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16 Comments

roast my new project and I'll roast yours

My Landing page got a roasting a few days ago and the feedback was well worth it, and allowed me to make some tweaks.

So I'm now after the same again, but more across the whole offering as well as just the landing page. In return I will do the same for you - just drop me your link and I will give it a good going over for you.

https://www.earlyventure.report

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    hey both Davids @davguij and @davidcolby, Prateek @prateekrmathur, @Flamingoo and Shounak @getSB

    Thank you for all your input! I really like this roasting thing, why didn't I do it years ago with other projects!! Even though some comments were... honest ;-) It can be hard to read but makes a massive difference in helping us all get our products right. Please do ask me to look at any updates in future, and I hope it is ok if I show you my changes.

    I am going through your comments today but this whole exercise has got me thinking about something else,...

    ...I woke at 2:30am thinking about it! I wonder if I want to offer a roast my project+plans+pitch paid service, i.e. not just landing pages. I believe my background and services at www.interim-cofounder.com give me the right experience to do this and there is potentially a big market for it. So I would help a startup/new project by looking at their business idea and model, listen to the investment pitch and understand the market, etc. Then write up a full detailed and honest report. and perhaps then upsell them to an 'I can invite you to investors' service.

    I would love your opinions. I think both projects are exciting. But which could be the best opportunity to put the most focus in immediately: the early venture report, or a paid roast-my-idea service?

    Right, I have to go for a walk to mull all this over. So many ideas, exciting times!! ;-)

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      I agree with @prateekrmathur - I definitely wouldn't pay for a service like this. Feedback is great but there's plenty of routes to free feedback (like this community!) and, more importantly, the most important feedback is from customers.

      I do think that offering free feedback (perhaps in the form of an initial consultation) could be a useful way to generate qualified leads for your paid services as outlined on interim-cofounder.com - I could see folks without an existing set of mentors and advisors being interested in having access to more experienced set of eyes on their company early on.

    2. 1

      I would suggest the venture report and I would recommend to focus on it and execute. Everyone has ideas, its the execution that matters.

      If I can get my landing page roasted here, then why would I pay you? Also, the market/ICP dictates if the model works and hence IMO, yours is just another opinion. Till I don't have paying customers and listen to them, nothing else really matters. Everyone has an opinion.

  2. 2
    • I would fix capitalization of words.
    • Make the first screen text stupid simple so 5 y.o can understand what is the value. Grid background creates visual distraction
    • Submit for is too large
    1. 1

      hey thank you, I really appreciate it! can you clarify some things for me please...

      • "Submit for is too large" - I do not understand?

      • "Make the first screen text stupid simple so 5 y.o can understand what is the value". Pease explain this some more because I am not sure how much simple I can make it. so to confirm, is it this text you think is not clear?
        Get your tech startup or pre-launch idea seen by 2,000+ angel, seed and vc investors. Excite them with monthly updates, get followed and interact directly. Apply now for a place in the Early Venture Report™

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    OK, here are some of my thoughts:

    • The inconsistent capitalization of words confuses me and, truth to be told, gives me the impression of a half-baked product without much attention to detail.
    • The hero section feels crowded, lack of hierarchy, I'm not sure where to look.
    • The color scheme is a bit too dull for me, and the contrast of the text might not be too accessible.
    • The testimonials don't really feel about the product, but about the founder/curator. They validate you as a founder, but don't say anything about the impact of the user on the people signing the testimonial. Also, the stars are mostly meaningless because there's no clue where they're coming from or how where they collected.

    That's it. I hope this is useful. My landing page at https://onsubmit.app is also waiting for some roasting :)

    1. 1

      hey David, thank you - I think ;-) Seriously, some big stuff there and I will go through it tomorrow with a fresh head and make some tweaks - I may need to ask for clarification, but hopefully I can address most of it with quick changes.

      so, onsubmit.app...

      • the overall appearance and look is lovely. very clear, spaced and laid out. it is a look I really enjoy

      • start free trial takes me to login page (with tiny "signup" link that I then have to press). can it take me straight to signup page

      • talk to us page - it's like you put 90% UI energy into the home page and then got bored. needs livening up a bit

      • same with the docs page - why is it suddenly a different width - like a narrow document. feels like it belongs to a different site (as does the contact page)

      • the big issue for me is ... who is your market? who will land on your home page? because if it is people who "...[don't need to] run a server or write a single line of backend code" then I assume they are not going to know what anything on that page means. Maybe you can answer this first and then I can feedback based on who the visitors will be

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        Thanks a lot for the feedback, Steve.

        I agree with many of the things you said, for example the point of the mixture between wide and narrow layouts is something I need to solve better.

        The target audience of the product is tech people that do know how to build the front end of their websites, but aren’t that confident about the backend (or just don’t want to get into the trouble of building and running it) Basically, I believe that building a functional form is a very basic functionality that shouldn’t really need to do any backend coding (regardless of whether you can do it or not) so that’s what onSubmit is trying to solve 😊

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          • so do people who are mainly front end developers really know what headless forms are? It's a new/trendy techie phrase that means nothing to most people

          • "You don't need a backend to listen to your users" - what does that mean? surely "You don't need a backend to receive responses to your web forms" or something like that. use plain english ;-)

          • an idea: on your home page have a "build your form now for free in 30 seconds" where you help them build all the fields they want, plus the action param to your service. ready to go, they can copy/paste and use right away. they get 5 submissions for free and then have to come back to your site to pay for more

          • my idea I guess is as much about trying to explain what the service actually does - because looking at it as it is, even as a dev I have had to read it several times to get it

          • btw, my www.earlyventure.report site is on Carrd and their form handling is awful. my apply now form uses the maximum number of fields they allow and I can't change the field types or anything. but in general, how many low-code solutions don't offer decent form handling? how big really is your market?

