth strategies to replicate for your business over at GrowthHunt.co.

    Cheers & all the best!

    1. 1

      Yeah, I agree that it depends on the target region. Also, I think it also depends on the product. You cannot have pre-orders for subscription-based services. Maybe signups, but I don't think I can sell Launchweb without building it first. Unless, there is some strategy I haven't heard of :)

      1. 2

        Why do you think it is not possible to have pre-orders for a subscription-based service?

        Check out how this example here. He's doing more than $10k MRR the last time I checked.

    2. 1

      This largely depends on target region. It doesn't work in many parts of Africa for tech products. Can your team get us affiliate referrals to US clients through lead pages?

      Here is what we have: Business Suite - Simple CRM for Startups

  4. 2

    Nice. Kudos to you for building this! Here is my feedback:

    • The content and layout is a good start, but if you really want them to stand out, fine tune fine tune those designs and esthetics. Right now I would totally pass over your SaaS because I can get the same quality and end result with a template after 10-15min of messing around. I wouldn’t pay $5 a month for that. Check out other inspiration on dribbble.com to see what is leading the design industry today.
    • The price. Why would someone pay $5 a month to create unlimited portfolios? Once I’m finished creating mine, I’m done. I want to be able to export it somehow and host it on my own custom domain so I don’t have to worry about extra on top costs. You could probably keep this monthly payment method, but I would consider adding a onetime payment method for those who only need one portfolio.

    Overall, great work! Keep posting on here! It helped a ton with my own remote site BuildFaster.co and I got so much feedback that way.

    Best of wishes!

    1. 1

      Hey @BraydenTW, thanks for checking it out. Real solid pieces of advice.

      #1 - Yeah, I see what you mean by the design and aesthetics. The plan was to release with basic templates first and then add on new improved templates every month.

      #2 - Regarding the price, you have a great point there. I have the export option in mind but I haven't started developing it yet. It's going to be a bit tricky but I think I should be able to manage it. I guess my reasoning to keep a monthly cost was that users can quickly change their templates if they want to as I would keep releasing new templates.

      BuildFaster.co is great and I hope to achieve that level someday. Thanks a lot man!

      1. 2

        No problem! Best of luck, this can go far if you put your back into it!

  5. 2

    I don't have any idea how crowded that space is but there are some big names that come to mind. That said, picking a "evil" incumbent can be a great strategy. It's worked for Basecamp (https://basecamp.com/gettingreal/02.5-have-an-enemy), tuple, and savvycal.

    They all picked out something that users of their competitors found annoying/frustrating. Find that frustration for your audience.

    This is awful but maybe: "Wix makes it too hard to just get your portfolio out there! We make it dead simple."

    1. 1

      Hey @mzollinhofer, thanks for taking the time to check launchweb.me out! That's a great strategy and a very good article by basecamp. Based on the feedback I have received so far, I guess I would have to work a lot on the content, to convince the user as to why they should give Launchweb a try!

      Thanks a lot again for your feedback! Love it

  6. 2

    I feel this is one of the spaces that is overcrowded and also have over-demand. I would consider writing content on the landing page that tailors down to the specific audience. I understand you want to promote it among the people who are looking to build a one-page website but also try to highlight why people need one page and add a bunch of use cases. for example: Give a reason why an artist should use your product to build his website instead of going to other sites like wix.

    To start, I would not mention pricing as you're still trying to validate the idea. In such a case, the price can be introduced when you see a little traction coming in.

    Overall, this has a decent chance of becoming successful if you stay consistent.

    1. 2

      Thanks for taking the time out to check it out. Yeah, I have been thinking of having a blog post that takes about Why use Launchweb. Adding a few use cases is a good idea too.

      Thanks for the encouragement.

      1. 2

        Sure no problem and good luck.

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