#30. Baby Steps in February 2021

March 04, 20219 min read

TLDR: 30th post! Many demos for product teams 😈. Product Teams A/B Test 🐙. Complexity 🥦. Other niches experiments paused 🎧. New roadmap 🔮. Hierarchical Lists View released 🎉.

Flashback: #29. Freedom in January 2021.

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

Fibery. Connected workspace for teams.

Leads/month:       650   → 650   → 700   → 1300
Active Accounts:   170   → 170   → 200   → 260
Team size:         21    → 21    → 22    → 22
Burn rate:         $100K → $100K → $100K → $100K/month  
MRR:               $6K   → $6.5K → $8.5K → $9.5K/month

Overview

This is the 30th monthly post about our startup journey 🍷. In February we tried to speak with product companies and do as many live demos as we can. We did around 15 and overall got positive feedback. Fibery does provide enough value for product teams, but it is well hidden. What we learned:

  • Our current setup for product teams is more complex than it should be. We did an A/B test and some leads got a more complex setup with more apps, while other leads got a simpler setup. The real problem is that even a simple setup should be simpler to discover the value quickly.
  • Most wows are generated by Feedback management flow, where you aggregate feedback from Intercom, User Research, Conversations and link it to Ideas and Insights. It seems we should inflate this case and make it more visible in the initial setup.
  • There are many small usability problems that annoy people, so we should fix them.
  • There is some fear dealing with a startup, like it is not possible to export all the data, there is no clear security practices document anywhere, etc. We will address that in nearest future.

Our telemetry is back! We’ve got a spike of active accounts as usual after the second launch on Feb 2. Overall we have around 260 active accounts now.

Fibery active accounts
Fibery active accounts

North Star is growing and there are close to 1K active collaborative users.

Fibery North Star — a number of users that use Fibery collaboratively
Fibery North Star — a number of users that use Fibery collaboratively

Daily and weekly active users are also growing, it looks like linear growth so far. Not what we want, but growth is better than decline anyway :)

Fibery weekly and daily active users
Fibery weekly and daily active users

New articles and posts in our blog:

Product Teams workspace A/B Test

We have four workspaces that people get when register from Product Teams landing. One dimension is one/many products, another is simple/complex setup (more connected processes). It results in four different workspaces. We did an A/B test for a full month to see activation and retention rates. We assumed that a simple workspace will stick better and most likely workspace for one product will stick better (since it’s even simpler).

We had 7% retention for the previous Fibery release, so it looks OK in comparison, but not stark.

The results are pretty convincing, the simplest workspace wins. It has 8% retention after 3 weeks, while the most complex workspace has 4% retention (by retention we mean people did something in Fibery 3 different days in a week).

retention

After some usability tests, we think that the simplest workspace is not simple enough, so we’ve simplified it even more and we’ll see how it affects retention (for us it’s a proxy metric of product value). We hope to have 15% retention in near future.

All niches but Product Teams are paused

We did several shallow attempts to probe other niches, the latest one was Game Development companies. We even assembled a workspace that replicates HoMM3 domain to use it on a demo.

HoMM3 domain with Creatures, Structure, Heroes and all
HoMM3 domain with Creatures, Structure, Heroes and all

However, we decided to follow Geoffrey A. Moore advice and pause all such activities:

The italics immediately above are meant to answer the single most asked question of The Chasm Group: Can’t we go after more than one target? The simple answer is no. (The more complex answer is also no, but it takes longer to explain.)

We’ll focus on product companies for the next few months and will not touch other niches.

VC

As you maybe know, Fibery got independence last month, and we’ve reconsidered our seed round. Initially, we planned to have $1.5M, but in the last few weeks, we renegotiated and agreed to have a $3M seed round 🤑. It’s safer to have 2+ years of money backup.

Roadmap for the next few months

We had a lot of communication with product companies last month and decided to focus on three major themes in the next 6 months (sorted by importance):

Theme 1. Simplification, Polishing and 😱 Fear Management

Fibery is complex. While the value is there, people have to dig deep to discover it. Not so many people have the patience and motivation to do that since there are so many tools around. We have to simplify value discovery.

This is a broad topic since simplification includes unification, UI polishing, and completion of many use cases. There will be tons of small and medium improvements. You can expect a new View creation experience, streamlined navigation, better search, better Tables, better Timelines, better Documents, Undelete, Undo, Export all data, etc. We don’t have a backlog for this theme yet, but we will have it in a week. A team of 5 people will focus on that.

Theme 2. 🙈 Permissions

The whole core team of 3 people will focus on permissions. Here we will start from Free Read-Only Users, then add Teams and Access Groups, and finally implement entity-level permissions, so it will be possible to isolate Project or Product for some team.

Theme 3. 🦾 Automations & Integrations

A team of 4 people will work on automations and integrations. You can expect Zendesk and Hubspot integration in the nearest future, Stripe integration might follow. Next integrations depend on your feedback.

Automation is a huge area. We’re starting with Actions, it will be possible to define custom Actions for Type using UI. Then we will add Rules. We do plan to add Actions for external systems as well, like do something in GitHub when User Story is closed. Eventually, we are going to replace Zapier inside Fibery, but this is a long path as you can imagine.

Product Updates

DONE

Hierarchical List View

Hierarchical Lists are there 🎉, so you can try to create a product backlog or anything else with hierarchical relations.

Hierarchical List View in Fibery

Mentions in the inline comments

We’ve eliminated comments inconsistency and you can mention and notify users in the inline comments as well. It works in all documents and rich edit fields:

Text highlights

Now you can select text in any rich edit area and highlight it with some calm color. Use it wisely.

IN PROGRESS

Audit history log

This will be a special area where admin will be able to see all changes by all people in Fibery and recover deleted entities or undo some changes. Release estimation: ~2 weeks

audit log table

Automation Rules

A team of 3 people is working on Automation Rules. In the first release, it will be possible to define custom Actions that will be executable from UI. Actions will be assembled via UI, so no programming experience is required. We expect to have the first release in ~2 months.

Share entities and documents

We’ve made good progress here, it already works on our edge environment, so now we have to polish it and complete some cases. Release estimation: ~3 weeks

Undelete

Server-side implementation is close to completion, but UI is a part of the Audit Log in fact, so there is a dependency on it. Release estimation: ~3 weeks

Zendesk Integration

Many product companies use Zendesk to collect feedback, so we got a couple of requests to have this integration, and it will be done soon. Release estimation: ~3 weeks

🧛🏿 Random

Random picture of our team

Our new empty office
Our new empty office

Random piece of Fibery code

This Clojure function executes commands in batches (if you are lucky):

(defn- batch-update-commands [cmds]
  (->> cmds
       (group-by (juxt #(get-in % [:args :type])
                       #(keys (get-in % [:args :entity]))))
       (map (fn [[[type _] cmds-group]]
              {:command :fibery.entity.batch.core/update
               :args    {:type          type
                         :entities      (mapv #(get-in % [:args :entity]) cmds-group)
                         :return-fields []}}))))

Random image from our Slack channel

fun

Random link from our Slack channel

Why did I leave Google or, why did I stay so long? Waze founder shares his experience honestly.

Random quote:

We start companies to build products that serve people, not to sit in meetings with lawyers.