Hello ! Who are you and what are you working on?
Hey there! My name is Mike and I'm the founder of user feedback tool Upvoty.
What motivated you to get started with? How did you come up with the idea?
I ran another startups for the last 5 years. We grew it to a $1,000,000 ARR SaaS product. With this growth, the amount of feedback quickly grew as well. That's when I started to think about using a user feedback tool. I really couldn't find one that was either affordable or good-looking. So, I decided to make one my own. It's the classic example of "scratching my own itch" I guess.
Can you tell us the story of your business from idea to where you are now?
An idea is just an idea within your own head. It really only starts with validating your idea. We launched a landings page with an explainer video and asked people to sign up if they were interested in a user feedback tool like we wanted to build. Before writing 1 line of code we had a couple of hundred sign ups within 3 months. That's when we knew we were on to something.
We started working on the product and launched with an MVP in private beta. The early bird members would get the product for free for a period of 3 months. Just to test it out. The amount of valuable feedback in this period was amazing. We started to get familiar with other company's needs and what type of customers we'd needed to serve.
After launching publicly in February 2019 on Product Hunt, things were quickly starting to take off. Within just a couple of months we grew to an MRR of over $1,000. We wrote a free eBook about it: here
Right now we passed $,2000 MRR.
What has been your biggest failure or struggle?
We started with a classic startup pitfall: we thought our product was valuable for almost every startup out there. While partly true, it just doesn't this way. Like LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman once said: "If you're selling to everyone, you're selling to no one".
We learned that we needed to narrow down our target audience. When we did, things became much easier. We could write specifically for our audience and thus reach them even better.
And what has been your biggest achievement or success?
I'm extremely proud of how we launched and grew our product. I wasn't happy with the first few versions, but, if we didn't launch this way back then, we would've failed miserably. The thing is: you really don't know how your product should look like. Not even after you've spoken to potential customers or the first few paying customers. Your product is in constant development. "Launch small, think big" is my new mantra.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
A couple of things are really working for us. One of this is content marketing. Again: it's only working since we're narrowing down on our target audience. We now write blog posts, guests posts, and interviews, relevant to our ICPs. Our organic conversions become really high because of this.
Did you use Betalist or PH or other Startup Launching Platform for Launching ? How was that experience ?
When we launched privately we launched on BetaList. We wrote a blog post about the process: (check this). It worked really well for us. We gain around 60+ new sign ups. 2 of them actually became a paying customer and are still with us now.
We launched publicly on Product Hunt. This has worked really good as well. We gain a lot of new sign ups, some media reached out to us, and generally we had a lot of buzz around our launch. I can highly recommend it.
What’s your business model, and how have you grown your revenue?
We are working with monthly subscriptions. Every business can work with one of our three plans: POWER ($15 a month), SUPER POWER ($25 a month), and UNLIMITED ($99 a month). Our business model is based on the growth of our customers. When they grow their product and gain more users, they will receive more feedback and need Upvoty to collect and manage this in a proper and efficient way.
What are your goals for the future?
Our goal is to build the most complete user feedback tool out there. We want to make it possible for everyone to collect and manage valuable user feedback where and whenever they are in order to create better products.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
Narrow down your target audience. That's definitely our biggest lesson. Start small and scale once you're successful in 1 niche or 1 particular type of customer.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
Asana, Opteo, Twitter, Instagram, Slack, EmailOctopus, Stripe, Crisp chat, Notion, and a lot of Spotify.
Who’s your most inspirational CEO or founder?
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
Most inspirational would be 'Rework' by Jason Fried. And the one book I've learned the most about building a SaaS: 'Intercom on Starting Up'.
What’s your advice for fellow aspiring entrepreneur who are just starting out?
Start small, think big.