Radically Honest Blog

#18. Enduring January 2020

TLDR: Public announcements moved to February 🧩. −Nikita. −VC. −Snow. −Speed 🐌. Cortisol pit. Crossing Valley of death 🧗‍♀️. Optimism 🥃! Endurance 🚴!

Startups Valley of death.
Startups Valley of death.

Flashback: Fibery.io chronicles #17. Fragmented December 2019.

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

No-code platform to build a collaborative workspace for your company

Development:       35 months 
Leads/month:       2700 → 1900 → 900
Active Accounts:   30   → 65   → 70
Team size:         12   → 12   → 11
Burn rate:         ~$45 → ~$50 → ~$45K/month
MRR:               $0   → $80  → $160
North Star:        ?    → 40   → 80


Nikita (one of our developers) left our team in January. He took a 4-month sabbatical last summer, but it didn’t help in the end. He’s got tired after 3 years of MVP building. Let’s hope he will take a rest and find his inner fire again.

Seed round & VC talks 👽

I have spent 3 weeks talking with ~20 VC funds about the Fibery seed round. Unsurprisingly, a pre-revenue company from Eastern Europe is a high-risk investment and no VC has offered us a term sheet so far.

A slide from the Fibery deck
A slide from the Fibery deck

The interest from investors is quite significant, but some doubt we’ll be able to compete with Coda and Notion, some consider robotic process automation (RPA) a better approach, and some are looking for good traction before investing. Maybe these are just good excuses, you never know for sure :)

We would need to build a very strong conviction on the initial differentiation vs. Coda and Notion (that are very well funded) and unfortunately did not manage to do so.

I’d say I was too optimistic about the seed round since I think our vision is really great. It appears that vision + MVP is not enough.

In February I’m taking a break from talking with investors and re-focusing on early customers and leads instead. We have funding till the end of 2020 anyway, and customer focus is more important at this stage for sure. 🎷

Yes, we won’t be able to grow our team from 13 to ~30 people, but we also won’t be distracted by hiring and on-boarding. You never know what’s the best decision here. Many experts advise to keep a team as small as possible, but what is the right size of the team on our market? Nobody knows.

Fibery pitch deck

We are super-transparent, as you know. Here is the Fibery pitch deck. Feel free to download it and see for yourself how we (unsuccessfully) tried to persuade the investors about the Fibery’s bright future. Maybe you can even give us some advice so we perform better next time!

pitch deck

NOTE: I have removed the slide with the cap table since this info is private and I can’t share it.


Our main two goals with current numbers:

Active collaborative accounts with 2+ people       ~30/100
Paid accounts with 2+ people                         5/100

North Star

Our North Star is a total number of collaborative users in all accounts. Now it is around 80, while a month ago it was around 50.

Collaborative users from late November till now.
Collaborative users from late November till now.

Active users

The number of our daily active users has stabilized at about 180, WAU — at about 420.

Total WAU and DAU for all accounts from late November.
Total WAU and DAU for all accounts from late November.

It is hard to say what these metrics mean, but it is not a sign of great traction yet.

Product Updates

January was strange. There were many distractions caused by technical instabilities, technical interviews, sick days and deep refactoring of events in Fibery that is still in progress. I am not happy about our development velocity (well, I never am, so maybe I have to change my perception).


Migration from Trello

You can migrate your Trello boards into Fibery and augment cards with additional data.

Trello → Fibery migration

Trello → Fibery migration

Color entities in Tables, Boards, and Timelines

Finally, you can add colors based on some rules into Views.

Color entities in Fibery.

Color entities in Fibery.

Login from Fibery.io web site

Many people had complained that they don’t know how to login into their Fibery accounts. Indeed, you had to remember the account name to log in. Now you can log in from the Fibery web site and select between all your registered accounts:

Login into your Fibery account from the web site.
Login into your Fibery account from the web site.


All the features below should be released in February. February 2020.

Whiteboard v.0.2

It’s taking longer than expected, but in February we will deliver something if Vadim will survive the grind. In this version, it will be possible to create diagrams. The next step is to create Fibery entities from diagrams to make the whiteboard (finally) useful.

Better CSV import

When you upload a CSV file, we automatically guess Field types from the data. Unfortunately, our algorithm is not perfect and there is no way to manually adjust the Field types at the moment. In the new version, feel free to overwrite the robot’s predictions.

Better import from CSV is coming.
Better import from CSV is coming.

New Getting Started

The current getting started is tough. A new user has to create the first app from scratch without any knowledge about Fibery building blocks. In fact, we ask him to speak meaningful phrases using an unknown language. It’s cruel… In the new version, we will provide a set of templates to start with and some videos to watch (optional).

We expect people will get some value from Fibery earlier and then will be motivated enough to learn the building blocks eventually.

New Getting Started page in Fibery.
New Getting Started page in Fibery.

Login via any email and switch workspaces

Soon it will be possible to register a Fibery account using any email (not just a Google or a Microsoft account) and quickly switch between several accounts in the top left section of the Fibery menu.

Workspace switch in Fibery left menu.
Workspace switch in Fibery left menu.

Events queue refactoring

Andrew is killing himself to make events reliable and stable. The problem is that in Fibery you can change data and meta-data, and we still want to have correct history information to build reports, provide changes history to people, etc. It is a surprisingly challenging task since it is impossible to cover all the cases and make history 100% correct no matter what. So we apply the “best effort” principle here and are trying to be as consistent as possible. Still, this is hard to achieve and we have already done a couple of iterations.

This holds our public release since we want to have history info for all new accounts. We all hope that Andrew will finish the task in 1–2 weeks and not die 🐨.

🍠 Random

Random link from our Slack channel:

What I learned after writing Clojure for 424 days, straight

Random video:

Random Image from our Slack channel:

asset 28

Random quote:

The computer programming the child. In the LOGO environment the relationship is reversed: The child, even at preschool ages, is in control: The child programs the computer. 

— Seymour Papert

To be continued → #19. First Customers in February 2020.

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