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🛠️ Startups Update: October 2023
Ola, my friends! Apologies for being quiet. I’m getting back into the habit of writing. Had to sort a few things in my head.
This will be a new series with monthly (for now) updates on all my ongoing projects, a status report of sorts.
🦙 UX Llama
This idea put a pretty big dent in my brain and I had to ponder more than usual.
Initially, it started as an idea of a productized service that I wrote about earlier this year. After the initial excitement wore off (which happened pretty quickly 😄), I went through several rounds of questioning my decision and the viability of this idea.
I went through a journey of analyzing the potential customer segments, their market potential, the types of services each of the segments could be interested in, what services I’d be able to offer, and a lot of other questions.
Frankly, I think I got to the stage of “Analysis-paralysis”.
Last weekend, I decided to go to a cabin in the woods for a couple of days to clear my head and get out of the slump I was in.
As a result, I got more clarity on what customer segment I will be focusing on and what value I am going to provide to them.
My previous plan was to focus on helping e-commerce store owners increase their conversion, but after asking myself if I could do this for 5+ years, I realized that I don’t have a strong enough interest in online shopping. The fundamentals of conversion optimization are pretty consistent and, frankly, repetitive.
What sparks my curiosity and thinking is more aligned with task-based web applications that help users accomplish their goals, other than entertainment. This is where my interest lies, and this is what I am going to focus on.
The (current) vision
Help SaaS companies increase user satisfaction and retention, and reduce support costs by understanding their users and improving usability, accessibility, and intuitiveness of their products.
I am starting with 3 service packages:
Standard: UX Inspection.
Advanced: Usability Testing.
Extra: Accessibility Inspection.
I need to make updates to the website, as current content is related to the e-commerce services. Then, prospect and reach out to 100 companies and try selling my services. Iterate on the value proposition based on their feedback and rejection reasons. Repeat.
Cognitive Biases Flashcards
I found an existing product in the USA, that tries to solve a similar problem, but with a somewhat different vision, and the design is rather questionable - overloaded with details and content. In a nutshell, though, pretty similar - flashcards trying to help people learn about cognitive biases.
Every time, I see any mention of cognitive biases online, my question “Should I do it?” reappears on my radar. The more I think about this, the more I think that I have a true passion for this topic and idea. I’ll keep observing my thoughts and if I should create this.
The website is live and has some traction. Also, some positive feedback in FB and Telegram groups. I ran a google ads campaign as an experiment. The funny thing is that I totally forgot about this experiment and even can’t find any web analytics data 🤦♂️ Google kindly reminded me when sent a notification about an unpaid invoice 🤣
I used Softr.io and Airtable as the platforms to launch it quickly. Softr.io seems to be pretty buggy and have already caused several website issues. I’ve been considering moving it to a Wordpress website instead, but not the top priority now. So, I kept it idling as is.
My SoulTeam (Link)
This has been my long-lasting project, and I’ve put a lot of effort into it. It went through several significant pivots and a lot of features built. But it has been in zombie mode for more than a year.
I still believe there is value in this resource for UX candidates, but I have not found the product-market fit for the companies.
Mentally, I don’t see a viable path, but emotionally I don’t want to let it go yet. I have good connections in the UX world, and being a UX designer myself, it feels like it’s easier to get in touch with Design managers.
However, the market has completely turned and with hiring freezes in most of the places, I think getting some traction with this problem space will be much more difficult now.
Feeling skeptical, but all my time and money investment in this project… Makes it hard to shut it down. Sunken cost fallacy in action.
PS Still getting hundreds of views of the videos I recorded for the companies’ profiles.