Beta Released and Lessons Learned

Today, is CoderNote’s official beta release!


My hand was somewhat forced today, as a product for developers would be better to release on a weekday, not a weekend. Hopefully we still get some attention from the betalist page. What I’m really hoping for is just a couple backlinks in order to build up the site’s reputation, and maybe help the blog rank a bit higher on Google.

Since the Alpha launch in early March, here are some of the features that have been added to CoderNotes:

  • Comments on notes, which allows for a more community-feel for public notes

  • Full IDE-like experience when making a note. This includes simple things like syntax highlighting for over 100 languages, but also error and warning messages, just like in an IDE.

  • Tags - Another helpful way to categorize notes. With this, CoderNotes now analyzes your note across six unique attributes, which makes searching for a note extremely consistent and accurate.

I’ve noticed a bit of a “tipping point” with these features being added, where people no longer feel like it’s missing core features, and it feels like a full-fledged app. It’s pretty cool to see something I’ve built reach that status!

Lessons Learned

Some lessons that I’ve learned getting here, that you should consider if you are planning on launching a beta:

  1. You’ll want to build the product as quick as possible. But don’t be afraid to take it slower and focus on marketing. You know that you can build your product, given enough time and effort. What you don’t know is if people will be interested. Focus on customers first, then the product.

  2. Consider doing pre-sales.

Like I mentioned above, I wish I had done a bit more customer-focused development after I decided to work on CoderNotes. If I could do it again, I would get at least 10 developers to commit to putting some amount down as a pre-purchase, just to have a really good focus on what people are actually looking for.

  1. Get people in as quick as possible.

Some people waited on my email list for over a month before they were finally able to access the beta. By then, they had lost interest. In retrospect, I think I should have let anyone in who wanted in, even as the product was still really rough. I would have been able to have conversations with the people who really liked the product (and those who didn’t to see what could be better!), and had even more motivation as I was developing.

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