          Hope this is useful.

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            Thanks a lot Steve, the input is quite helpful indeed.

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    Hi Steve,

    Before I start, a note that I reviewed your site on mobile only, I might have missed some things based on that, I know early on the mobile experience often gets overlooked!

    The first thing that I noticed on the home page was that the CTA for founders is WAY down the page. I had to scroll past a ton of content before seeing the application form which was a bit odd.

    Other than the missing CTA for founders above the fold, I thought the design was okay, although everything being lowercase was a little distracting.

    There were multiple phrases that felt awkward or grammatically incorrect (ex: “gain investor trust with our pre-qualify process”). A quick review from a copy editor feels like it would be really valuable since the product here is largely based on your credibility as a seasoned founder - little copy issues can make you seem less authoritative.

    The “For founders” section was confusing to me. Is “1,000s monthly startups” a good thing? Does the process of getting listed with you take 6 - 12 months? It kind of felt like you were using a template that called for metrics in those headers and so you tried to force some numbers in there without the numbers being useful.

    Finally, I was really unclear on the actual process for applying and being listed with you, or why I would want to invest time and money in doing so.

    I would have loved a really clear timeline that shows me each step in the process along with the expected time to value for me as a founder and what the value would be beyond being on the radar of investors. The FAQ section sort of touched on something about having a way to login in and update my “card” but why I would want to do that wasn’t very clear.

    Hope that was helpful!

    If you want to take a look at my (unlaunched) landing page and share your thoughts, you can find it here: vestimonials.tv

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      hey David, thank you - I think ;-) Seriously, some big stuff there and I will go through it tomorrow with a fresh head and make some tweaks - I may need to ask for clarification, but hopefully I can address most of it with quick changes.

      so, vestimonials...

      • "Vestimonials helps you collect, curate, and share videos of your customers and your employees" - videos of them doing what!?

      • those two images of Breanna and Cecil have video play buttons but I can't play them - maybe that would be nice and give me an idea what type of videos can be done

      • so I guess without scrolling past the landing page, I don't really know what you do

      • below the line it now tells me "testimonials" - ah I see. and yes now I get your brand name "vestimonials" - sorry that was not obvious

      • "No apps to downlaod" - typo

      • "Vestimonials works in (almost) any browser" - oh that needs clarifying to your users - perhaps it wasn't worth mentioning in your top level pitch as it seems a bit of a turn off

      • I never really like sites that don't have a proper contact us page/section - just a mailto: link - doesn't feel professional enough and like you're a one man band

      • and "contact our team" linking to an email to [email protected] shows it is not a big company which might put people off

      • so the bigger package says "Unbranded embedded pages" - but cheaper package makes no mention of branded pages - feels like something is being sneaked past me which I will later find out about and not be happy about

      • overall it is a clean site, says what it does (apart from the landing page above the line which needs to spell it out more) and is ok. not a site that makes me go wow, but it does the job

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        Great feedback, Steve, thanks for taking the time! I prefer direct and to the point feedback - hopefully I wasn’t too harsh on your site!

        You’re the first person to review the copy that I haven’t already introduced to the concept and given a personal demo so I greatly appreciate the fresh pair of eyes on it.

        Going to process this feedback and make some updates this week.

  5. 1

    thank you again @davguij, @davidcolby, @prateekrmathur, @getSB, @Flamingoo.

    I didn't think about the alternative roasting service for too long - although I have spotted one on here that charges £150 for roasting home pages and seems to be doing very well - sorry I can't find his name now, something like roastmylandingpage
    .
    Anyway, I have pushed on with https://www.earlyventure.report, and with input from you and other contacts I made a tonne of changes (visually and materially to the service) and am now launched!

    I couldn't have got here without you all. I even signed up to Grammarly to sort out my terrible grammar ;-)

    It is already live and getting great interest, but it would be fabulous if you could take a final look and let me know what you think. And do ask me to review any changes you make too.

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      I think you need to focus on the value proposition for the founder and for the VC.

      e.g. Get seen & followed by over 2,000 investors
      Send regular updates to investors who follow you

      What do I get out of it? Even if I have 2000 followers, what does that mean to me? does it translate to sales to funding etc.

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        absolutely, the value proposition is key!

        what does the founder get out of it. Well they have now have 2 options...

        1. the old way. wait until they only have 3 months runway left then send spam emails like crazy to loads of investors. the investors sees they are desperate and either says no or pushes for more equity. it is a horrible one-side and inefficient process

        2. create a short pitch and add it to the next weekly www.earlyventure.report newsletter. do it when you launch, even before you are ready for investment. get it seen by 2,000 investors. some will follow you and then send them monthly updates through the platform. the investor watches your journey, sees you prove your model and then calls you

        It is early days and I will need to make small tweaks to make it perfect. But I think it can work. We all have to start with an idea. Twitter was a mad concept before it launched. But people follow banal comments by the truck load, and it works!

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