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Ask HN: Feedback on my startup
34 points by fananta on Jan 8, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 44 comments
The landing page is here: http://productmap.co

Is the landing page too simple? The concept is to consolidate the way different companies share their product updates (release notes, emails, changelog, etc.)

- I'd recommend you look into Amy Hoy's writings, especially about her "Pain/Dream/Fix" approach to pitching products [1]. Sign up to her newsletter as well.

- Colors and logo seem to be inspired from ProductHunt. It's fine to steal (really), but at least be a tad more creative with the logo.

- If you're going for a simple page, I wouldn't hesitate to use larger font sizes.

- "Designing Web Applications" from Nathan Barry may be a good investment of money [2]. He actually also took advices from Amy Hoy for his own products [3].

- I'd put a human face on this page, maybe of yourself. There are tons of studies showing that this helps building trust and rapport [4] (especially useful as it is a product in the making with no users yet).

[1] https://unicornfree.com/2013/how-i-increased-conversion-2-4x...

[2] http://nathanbarry.com/webapps/

[3] http://nathanbarry.com/step-by-step-landing-page-copywriting...

[4] https://vwo.com/blog/human-landing-page-increase-conversion-...

Excellent suggestions, thank you!

Just to note, really didn't use producthunt as an inspiration. Simply tried to make a "blob" with the letter P in it. Not sure how the colors are similar?

> Not sure how the colors are similar?

The fact that it does look similar to someone is feedback. Take it how it is, but at the end of the day someone is going to think it's inspired by ProductHunt. :)

That's fair :)

Was just curious where OP saw red, navy blue, and teal on producthunt.

Pros: It's pretty and it's simple. Excellent selection of color. Very likeable.

Cons: Yes it is unclear what you are trying to offer. I'd suggest replacing the blue rectangles with text of what you imagine the product update timeline would look like for an example company. Signup page takes a while to load.

Appreciate the feedback. I'll be adding a demo to see our live productmap from there.

I like your page, good minimalism. Also, I like the why you handled branding. I got a good feel of the talent behind the scene. But there are couple of things you need to take care. Some are critical too.

The main thing as everyone spotted you required a good short description. It's better to put a short description just below the message about the problem that you are trying to solve. for example, if you take basecamp landing page, they give more focus to the heading - “Work together the easy way”. Just after that, they had a short description about the problem they solve - “Basecamp’s unique blend of tools is everything any team needs to stay on the same page about whatever they’re working on. There’s nothing else like it!”. From this, I got a gist of what basecamp do.

Once you add the short description, bring the early access button to upfront. Then it makes sense. It will be like in an order message, short description and call to action. check this http://i.imgur.com/vUxKt5B.png I made small modification on your web page.

Another thing I like to say is about the timeline. For me, When I saw it in first glance, I felt it as a screenshot of actual product. But I later got confused. it seems more like a design that you added for aesthetic because inside the timeline slice there is no text saying like for example “Release 1.0.5” instead a green rectangle. If it's an actual screenshot make it a bit more intuitive. It's just a suggestion.

If possible, try to add a bit more drilled down information on page scrolling. Because sometimes people require a bit more details. for example, you can refer basecamp website. On the website as you scroll more details information starts coming and make more sense to the app. Even you are in early access stage but still you require some more supporting descriptions. Which helps you to get more clicks from your target audience.

Also, I suggest putting your address/country. Becuase I like to know where are you from? :). Nice to see a lot of energy. All the best to your team.


Thank you! Super helpful feedback. I'll add a second like explaining the problem this solves (replacing release notes, changelogs, etc.)

I'm from Toronto :)


I have requested an invitation for both my personal and work email addresses. I seem to have an account for my personal address but I can't for the life of me think how this happened. I don't have any emails from you... Really odd? Anyway, regards the work account - how long till my invitation is actioned.

And no - Homepage isn't too simple. It's great.

Don't know if I'm missing a link somewhere but I really can't find anything that explains what your product/service is.

This tells me nothing about the product... It looks very clean but I have no idea if this is something I need and I feel like that information should be easily attainable from the landing page.

The landing page should be enough if there were not so many bugs. I don't know where to contact you directly about bugs!

I wish there was a bit more information to be honest. Is this a patching system? Or is it just like an alert system for updates? I'm not really sure what it is.

Sorry, the site is a bit broad at the moment (will fix). It's to post new features and product updates in one place. The idea is to replace changelogs, product update emails/blog posts, and release notes.

Changelogs as a Service, eh? The idea definitely has potential!

Somehow I've signed myself up for a bunch of newsletters from various companies whose services I don't even use that update me on new features they've implemented in addition to blogs from their employees. It's an interesting read from time to time so I haven't unsubscribed.

