It's the weekend, so why not share a little story.
@UnuboHQ looked a lot different 2 years ago, when we embarked on our startup journey.
It started out as a tool to track what you spend on subscriptions.
It went pretty well. We gained around 1000 active users and were featured in TechCrunch: https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/03/unubo …
We had a popular launch series, in the early days of Indie Hackers: https://www.indiehackers.com/@Leandro/our-first-product-launch-follow-our-journey-part-1-4c29a2f0b1 …
We learned a lot!
We launched a few new features, but a general feeling of "this isn't it" led us to go back to the drawing board.
What was that feeling? It was a combination of things:
- We had grander plans
- It wasn't very defensible, someone could easily copy it
- We had grander plans
After a bit of a hiatus, we stripped our app to the core. As part of the subscription management, we connected to people's bank accounts via API, to automatically discover what they were paying in subscriptions.
We asked ourselves: "What else could we do with that process?"
We used many tools, from Stripe, to Trello, Slack, and G Suite. With that above question still in our minds, we thought: "these tools are used in silos, what if we followed the same process, of collecting data via APIs, then did something useful with it?"
So Unubo was reborn, as a way to see what's happening in a startup, via different dashboards (views), powered by data from tools people already used.
With this we refined our UI, as this is something we wanted to place heavy emphasis on.
It worked! People still love our focus on design, as well as simplicity.
The launch did moderately well, but we still had a feeling deep down of "this isn't it".
So, what was "it" then - when were we going to be truly satisfied?
We dug deep, and started asking ourselves questions. What really matters to us, what is really defensible as a product, what matches our grand ambitions?
The underlying thing in our entire process, is that we were creating stuff.
Designing, coding, writing... we loved creating, and yet... things within creating a digital product was still disjointed for us. A lot of things require different tools, and we wanted to create cohesion. You see a pattern here, right?
So we started with the deployment process, and that is what we launched 2 days ago.
The internet is a noisy place. My brother (business partner and CTO) and I are people who appreciate simplicity and calm. This is what we're bringing to the creation of digital products.
We want make it easier for people to create stuff, without sacrificing power.
All this is NOT easy. We could have run with either of our previous iterations and made something of it.
People are hosting their apps with us, and need reliability. It's not enough to think about scaling our own app, we need to consider scaling 100s, 1000s, and many more.
We've had a few hiccups, but also received tons of great feedback.
Now we're at a place, where we create a cohesive platform for people, that simplifies the process of creating awesome stuff.
This is "it" for us.
You can follow @Leandro8209.