Growing hellonext from 0 to 100
Where hellonext is now?
First off, a massive thank you to our loyal users and everyone who has made this possible. You guys have helped hellonext be where it is today and be on this awesome journey with me. While there is still more things in the pipeline for hellonext in the coming months for our awesome users, hellonext has just signed up its 100th customer. I have to tell it twice to actually believe it.
This post is just a way of giving something back to the community that has helped both hellonext as well as me grow exponentially in a conducive way.
I am a Lead Engineer at Skcript and we get a lot of feedback, feature requests, initial bug reports on all the products that Skcript launches. It was a long process for me and my team to go through tons of feedback in addition to planning their implementation, their usability for our users, figuring out what some of them were telling and they are everywhere. Emails, Google Reviews, Github Issues, you name it, there it is and the whole process repeats again.
I am sure a lot of developers out there have gone through the same experience.
While these feedback do decide the next step for the products, it did take a significant amount of time to sift through repetitive feedback and responding to users one by one. This got me thinking for months, studying the problem, deeper pains and trying to solve it from root level.
That is how hellonext was conceptualized, “systematize all user feedbacks in one platform with smart approach and close the loop with simple user engagement”.
Within 3 days, hellonext came out with its working model and Skcript started using it for all their products. This would be the point when we realized the potential of a product like hellonext when we actually saw how it could change the way every single SaaS companies can handle feedbacks and feature request in a very simple yet powerful way.
Developing the product:
With core values of user engagement in mind, I set out to develop a product that will bridge the gap between the users and the product management team. The initial version of hellonext functioned with just upvotes feature and comments for every submission to incite conversations to bring the product team and the users.
To understand hellonext’s full potential and what it might need to take hellonext to the next step, my colleagues and I used hellonext to manage user feedback for every product that we built. In the end, I got to understand that hellonext, while still incomplete, served a better purpose.
That’s when we introduced request updates for every submission that will automatically notifies the interested users about the status and the update on the feedback they have provided.
First Sign up:
The first customer to believe in hellonext was Skcript. Skcript is where hellonext was born and Skcript nurtured what hellonext is right now.
After Skcript, We were interested to sign up a B2B product called UnderstandBetter. UnderstandBetter is a novel employee engagement platform built for the modern workplaces to engage the new workforce and create a value-driven organization.
So, I thought, the company that really focuses on their employee’s experience, will also focuses on their product’s user experience and we wanted to help them to build the best features for their product.
After using hellonext for a month, UnderstandBetter could easily prioritize new features, engage their users and were able to give best experience to their customers. We even had a mini party for their launch actually! They are our first customer and we will remember them forever.
After so much research and a lot of time invested into the product, you need someone else to see in your product as much as believed in your product. Few years of experience in product management taught me that a lot of product features fails because of failure in understanding their users.
So, I started building hellonext and had the same problem in understanding my users. I used hellonext to gather feedback for hellonext itself and that proved to be good. One of my good friends introduced me to Maker’s Kitchen, a well-known community of IndieMakers. This community helped to make my second steps safe and steady and this is what I call as “Mini success”.
Makers log and makers kitchen
I would like to thank every person in the Maker’s Kitchen community. They are my source of inspiration.
Sergio, creator of Makerlog, Ethan, creator of KanbanMail and Johan from wiseer.io are some awesome guys I came to know through this community who have helped me understand various dynamics and other things in hellonext. These guys develop some of the amazing products I have come to know until now.
Makerlog is the dead-simple task log that helps you stay productive and ship faster. This really helped me to keep a log and be in a healthy productive community which drives me to do something awesome every day.
KanbanMail the name says it all. This really helped me to achieve Inbox Zero easily. I can assure you that you will never lose track of your emails with this Kanban Structured email.
Wiseer.io — NLP as a service. Still in their beta, but all the features are really powerful. The API functionality is really great that you can easily integrate into your application.
A lot more other IndieMakers with amazing products are in the community who will drive you to be awesome every single day.
Being in the community for a month and a half, I learned a lot from others’ success as well as from their failures. The community helped me a lot to understand how to believe in your concept and grow the product.
One has to accept that a product is never going to be perfect and there is always changes and new features to be introduced but that shouldn’t stop you from launching the product into the market. I learned never to be late in marketing because of few features that were unreleased. There were many ways how they helped me develop hellonext a user-loved product.
The community helped me to revamp the design to look bold which helped to make the users feel comfortable to wander around the platform
Beta users from Maker’s Kitchen were so helpful in taking the initial direction in a very stable way
Makerlog officially uses hellonext to capture their feedbacks and a lot of other users are also happy to adapt hellonext for their feedback capturing.
What worked for hellonext?
I found that word of mouth played a very good role in hellonext’s initial traction. At one point, a lot of users signed up only with word of mouth. And later on, with the learning, I started writing a few blogs on Medium and few other publications that helped with organic reach.
Finding the target audience isn’t as easy as I expected. A lot of product companies are facing this problem but never really wanted to get a solution because they got adjusted to this phenomenon of getting feedbacks dumped from all the channels. hellonext really opened up for few companies to identify their problem and fix it with our solution.
Content helped in capturing the audience. We could finally able to connect with the audience through powerful content. Contents were published through and to all social media. Quora, PH discussions, Medium articles and Forum discussions helped to capture the target audience.
Remember, marketing is all about success and failures. The strategy works with proper ideas and the good timing. Reach has been more than expected so far and I currently have the group of audience that I can really drive to gather feedbacks through hellonext. Do not procrastinate marketing by reasoning out a new feature in development.
Growing hellonext to reach 100 organization has taught me a lot and one important factor is, “Understand your users and build your product.”. Because, at the end of the day, your users are the one who is going to use and cherish every single element of your product.