Michael Dubakov
Michael Dubakov
Founder, Fibery.io
Startup Diary

#39. Getting Started re-design in November 2021

TLDR: New getting started concept 🧶. New pricing 🧘🏻‍♂️. In search of Activation Metric 🧶🧶. Animalz cooperation 👎. Promising leads 🤞. Live onboarding experiment results. 🐡 Three new releases.

Flashback: #38. Experimenting in October 2021

Brief Overview

Life is good 😎.

New getting started concept

We’ve released the new getting started experience and new Space design UI in November. If you struggled to understand how Fibery works, now is the best time to give it a second chance.

Here is the cool video that explains why you should try Fibery again:

New Terms & New App Space Editor

After the dense and deep discussion around new Fibery terms, we decided to stick with this:

App → Space

Type → Database

model

Space was a natural choice, but Type/Database/Table was not. We’ve decided to replace abstract Type term with a more concrete Database term. This decision still has some drawbacks, but we hope it will help people to understand Fibery better.

New Space Editor is much less abstract than the previous one. You can see the data right here and change data model on the fly, set relations and create automations faster.

Space Editor with Relations Schema opened
Space Editor with Relations Schema opened

New pricing

We’ve simplified Fibery pricing. Our original idea is that Fibery will be used by product teams for product management and in many cases product management team is small. So we had a $100 entry ticket for such teams. However, Fibery is used by more people usually and this entry ticket looked weird.

  • Band plan was removed
  • There is no more minimal and maximal users limits
  • No huge jumps from 4 to 5 and from 20 to 21 users

Fibery new simplified pricing with just two tiers (essentially)
Fibery new simplified pricing with just two tiers (essentially)

If you are an existing customer, check New Pricing FAQ.

In search of Activation Metric

We spent a few weeks trying to nail Fibery’s activation event.

User activation is a one-time event that happens when a product delivers on the value it promised—it’s the critical “aha” moment when a user experiences the value of a product firsthand. After activation, users go on to adopt a product and convert to paying customers. source

The journey has been arduous enough for us to write a standalone practical guide for fellow product analysts: working backwards to find an activation metric.

activation metrics backwards

In many products picking an activation milestone is quite easy to do, here are a few examples:

  • Dropbox saw that users who uploaded at least one file were much more likely to use Dropbox again and so, you guessed it, they encourage you to upload a file during signup.
  • Facebook realized early in their growth that the “Aha Moment” for a user occurred when they acquired 7 friends in 10 days, which is why they synced your email account with Facebook to suggest friends.
  • For Airbnb, it’s making your first booking.

However, Fibery is a very non-linear product, and it has an enormous variety of cases. How to define the activation metric then? Note that it should have predictive power, the higher the metric → the more active users and customers you have.

We tried many things like several entities added, several views created, etc. Everything had poor predictive power. We didn’t find any one-time event. So we end up with a point system and a flow of events. For example, when a user creates a new view, she gets one point, for the new relation creation - 3 points, etc.

activation flow

Our main events are:

  • Account accumulated 30 points on the third day
  • Another user invited
  • Account has 5 collaborative users

Now we will optimize Fibery to have more points in the first 3 days and motivate users to do more actions to learn Fibery deeper.

The first results are promising, but we need a few more weeks to accumulate more data:

November cohort has a better activation rate, most likely it is a sign that new getting started experience works better.
November cohort has a better activation rate, most likely it is a sign that new getting started experience works better.

Experiment with Animalz (content marketing agency). Failed 👎

Animalz claims to be the “world’s best content marketing” agency. Maybe it is, but our cooperation with them failed badly. We paid for several months, received several poorly written articles, and never get what they promised to us.

No refunds. No replies. They just waited till our contract term is over (a few months) and sent us this:

[T...] and I worked closely with Anna, so I'm familiar with some of the struggles we had when we worked together. I also didn't realize we were still working on content with you - I remember talking about a report, but our contracts have a clause that when the agreement is cancelled, unused credits expire on the last day of service. Fibery's last day of service was June 17, 2021.

We won't be offering a refund. We are willing to look for a writer to replace [A...] (who has moved into a new role, and is no longer a writer) to work on this last report, but I can't give a timeline for that right now. If you would prefer we don't write the last report, we'll consider credits expired, per our agreement, and go our separate ways. Please let me know your preference.

Here is the only article we published in our blog, and it is just mediocre. All the others were just bad.

We paid them $9K/month. Got one article. And “fuck you” in the end. Maybe Animalz is the best content marketing agency in the world. But in this case, the world is doomed. Is there any hope?

