From idea to an MVP with over 300 beta testers in 1 week — part 1

This is the first of an ongoing series of posts where I’m going to share how TinyMetrics was build and what I’ve learned along way. If you have any feedback or suggestions please feel I’d love your comments.

Idea

I’m a huge fan of Instagram and I love their product but the only thing I’ve always missed is the ability to see some data regarding my profile and how it’s doing. So while searching for a solution to my problem, I’ve found that there were some 3rd party solutions out there that offer Instagram analytics but none had the feature set or the user experience that I was looking for (some are just a few charts with no meaning or useful data).

So that’s when I’ve decided to build my own simple dashboard with a bunch of metrics where I could see the number of followers/unfollowers by day and how this is evolving over time, what were my most appreciated posts, who are the most engaging followers and much more.

The 7 Day Challenge

During the time I was searching for an Instagram analytics tool, Dan Norris (the writer of The 7 Day Startup book) started a challenge called The 7 Day Startup Challenge where everyone interested in launching a product could follow the principles from his book and start something in 7 days.

It was the perfect timing for me — I had an idea, I wanted to build something for myself and I had a pretty decent idea on what I wanted to build — so I’ve joined the group looking forward to start working on TinyMetrics.

From the first moment I posted the idea the 7 Day Startup Challenge community offered great feedback and I was really exited to learn that more people were looking for a similar tool that I wanted to build.

Validating the idea

Even though the feedback from the 7DSC was pretty amazing I still thought that I should test whether people wanted this product and if there’s a big enough market for it.

That’s why I’ve created a simple landing page where I presented what TinyMetrics does. I also wanted to have a way for interested users to give me their email for early access.

Here’s what it looked like:

TinyMetrics landing page

I got some useful feedback via email and Twitter and I’ve also submitted the landing page to BetaList — one of the best tools out there to make your product visible to early adopters.

I’ve submitted it to BetaList without too high hopes because only a few products are featured everyday and the quality of those who are featured is pretty high. Fortunately enough I received their approval and in about 3 weeks TinyMetrics was also featured on BetaList.

I can honestly say that BetaList is the best way to go if you have a project still in Beta and want to get new users.

In just a few hours after being featured I already had over 100 new users signed up and ready to use the app — and the amount of feedback received from the BetaList community was amazing.

In total BetaList managed to get me over 250 early adopters — 25 who were in the first batch of early users using the app, provide awesome feedback and kick seriously ass.

MVP & First paying customer

In the next chapter I’m going to talk about how I’ve managed to get from the idea to the first paying customer — so stay tuned.

Also if you have any feedback please feel free to jump in with a comment