It's almost a month since DevRaven's public launch. My post on HackerNews was helpful in bringing in quite some visitors and user registrations. Building an enterprise product and trying to sell bottoms up building PLG muscle is hard.
The main problem for a startup is getting the people to use the product. I am completely against spending large amounts on money on ads to fuel the growth. My complete hypothesis is that - if the product is solving a genuine problem, people will use it.
Last week, we released Workflow Monitoring and the feedback for this feature has been amazing. The ability to simulate a real user behavior to monitor end-to-end flow is amazing and real complex flows can be monitored with this feature. I will be creating more content in the coming days for this feature.
Here are a few observations from the last month of product usage:
If your product requires customers to write code for the happy path flow, expect ~0% usage. Always have a no-code version of your happy path flows to at least get the customers to use the product.
Most customers will use the simplest to use feature, not the greatest feature you have in your product.
A great platform without content is useless. Create content, examples that your users can relate to and immediately use.
Content must be readily accessible and be within the product. Even if you have great documentation, YouTube videos explaining step to step process, it's very unlikely your users will immediately access those resources. Make it simple for your users to use the content from within your product - ready-to-use recipes, pre-built integrations which require simple configuration that customers can immediately use are great.
Great documentation and video content can help with your support needs. You can point to users to docs and videos for support questions instead of live meeting sessions. Live meetings are also a great way to understand your customer needs, but having this content allows you to balance between live vs. offline support.
Build tools for supportability - it's worth spending time to building the tools so you can quickly and easily support your customers. When a customer reports an issue and if your only interface to understand more is via a DB query, it's incredibly hard to support your customer. Take the time to build the necessary tools and interfaces that will allow you to easily support your customer.
Think about ways to secure your product, implement rate-limiters for your most expensive calls, deploy required WAF rules for securing from most common vulnerabilities. And have queries or keep special APIs handy to monitor your product usage.
Creating video content is hard esp. putting yourself out in the videos to explain features. I feel it's harder than writing code, but I think once you get into the groove it should be easy to produce more content.
p.s. if you are developer or an engineering lead responsible for running services, DevRaven is an easy to use end-to-end monitoring platform to monitor your critical flows. Sign up for your free account to get started and no credit card required.