Building a web-app for the past months

Last January I decided to build a cryptocurrency app. My Twitterbots had gotten a following of 15,000+ on Twitter and it seemed like a smart plan to build something for this audience. These people were all interested in the same subject and easy to reach through the bots, so finding potential customers seemed easy.

It's useful for traders to get a notification when the price of a coin changes in a certain way. None of the existing apps were good enough. They either took data from the wrong exchange, were terribly designed or didn't send notifications to Twitter or Telegram.

The biggest flaw was the lack of USD support. Some people might know how much 0.0000312 BTC is but I have no idea.

The idea for Coinvalue.xyz was born.

The initial idea was to build something quick in two weeks and then continue on my main project. As with most of my projects, it took a little longer. Four months later it is now almost finished.

Design

design

To validate the product I wanted to build a landing page showing the product and then collecting e-mails to see if people were interested.

To build the page I needed to design the product first so the page could feature screenshots.

I'm not the greatest designer but I do have a strong opinion about design. For that reason designing something good takes a lot of time for me.

Some people suggested to use a framework because you can build something quick with the existing components. Unfortunately none of the frameworks (Bootstrap, Bulma, Semantic-UI) were able to give me something that didn't look generic. In the end I settled with Bootstrap and a lot of tweaking.

In hindsight, this stage took too long and I should have cared less about the details since those aren't things user will pay for.

Landing Page

Schermafbeelding-2018-05-16-om-16.12.53

As with the product design I also tried to make a custom landing page so it would perfectly fit my needs.

I realized early on that this wasn't a good idea and it would be better to use a service for this.

Around this time a website-builder called Launchaco launched on PH. You could generate a good-looking landing page in no-time and I decided to use it.

The landing page launched on 22 February. I sent it to all 15.000 followers spread out on nine accounts and posted on subreddits where the bots were well received.

The goal was to collect e-mailadresses so they could receive a message when the app was finished.

Subs dripped in but it never reached the numbers I expected. In the next four weeks the mailing list grew to approximately 100 subscribers. That's a conversion rate of only 0.007%.

Building v0.1

Although the numbers weren't very supportive I decided to build Coinvalue anyway. It was still something I wanted to use and it still seemed to only take two weeks to build.

Building the app didn't take too long. PHP is the language I'm good at and open-source libraries sped up development a lot.

Releasing the beta

On April 17 (that's longer than two weeks...), the beta launched to the mailing list and the Twitter bots. Now, one month after the launch, Coinvalue has 40 users who have created 80 alerts.

20 users came from the mailing list. A great conversion rate in my book. The conversion rate from the Twitter bots is still disappointing unfortunately.

Last week I sent e-mails to gather feedback. People who are on the mailing list but haven't signed up yet were asked why they aren't a user yet. Actual users received an e-mail asking them for feedback.

The results were disappointing. Out of 120 e-mails I only got two responses. One of them told me he forgot to sign-up and he still hasn't...

What now?

Results talking to potential users and sign-ups haven't been very encouraging. I'm going to finish Coinvalue anyway for a number of reasons:
  • It already has taken a lot of time to work on this app. A big lesson for a next product is that I should launch early even if the product is not as good as it can be.
  • Previous products of mine never launched. Either because I got a new idea or because I lost motivation. This time I need to launch something.
  • Many marketing ideas are in my head for Coinvalue. A lot of those are complimentary products which can live without Coinvalue as well.

There are a few things left I have to do before Coinvalue can launch:

  • Add an option to notify when a coin changes x% in 24 hours
  • Create a landing page
  • Accept payments

The official launch is going to be in two weeks. You can try Coinvalue by signing up here.

I will write another update soon.

You can follow frequent updates on my Twitter and leave your e-mail to be notified of the next blogpost.

Yoeri Boven

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