Hello ! Who are you and what are you working on?
I am Kamban, have been building SaaS products for a while now. I am as of now working on FlatGA, and WriteThatUp. FlatGA unifies website metrics in one place, while WriteThatUp is to help early stage bloggers with their content.
What motivated you to get started with? How did you come up with the idea?
FlatGA was born out of my own frustration. Since I build many products, I wanted a way to view the performance. Built an MVP over a weekend.
Can you tell us the story of your business from idea to where you are now?
FlatGA has around 2000 registered users. Initially FlatGA only showed basic metrics, now it is an all-in-one website management tool which include analytics, SEO metrics, and performance monitoring. I have revised the pricing plan targeting B2Bs. I am yet to do promotion to bring in potential customers.
What has been your biggest failure or struggle?
I have been programming for 12 years now, had to work on multiple tools and languages like Python, PHP, C, and Java. I loved to build new things, built atleast 5 failed SaaS products, like developer friendly search engine, email tool, news reading tools, and collaborative todo tool. I lacked the perspective when I built the products. I can't say I now have 100% vision, but at least I am thinking through before making decisions.
And what has been your biggest achievement or success?
FlatGA recognition is one. You can find a few articles about FlatGA. It has made a few sales so far, which is encouraging.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
Keeping it simple. A good product should not have documentation, rather it should be self explanatory.
Describe the process of launching the business.
If you have already validated the problem, and the solution, then you could always launch on ProductHunt, BetaList, HackerNews. For me, I have had good success with ProductHunt, where Peter has helped me a lot.
Did you use Betalist or PH or other Startup Launching Platform for Launching ? How was that experience ?
I have lunched on ProductHunt at least 4 times, most of the times, I made it to the top 5. This will give good traffic for a few days. One important hack is, to make sure to list your product in the alternatives section of your competing products.
What’s your business model, and how have you grown your revenue?
Recently I made FlatGA paid only tool, but you can ask for refund within 7 days. This is a little different than the freemium model I had. As I said, I am yet to target B2B customers for the 2.0 release.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced and obstacles you’ve overcome? What are your goals for the future?
I have not built audience before building the product, this has impacted the growth a lot. Building a product under my own assumptions has only made it half good. Recently with WriteThatUp, I put a small video of the MVP (built over a few days) on Twitter which got 1630 impressions, 350 video views. I have not yet built the next set of features, but I am planning to work with a few users so that I build what my audience want. My goal is to make FlatGA a go to tool for digital marketers and business owners to under their website/users. Ofcourse there is WriteThatUp, MyQuickSite, which I need to focus next.
Let’s talk about your marketing strategy -- how do you market FlatGA and grow the service?
As of now I am focusing on outbound marketing, but I am also planning to write good blog that will bring in some customers. Google ads/LinkedIn ads is in my list as well.
Do you have a model to get product feedback? What’s your favorite way to get product feedback? Did product feedback help you get the results you hoped for ?
As of now I launch a MVP, share with a few people in my network on Twitter and IndieHackers. IndieHackers is a great place, even your competitor might help you. But tru way will be to work closely with my target users, which I have not yet cracked.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
A few things, like learning copywriting is a big deal. Your thousands of lines of code can be wasted with a single line. Then designing a custom eye catching landing page can make a big difference.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
Twitter, ProductHunt, Canva. Technically I use NodeJS or Python mostly on AWS.
Who’s your most inspirational CEO or founder?
Sahil Lavinga of GumRoad.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
Zero to Sold by Arvid. His podcasts, The bootstrapped founders podcasts.
What’s your advice for fellow aspiring entrepreneur who are just starting out?
1. Learn marketing fundamentals, and copy writing 2. Choose B2B or B2C, and a niche 3. Hang out with your target users online, learn their most critical problems that they are ready to pay (read Mom test book). 4. Come up with a few solutions, validate the solution with your users. 5. Now build the actual tool, MVP. 6. Fine tune the tool