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Show HN: I made a CRM system to make sales fun (wobaka.com)
275 points by drikerf 50 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 206 comments

As someone who evaluates CRMs pretty much for a living I'm sad to report there's nothing new here. Great UI - Kudos. But, this is way more expensive than Pipedrive whose UI is arguably as user friendly. I think you've got potential here... but you're priced same as close.io with far fewer features and a similar UI.

I tried Pipedrive but if you want to sync contacts with Google Contacts, they insist on accessing your mails as well. No way to reduce OAuth scope. To make matters worse, they use a third party API to do this, so you trust not just one, but two random companies with access to your email. This is an issue since email is not just used for marketing (think password reset tokens and so on).

Their support has been useless when I asked about this, insisting that their approach was perfectly secure and that their other customers don't care:

> We have now more than 85,000 companies from all over the World who have accepted and agreed with our Terms and Conditions and I am happy to say that we have never had any issues with these matters.

Isn't the whole genre of CRM kinda useless without access to your emails though?

Not necessarily, many CRMs (including Pipedrive) allow you to forward mails to them.

Yep! That's what I do with Wobaka too. You don't have to give access to your complete email. Just BCC or forward messages to a specific email.

You evaluate CRMs for a living?

If I may, an off-topic question. I am completely unsatisfied with any addressbook software and have been looking at a ton of CRMs for personal use. I would prefer something open source, but anything self-hosted would do.

The one feature that most CRMs are missing is CardDav and CalDav syncing. I need my contacts on my phone. Do you know of any opens source or otherwise self-hosted CRM that supports CardDav and CalDav for contacts and appointments?

Thank you!

Streak or Copper would be my go-to for this, but they sit atop Gmail and Google Calendar which doesn't give you the open open source solution you want. I'm sorry to say that I don't have a FOSS recommendation.

Personally, I'd actually like a CRM that sits atop LinkedIn. That's where the leads and data truly exist.

Any recommendations?

LinkedIn already has that -- it's sales navigator.

insidesales.com. I was the product manager when we launched Playbooks. Its core value prop is this.

Thank you for your input, at least it gives me a bit of perspective.

Check out https://www.monicahq.com/ for a self-hosted CRM (personal).

I love the idea of Monica but I've had serious challenges getting it going in self-hosted land. I plan to keep trying though as the idea of a personal CRM is nearly irresistable.

My most recent attempt a few weeks back (following the debian guide in the GH repo + a few fixes on Stack Exchange) resulted in a page that lets you 'register' your first account but for some reason does not load any page. It just appears to either infinitely load or returns nothing, not even an empty HTML file.

I'm sure the hosted offering is great, I'd rather not invest any more personal information onto someone else's servers.

OT -> At some point I'm gonna get up the nerve to crack open a F# giraffe site and write up a small Personal CRM site.

I would want to track things like name, high school graduated, favorite color, name of dog, relationship to me, relationship to other people in the site, reminders to write them a letter every X days, 'on deck' lunch dates I need to plan, etc. Something like a mobile web-ready email-reminder enabled Farley File (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farley_file).

I am personally doing all that with my own Sciter Notes [1]. That is a free form personal database of HTML documents if you wish.

With notebooks, tags and events.

For customers I have single template in form of definition list (html's <dl> under the hood):

  - principal contact:
  - address: 
  - service until:
So to make new customer I simply copy that template and fill those fields. Adding more info if needed for particular customer, etc.

[1] https://notes.sciter.com GitHub: https://github.com/c-smile/sciter-sdk/tree/master/notes

Simply spin up the docker container which has everything ready to run correctly...


Thank you, I have looked at Monica in the past but it was rather rough then. I see now that CardDav support is now in the "alpha" phase for the project. I will take a renewed look.

Thank you!

Have you checked out Monica?


Thanks for your feedback! I just want to mention that Wobaka is $49 for all of your team, not per user. So if you're more than 3 users it's not more expensive :).

Despite the advice to add enterprise pricing — advice which I’ve given in the past too — I think you’ve done exactly the right thing with your pricing.

Pricing is a form a bike shedding. You can spend an infinite amount of time worrying about it, and there is no one right answer.