Experiment with live onboarding. Quite good 💪

While we were making Fibery easier to grasp, we decided to apply Superhuman onboarding pattern and disabled sign-ups from the website for two weeks.

We’ve onboarded 15 accounts so far and 5 of them are still active, so it looks like a 30% activation rate. It seems at least two will become customers with a very good probability, so in the worst case, it is ~13% conversion rate from lead to paid, which is pretty good.

We are reluctant to rely on direct sales so far and stopped the experiment. But it showed us that Fibery value can be explained in person and the problem most likely in getting started.

Experiment with another outreach agency. In progress 🤙

This is the second outreach agency we’re working with. We are two weeks into the active phase with zero results. The response rate is low (~2%) and we have no calls.

Still, these guys are much more fun to work with, so we are willing to give them some time. I hope they will iterate and come up with some ideas on how to make it work.

Partners program update

We’ve added an existing Partners to the Fibery website. If you need any help with Fibery, explore it and contact someone :)

partners

Metrics

We got our telemetry back. Here are the main numbers ( sign shows the changes between August, September, October, and November):

Fibery. Build your company workspace with no code

Paid accounts:     155   → 155   → 150   → 155
Active accounts:   340   → ?     → 350   → 380
Active users:      2.1K  → ?     → 2.5K  → 2.7K
Team size:         23    → 23    → 24    → 24
Run rate:          $135K → $135K → $140K → $140K/month  
MRR:               $20K  → $20K  → $22K  → $22K/month

Fibery weekly onboarding webinars

We’ve started weekly onboarding webinars: Wednesdays 12 pm EST | 5 pm GMT. The webinar will be useful for people who just started exploring Fibery.

webinar

If you are curious, go register here.

Product Updates

It was a productive month with three new releases. Here are the highlights:

DONE

Undelete Views and Documents

Undelete Documents and Views are possible. Navigate to Trash Bin, find deleted View, and restore it. It seems now you can undelete everything, we are happy.

Undelete Views and Documents
Undelete Views and Documents

Buttons: Ask a user to provide value

Buttons became much more powerful 💪. Now users can provide values for action execution. Imagine you can create Buttons to write custom comments, assign people, change all possible fields, etc.

Click the options menu … near the control you would like to be filled by the user and select Ask User. You may select this option for several controls.

button1

This is the very basic action to add new comment:

A button that asks user to provide a comment
A button that asks user to provide a comment

Phone field

Now you can add Phone field and initiate a call with a single click. Note that this field has no validation, so you can put anything you want here.

Table View: Actions in Headers (Delete, Hide, Edit)

Now you can Hide columns in Table View, edit fields and delete fields are right there.

table

IN PROGRESS

Blocks in Entity View

We are moving forward with Blocks, but slower than expected. We are adding Views into Blocks now, Table, Board, etc.

In (near) future it will be possible to insert custom Views into Fibery entities.
In (near) future it will be possible to insert custom Views into Fibery entities.

Release estimation: still 2 months, ha-ha…

New multi-panel navigation

Implementation started and we have a crude prototype already. So far it looks not very good on a narrow screen, but we will make Views better soon.

Multi-panel navigation rough prototype
Multi-panel navigation rough prototype

Release estimation: 2 months

Permissions

Unfortunately, no progress was made here. We closed some technical debt and other tails. However, the team will start permissions improvements in December. It’s a promise!

Release estimation: 🏋️‍♀️🏋️‍♀️ months

One-liners

Some new things we’ve added in November:

Random from our Slack 🤳

Random tweet

Random image

fun nov2

Random link

Why you can’t solve knowledge problems with information tools alone People don’t write, 80% of information stores in heads and connections between people “Maybe as much as 80% of the #knowledge in an organisation is undocumented”. Most stored text is not knowledge, but just working documents that can be thrown away after the project completion. Information is vast and hard to extract from such sources

Random quote

It seems that optimism, rather than money, is the fuel that startups at the earliest stages run on. I have seen examples of startups successfully recovering from almost every kind of problem (i.e. no $$$/bad idea/team issues) other than founders losing hope/becoming cynical.

Random dopamine 😍 feedback

I’ve been testing what Chris has built for me - and it’s just amazing! I would like to onboard my team on fibery.

Random cortisol 😥 channel post

Animalz, who promised to deliver 2nd report max in October, are ignoring me. Last message I got from them was on Oct 1, in which they promised to update me on report 2 asap 😢. Probably the worst experience I had with marketing agencies (and I had quite a lot…)

Have a nice day!

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