(from the latest issue of the Indie Hackers newsletter)
The new Android app currently has limited features:
Clubhouse has finally released the Android version of its app. With limited features and poor timing, the app has debuted to less-than-enthusiastic reception.
What’s going on: After more than a year of being iOS-only, Clubhouse has rolled out its Android app to the US. The expansion will later continue with other English-speaking countries and then roll out to the rest of the world. Android holds an 87% share of the global smartphone market, and its release on Clubhouse will make the audio platform available to millions of new users:
Today, we are thrilled to share that Clubhouse for Android will start rolling out in beta immediately. Our plan over the next few weeks is to collect feedback from the community, fix any issues we see, and work to add a few final features like payments and club creation before rolling it out more broadly.
Downloads in decline: Clubhouse boasted 13.4M users in March, but its new user growth has rapidly decreased since. New downloads peaked in February at 9.6M, but fell to 2.7M in March and 900K in April.
Rankings slip: Clubhouse ranked as high as number 21 in the Apple App Store in February. Now, it’s sunk to number 595.
Product Hunt dud: Clubhouse launched its Android app on Product Hunt on Sunday, and failed to crack the top three products for the day. It closed out at number five.
Head scratcher: Sundays are widely recognized as the least effective day for social media engagement, yet that's when Clubhouse chose to reveal its much-anticipated Android app. Combine that with the fact that Sunday, May 9 was also Mother’s Day, and one has to wonder about the announcement’s timing.
Disappointing numbers: Perhaps the announcement's timing was to maintain gradual adoption, perhaps it was an oversight, or perhaps the company just doesn't care. Whatever the case, the app's Android debut fell flat to say the least.
Remaining invite-only: Clubhouse said that it will maintain its invite-only approach to keep its growth measured. As it scales through the summer, Clubhouse plans to welcome millions of people in from the iOS waitlist, expand language support, and add more accessibility features.
Short on time: Analysts fear that Clubhouse is racing against the clock as more competitors launch rival audio products that offer users a familiar experience combined with an existing following.
Meerkat repeat? In spring 2015, the internet went wild over the live-video app Meerkat. The app was lauded by TechCrunch as being “the live-streaming app Twitter should have built.” Similar to Clubhouse, Meerkat used an invite-only strategy, quickly attracted millions of users, and garnered significant interest from investors.
I was at the 2015 SXSW tech conference when Meerkat mania was burrowing into hearts and minds of users. Meerkat invites were highly sought after, and everyone was talking about the app.
A few weeks later, Meerkat was exterminated by Twitter’s Periscope.
The lesson: Meerkat’s rise and fall is a glaring reminder that, while companies can enjoy meteoric growth, they can fall just as fast. Being first to introduce a particular platform doesn't guarantee anything.
While Clubhouse is better funded and more popular than Meerkat ever was, the live audio field is far more competitive. Clubhouse rivals range from Facebook and Twitter to Instagram and Reddit.
What do you think about Clubhouse’s future? Please share your thoughts below.
📹 YouTube will pay $100M to creators using its TikTok competitor, Shorts.
🚘 Musk backtracks on accepting Bitcoin for Tesla.
💘 This "Tinder meets TikTok" dating app focuses on video-led connections.
💼 TikTok is testing a program to help its largely Gen Z base find jobs.
📱 US to remove Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi from blacklist after lawsuit.
Check out Volv for more 9-second news digests.
Newsletter ad startup Swapstack released a new feature last week that provides qualified newsletters with a referral link to embed in their emails. Marketplaces are one of the most powerful business models across industries, and fostering transactions through marketplace platforms can be big business for founders.
Marketplaces are powerful. They're hard to build and hard to disrupt once liquidity is reached.
Connecting buyers and sellers may not be enough for a transaction to take place. Friction, distrust and uncertainty often remain.
Managed marketplaces do more than connect buyers and sellers. They foster transactions with services such as:
"It seems like every marketplace is managed."
Most are to some degree.
"Some of these managed marketplaces don't scale and aren't investable."
Contrary to the name, Trends.vc doesn't cater to VCs. If you don't need investors, great for you. That's one less stakeholder type. But many marketplaces mentioned above are billion-dollar companies. Many are scalable and investable. The audio edition talks about this.
"OpenDoor is a reseller. Not a marketplace."
This is a valid point. We can also throw thredUP in this category. Both take enough inventory risk to call their "marketplace status" into question.
"Vampire attacks are immoral."
Perhaps. But they're everywhere. Willful ignorance is dangerous.
Go here to get the Trends Pro report. It contains 200% more insights. You also get access to the entire back catalog and the next 52 Pro Reports.
What are your thoughts on the power of managed marketplaces? Share in the comments!
The lie: Great products don't need marketing
The truth: Even the best products need marketing to effectively reach the right people at scale.
Tip the first domino for the rest to fall.
Discuss this story.
by Misha Krunic
Hi indie hackers! I'm Misha Krunic, founder of Price2Spy. If someone had told me when I started my online career, back in 1996, that one day I’d create a $2M ARR price monitoring SaaS, I wouldn’t have believed it. Truth be told, the circumstances in Serbia at that time weren’t favorable either. I’ll try to explain how I got to the idea of creating Price2Spy from a very unlikely sequence of events, and grow it into one of the most successful price monitoring tools on the market.
Price2Spy is an online price monitoring SaaS created 10 years ago, mostly out of necessity. Our online store, TakoLako, was facing a sales drop so we started checking our competitor prices manually. Then, we realized that we could create software that would do the hard work for us. Back then, there were only two similar tools on the market; we were one of the pioneers in the field.
Starting a business in Serbia is difficult:
Another thing that worked against us was that we did everything on our own, including sales. Attracting large enterprise clients from the West is very difficult if you're a Serbian company. I believe that if we'd had a sales partner in Western Europe or North America, our growth would be much faster. Actually, we're still looking for such a partner.
Despite this, Price2Spy currently serves over 720 e-commerce professionals. Our clients are some of the world's biggest retailers, brands, manufacturers, and distributors who we help to stay profitable amid the current competitive market conditions. Price2Spy can be used by small and medium-sized businesses as well.
The key is in the combined effort of IT development and product promotion. Users are looking for a product that can fulfill their needs, so you always need to test the waters and work on the feature updates. Almost 80% of our features were actually derived directly from user ideas! Never underestimate what your users have to say.
A great product also needs to be promoted. Due to my e-commerce background, I knew that online marketing was essential for the project’s success. Our strategy goes in three directions: Google Ads, content creation, and going public with the list of websites monitored. Also, to attract enterprise clients, you should consider attending trade shows and professional conferences. Using these strategies for the last three years, we’ve been growing 25-30% YoY.
How do we stand out from competitors?
How do we fight the ones which are backed by VC?
I'm a software engineer who has been seizing business opportunities since 1996. Price2Spy is one of my most successful ideas. I’m the company’s CEO, but I often also act as a product owner, business analyst (due to my technical background), and coordinator of our major sales efforts.
Discuss this story.
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Special thanks to Jay Avery for editing this issue, to Nathalie Zwimpfer for the illustrations, and to Bobby Burch, Priyanka Vazirani, Dru Riley, Julian Shapiro, and Misha Krunic for contributing posts. —Channing