Old Friends New Company

Last month, I started a new company with two old friends.

We’re building an intelligent screenshot manager. If you’d like to try it, sign up here: www.relephant.in.

Becoming the Personal Google.

Like I said, we’re building an intelligent screenshot manager. But that’s just the wedge to something much bigger.

Today, it’s shocking that there’s no unified way to effortlessly capture information, structure, and store it. Sure you probably have that one friend who meticulously categorizes their whole life in Workflowy, or their personal wiki. But what about the rest of us?

We’re building that tool: to instantly capture information from any source, across any device. What Google did to organize the world’s knowledge, we’re doing for all the knowledge in your life.

As one alpha user put it, “What Ilike about this thing is — I can be messy, but it’s still organized”.

Here’s Professor Dumbledore demoing our alpha

Beta launch: version 1.0.0

We’re launching our desktop app on April 13th.

On March 18th, we launched a closed alpha version of Relephant, inviting friends and users who paid for early access. It was the minimum feature set — a prototype. But it was enough to validate the app’s utility. We’ve hit on something special.

With these users’ insights and feedback, we determined the feature set for our next product launch: Relephant version 1.0.0. 

Version 1.0.0 will be a native desktop app. It will dramatically improve the user onboarding experience, and include native features like clipboard control and deep linking.

How we’re thinking about the next 6 months

Our top priority is to build a base of power users who love Relephant.

Product

Our 6-month goal is to sprint towards product-market fit (PMF). This means building a small but devoted base of early Relephant users. The Paul Graham wisdom along this vein is to “make something that a few people love.” [1]

We’ve articulated our vision above, to become the Personal Google.

This is how we start. Building out a product that delights our users: enabling them to capture, store, and retrieve information that would otherwise get lost in the ether of their busy lives.

Metrics – Tracked

Our product goal informs our metrics.[2] We want to see high frequency use and strong retention.

To measure frequency of use, we’ll track sessions per weekly active user. To measure retention, we’ll track L30.[3]

Metrics – Surveyed

We’re planning to build for a relatively small user base at first. So we’ll supplement our purely quantitative metrics with richer survey data.

Following the Superhuman playbook, we’ll track the percentage of users who say they’d be “very disappointed” if Relephant ceased to exist.[4] We’ll presume to have reached PMF with those users.

This survey will also inform our product roadmap, as we identify the features required to bring more users into the PMF group.

Try it and give us your feedback!

As we prep for the v1 launch, we’d love for you to give our alpha a try. Sign into our Slack community here and I’ll get you set up.

Freemium

We’ll offer the core Relephant for free: optimizing for adoption and usage data.[5] Once we’ve achieved PMF with a core group of users — whose User Personas and Core Use Cases we can clearly articulate — we’ll form our monetization strategy.

Backend Capital

Wanted to shoutout to the Backend Capital team. Dave and Lucy have been here for us in a way I’ve never seen before from investors. I won’t bore you by listing the myriad ways they proactively helped out. Suffice it to say they’re truly a part of our team, in the trenches with us.

Heads down in paradise.

Our team is holed up in the Santa Cruz mountains to ride out the pandemic. We’re living together in a large house with our significant others, overlooking a beautiful valley. It’s the ideal place for us to be right now: isolated from COVID-19, surrounded by peaceful nature, with little else to do than build Relephant, and bond with each other. I feel incredibly lucky to be together in this safe place with these amazing humans.

References

[1] “you can either build something a large number of people want a small amount, or something a small number of people want a large amount. Choose the latter” – Paul Graham http://paulgraham.com/startupideas.html

[2] “We would never release a feature without releasing the analytics for that feature and understanding what specific measurable result we wanted to create.”- Michael Seibel. https://blog.ycombinator.com/product-development-cycle-fundamentals/

[3] Andrew Chen on engagement and retention metrics. https://andrewchen.co/power-user-curve/

[4] Superhuman PMF article. https://firstround.com/review/how-superhuman-built-an-engine-to-find-product-market-fit/

[5] Among the many great pieces of advice we got from you, our investors, a common refrain was to offer Relephant for free. A number of reasons for this: 1. Freemium is the most common monetization model for consumer productivity tools. Why innovate on that? 2. Early on, we need to optimize for usage — so that we can have a strong feedback loop, informing the product roadmap, and hastening our time to PMF.

Leave a Reply