Jimmy Rose is the cofounder of Content Snare, a tool for collecting documents and information from clients. In this episode, Jimmy shares his startup journey including finding product-market fit, what worked in marketing, his approach to hiring, and more.
Pathway to MVP
- Started as a completely different idea, a briefing tool.
- A startup is about asking people about their pain points, so talked to 15 different agencies, and found that chasing information from clients is a bigger problem.
- Once we knew the audience is agencies, started content right away. Sharing things Jimmy knew, had keyword volume, starting the SEO.
- Presenting the MVP came a few months later. Had a few screenshots, presented as a sneak peek with a link and buy button.
- Way under-charged. $60 for the year. A mistake in hindsight.
- Didn't really need the money, more of a validation metric.
- In hindsight, $60 is in the realm of AppSumo deals, leads to high churn, not enough buy-in who would give you feedback.
- Don't use a feature voting board, becomes a dumping ground.
- Just kept tabs on what people requested on intercom.
- Connect the dots from there to work out what's going to be a good commercial choice.
- Now we just put that feedback into an airtable.
- Using RICE framework to evaluate: Reach, impact, confidence and effort.
- Product management has become more of the job over time.
Finding Product-Market Fit
- Gone all in once fully comfortable, the company is at a good stage where it doesn't need to rely on external client work.
- Originally it felt like pushing poo uphill. Things didn't come easy
- But I thought we had product-market fit.
- Had originally written accountants off as the ICP, 3-4 times.
- Partly due to personal bias.
- But once we find this segment, things became much easier.
- Learned that accountants are very tech-forward, thanks to Xero, and understand the value of their time.
- Content and SEO always been one of my favorites.
- Simply used that skill to focus on another industry to support the current product.
- Partnerships have been big, knowing influencers and having webinars.
- Podcasts, having guests, and being guests on others, too.
- A bit harder with accounting, since I'm not an accountant.
- Gabriel Weinberg's book called Traction was helpful.
- Look at the framework to ideate which to run a test, and how to run those tests, then choose which ones work best for you.
- E.g. For promotion via blogs, try blog banner ads to test.
- We found most everything we did, didn't work. Because we were fairly low-priced products because of the CPA.
- There was also personal judgment involved and raw numbers.
- A lot of luck was involved, too.
- It felt so like pushing crap uphill, not knowing what was wrong.
- Kind of had a product-market fit, but not knowing for sure.
- Felt like we peaked out, churn was equal to the growth rate.
- Felt like we'd done everything, wrote all the content, knew all the well-connected people, gone to the conferences, felt like we couldn't do much more with our abilities.
- Only got better once we found a better fit.
- Now using ProfitWell with custom fields to see what industries makeup what % of revenue.
- Hiring and firing is the hardest part of the business.
- Treat job posts like writing a landing page, you want to sell the company.
- Throw in things that give people an opportunity to talk about themselves.
- We got one of our best hires because we wrote something like, "You don't need to meet these requirements but let us know why you might be a good fit anyway."
- We don't use standard questions, and that narrows down the candidates.
- Works well to help choose people who put effort into their answers.
- For content, we use test tasks, and give them all the same task, with a set of instructions.
- Doing the same with WordPress developers, with a complex task.
- Almost know most of our applicants just by email and test tasks, before even talking to them.
- People can screw up interviews. Some people don't do well under pressure, but does that really matter if they're a writer or developer?
- 2,000 paying users.
- Originally, not too worried about competition. But seeing a lot of tools starting up.
- Thankfully other products not doing it as good as we do.
Advice to Others
- If someone is in the same situation, constantly getting good feedback, but can't work out why they're not growing...
- There's probably something wrong with product-market fit.
- Once we got to targeting accounting, it just changed. And now we're excited about business again.
- You can get through that and it will be amazing when you do.