Happy Monday (or Tuesday if you’re in my part of the world).
This week I’m working on
- Looking into some internet research/data collection services for a project that we’re working on
- Tweaking our on-boarding emails to make them relevant again (we link to a lot of older content in the current series)
- Working with one of @Todd_Nilson’s clients to dig into their Discourse data and define a set of appropriate metrics to collect
- Tidying up the last loose ends on our SEO project, which includes migrating this site onto a new host (testing showed marked performance increases)
Don’t forget that at the end of this month we’re going to do a round up of what we’ve achieved.
Finished my training last week, which was pretty hard corps but back in the office this week, catching up for the first part, moving things with our Community platform towards our re-launch date at the end of the month - starting to get things moved from our sandbox environment in to the production one to make sure it’s all there and set up right.
Lost rudimentary sign up call to action graphic with the new design. Have other plan for a new one.
Need a mobile pop up (after 5 pages viewed?)
Ugh. That’s supposed to be worse the older you get, which is scary because I remember it being awful as a kid! Glad you’re on the road to recovery.
[quote=“Gear_Buzz, post:4, topic:3879”]
Need a mobile pop up (after 5 pages viewed?)
[/quote] Oooh. I’ll be keen to see what the data shows you on this. I think they’re good (from a data-driven perspective) but Rich says they make him feel like he’s sold his soul, so we killed ours.
TBH, this week has been crazy. I’ve been a lurker at experts since a long time, but haven’t had much time to interact with you wonderful folks.
Some background about what I do
This startup I’m with, we’re a team of 9. I’m one of the early team members who has joined the company 2 years ago and has seen it grow. Hired as a Community Evangelist, I was handling communities, social media, events, partnerships, offline + online marketing(and a whole lot of other things). Since we’re a product based startup and because I believed in the product, I’ve spent a lot of time and effort on this. Working crazy hours-mostly more than 12 hours a day(office+home), 5 days a week with some events/meetups/meetings on weekend.
Whoa! That is crazy hours indeed. Why didn’t you move?
Although I’ve received a couple of offers during this time from other companies, I chose to stay because I really like the team and more importantly, the product we built.
Uh…huh…So why do I feel this didn’t end well
Because it didn’t. This week, our founders told us that our investors were not happy with the numbers(DAU, active sessions, analytics) and that we have to shut down this month.
Damn! That must’ve been hard.
It sure was. But looking at the positive side of things, I’ve had more time than ever to focus on things I love and I’m passionate about, which includes learning more about community management, organizing my thoughts into blogposts, volunteering for mission driven organizations and most importantly, spend time with my family.
- I’m really passionate about story-telling. I love listening to stories & sharing my story.
- I would be speaking at a couple of events this weekend.
- I plan on attending a local Buffer meetup this week to help and learn from people on Social media and brand building.
- Randomly strike a conversation with a stranger at a local Starbucks. Bangalore, is the Silicon Valley of India and everything from ideation to execution to even funding of a startup happens at a coffee shop. It would be amazing to learn about their journey and help them in whatever way I can.
- Choreograph a Bollywood dance for a family function happening later this month.
I can’t get past this. Too cool.
It’s great to hear from you @dun3buggi3 – I’m glad you finally made the leap from lurker to talker.
What is the nature of your current company? Is it support for the product?
We’re a neighborhood community chat platform. We basically identified the key problem in neighborhoods as a disconnect among individuals. We built a real-time chat platform, much like a Whatsapp group, except that we don’t require your contact information. You pick your apartment from a google drop down and you will be added to your apartment group, Locality group and your country level group. Different groups have different use cases-
- Apartment group to find a carpenter, ask for a maid or borrow a cup of sugar when you’re making that favourite dessert and forget that you ran out of sugar!
- Locality group to find suggestions about a good restaurant or spa nearby, volunteering for social causes etc.
- Country level group to interact with people from across the country, discuss politics, world news, or even ask people to help you couch surf if you’re visiting a new city.
We have something similar here called Neighbourly but it’s less real-time than WhatsApp.
Why do you think it failed?
To be honest, it’s been a week and we still aren’t sure what went wrong. I’m not really a believer in miracles/fate but working in a startup has got me believing that UFO’s exist!
The journey is really interesting -
We started out 2 years ago as a interest based chat platform called Scrollback.
An open-source widget that you can embed on your website/blog so that you can engage with your audience right there instead of diverting traffic to a Facebook group/page. We also had IRC integration and a lot of tech communities loved it for the fact that they could see IRC logs from what they missed. Some communities we had on Scrollback were NodeJS community, Mozilla India, Backpackers in Asia, Parenting community etc.
Then we decided to “pivot”.
We then wanted to build a product on top of this community chat that everyone would use on a daily basis since Scrollback was a very niche product that was used by tech communities. And we came up with “Hey Neighbor”. Ideally, a platform to connect people with their neighborhoods and locality communities.
Then something unexpected happened
We now had an active community that grew to over 40k members in Bangalore city in less than 3 months. So much word of mouth and so much engagement. Then we started observing something really interesting. People wanted interest-based communities in their neighborhood! They started creating locality level Whatsapp groups like Cyclists in x locality, startup founders in y locality etc and migrated away from Hey Neighbor!
We then built Belong
Now there were a couple of things that we did here that caused a very big churn.
- We built Belong with the idea that it’s a combination of Locality groups like Hey neighbor and you could create interest-based groups inside your locality.
- We had an entire client and server side rewrite of the app improving it’s performance to a considerable level and so we decided to upload it as a new app on Google Play to compensate for a couple of performance related 1-star ratings. This meant losing the entire 40k users. But hey, we’ve built a community once, we’ve learned stuff. It should be easy to do that again, especially considering that we’re now a better app right?
Apparently not! Things didn’t go so well. People hated the name Belong, they complained about moving to Belong and our initial set of people couldn’t be revived.
At one point, 1 in 5 people in Bangalore have heard/user Hey Neighbor. But the moment we rebranded to Belong(which was an optimized app), it just didn’t click.
@HAWK so that’s been our journey with Belong.