Spring forward

one month metrics & goals for April

Week 4 cumulative numbers for Bliss: revenue — $199; cash in bank — $0; users — 177; customers paying — 7; customers on two week trial — 6.

One month in the books and we’ve certainly learned a lot. Most of the month was spent doing things that don’t scale, which can be exhausting, but very rewarding at the same time.

The rewarding side of things, however are on a more personal level rather than the business of Bliss. In our early journey we’ve crossed paths with many first time entrepreneurs (given our target audience) who have, fortunately, been able to take away some lessons from Ian and I.

me & Ian on our way to Protohack event in Seattle

Whether it’s situations like Kit (as seen in last weeks post) or most recently, an event, Protohack, we attended in Seattle.

Protohack yielded no customers for Bliss, but we were able to spend the weekend helping first time entrepreneurs who had questions ranging from, “What’s a CTO” to “How do I structure founder equity?”

It’s been a hectic month (of course) with both ups and downs — for business and personal. In our ongoing effort to remain transparent, here’s some highlights of the good and bad of Month One for Bliss.

The Bad

Adoption is weak and we’ve had a lot of customers deactivating their accounts and canceling their subscription. Compounding this, the feedback we’re able to get from churned customers, while friendly and nicely toned, doesn’t really tell us where the product is failing.

most of the other feedback we’re getting looks very similar to this

Maybe Vince’s feedback points to the fact that Bliss just isn’t delivering enough value to customers beyond the initial dashboard? (More on this below — in the Good!).

The end of our user funnel is also weak. Our main user funnel is: Landing page — authenticate to GitHub or Bitbucket — choose a project to review — pay for product — go to dashboard.

A significant amount of drop-offs come at the ‘pay for product screen’ (weak credit card conversion %) and we’re seeing low engagement on the ‘dashboard’ screen.

The Good

We are moving fast! We’ve tested multiple landing pages and home screens and have got our conversions up to ~5% from ~2%. Not lights-out numbers, but headed in the right direction. Trending upwards!

By the end of next week we’ll implement a major change to the sign up flow, in hopes of improving our adoption issues.

In response to user feedback, we just released two new features! Here are some details:

  1. Code Detail— granular details where your technical debt comes from. This is accessible right from the main dashboard via the ‘Code Detail’ button on the page header.
  2. Daily code reviews — a daily email to customers which shows strengths and weaknesses in both their historical code and current/active code.

In addition to these new features, there will be a handful of enhancements that we’ll be rolling out over the next couple weeks to address our areas of weakness — adoption, retention, product value.

One more highlight — Our design has also been a strong point for us. Almost everyone I talk to compliments the design — awesome work Ben!

Goals for April

By the end of April our goal is for Bliss to have 50 customers (in aggregate between paying & in trial).

Out of this 50, we’re looking to secure 2+ venture capital funds as customers. These VC’s will use Bliss as part of their code due diligence for early stage tech companies in which they are considering investing. We’ve been in discussions with a few and early interest is there.

As you can see, March was productive, busy, disappointing, rewarding, insightful and everything in between — life of an early-stage tech startup! If nothing else, we learned quite a bit last month and now have a ton of metrics from which to build on and attack our April goals.

We’ll continue to focus on our early adopters, move forward on product improvements and user experience, refine our acquisition tactics, and set forth toward hitting our next milestone (and you’ll know exactly how it all goes down at the end of the month)!