But one thing that a fixed price of $49/mo regardless of team size will do for you is put a hard cap on how much you will work on closing a single account.

Even assuming a very sticky product, by fixing the price your guaranteeing a whale isn’t going to show up in your inbox, promise the world if only features X, Y, Z existed, get you running in circles chasing that ghost, and then disappear without paying a dime, leaving with a pile of code that adds no value to your true customer base.

This pattern is extremely common for small companies that dream of being the next Enterprise SaaS, and the big companies with high probability will never buy from you, but will have no problem dangling carrots that waste your extremely valuable cycles.

Fixing the price is a very overt way to maintain focus and declare that you are going to own your own feature set and build the product you want to build, take it or leave it.

As a sole proprietor this is the safest way for you to grow your company at this stage.

Ignore all pricing discussions and just focus like hell on features that increase your SAM (the number of customers who could actually use your product), your reach (the percentage of your SAM that know you exist) and your conversion (the percentage of people who know you exist that ever actually pay you money).

Also remember that when you start out, the customers you have are not always the customers you want. The low monthly price is a great way to say, tell me what you like and don’t like, but don’t expect me to move mountains to build something special for you.

Agreed, I do this as well.

Also, Basecamp: https://m.signalvnoise.com/why-we-never-sold-basecamp-by-the...

This is my first comment in HN. That's a very good advice.

Thank you for taking the time to share this :)!

So if a firm with 50,000 employees signs up, you'll charge them $49?

You should reconsider this pricing model because a client of any considerable size is both able and willing to pay for a product that is financially stable. $49 won't keep the lights on, and the fear of investing time and data into a system that won't survive financially due to poor pricing might scare off some potential customers.

This is an unnecessary worry. How about they cross that bridge when they get there? If they spent time worrying about all that _could_ go wrong, they’d of never have built anything.

People who spend time worrying about what could go wrong don’t make good business operators. The truth is, when you get a business off the ground so many things go fantastically wrong and so many go fantastically right and you’ll have not anticipated any of it.

Let the person who built this CRM focus on the only thing they really need to worry about: building an awesome product and getting people to pay them for it.

I normally agree with deferring features, but in this case protecting (/preparing) yourself from this scenario is a very simple change (add a second / third price point). You don't even have to do anything to support it, other than put it there and deal with it if / when that number of people do sign up.

part of getting people to pay for it is pricing it properly. No business in their right mind would trust a tool that costs 49/mo for 50k users.

Yeah because you know, NOW really is the best time to prepare themselves for being the next Salesforce or Office 365.

Don't you think it's a just little premature for that scale of thinking? I mean, they just got the thing posted on HN.

I think there is somewhere in between a startup and Salesforce size - at this pricing, even small businesses are going to be wary.

$49/m is just so obviously underpriced that it rings alarm bells - how could that possibly be sustainable, will it still be around in 6 months?

It’s not that - it’s that as a 6-person team who is a target customer, I don’t want to get a bunch of my data locked in to a system that’s not priced to sustain the company.

I mean Basecamp is $99/mo. And it has a bunch more features. I don't know about you but I'd say they run a sustainable business.

CRMs are usually ridiculously overpriced.


The company is just me and I'm not trying to land huge customers. Therefore I need no marketing or customer support team. I'm building it for myself and other small businesses. I think I can make that sustainable. I also have no interest in being acquired so you won't have to worry about that either :).

It's not premature. It sets expectations. If you can't set expectations for the buyer, they just won't buy.

You don’t have to build the feature, just add a “contact us” button for > users. Building enterprise grade features is a pre-mature optimizations.

Setting expectations and putting people in the right funnel is not. Especially if it’s a cheap change like adding a button.

Is that their target market?

Thanks John :)

Sure. And don't sweat the comments about "it doesn't do anything new blah blah."

I built an eBay feedback reminder (that's had over 15,000 paying users over the course of its life).

Here's the thing: eBay already sends feedback reminders and people pay to use mine anyway because of some minor differences (and then there are customers who don't know eBay sends feedback reminders).

Pretty much every nay say anyone who hasn't succeeded in business could give you is total fluff.

