#29. Freedom in January 2021

February 08, 20219 min read

TLDR: Independence and freedom 🗽. Fibery for Product Teams release 🐙. Some marketing activities started 🤑. Kate joined our marketing team 💃. Fantastic reviews from our customers 🎁. Fibery 2.0 concept is in progress 👴.

Flashback: #28. Hibernating November 2020.

Main numbers ( sign shows the changes between October, November, December, and January):

Fibery. Connected workspace for teams.

Leads/month:       700   → 650   → 650   → 700
Active Accounts:   180   → 170   → 170   → 200
Team size:         21    → 21    → 21    → 22  
Burn rate:         $100K → $100K → $100K → $100K/month  
MRR:               $5.3K → $6K   → $6.5K → $8.5K/month

Overview

There was no post about December, sorry for that. I got COVID and was not functional, but somewhat recovered now and can write at least. Half of our team got COVID, BTW, some in a light form, some with pneumonia and hospitalization. I’m happy that all recovered and there were no super complex cases. This partially explains few releases last months (the other part is Fibery for Product Teams release preparation and many invisible things like infrastructure and polishing).

The main result of the past months is that Fibery has ~3 years life span with internal funding now (even with 0 MRR) 🍿. It means we can safely focus on important strategic things and not think about survivability just yet. It doesn’t mean that MRR is not important, it is, but we will just not prioritize short term tactical wins above long term strategic wins.

Our goal for the next few months is to get 100 product companies on board. Now we have 30 and 110 total paid accounts 🍺.

Fibery for Product Teams release

In December and January, we were busy with the Fibery for Product Teams release. All features we’ve added are quite generic and improve Fibery for all kind of cases, but we’ve assembled a solution for product teams, that connects several important product development processes together:

Fibery for Product Teams connects several product development processes together
Fibery for Product Teams connects several product development processes together

Read All-in-one platform for Product Teams post to get some historical perspective on this release.

Producthunt launch was not so good, we’ve got 3rd place. However, our customers left fantastic reviews and I want to thank you for all the support! We love you. ❤️

Here is just one quote that we want to use as a Fibery slogan: Fibery worth every drop of sweat and tears.

I strongly encourage you (yes you) to take some time and a deep dive into the realm of Fibery! You’ll need some endurance - but it’ll be worth every drop of sweat and tears.

And here is the Fibery for Product Teams video:

Finally, it’s interesting to compare Fibery with the most popular product management tools. Here is the first article that compares Fibery and Productboard: 🥊 Fibery vs. Productboard. The hard choice.

Can’t resist. Here is one more review:

We really enjoy using this product to build our product. We have a software eng “app” that includes tickets and bugs, but also a full sync from our Github. We have an “app” for defining our product, with separate types for “jobs to be done”, “competitors” etc. We have a user feedback app, an investor tracking app…

The flexibility to shape these apps almost any way you want is amazing, but at the same time you can do it in a fully structured way. This makes the whole product feel quite different than some of the more free-form alternatives. The structure you can place on your own apps means you can then make great plots and timelines. Their charting features are very impressive, an unexpected addition.

We love the backlinked references. You can write up about a potential competitor, reference a bunch of features they have or don’t, and then on the feature pages see all competitors that have linked to that entity.

I think their future of integrations/sync is going to be a huge winner. It’s already great that you can sync github one way. But due to the inherit flexibility, Fibery can replicate many external tools’ data models, and without having to shed their structure to do it.

What’s Next?

For a couple of months, we’re going to dig deeper into product companies’ niche and make Fibery more pleasant to use. It means we will focus on features that were requested by our customers: Automations, Hierarchical List View, Permissions (read-only users, groups, per-entity), sharing, better notifications, fear management (history, undelete, etc).

But what’s then? We’ve spent significant time researching organization intelligence augmentation. It all started by Engelbart and Licklider, but unfortunately, I feel it’s still underdeveloped. We are going to move Fibery 2.0 into this direction 👵. The ultimate goal is to:

Create a tool for an organization to store all accumulated information in a single place and have instruments to collaboratively create, connect, organize, visualize and retrieve information as fast as possible.

We already nailed the main ideas and I hope in the next few months we will publish an extensive vision with problem definition and conceptual solution. Here is the glimpse of the grand concepts (to tease you):

Fibery 2.0 concept
Fibery 2.0 concept

Kate joined our marketing team

Our marketing team becomes stronger. Kate Gemskaya joined our company in January. She will focus on paid and content marketing. Welcome on board, Kate!

kate

Direct Sales Experiment

We paused it so far. Hope to restart in February. We were focused on the release and it was not possible to do many things at the same time.

