October 27, 2019

Ready for Beta testing (finally)


So nearly 4 months to the day since my last update, I can now finally say that HelloRemote.co is ready for Alpha/Beta testing.

I won't lie, it's been an incredibly challenging few months, for a variety of reasons, which I'll cover below.

Today I'm inviting 10-20 users from my early sign up list to go through Alpha testing, to identify any issues I'm unaware of. I'd rather a maximum of 20 people tell me about an issue, rather than 100 people.

This should be completed in the next week, and then I'll open up the site to the remaining ~100 people on my early sign up list, which will help me validate my processes and get the site ready for launch.

Then I can focus on launching on Product Hunt for the first time!

So why has the last 4 months been challenging? And why has it taken 4 months to ship the MVP, when the mantra is to build something fast?

Well, I started with good intentions, but unfortunately a member of my family fell ill, and then passed away in July.

Obviously this was upsetting for everyone, and everything took a back seat to this as you would expect.

Additionally, my day job ramped up in intensity, tackling some exciting challenges, but also very draining in terms of hours worked and mental concentration.

After having such an emotionally and physically draining summer, I found myself in a slump with HelloRemote, where I'll be honest, it was easier to watch the Sopranos at the weekend, than work on the side project.

I'm highlighting this, because I've been through this before, where real life gets in the way and all enthusiasm for the side project fades away and I eventually give up.

It's really common, and is a very real challenge for Indie Hackers to overcome. So if you're reading this now and this resonates with you, I know what you're going through.

So in September, I did the only sensible thing I could think of.

I took a vacation with my wife.

It was 100% the right thing to do. We were both burned out after a rough few months, and we needed some down time to relax and reset.

We booked an AirBnb in the south west of England, by the coast and took long walks on the beach, pub lunches and visited a few art galleries.

On the back of this, I was able to reset my focus and ascertain the state of HelloRemote, where I needed to be, and how I was going to get there.

Since that vacation, I've been working extremely hard in my spare time to do everything I need to get to this point.

I'm really happy with what I've built, and think it's going to help a lot of people.

Onward... to testing & launch.

  1. 1

    This is an awesome idea I love it, let me know if there's anything I can do to help on the ops side of the business!

    1. 1

      Thanks, I'm so pleased you think it's an awesome idea! I'll be sure to let you know if there's anything I need :)

  2. 1

    Awesome! How did your IG grow to over 700 followers? I see that you dont have that much content posted

    1. 1

      It was my "Follow the followers" approach. Follow XXX people each day on Instagram that are following a similar account, then ~10% will follow you back. I did this for a few weeks, and then it grew naturally.

      1. 1

        Wow. It grew naturally even without posting consistently?

        1. 1

          Yep. I put it down to having a compelling bio.

  3. 1

    Great platform. All the best on your venture. Well designed and simple UI. Since I am a web developer I have few suggestions to make.

    1 - Login : As you mentioned, if you are planning only to get a few testers for your website as of now you should prevent allowing anyone to login or create an account by going to /login URL of the website. I don't think this as an issue but I thought you should know.

    2 - Design : The design could be a bit improved tweaking the shadows and fonts. I would suggest using a lite font such as Sans from Google Fonts and a color scheme from Google Color Palette. The login page could be much more polished in my opinion.

    3 - Landing page : Instead of linking to the Twitter page, you can instead show a subscribe box where you users can enter an email and stay tuned for the launch.

    4 - Email notification : Once you create an account, you can change your email to any email address without verification. Not only that, the email stating that "You recently updated your account and if you haven't done this your account has been compromised" is sent to the new email address and not to that of the original address.

    Again, great work. Make these changes and you are all set. Also can you let me know what language/stack did you use to develop the website?

    1. 2

      Thanks so much for that feedback, that’s really constructive. I used WordPress + Elementor to build the site, with the Ultimate Member plugin to power the membership features.

  4. 1

    What a great project. I have been remote working for over 10 years and really passionate about helping more people do it. This seems like a great direct way to help people make that transition. Let me know if you need any help with anything regarding testing, etc.

    1. 1

      Fantastic! Once the site is fully live, there's a Slack community that you can help out with, if you have the time? Just a few channels for asking/answering questions, sharing tools etc.

  5. 1

    I would like to try it out, how can I be part of the beta testing? Would be nice to see some flutter remote jobs.

    1. 1

      Thanks for your interest, I've already got a list of alpha/beta testers thanks, but I'm aiming for launch mid November, so only a few weeks to wait.

  6. 1

    Thank you for sharing! Indeed recovery is always needed after any intense moment. Recovery is also one the key to succeed.

    1. 1

      Hi yes, couldn't agree more with that comment. Taking a vacatihaton and spending time to recover helps you in the long run - and that is exactly what it is.. a long run!