I don't think that big of a firm will sign up. I'm building a CRM for small businesses and makers. I don't think that large firms would enjoy it.

Still useful to have. The most basic version would be something like:

1. up to 10 users: $49/mo

2. 11–25 users: $99/mo

3. 26–100 users: $199/mo

4. 101+ users: call me


As anyone who has tried to buy a CRM will know, these prices are crazy low. Which is a good thing!

> As anyone who has tried to buy a CRM will know, these prices are crazy low. Which is a good thing!

No, no it's not. CRM is incredibly valuable to any business and if your software provider can't sustain it's own businesses because they charge too little, the last thing you want to deal with is switching costs (direct costs and hassle) when they go under.

You're right about the switching costs if an SaaS provider goes under. But assuming $50/month is unsustainable for the feature set and service guarantees this company provides seems, well, to assume a lot. If they were trying to provide features competitive with Salesforce, maybe, but are they? (And can we really be sure that Salesforce would collapse if they weren't charging $150/user/mo for their "most popular" plan?)

Even if you are able to get 1,000 customers at $50/month, that's only $50k/month or $600k/year. That's barely enough to provide enough support personnel and hosting costs alone to support 1k clients.

Sure! I like to keep it simple. Might add it in the future :).

> don't think that big of a firm will sign up.

Better make sure they don't then so you won't have to support a large company that signed up because of the low price.

Some problems you want to have. A huge firm signing up is definitely a problem you want to have.

I was first introduced to this concept by a colleague who was going to serve customers manually instead of us programmers automating it. I said he was going to have a major issue when lots of people sign up. He replied "That is definitely a problem I want to have, I hope I get completely overloaded, because then we have the money to automate it".

I guess it is related to Paul Grahams "do things that don't scale", but "problem I want to have" is broader.

Since then I always evaluate if certain problems are the ones I want to have, because then I know I can postpone them.

> because then we have the money to automate it

I think you are missing the point that in this case you _don't_ have the money.

If a big company with 50,000 employees is your customer, you must be pretty blind or stubborn to not get the money you want.

The problem is what zaroth outlined at the start of this thread: the big company doesn't start as your customer. They start out as "Hi, we're a Fortune 500 company and we'll become your Number One Customer if you jump through these hoops...before we sign a contract!" And you start jumping. And there are more hoops. And you jump. And they have a strategy change and blow you off for six months, then come back with a different set of hoops. And you jump. And you jump. And you've spent hundreds of thousand of dollars for the promise of getting that big customer, on the belief that they'll surely sign and that other customers of their size will follow.

And they don't sign.

And it turns out what you worked on for them isn't something other customers of their size really quite want. But if you jump through these hoops...

If they don't start as your customer, then there is no problem in the first place.

If they are your customer, there's no more hoops to jump through.

I don't see the problem you are describing here.

I am sure they are perfectly able to negotiate once the usage gets out of hand.

Supporting thousands of users from a huge firm, while only charging them $49, is not a problem you want to have. You're just giving away resources at that point.

No, you're letting them start to depend on the tool which allows you to renegotiate for a good deal later

$49 for thousands of users is basically free. For a CRM, a company with a 2000 seat license should be paying well into the tens of thousands of dollars a year, if not significantly more.

You don't renegotiate from $49 to $60,000...

Renegotiate? You probably mean changing the license terms. Way easier.

yeah. if you have 50k employees, you are already using salesforce with a LOT of custom code/workflow.

a lot people seem to forget that there's a lot of b2b on the small-to-medium size.

Even for a 100 people size company, charging $49 IS giveaway.

basecamp manages it. They charge a flat fee, no matter how many users: https://basecamp.com/pricing

They blogged (alas can't find the link now) they did that deliberately in order not to be beholden to larger customers, they wanted to treat all customers equally.

Couldn't they choose to not be beholden to larger customers regardless of the pricing? That seems like a business choice that is independent of the pricing model.

Alas I can't find the link, it was a really great article, I've just spent about 10 minutes searching for it.

From memory, their logic was that even if you decide to treat all customers equally, if you have one customer with 1k seats paying $30k, and another with 1 seat paying $30, you'll just end up treating the customers differently, it's just human nature, and there's nothing you can really do about that.