Product Updates

DONE

Entity History

Finally, you can track what was changed in every entity (not Document so far, sorry). Navigate to any entity and find the View Activity icon in the top right:

Entity History
Entity History

Braintree Integration

Now you can aggregate all payment information in Fibery. Braintree integration exports plans, subscriptions, and transactions. We use this to link payments to Fibery accounts, thus we can quickly calculate MRR, see canceled subscriptions and missing transactions right in Fibery

Discourse Integration

Discourse is a popular tool for community forums and it is used by many product development companies. Now you can fetch all conversations into Fibery, highlight important ideas, and link them to real Ideas, Features, and Bugs.

Integromat Integration

Integromat is more powerful in Zapier for some cases, so we added Fibery-Integromat integration. Here is the detailed article that explains everything:

Check this post about Fibery and Integromat.

Share the whole Workspace

Finally, you can share the whole Fibery Workspace. How it can be useful?

  • You are a consultant and want to quickly setup Fibery for a new customer. You may set up the workspace once, share it and use it to quickly spawn new workspaces via a direct link.
  • You created a solution with several connected Apps and want to share it with the world. You may select several Apps and share them.

Share all or several connected Apps in Fibery
Share all or several connected Apps in Fibery

New Infrastructure

This is an invisible thing for you, but as a side effect, you may see better Fibery performance and expect more stability. We also have full control over our infrastructure and do not depend on third-party expertise, so we can fix problems faster as well.

In a nutshell, we’ve migrated from Softlayer to AWS and are pretty happy with the results so far.

Formulas: Convert Numbers and Dates into Text

In formulas, you can finally convert Numbers and Dates into Text. Here are some examples:

Number → Text
ToText(-13.400) → "-13.400"

Date → Text
ToText([Creation Date]) → 2020-12-04 11:27:14

ToText(Day([Creation Date])) + " " + MonthName([Creation Date]) + " " + ToText(Year([Creation Date])) → 21 July 2020

IN PROGRESS

Hierarchical Lists

We are working on Hierarchical Lists. Finally, you will be able to visualize deep hierarchies, create backlogs, etc. I hope they will be released in ~3 weeks, here is the current state of development:

Automation Rules

This was one of the most requested functional areas that we postponed till setting the static structure right. Now we have a team of 3 people that will focus on Automations. The main idea is to allow users to create custom Actions and then Rules without programming. It will be possible to close all tasks when a story is closed, set some fields for an entity based on some conditions, send messages to external systems and email, etc. Essentially, it will be internal Zapier. We’ve just started and we expect to have the first release in ~3 months.

Rules creation sketch. Just one variant.
Rules creation sketch. Just one variant.

Share entities and documents

This feature was postponed due to release, but now we get back to it. It soon will be possible to share individual entities and documents. We expect to release it in ~6 weeks.

Undelete

Our developers fed up recover deleted entities manually and decided to implement Undelete functionality. It will be possible to see all deleted entities and recover them easily with a single click. The target release month is March.

⚾️ Random

Random picture of our team

Vova is explaining some complex thing to the mere mortals who don't really care
Vova is explaining some complex thing to the mere mortals who don't really care

Random piece of Fibery code

This Clojure function creates a new Type (if you are lucky):

(defn new-type [& {:keys [name fields meta validate?] :or {validate? true}}]
  {:pre [(some? name)]}
  (let [name-kw (kw/str->kw name)
        _ (when validate?
            (-> (validate-type-ns name-kw {:fibery/meta meta})
                (error/get-or-throw))
            (-> (validate-fields name-kw fields meta)
                (error/get-or-throw)))
        fields-map (->> fields
                        (map #(assoc % :fibery/holder-type name-kw))
                        (medley/index-by get-field-name))]
    {:fibery/name   name-kw
     :fibery/fields fields-map
     :fibery/meta   (new-type-meta meta)}))

Random image from our Slack channel

fun

Random link from our Slack channel

Fast Software, the Best Software On the benefits of speedy software, and how it affects user perception of engineering quality and overall usability

Random quote:

Hayao Miyazaki’s son and fellow filmmaker Goro Miyazkai said his father’s retirement got so aimless that Hayao “needed to create something in order to live, basically.” Studio Ghibli reopened its animation facility for production on “Earwig” and Hayao’s upcoming feature film “How Do You Live?,” the experience of which Goro touched upon.

Next: #30. Baby Steps in February 2021.