Creating a feedback app for indie hackers

2021-01-26 / Niclas Timm

I am creating a feedback app for indie hackers, solopreneurs and small businesses. Find out more about the idea and what you can gain from it.

Feedback is one of the most valuable things in your business. If you don't get any feedback you cannot know that your customers really desire and thus you risk building the wrong things and throwing money out the window. This paradigm is highly accepted in the world of online businesses, startups and entrepreneurship in general.

I'm a big advocate of this idea. Especially when working on websites or SaaS apps, chances are that you focus on bugs and features the users don't care about. But how can you actually collect the feedback from the users?

There are of course multiple ways like cold emails, Twitter polls, Forum posts etc. And then there are Feedback widgets for your website. This is what my idea is about.

Feedback tools don't suit Solopreneurs & small businesses

The market is not new and there are a bunch of companies that offer feature packed software. So much features that it's too much for a small business or Solopreneurs to handle. As a small business you don't need 20 different reports, 10 different Dashboards and 5 different user roles. The feedback forms for their customers also don't need to be a survey-like 15 questions, 10 minute torture as this would be an information overload for the customer AND the entrepreneur. And finally an Indie Hacker probably does not need 5 different pricing models.

Whom is the app for

As already stated a couple of times at this point, the app will be created for Indie Hackers, Solopreneurs small businesses. This is firstly due to the fact that most Feedback apps are not designed for these kinds of customers. But secondly this is also the niche that I know best myself. I do not know the needs of large corporations or even businesses with 50 employees. I only know what I am missing in my daily life as an indie hacker. It would be too much of a risk to serve a market that I don' know.

A minimal customer Feedback widget

All of the above points scream for a more focused feedback collection app for Solopreneurs, freelancers and small businesses. It should be easily implementable on an existing website and provide an additional dashboard hosted by the provider of the feedback app (me). It must implement the following requirements:

  • Only the most important features. No fooling around with advanced features only larger companies need.
  • Easy to understand, transparent pricing model
  • Integration with 3rd party apps that Solopreneurs and small businesses work with (E.g., Slack)
  • A simple interface for the user who sends feedback in order to not be overwhelming
  • A dashboard to organise and categorise the feedback so that the next steps can be derived easily from the data
  • A quick way to start a conversation with the person who submitted the feedbacl

What are the challenges

I guess that one of the most difficult things about creating a business is that you don't know what the actual challenges will be along the way. But broadly speaking, there will be two areas where challenges will occur abundantly: marketing and development. I assume that there will be more challenges in the marketing area than in the development area. I have absolutely no audience and no experience either. I also do not have the budget to run ads. I do know some stuff about SEO, but I'm far away from being an expert. And finally, as you might have already noticed, I am not a gifted writer (doesn't help that my native language is German, not English). Thus, I'll have to figure out a lot about the marketing side, especially when it comes to making good connections on Twitter and writing valuable posts on this blog (see next section).

The development part will of course be challenging as well, but I am really positive about that. The technologies & frameworks I use will make it as easy as possible for me and due to the Starter Kit I created I'll have a fully fledged authentication system and a couple of components to work with at day one (I am going to write a separate post about all the technologies I use). However, everybody who has written software before knows that in the end it's almost always waaaaaaay tougher than expected at the beginning.

Marketing

Marketing will be the most important part of the whole thing. I have no Twitter following and no experience. I have a Masters degree in Economics, but honestly, that doesn't help the slightest bit! However, I'm motivated to learn all the necessary stuff and already came up with a couple of channels that I can leverage:

I also found a good blog article by Eric Karjaluoto, although it might be a little outdated.

I also want to do it all in public!

Building in public

I also want to do the whole thing in public. A couple of things that I hope to achieve by building in public are:

  • Staying accountable. I started a few things before but never really managed to finish
  • Get feedback as early as possible. I don't want to build a product that has all the wrong features. I want to be as sure as possible that I am building the right thing.
  • Making connections. I hope to meet like-minded people if I just put myself out there
  • Build interest around the product and gain customers. Why only do that once the product is finished? Especially in the market I'm trying to serve a lot of people are early adopted and are attracted by relatable products and people.

By the way, I was greatly inspired and motived by Arvid Kahl and Kevon Cheungs eBook about launching in public.

Next steps

You can get a good grasp about the upcoming steps on the public roadmap. But in a nutshell, I'll have to start actually developing the app and create meaningful content on the blog and on Twitter. Thanks a lot for gettings this far 👋💪.

Shape the product & get updates

Tired of only reading about the progress? Subscribe to the mailing list & get early access to the feedback app, become a beta tester and experience how the app eveloves due to your valuable input. Plus, you'll be the first to receive updates!