TLDR: We’ve fixed 60 bugs, completed some features, added one teammate and frustratedly discussed many potential options for Fibery future.
Flashback: #8: Fixing Private Beta in March 2019
As usual, main numbers (
→ sign shows changes between February and March):
Product: Fibery — SaaS B2B (SMB) work management platform Stage: Private Beta Launch: early 2020? (public) Development: 26 months Leads/month: 50 → 130 Total Accounts: 130 → 260 Active Accounts: 15 → 20 (100 is the first goal) Team size: 10 → 11 people Burn rate: ~$40K/month → ~$45K/month MRR: $0
In general April activities were quite similar to March:
- We’ve fixed 60 bugs and had one serious downtime with near data loss for 16 accounts.
- We’ve setup 134 new accounts and got feedback from 30.
- We’ve been thinking about future directions for Fibery.
One more Teammate!
Anton Iokov joined our Team in April. He can do many things, from programming to product management. At this stage we really need such multi-talented people, since tasks are widespread and sudden.
It affects the burn rate for sure, but we have to handle feedback load and work with leads better.
Leads and Feedback
In the end of April we had 268 accounts setup. Note that not all of them even login into Fibery, so we can’t count all these accounts as actual leads.
So far we define 40 accounts as somewhat active and 20 as true active. It means conversion rate is not bad (7–15%), but 1–2 months is not enough to measure any retention.
We are still collecting a lot of feedback to understand what exact road we should follow (more about that later). Overall, there is much more positive feedback. Here are some positive and negative examples.
#1 I am really super excited to use Fibery - it's very near to a dream product and surely we'll get it there together. The journey is just beginning! #2 I like everything!!! That is exactly what is needed for process noobs like us. You can see the process bird-view, replicate your real process, spot problems and change the process. #3 I've finally tried Fibery in last three days. I really like it's flexibility, it is quite hard at first, but then you understand that you can build almost everything. #4 I'm really excited about what you are working on. It feels like a build-your-own productivity software and I love that you are putting customization first and try to be as unopinionated as possible out of the box. The user interfaces is unobtrusive and sleek, so far everything feels responsive and fluid. The concept you are using is easy to understand and your guides are well put together to get a grasp of the underlying system and possibilities. I am using both notion.so and targetprocess. I think eventually fibery may replace both. #5 Currently, the thing that stopped me from using Fibery right away is a bit of complexity for the initial configuration. I can see there a lot of templates and that is great, but when I was digging into details and checked the article for admins - I've understood that I need to spend several hours just to configure Fibery. That was my first impression initially. #6 I love concept of your app, but afraid that system becomes more complex when you start addressing all kind of use case. Eventually people Start looking out for Fibery developer / fibery expert. If it ends up with such thing then I guess business people become handicapped again.
Overall, we have feedback from 60 accounts, and it means 25% of all leads provide feedback. We expected slightly better feedback rate though.
The main conclusion is that Fibery is a promising product. The main problem we face right now is too many opportunities…
Based on the feedback and our own vision, there are several directions we can follow:
- Focus on Creators-non-programmers and compete with Notion, Coda and Airtable.
- Focus on Creators-programmers and create a product that mixes SaaS and BaaS (Backend-as-a-Service, with tools like Prisma and Graphcool). It is an interesting opportunity in fact, since Fibery can be transformed into really strong and fast Apps Development Platform in 6–12 months.
- Focus on some specific niche like HR or Kanban and create 2–3 specific Apps to show Fibery customizability and enter the companies from backdoor. Note that there are MANY potential niches here, dozens, actually.
- Focus on project management and basic work management, thus directly competing with Trello and Asana, .
- Directly compete with JIRA, since there are quite many JIRA-unhappy people and something fresh is possible here.
There are some other less intriguing options, so you can imagine Product Owner nightmare to select the right opportunity and truly focus on it.
We know the final destination:
Fibery is a work management platform that adapts to companies and grows with them.
but there are many paths to it. We have to set some bounds to shape and narrow our current focus. Here are they:
- We focus on teams and companies, not individual users.
- We focus on creators-non-programmers that face problems with current tools and can’t map their processes naturally.
- We focus on work, not some random domains.
- Our main competitors are Coda, Notion and Airtable in team-based work-related cases. For example, movie-database in Notion is not our case. Marketing team managing campaigns — is.
With these bounds we still have many paths though… I hope in May we will find the best one. So far we are making basic and must-have features (Search, Formula field, API) to reduce a risk of mistakes. Our true differentiators should follow next.
New & Soon-to-come Features
In general Fibery was quite stagnant functionally-wise in the last two months. Many things are in progress though.
DONE: Fields in Inner Lists
Sometimes you want to see additional information in collections. For example, you have a Feature and User Stories. When you open a Feature you want to see stories assignments, status, estimate, etc. Fields setting helps admins to configure this.
DONE: Check List component
You can add check lists inRich Edit fields now. There are too many cases to enumerate them :)
DONE: Default values in Single Select field
Sometimes you want to set default value for selector to speed up entities creation.
DONE: Filter Rows and Columns on Board
This can be helpful when you group information and want to filter groups. For Example, you want to see Features by Epics, but completed Epics are not interesting and you want to hide them. Or maybe you want to hide Done State from the board at all. Now you can do it.
We also fixed 60 bugs, changed all icons and did many small improvements that nobody notices.
IN PROGRESS: API
This appeared a very long Feature that caused major refactoring. It is almost done. All we need is to fix some bugs and write a documentation. There is a very good chance that in May you will be able to integrate Fibery with anything. API will be quite powerful.
IN PROGRESS: Formula Field
While it is possible to create Formulas in Fibery, it can be done by our developers only. We’ve added them to support some apps. Now it is time to make Formulas accessible.
From UI perspective it will be a field that admin can add to any Type. Here are some examples that will be possible to create soon:
Calculate effort of all Done user stories inside Feature [User Stories].Filter(State.IsFinal).Sum(Effort) Calculate user story progress: Progress = Tasks.Sum([Effort Completed]) / Tasks.Sum(Effort) * 100% Calculate total payment [Billable Hours] * [Hourly Rate]
In the first release you will write formulas just as basic text, in the next step we will add auto-completion and in-place help.
IN PROGRESS: Import from CSV
Migration from other tools is absolutely required till public release. We’ve started from universal CSV import.
IN PROGRESS: Quick Search
When you have more than a 100 entities, you want to search them. Quick Search will work as a spotlight, so you will be able to jump to Views and Entities.
Random quote from our internal Slack channel
In essence, it’s better to make something that a small number of people want a large amount, rather than a product that a large number of people want a small amount.
Random link from our Slack channel
Random image from Slack channel.
To be continued → #10. Burn in May 2019.