Rob Lund dropped me a line recently about his cool app AgileTask.
Here's a screenshot -
So, I like the product overall. It works as advertised - it's super lightweight and you can start using it really quickly. There's humorous achievements you can unlock that keeps it light. I reckon this is useful and usable for people.
I like the product. It's fast. Very responsive. Elegant, intuitive interface.
The biggest piece of feedback I've got for Rob and team - I'd recommend you guys vigorously split-test the "above the fold" content that people see when they first hit the site. You've got a beautiful product, but that doesn't count for anything if people don't click through to use it.
A few things I'd test:
*Different font sizes and colors: Currently "Lightweight - Type it in and hit enter. It's that easy." is pretty small, it doesn't jump out at you. You might want to make it much larger.
*Images/screenshots: Your achievement right now is "Noob" - maybe something else would be sexier there?
*The biggest one I've got for you - try tweaking your Call-to-Action. "Sign Up Now - 30 Days Free"
I'm almost certain you could get a higher conversion rate. Perhaps "Take it for a spin"
Or "Get Started - be rolling with AgileTask in 7 Seconds"
If you A/B test your call to action, I reckon you'll be able to find one that gets people to try the product at a much higher rate.
"Sign Up Now" sounds like a big commitment and "30 Days Free" makes me focus on the paying aspect, and makes me wonder if I'll have to give a credit card to try.
So I'd recommend testing all of those elements and seeing what gets people trying it most often.
Beyond that, I like the idea - particularly if you could find a way to sync it with other services to automatically add/compile a list of tasks. I like the product overall, I think people will enjoy it - but play with the content that gets them to sign up. Testing is the way for that.
You, dear reader, can check out AgileTask at https://agiletask.me/ - actually, the sign-up is super easy. Don't need to confirm your email or put in a credit card or anything - you just type in your info and away you go. I think Rob and Co. could probably increase the rate people try it out by emphasizing how easy it is - feel free to go give it a spin and play with it some. It's a neat webapp and quite elegant to use.
Thanks for dropping a line, Rob - here's wishing you and your team much success.
Today I'd like to introduce you to Venkat Rao. He writes Ribbonfarm, and he's mastered the difficult challenge of writing smart, novel, entertaining, eloquent, controversial, and accessible content - at the same time. Most people can't do this.
Venkat wrote an excellent reply on Quora to the question, "Is it hard to build, market and maintain a web app that makes at least $1000 a month?" Quora's TOS actually allows you to republish things in full with attribution (and some other requirements), and I thought this would be an excellent introduction to Venkat for you.
This whole reply is brilliant. He's got the orders of magnitude on money, time, and requirements basically dead-on. Extraordinarily impressive read here -
"Is it hard to build, market and maintain a web app that makes at least $1000 a month?"
This is a very interesting question, and the responses are very revealing. It is instantly clear who knows what they are talking about.
I just read this post about how the startup Level Up has raised $41MM but may now be running out of cash, and according to the article is down to half its previous employee count. It got me thinking about a big mistake I see startups make, which is over-extending before finding true product/market fit.
I was well aware of this danger at Socialize, and we still made that mistake. At one point in early 2012, we were up to 16 employees. When we sold to ShareThis, we were down to six. It's not that six employees was too few -- it was exactly the right number and type of employees for the stage of our company -- it's that sixteen was way too many. We didn't absolutely need that many people to build and sell our product, even though we felt at the time that we did. The six employees that ended up forming the core of our company in the year before we sold it were all very key employees and are incredibly productive, and that's what we needed to find product/market fit.
So if a CEO is acutely aware of the issue and still falls into the trap, I can't imagine what the siren call of rapid expansion does to CEOs who aren't watching out for it. But it is possible to get around it: On the opposite side of the spectrum you see companies like instagram that sold for $1 billion with just a dozen employees.
So I've come up with a mental framework to optimize the outcome of a new startup dealing with this issue.
Daniel's Framework For Optimizing Product/Market Fit: