Believe us Eric, we’re trying.
We’re a team of 7.
We officially launched Viral Loops last month. For those haven’t heard it, Viral Loops is an all-in-one viral and referral marketing platform.
The last couple of weeks we’re working on a new feature and after 2 sprints and a lot of brainstorming, we came up with some user stories. So, we designed the basic user flow in the app.
Next steps? Create some functional mockups, design and develop the feature.
But when do we get user feedback? Did we forget our users? The point is, that we’re trying to make an idea into something real without knowing the reality.
Believe me, you don’t want to end up with this.
The real goal here is to learn faster than others. Only your users will help you achieve this. It’s like a “we’re in this together” thing. Pure love ❤️
We’ve been inspired by the transparency of Buffer, Product Hunt and Crew. They write about how it is to run a company from nothing, fail, get up and start again. In any case, it’s a dose of motivation for many entrepreneurs.
That’s why we decided to take the leap and build Viral Loops in public. ????
Build in Public 1.0
“ Meaningful growth is something beyond tactics, growth is a mindset applied to your product which helps your customers get happy.
By getting people involved in your development process, you become more transparent and approachable. Give people the opportunity to see what you’re making while you’re making it. This empowers your company with the great sense of “help me build this for you.”
That’s what we’re going to do, but we’ll start with baby steps. We’re opening our development process for new features to our users and subscribers.
Here’s how it’ll look like:
Yes, most probably we’ll change this a bit. But the idea is to let users get a feeling of what’s coming up and get their input early on.
How are we going to do this? Each time we’re in the process of building something new, we’ll try to get feedback in every single step and engage our community. So, we’ll follow the 4 steps below:
- We’ll create some mockups and upload them to InVision. The design doesn’t have to be perfect or complete. Just something to show and kickstart the conversation.
- Now it’s time for feedback. Good or bad we want it all. We’ll share it with our customers and the rest of the community.
- We’ll take advantage of that feedback. The challenge here is to choose wisely what to listen to and what to ignore. Because as Henry Ford said“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” This will help us build a beta version. At the end of this step, we’ll send it to users and subscribers, and let them test it out.
- Now, for the final step, we’ll have to do the necessary revisions and ship the final version. We’re going to have a “Product Announcement” series, here in Medium.
Benefits of Building in Public
The benefits of providing a sneak peak and involving users in the development process, are:
One of the best ways to evaluate your ideas is to get feedback early on. Feedback, ideally in the early stage of the design, results in a better product and less waste. This means more happy customers ????
2.Excitement & Word Of Mouth!
We love sneak peaks. People get excited when they see the “behind the scenes” work of a startup. This can also bring more word of mouth for your company, because you make them feel like insiders.
Jonah Burger, marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, mentions at his bestselling book, “Contagious: Why Things Catch On” that this type of social currency can drive word of mouth for your product.
By letting people contribute actively to your product and telling you what they like and what they don’t, you make them feel owners of the product they use. And you also build a great community.
“ Without community support, it’s virtually impossible to create traction.” — Tony Conrad says at Product Hunt.
Inevitably, this increases engagement and loyalty, which leads to betterretention. And we all know what good retention means for a startup.
“Many innovations fail because consumers irrationally overvalue the old while companies irrationally overvalue the new.” So when you release a new product for consumers, you have to be at least nine times better than the previous alternatives in order to have a chance to get users switching from the old product they were using to your product.”
And this is just the beginning
This is only the beginning of building Viral Loops in public. We’re gradually going to uncover more aspects of our company, and not just the product development process.
We strongly believe that if you put something that’s helpful out into the world — something even better will happen at some point. But even bigger than that, you might inspire someone to make an even greater positive impact or just build something really cool.
Liked it? Just share ❤ to let us know 🙂
We’d love to get your feedback and share your experience if you’ve done this in the past. We haven’t built in public in the past, so feel free to leave a response.
If you’d like to build Viral Loops together, join our community.