Ideas and Validation February 16, 2020

Would people use a stupidly simple chat widget?

Patrick Lorenzut @heylorenzut

I just hacked together this because I was tired of dealing with the complexities of things like Intercom, Drift, and Crisp. So I built this to scratch my own itch, and am now wondering if I could sell it ;)

Do you think there is a market for this? Maybe other solopreneurs who don't actually WANT live chat? Maybe the privacy-focused crowd?

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    Hi @heylorenzut

    Yes, people will use something simpler (see this post https://www.indiehackers.com/post/stop-aiming-for-an-mvp-and-work-towards-an-slc-instead-d6a2a52507). I myself have recently been frustrated with the complexities of online chat when all I want is something simple

    I do have a couple of suggestions for you.

    1. Change the name. I'm not putting something on one of my product sites that says "Stupidly Simple". It sends a bad message. Keep the Simple, Drop the Stupidly
    2. Allow multiple sites / brands. I can't believe that nobody supports this well. I run several sites and businesses and would love to have the same chat on all of them and be able to answer whenever called upon with a single app.
    3. Design, design, design. A modern paradox is that it’s simpler to create complex interfaces because it’s so complex to simplify them.
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      I totally agree with point #3. Design is the first step towards credibility. Make sure most people love the design of your widget, otherwise they would be inclined to embed your widget inside their website.

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      I just redesigned it and also took away the branding. Hopefully this is a bit better now!

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      @chrisblackwell thanks!

      1. The domain SimplyPrivate.app is available. Thoughts on that? My concern with that is that EVERY tool I want to create is focused on simplicity, but only SOME are focused on privacy. Or what if I kept the name but added the ability to remove the branding for a relatively small fee? I like the name for my own visitors... but agree that people won't want it on their sites necessarily.
      2. Technically this is already possible, but all emails would go to the same email address. Within the next 48 hours I'll add the option to have this installed on infinite websites all from one Stupidly Simple account, with each website being able to send the contact to a different address. Is that in line with what you were thinking?
      3. Agreed. Still working hard on this part.

      Thanks again!

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    Is there spam protection built in? Anything to stop a bad actor from making many submissions?

    Also, what’s the point of the token if you supply an id for an account? Aren’t they both unique identifiers? I could see it as authorization if it were on the back end, but it’s supplied front end. Which brings me back to my first question - could a bad actor copy my settings to spam me?

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      Spam protection will be built in within the next 24 hours. It's not now... cuz I trust the IH people and wanted to ship this :)

      The token is a stopgap measure. It at least means you can only spam contact forms that you've come across. You can't spam ALL of them.

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    Am I wrong in saying it's a pop-out email form?

    Not dissing it; I actually like the concept.

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      That's exactly what it is. It's a "contact us" form in "live chat" packaging.

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        Yeah I think it's pretty good. I had a rant on here a while ago about "live chat" widget that you could never get through to a human being on.

        I believe you shouldn't have a live chat widget active on your site if there isn't a human there to chat with. This kinda solves that problem.

        Feedback; I don't like the transition between what's there originally and then what it transforms into once to you start typing (hope you know what I mean), it's very jarring.

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          @primer I was originally trying to be crafty and making it look more like a live chat tool then it actually is. Then I realized that that was stupid, so I redesigned it to ditch the transition. Better now?

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          Thanks @Primer! I don't like that transition either! I wanted to get this out the door even though I'm not totally in love with it yet. Will definitely work on a way to improve this. Thanks for the feedback!

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    I like it, will try it out with a next project. I think the asynchronous communication has a ton of benefits https://heavymelon.blog/2019/11/21/basecamp-chat-sucks/
    PS. awesome copy on the site, read through it all

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      Awesome! Also that's a great post, and I clicked through and love the idea of "calmup" as well. It's comforting to know that I'm not the only one who isn't totally stoked on Slack all the time :)

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        Totally! Is there a place I can sign up to receive updates for StupidlySimple? I did create an account though so maybe that's enough

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          I just started an email list and will add you to it. Thanks!

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    Just want to be candid and save you some time hopefully and I might be completely wrong.

    Crisp has been great for me, very easy to setup.

    I'm actually looking for a more powerful tool.

