18 August 2020
Last time I included some wireframes that I made for a major update to Findka (adding social networking features). As of last week, that update is (pretty much) done! I’ve started describing Findka as “Twitter, but every post is a content recommendation.” It lets you share everything you like in one place.
You can check out my profile at findka.com/u/jobryant. I’ve got 7 followers already, so you know, I guess you could say I’m an influencer.
As far as coding goes, I’m mainly working on some performance improvements and adding pagination to various parts of the site. You can check out the brand new public roadmap on Github (at this point it’s more of just an issue tracker than a roadmap). However, I’m putting off most of that stuff for a little while. With the new social networking focus implemented, I’m shifting from coding to user acquisition.
And, to be honest: I am so sick of working on Findka. On top of that, I honestly think Findka is a great product now. It still needs more people to use it, but it doesn’t need hundreds. A few friend groups would be a large enough critical mass I think. (Also, the algorithm picks up to 3 items for your feed each day, so you can get some value out of it even without friends).
So, I’m considering this Findka’s “last stand.” I’ve been brainstorming various ideas for getting more people to use it, and I’m gonna give user acquisition my best shot now. But if I do that for a month or two at least and can’t get any traction, I’m probably going to start looking for contract/consulting work. It’d be nice to have a paycheck again, and I’ve already just about cured myself of the desire to be a startup founder.
However, if we do start getting traction, I will be tickled pink and will start trying to raise a seed round.
My latest user acquisition scheme is to give away money on Facebook. The plan is to write a post saying “Findka just had a major launch, and I’m giving away $300 worth of Amazon gift cards to get it kickstarted. Make a profile and then share this post with a link to it, and then you’ll enter a random drawing for a gift card. Here’s my profile: …”
If it works, then lots of people will not only have Findka profiles but will also have friends who follow them. Boom. Let me know if you have any other user acquisition ideas.
Here’s a link to the presentation I gave a couple weeks ago. It turned out really well. Other than that, I’ve made a handful of commits recently. Yesterday I greatly simplified the subscription handling code. Most of the logic is encapsulated in biff.crux/client-results, a pure function which takes a batch of recent transactions and a list of client subscriptions and returns a list of messages that should be sent to each client. I’ve moved the Crux-specific code to a CruxClient type. John Shaffer has been working on a Datomic client which would be pretty cool.
By the way, if there’s anyone reading this who wants to get involved in open source, Biff is now in a pretty good state for contributions actually. You can check out the issues and come say hi on #biff. There are several small refactoring jobs left, we could use a better devops story (with Terraform, Packer and maybe Babashka), and there are plenty of random small-to-medium issues.
Even if I call it quits on the startup, I’m so happy I came down this road just because it resulted in Biff. As an optimistic plan B, I would love to build a consulting company writing apps with Biff.