Cuppa - grab a virtual coffee ☕️ or tea with interesting people from Twitter

Cuppa

Portrait of the maker

KP and Michael Gill

Maker

Maker
Expert level
hours to build

Build your startup idea without code

What is it:

Cuppa - grab a virtual coffee ☕️ or tea with
interesting people from Twitter

What did I learn:

1. Product Strategy: Cuppa burst onto the no-code scene just last month during the pandemic. Within a matter of days a no-code mvp and first version was spun up, followed by beta with nearly 1000 eagerly awaiting folks signed up and ready to Cuppa. Personally, I have experienced this product and am blown away by how this product is made with no-code. But more importantly the product sense and need for this product. It is very interesting to see how necessity is the mother of all inventions. This could not be closer to the truth with this no-code product.

Cuppa is ingenious in that it does three things very well.
1.Creates serendipity through connecting people with similar interests,
2. Melts away the friction in allowing you to meet someone where ordinarily you would never ask someone to virtually meet, and thus
3. Opens the doors for a real value exchange of ideas and information, but virtually.

One of my favorite product management tips is the iconic blog by Paul Buchheit. If your product is great, it doesn't need to be good.http://paulbuchheit.blogspot.com/2010/02/if-your-product-is-great-it-doesnt-need.html

The principle, is if you are creating a product, distill it down to the three things that you want it to do to help your central problem or thesis that you are after. Then I would recommend can you break it down from there? Into even smaller chunks? Because when making a side project your strategy is about shipping iteratively and shipping bite sizes as rapidly as possible to create a wave of momentum in your product so that you can build in public as much as possible.

2. Product Strategy: How do you work an effective beta? KP worked this wonderfully and put on a clinic.

Here is the TL;DR version:

1. Build it for your self first
2. Does it work?
3. Send it privately to no more than 5 close friends who would be the target user
4. Get feedback
5. Now you'll have indication if this can actually work, not validation.
6. If you feel confident that the thing you built actually works, tweet it out a landing page for early sign up
7. Say it will be limited to the first 100 or whatever number
8. As you build and tweak it, slowly open up to more and more users - first 100 should be private beta. Start with users you may know to try and contain the product as much as possible.
9. Expand beta to include more people, you may have more already on your signing list, but you just want to keep the excitement and drive more signups
1o. Tweet out signups numbers so far so you can drive more excitement
11.Slowly learn from the feedback and make improvements
12. go into public beta
13, start opening up more and more people

If you have a product that requires having network effects to be successful, then you'll need to think about development speed you have, and make sure that development has a head start so that you do not lose momentum.

3. Product Strategy: Building in the open...what does it mean and what are some good examples of it?

Here are some definitions as well as examples:

Building in the open: Is characterized by sharing what you are learning, sharing the progress of what you are building, showing exactly what new features you have added, showing your work, sharing numbers of sign ups etc.

There are different types of building in the open:

Share in the open: This really means you are sharing progress and openly sharing how many sign ups, money earned etc. Also known as an open startup.

Build in the open: Is actually making and building with feedback from people so that they can see how you make decisions to build and also actually make something.

As a solo Maker, you're building a side project. And the most difficult thing about this is you need to be two places at once. you need to be marketing and promoting your product. and you need to be making your thing.

How in the world are you supposed to be able to do this?

This is where you need to leverage your story and build in the open.
So what does this mean? This means once you are ready to first make your thing public by say tweeting about it. Then you'll be able to start sharing the progress you are making on the thing that you are building. There are different ways to share making progress as highlighted above.

But these can be however short or long updates as you have time for. Sometimes its just as effective to create a daily tweet with a screen shot of your progress. This does not need to be extravagant. Often its best to ask a question about how to do something that gets a lot of feedback.

The point of this and your goal is to build an audience so that folks know you, know your product and develop a trust that you will deliver on the product that you are building. People like to buy from other people not brands. Leverage this by sharing your wins, your losses the things you learned, anything you are comfortable sharing and use this as the marketing for your product.

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