If you want to go fast - you need metrics to tell you where you are. It helps you guide your focus to where it really needs to be. Imagine being able to have an overview of all the stats in your startup. Marketing, sales, employee count, money flow, server load. I mean everything.
This may never be a billion dollar company. Assuming it gets clients at all. It's a niche product. But it's got enough promise to feed a whole team and create some nice profit.
Why do I believe in this project while so many of mine have failed? Here's my analysis.
There's nothing like it
There are hundreds of Dashboard-as-a-Service products out there. Some boast a thousand integrations to 3rd party services. Yet when I needed to bring in our acquisition funnel from Mailgun, Unbounce and my Node.js app - no DaaS has these integrations. Not even Zapier - the silver bullet to missing services. And you know what they say about silver bullets..
Mailgun and Unbounce are not exactly unpopular either.
2493 companies reportedly use Mailgun in their tech stacks, including reddit, Slack, and Lyft.
Unbounce Ended 2016 with over 14,000 paying customers
That's quite some userbase. And none of the dashboards integrate with them? I suppose if your aim is to integrate every service you'll end up losing since new services pop up all the time.
One thing that all services always support is webhooks (in other words - web requests). Bashboard specializes in making it easy to send any data from anywhere. The tradeoff is that only a developer will have the skill to do the integration. But if you do have one, it's actually really fast and flexible.
Competition is a threat of course, but realistically if Cyfe has 300'000 clients already they probably aren't going to pivot to a smaller market. Rather our hope is that startup devs are our early adopters and the larger market is our future.
The problem is real
As I'm skeptical about any project until it brings in money - I've done the second best thing. Talk to potential buyers. Not to talk about the product, but to figure out if the problem exists. It really hit home when one startup guy said they have a makeshift replacement for the technical stats and no solution for bringing in the technical stats with the marketing and sales stats. This was 1 out of 10 people. There were more interested, but "interest" is 0.1 in my book. Yet this one out of ten is a strong signal.
There are many reasons I've quit startups I've founded or stopped working on projects that we're barely a startup at all. Today there are 3 key differences in my life:
I have a team. There's other people thinking about the problem and together we make much more of a sane person. Alone I tend to be quite bi-polar. As a team we are a stable force capable of solving real problems.
Our team has resources. We've been working as a software agency for a year and we have some cash to fund Bashboard. Meaning there is no hurry go either get that growth spike or ditch the whole thing. We have the luxury of making sound decisions and think through a plan.
I'm married. Meaning me personally am a much more balanced person capable of longer sprints and reasonable decisions. Of course it's not about marriage itself but about having a partner I can love life with.
Okay so maybe I'm not that different, my surroundings are. I'd like to think my experience has made me more wise also, but those 3 things I know for sure have changed my life for the better and made my career more strong.
It does feel like the planets are aligned. But as usual, I'm not really getting my hopes up too high, been here too many times. Well. I guess I'll need to put some serious metrics in place and try to take off :)