If you can provide a service which can guide other people through publishing the same type of useful/interesting/insightful information regardless of the size/scope/nature of their project/research/work/business/hobby...

This idea is actually really exciting the more I think about it. Keep at it!

But the landing page needs more information, yes.

If you do emails please, please, PLEASE! - include the name of the product and a brief description of what it does as a bit of a reminder when you send out the email form of your updates.

My absolute biggest pet peeve with changelog emails is that they just say "Hey I'm Tony from Initech and we just added a new feature to BigBoomBlaster!!". I'm sorry who is Tony, why do I care, why did I care when I signed up for this list, what does this product do? What is an Initech?

I sign up to a lot of things, I need that taster of information to remember which of the 30 things I signed up to this week is emailing me without a hint as to who they are. No the domain name doesn't count, I didn't even read it when I signed up. The product already got me hooked enough to sign up for this thing, just remind me what it is and I'm all ears.

It's interesting but I don't know if its such a jump forward that I might pay for it. But if you included an API for binary patching to distribute updates I would pay for it.

Out of curiosity, how would this be different from a blog?

A few differences from a blog come to my mind:

Integration with customer SSO, to provide different info for prospect/trial/paying customers or customers with different verticals/needs similar to the marketing landing page concept

There's much less overhead (simple setup, easy posting, chronological display). I'll also be building out a set of features that help customers provide feedback.

There needs to be more information about how it's better and why. Because there's nothing about it now. Even just a paragraph explaining how it's different would be nice.

Are you targeting B2B or B2C companies? Of those two, B2B sounds like the obvious choice, but even then, I'm not sure there's enough value for companies to adopt this. What makes you think companies actually want this and are willing to pay money for it?

I spoke with an admittedly small set of potential companies, both B2B and B2C. There's enough value in replacing the current way of communicating updates with customers which involves: newsletters, notifications, emails, blog posts, release notes, PDFs (B2B mainly), etc.

If I understand correctly, this is a beautified Changelog, probably with an opt-in (email and/or social media) notifications. Does this also provide means for in-app update checks and downloading updates/binary patches? If it's a Yes for all of the above, then it'll be what most software development shops already have in place (and it's trvially simple to set up compared to all other stuff that they need to do).

I mean - it looks nice, but it doesn't seem to solve any pertinent problems for its target audience.

It's a good, clean design, but the page doesn't make it clear what your product does. To be honest, I'm guessing it's road map / change log as a service based on the name more than anything. So assuming I'm right in what productmap does, you've definitely got a good name :)

Thank you. That seems to be the feedback here (page isn't clear enough). Considering you run a service, how do you convey tell your users about new features in an engaging way?

At the moment I don't have a defined way of updating users of new features. As I'm aiming to run BugMuncher as openly and transparently as possible, a public road map has been on my todo list for quite a while. I'm very interested in your product, which brings me to my next bit of feedback:

I clicked the 'Get Early Access' button, and it opened what looked like it was going to be a survey, which put me off. I decided to give you the benefit of the doubt and clicked the 'Start' button, but my initial instincts where correct, and there where 8 survey questions to answer. I'll be honest, at that point I closed the tab and went about my day.

I'm BugMuncher's solo-founder and only employee, so all tasks fall to me, this makes me really value my time, to the point where those survey questions where enough to make me move on.

When someone clicks the early access button you should do nothing but capture their email address, so you can keep them updated and notify when beta access is granted. Once I've started using your product I'll be much more receptive to the survey.

Appreciate the honesty here! I'll make sure to shorten that down to 1-2 Qs.

Is productmap not open to everyone now?

where is your productmap? I liked idea personally but I would like to see your own productmap first.

My first reaction: Is this something that companies actually want/need? Have you validated the market? That's ultimately more important than the v0 landing page design.

You're right. I have talked to a handful (<10) of potential customers already. They're willing to try it out and going to share with them over the course of the next week.

Does try out mean actually pay money for though?

willing or eager?

about 50-50. had a few new signups in the last couple days that were very eager.

I love the design and the "Get early access" button, especially the minimalism involved in the side bar. However, I do have a question on the site's functionality, if it's meant to provide a singular place for product updates, changelogs and emails, how does it differ from Atlassian's JIRA?

Thanks :) I think Jira is more for managing the sdlc and an internal tool.

The focus here would be to have an intuitive interface for product updates and getting feedback on new product decisions.

Clickable link http://productmap.co

Reminds me of Marc's Changelog. Here's a live example: http://changelog.nomadlist.com/

Perfect, hadn't come across that before. Would love to exchange thoughts with the builder.

This would be awesome.

Heads up though: people will want to embed this on day one.

Appreciate the kind comment. Considering going making it free for basic users and have premium features for $ (like embedding/custom subdomain)

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