Maybe the feedback here is to make that clearer, without knowing much that sounds like a huge selling point compared to your competition, so you should pull attention to it. This is what your website says right now:

> Start your 7 day free trial now. After that it's $49 per month, total.

How about clarifying it to something like:

> 7 day free trial: after that unlimited users costs $49 per month. That's for your entire team!

Something that brings home the point of how much of a difference this is compared to the "per-agent" pricing that's pretty much standard.

I'll leave it to others to decide how viable this pricing is :-)

EDIT: Also, just wanted to let you know there's a typo on https://wobaka.com/#/sign-up

> That's a total, no matter how many people --> your <-- are.

Thanks! I don't really want to compete on price so that's why I'm not highlighting it more. I just want to speak to small business owners :). Fixing the typo now!

> I don't really want to compete on price

If that is the case, can I ask why you are not mirroring the pricing of your competitors more? If you're not competing on price, what are you competing on?

Because I don't like it. And for small businesses I don't think it makes sense because team members end up sharing accounts and it just becomes a mess of who did what.

I'm competing on making a CRM that's actually enjoyable to use and not just a way to keep track of your sales team :).

What would you recommend for a mom and pop ecommerce? Trying to find something for a couple of friends, but everything is bloated and complex.

In our SMB we went with Nutshell CRM [0]. The starter version has all the features minus sales automation. The UI is fine, they have well written docs [1] and their security docs is actually insightful [2]. Things like an well written API and an actual, live and up-to-date status page etc. make it look like a decent run SaaS business imho.

[0] - https://www.nutshell.com/pricing/ [1] - https://www.nutshell.com/security/

Hey thanks! I'm a cofounder at Nutshell. Always great to hear from other hackers getting value from what we're building.

Happy to see that this comment has reached you in person. Please pass on my compliments to your team. It looks like they are doing a good job.

Nutshell looks great. Wasn't on my radar at all, but I'm going to start evaluating it next week. Good job Andy!

Pipedrive. Its not perfect and there are many situation where I would recommend differently, but it will meet you needs.

I confirm - Pipedrive is pretty good for SMB.

Would you be willing to briefly elaborate?

Too many items to elaborate over HN. Here's three easy issues:

1. Estonia company creates some issues for corporate clients. 2. Form fields jammed together & tiny & harder for older users. 3. Not much going on in terms of automation, A.I. or triggers based on contact activity.

Again, much to say, but those are few.

Pipedrive does have workflow automation though.

What would you be looking for in a less bloated CRM? I have considered writing one as a starter for clients but not sure what features to include.

Well, they need to track orders, send newsletters to their customers, some help preparing physical newsletters, track inventory, etc. The basics. However, they do it all with Excel right now, so some intelligence from a CRM would be nice: forecasting? When and how much inventory should I have for next season? etc.

What e-commerce platform are they on? For example on Shopify, you can install a wide range of apps to get access to different functionality (like Klaviyo for sending out newsletters).

You mentioned they need to track inventory! Are they looking to do that across multiple sales channels?

I built Trunk[1] which would centralize their inventory and sync it in real-time across everywhere they sell (e.g. Etsy, Shopify, Faire, eBay, Amazon, Square, Squarespace, etc.). If they also need to track their bundles/kits, Trunk can do that too.

Feel free to visit the website and chat with me (bottom right icon)!

1. https://www.trunkinventory.com

What you are looking for is as much ERP as CRM. You might have a look at Unleashed for inventory and Zapier integration to something like close.io for the outreach & CRM portion.

Precisely. This is a niche: ERP/CRM mix for mom and pop shops, so they can afford the software and not get swamped in integrations/complex docs.

Funny, but I bounced off of Pipedrive.com pretty quick. Why should I trust a product if they are too afraid to show me meaningful screenshots? They have more detail in the dinky little videos, but I don't want to just sit there for a few minutes just for a chance to see something slightly real.

The Wobaka "screenshots" are also obviously fake, but there is enough detail that they still give me a clear idea of what the intention is.

