Fibery.io → Burnout.so 🔥? Exploring a startup-focused pivot

Michael Dubakov
Aug 26 · 5 min read

Public launch is a major milestone for any company. Here you finally can spread the word about the product, search for market fit with more intensity and validate the business side of your idea. How to launch Fibery.io? When a product like Fibery evolves, you find more and more ideas. Our mission is the same, but how to start? Recently we’ve had a discussion and selected two major ideas:

  1. Focus on Creators and unique domains that lack tools to run their processes. For example, schools, toy makers, consultants, etc. In private beta this idea was validated and it seems market do exist for such a tool
  2. Focus on Startups. Here we can provide a set of connected solutions to replace many tools and make it easier for startups to follow best practices, learn about market, talk with potential customers and grow.

The first approach is LEGO, while the second one is an assembled set.

We immediately liked the second idea and wanted to validate it. A new name popped up quickly: Burnout. Our team has some decent first-hand experience with burnout, and so do many startup folks. The name is our way of facing the fear and getting some fun in the process.

With this idea we evaluated benefits and downsides.

Focus on Startups: Benefits

  1. We can really help startups! We can mix content & apps inside Fibery, naturally providing best practices and advices with a tools to implement a process.
  2. It sets clear focus and clear message. We know what apps to create, we know whom to talk to, we are a startup ourselves.
  3. It is easy to enter the company from the very first steps when there are just a couple of people thinking about something new. Fibery can help with ideation phase as well and be helpful for a teams of 2–5 people.
  4. New startups don’t have tools history, they free to choose anything. It means we will not compete with existing tools and with a good message Fibery may look attractive for startups.
  5. Marketing is quite easy. There are numerous places where we can write about startups, cooperate with ProductHunt, WeWork, accelerators, etc. Startup community is huge and it seems it is not that hard to spread the word.

Focus on Startups: Downsides

  1. Startups usually are not ready to pay on early stages.
  2. Startups die often and churn might be high.
  3. There are many basic and simple tools for small startups (Trello, Notion, etc)

Looks good. So we dug into details. It was really interesting to brainstorm potential Apps and see how they can be created in Fibery.

OKR and Product Development Apps.

We thought about Apps connectivity and where this connectivity provides benefits. Then we re-created major apps in Fibery to find our what is missing. This is what we’ve got:

Connected Apps for Startups

Well, there were many missing parts, like Canvas View, Integrations, better Formulas, etc. Still we discovered that Burnout is an ambitious software that Fibery can evolve into in ~6 months. We thought that 6 months is good enough to validate this idea further.

We went ahead and designed the brand and a web site:

Burnout.so logo

This was real fun. For example, for Fibery we have the following motto:

When you replace Fibery with Burnout you get this:

So fucking true! More jokes followed and Alex Tsayun created a bold web site with “on the edge” copy (thanks to Lena Dorogenskaya for the feedback about initial boredom, Anton Iokov listened to Lena and wrote kick ass text).

With this web site we wanted to check the interest and talk with 10–15 startups to validate the idea and potential problems.

Our goal was to collect 200–300 leads and ~100 filled forms in a couple of weeks.

HN

However, we got all that in 1 hour with HN announcement.

Burnout.so has been on the front page for about an hour and then was penalized for some reason. The reason is unclear (spam?), but comments are hilarious:

If this is not satire I can only applaud the balls of the marketing. I am certainly not going to forget the name (reminds me of that airplane company “Boom”). On the downside all the HN comments will be about the name.

This is the best case study for Poe’s law that I’ve seen in a long time

I personally thought it was a bit of satire and amazing ingenuity personally. Think about burnout as a fire escaping boundaries and growing out of control, but in a good way, and that being your startup powered by their platform. Suddenly it sounds pretty cool.

In an hour we’ve collected 250 leads and 100 filled forms. I’d say the “interest validation process” is over, now we should talk with people and reveal potential problems.

PH

Burnout was launched on ProductHunt as well in Upcoming section.

We wanted to try Ship offering and see how it works before the public launch. So far it doesn’t look like a decent leads generator, but we’ll run it for a month to find out.

Fake or Not?

Many people didn’t believe that Burnout.so is possible. A couple of comments questioned the viability:

We think that we can deliver what is promised in ~6 months based on what we have right now. Should we move into this direction? It remains to be seen.

Fibery for Creators can be released much earlier (October-November 2019) instead of ~February 2020 for Burnout.so. The next steps are

  1. Create a good web site for Fibery.io. (Lena Dorogenskaya will invent something cool I believe!)
  2. Collect more feedback in September.
  3. Make the final decision about the launch strategy.

Anyway, Burnout.so has been one of the funniest experiments in my life. 🍄


Request Burnout Private Beta access: https://burnout.so 🥕

P.S. We will do it. 💪 Maybe…

Fibery

The work management platform that adapts to companies and grows with them

Michael Dubakov

Written by

Fibery founder https://fibery.io. I write about systems, software development and products.

Fibery

Fibery

The work management platform that adapts to companies and grows with them

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade