After building up the idea of submitting Guess My Pay to Show Hacker News, we finally decided - let's just post it.
Mission critical for us right now is to determine whether this idea has growth potential. Is the initial traction we've gotten representative of the market as a whole? Or does it reflect the willingness of our networks to support us as developers?
Realizing we needed to attract new users, we implemented social sharing functionality that generates a custom graphic that can be posted on Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn. This graphic incorporates the user's LinkedIn profile picture, which proved to be most likely to generate clicks during some initial testing.
Within hours of launching social sharing, we got a new user! And within 24 hours, we got several more.
Our goal is to use the 8+ week program as external motivation to continue to work toward user acquisition targets.
It's quickly become clear that we should have enrolled earlier! YC's emphasis on speaking to users would have helped us prioritize the features that went into our MVP. Similarly, understanding the inherently iterative nature of early-stage startups would have relieved the pressure we felt to have a knockout launch. Launch, launch and launch again!
We launched the Guess My Pay MVP at the end of May, after working several hours a week on the side project for approximately two months.
Our use acquisition strategy was focused on social channels, namely Twitter, LinkedIn and Elpha. We also contacted friends and family directly via email.
In retrospect, we spent far too long trying to make sure we got the launch "exactly right". However, there is one factor that we should have included but didn't: social sharing - i.e. the ability to easily post a link to Guess My Pay on Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn so that friends can join. This is not to say that we didn't consider social sharing, only that our attempts to include social buttons within the plugin may have been linked to rejection from the Chrome web store.
Learn from our mistakes! Make it easy for people to share your product.
After hashing out the idea for Guess My Pay, we decided to apply to the Y Combinator Summer 2020 batch. In addition to the written application, we filmed a short (non-rehearsed) video to introduce ourselves and our product. This was the first time we presented together as co-founders!
Guess My Pay is a Google Chrome extension that allows you to guess the salaries of your LinkedIn connections. Our mission: to empower individuals to realize their true value.