Agree that screenshots are key. Also not a huge fan of hosting critical data where ultimate control is overseas (eg. Estonia). Its not so much a trust issue as speed to remedy (eg. injunctive relief) if needed.

Not sure what you mean? Screenshots are actual screeenshots. They've just been cropped since it would look really odd otherwise :).

The window chrome and the shot with the overlapping windows look bogus. Not in a terrible way, but it is still noticeable.

Pricing does not work this way [1]. Smaller companies tend to offer a lot more accessible support, which is not as loudly advertised. In any case, if pricing did work this way, Saas would be a race to the bottom, which the market has shown to not be the case.

[1]: https://training.kalzumeus.com/newsletters/archive/saas_pric...

Can you tell us what you consider to be THE MAIN features / traits of a CRM that makes it good? Like 90% of it? We are building one now.

What we already have: An app that is used by 100000+ active users to manage their contacts and put them into groups.

What we want to add:

Each Group would have a Tree of States

Each State would have (full HTML) Email Templates that you customize with our mobile editor

You would be able to send template emails from your phone and track email opens and link clicks, and get notifications.

Each “email open” or “link click” can move people into a new state, from 5a to 5b so to speak. Of course, primary states would have names.

You would also be able to place calls and take HTML notes on each contact, which can include images etc.

The CRM would let you see at a glance who is in what state in the pipeline (actually, a tree).

Also, business card scanning that saves contacts in bulk, then you categorize them based on Group

We may also, later, want to add other features, such as “countdown” graphics and other widgets to the templates, and tasks for teams.


In your experience, what would be a good market clearing price for such a CRM? You would be able to do everything from your PHONE, rather than having to go to your computer. Do you know of a CRM like this? Or even an app that an track email opens? I only know NewtonMail maybe.

I was thinking of charging $20, $50 and $100 a month plans, for 200 emails, 1000 emails or 10,000 emails per month, respectively.

contact me - gardner ...\at/... hiredinsight ...\dot/... co

Really curious on your thoughts regarding RightNow Technologies/Oracle Service Cloud.

I used to use it as a customer and was a consultant for it until a lot of the work in that area started drying up.

Seemed to be the CRM of choice in 2010; nowadays, Salesforce, ServiceNow, and Zendesk seem to be the frontrunners in that space.

recommendations an ubuntu-based CRM for a researcher with ~300 PDFs; requires basic metadata, some kind of tagging support, not a year's worth of setup, please!.. coder here!

Qiqqa? Although that’s not a CRM but it does metadata, tagging, and PDFs. Maybe it will work for you.

What's your opinion about Base CRM?

My problem with Base (evaluated last year) was pricing for advanced features (eg. predictive AI). Also, and very subjective (I apologize in advance) I felt the UI was stale and inaccessible to older users. There are lots of things to like about Base though, and it's a heck of lot better IMHO than MSFT dynamics. But I cannot recommend unless things have changed since my last evaluation.

Doesn't mean it won't succeed

*close (they got close.com)

It's pretty! The Basecamp styling is really clear, and it's nice to see the interface on display

There's a few unanswered questions that I hope it's helpful to point out;

* Importers -> If I want to switch, how long will it take me to move from a potential system (Excel, Google Sheets, Salesforce, etc) into Wobaka?

* Integrations -> If I send an email can that come from my Outlook Gmail and be shown? Can I see emails from my colleagues towards a contact if they want to?

* What does a workflow look like? A gif of going from New Contact -> Adding them into an Org I'm talking to -> Sending the first message would do a lot here.

* How do I engage with my colleagues? Can I tag them in tasks, or pass things along to them?

> The Basecamp styling is really clear, and it's nice to see the interface on display

Promising. Anyone who seems to take inspiration from Basecamp is worth at least 30 extra seconds consideration in my book.

Basecamp is the company behind Rails and they were IMO one of the driving forces that made Ajax accessible and web application developement enjoyable.

Their UX was (and probably is) good, and their business philosophy flies right in the face of "unicorn or nothing" which means I wish more people would learn from them. Heh, I realize I'm probably not meant to say that here, but based on previous experience I expect it to be tolerated : )

- Signed: a Java (and other languages) developer that is happy for Rails

Thank you for the great feedback :)!