    Your idea will have huge churn from unsuccessful ideas and companies who grow needing more powerful tools.

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      Appreciate the candidness and I agree with you 100%. The churn on this will be quite high as people "phase out of it" and start wanting more sophisticated solutions. And as others go under.

      And I'm cool with that. My target audience is entry-level solopreneurs who struggle with perfectionism and who like the idea of some intentionally imperfect tools that let them focus on their products instead of overthinking the small stuff.

      This suite of tools (of which the chat widget is the first) is going to fall on deaf ears to almost everybody except that very very specific group. I have a gut instinct that this very specific group is big enough for my meager financial goals (I live off $2k per month and don't have a huge desire for more than that), but of course time will tell. I've already made $75 today from this tool so maybe that's a sign... but it's far from statistical significance as it all came from one person.

      Or in other words: this will never make even the slightest dent in the market, and I'm hoping that that's okay.

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    Just wanted to say I loved the little messages when I switched to a new tab!

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      Hah thanks! You can snag that if you want. I made it freely available here: https://underpolished.com/twister -> you can either load it from my site or copy the javascript and host it on your own site, either way.

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    Congrats on taking an idea forward. Just tried the product, it seems like a pop-up email. Any plan to make it stand out from the crowded + well-established competition?

    Just to name a few on top of your list: Sumo, HelloBar, Get Sitekit, Jivo, Tidio etc...

    I've tried all of them and using some of these tools for companies I'm working for.

    Would love to hear your update! @heylorenzut

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      Thanks for testing it out

      Privacy and simplicity and the USPs. All of those tools (or at least the ones I looked at) are live chat. Underpolished isn't. And probably all of them track you. Underpolished doesn't.

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        Welcome!

        I hear you but still unsure and not convinced.

        How would you measure simplicity and what’s your benchmark?

        Any proof that you’re not tracking and has better privacy level than other existing tools?

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          Simplicity: it's a very easy and fast one-time install that doesn't require any configuration. No image uploads, no custom messages for different pages, no meaningful settings to speak of. And there's no dashboard to login to unless you want to cancel your service. It's just email. Of course this lack of configuration is a huge downside for most people, but it's a huge upside for people who know they have a tendency to overthink everything and spend too much time on things that aren't really important, who want a purposefully underpolished tool that integrates into their existing flow and let's them spend all their time on their product instead of tinkering in the abyss.

          Privacy: for frontend it's easy. Just run the script and analyze the lack of trackers. For backend i have no idea how to prove this. Any ideas? Maybe I can talk with other privacy focused companies and see what they do.

          Even if I can't convince you I appreciate the questioning as it lets me tailor my copy to maybe convince someone else!

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    Wow, fantastic Patrick. I love it. You're the man.

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    Have you looked at Tawk.to? I believe it is very similar to what you are trying to do here. It is also completely free.

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      Hmmm, I don't see the similarity. The USP for underpolished.com (changed the name) is that it's NOT live chat. That it's an email contact form that's as easy to use as a live chat widget. ... but admittedly I do a poor job explaining that on the site right now. Will update!

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    Your right that the other tools are really complex. But I know at least drip (I believe crisp as well) have free tiers that I can use. You can kind of ignore a lot of the bloat as well. As bootsrapper I probably wouldn't pay. also for the payment details this part confuses me. "Then just $4/mo for each additional 1,000 messages." So you pay $4 for every 1000 messages or you pay $4 for every month?

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      Thanks Noah. I'll clarify the pricing on the page.

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    Actually, I've started something very similar few months ago with Formito.com

    It's simply a chat widget to exchange information with website visitors. So I'd say yes, people would use it. Most of my users are using it to collect leads or provide support. Some people use it to simply replace a "contact us" form, others make it a little more complex to display FAQs or create a support ticket in Zendesk.

    Integrations are a big part of such a tool. Make sure you'd have at least export to CSV, MailChimp, Webhooks, Google Sheet probably, and Zapier.

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      Very cool! Your tool is way more sophisticated than mine :)

      I thought about adding an option to subscribe to email list, but for right now I want to keep it as simple as humanly possible.

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    Well, it's stupid but not simple. I entered something in the area "Write me a message" and then I had to find a button to send, and after I sent it, I had the error message about invalid email.