July 10, 2020

Made our Changelog public and got a hot lead 🔥

Andréas Blondeau @mcyouks

I recently had to rework on a rebranding (the previous name was Citron). Instead of just shipping this news alone, I decided to bundle it with more insightful content. I have been working for weeks now, and the product is evolving everyday. However, apart from my very early (future) users that give me regular feedback, no one else has a view on my progression path. To break this silo, I decided to ship a public Product Changelog to document the changes made along the way, and shared it on LinkedIn.

I took my one day to build and prepare the release. The impact of the release of this Changelog is interesting:
• 🙌 It generated 48 new visits on my website
• 🔥 I got one hot lead, with which I conducted an extensive user research interview. This interview session has been among the most insightful ever made so far.

The process to build this Public Changelog has been simple:

  1. 🔍 I benchmarked the Public Changelogs of my favorite products and the ones from product teams I admire (see full list at the end of this article).
  2. 👀 I read through all of them and extracted the most interesting patterns.
  3. ✍️ I copied the best I could.

Very often, when we start building our solution, we often put ourselves in a situation where our progression path seems like a black box from the outside. And as long as the product is not officially available, we sometimes feel shy about sharing our progress out loud, because what we promise on our landing page is often ahead of the product itself. And we don't want to let everyone know that we appear bigger than we actually are. As a result, we don't communicate much about our progress, and the relationship we built with our first potential customers start to decay. This is why maintaining relationship throughout the development process is important. And I believe Product Changelog is a good tool for that.

I recently learned that maintaining a high quality Product Changelog had many benefits on user awareness and acquisition, as it creates a connection with your current and potential customers. Hiten Shah (@hnshah) wrote an amazing article about the topic, but I couldn't find it and share it with you, sorry. (However, I advice you to subscribe to the Products Habits newsletter for great insights on Product Management). Moreover, as Farzad Ban (@farzandban) says: "communicating about your progress is the best form of marketing".

I plan to keep on maintaining this changelog, also as a way for me to realize the progress made each month.

Cheers ✌️
——

The list of Changelogs I used to get inspiration 👇

• Notion: https://www.notion.so/What-s-New-157765353f2c4705bd45474e5ba8b46c

• Height: https://www.notion.so/What-s-new-in-Height-0998c4cfe84b4d90973f67ec88b7f69d

• Front: https://changelog.frontapp.com/

• Webflow: https://webflow.com/updates

• Todoist: https://get.todoist.help/hc/en-us/articles/360007080399-What-s-New-

• Linear: https://linear.app/changelog

• Tandem: https://www.notion.so/Tandem-Product-Updates-618030187c7843a78ba76ada4f54bd01

• Noto: http://noto.ink/changelog.html

• Videoask: https://www.videoask.com/whats-new

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