Textreel launch in numbers!

October 3, 2020

After a lot of hard work and late nights I've finally launched textreel, I came up with the initial idea for textreel at the start of the year but only got around to working on it at the start of July so getting to MVP took me just shy of 3 months.

I came up with the initial concept when I started to see audiograms used more and more in marketing. I thought they were pretty neat and they always grabbed my attention but I didn't have any way of creating them for myself, so I decided to have a go at writing code that would turn audio files into video.

After a weekend of getting a very very primitve proof of concept working I decided to give it a shot

Launch day

Wednesday 23rd September was launch day. I didn't have a big plan for marketing textreel other than posting it on Hacker News, Product Hunt and Indie Hackers. Just doing that should get me some feedback and hopefully validate the business idea so I know whether or not to carry on developing the product.

I started by doing a "Show HN" on Hacker News but with little success, only a couple of upvotes and I quickly dissappeared into the Shadow Realm. Oh well, I mean it's really hard to get onto the front page of Hacker News these days and there's definately some luck involved. On to the next one.

Next I gave Product Hunt a try but it was a similar story. This was where I started to feel really downbeat and I was resigned to the fact that textreel will just be joining the long list of my failed projects.

Finally I thought I'd do a tweet which normally gets a bit of attention as I've got a decent following on Twitter thanks to my Simpsons in CSS project back in 2013.

At the end of day two I only had eight users in the database, Three of which where my test accounts and two belonged to a friend who was helping test it. Not the reception I'd hoped and dreamed off...

First paying customer

I tried to just put textreel out of my mind for a days after that but then suddenly over the weekend my Product Hunt submission gained traction and I saw an influx of traffic to the site. I'm not sure why it only got noticed a few days afterward but I'll take it.

In the week 23rd September - 30th September I saw 1.2k users on the site (although some browsers block GA code so that number could be higher) with around 150 of those registering for an account.

And even better I got my first paid customer! It's a small win but after 5 years of failed side projects it feels good to make my first money on the internet.

All the feedback has been positive with some great suggestions for how the product can be improved, which has given me the motivation to keep going.

If you've made it this far thanks for reading! Please let me know what you think of textreel and follow me on Twitter for future updates.

Much love