I just finished up an importer this weekend so it's easy to import your contacts from csv files.

Def going to make that GIF and look into colleague engagement more :).

> We believe in a different type of CRM

Marketing page doesn't convince me that it's a different CRM. Lists usual stuff. Actually quite lacking if the business cannot apply their customizations/business rules/validations/workflows.

I found the same. It says it makes it fun, but what specifically does the software do differently to justify this statement.

I really like the site. How did you come up with 7 days as a trial period? Seems like it may take longer than a week for someone to really see the value. I could be totally wrong though.

We’ve been through several CRM evaluations since Highrise went into maintenance-updates only.

During that time, we’ve seen some terribly unintuitive software and other offerings that look as though they’ll be great but lack some key feature.

Every CRM has a gotcha that you won’t find until you use it in anger.

IMO, seven days is not enough but I also think no evaluation is long enough unless you have the resources to run it fully in parallel to your existing process.

Exactly this. We actually ended up rolling our own internally, as a quick project. It's just as bad as everything we hated, and has some of the features we loved. At the same time, it costs nothing now - so we've committed to using it.

if your time is worth nothing then it's OK I guess. In the other hand if it is feature frozen and the trend is for infinite months it would be a wonderful investment.

"At the same time, it costs nothing now"


If you're on the trial and need more time to evaluate. Just let me know :).

Agreed, 7 days doesn't seem like enough time. Maybe they should make it so your first 3 leads/deals are free to see if it works start to finish.

I love this model. "We'll help you deliver value, on the house" as a trial.

I just picked a number. I want to offer a way to try it for free. However, My focus is to provide the best possible experience and support for paying customers, and I can't really do that if I'm supporting free users. If you need more time to evaluate, I can extend your trial :).

I agree 7 days is not enough to see the value. It is important to make the investment on your trial users and early adopters.

How about letting them use it for free until you are -sure- they have bought in. That is, you see they are adding colleagues, or acting a lot on key areas. Etc.

The copy says "tired of bad, boring software"

Bad, yes. But boring? I really don't look for fun and excitement from work software.

Excel wouldn't become any more useful if it was painted pink and had wacky icons

I went through your tweets and visualized how Wobaka slowly grew into production. I also have a similar side-project (customer support system, tbh), and you launching your product helped me gain confidence that I can do too! Unfortunately, I cannot sign up for a demo because no cc info (3rd world problems). Anyway, congratulations! It looks simple and beautiful.

I would still go with a major CRM. It's not so much about having a great product as it is about having software that a lot of people already know how to use. Even if people don't like the major players at least they're familiar with them, so recruiting and training is a lot easier even if the product is not a good as it should be.

I'd disagree in this space for their target market. They are targeting startups and many people that join startups like using new / cool tech. Also, most sales people I've talked to don't like the bloat of SalesForce, so I'd imagine they'd be cool with trying something new.

There are other reasons this will be tough, but I don't think this is one. The issue that comes to mind for me is integrations.

This reasoning has certain merit, but I still get sad every time I hear it. With this kind of attitude we would have never gotten out of the caves.

Not everyone is an early adopter

I found it a little hard to understand the differentiators. I think in a space like this, where there are already a host of established players, you should have the differentiating feature up front and easily consumable. I'd love to hear more about what other CRMs were missing (in a particular use case) and then hear what you did to fix it.

Thanks! That makes sense, will work on it :)!

Looks really nice but I wonder if you went too far with Basecamp's look.

The brand colors look so similar that you could get the impression that it's a Basecamp product. It almost looks like you took their background color and changed it by the smallest amount possible just so it wasn't an exact match if you compared the hex colors.

The background colour also looks like this site, Hacker News.

It's a color, they're not exclusive.

The title of the Show HN grabbed me and the design on your homepage had me leaning in.

I think it's hard to differentiate on design fully as a basic CRM. One idea you could look into as both a feature set and a focus of your marketing is leaning into the idea that you're the ideal first CRM and you make migrating to Salesforce dead simple.

You can snag ppl like our company who have been told you'll eventually need to be on Salesforce but aren't ready for all of that overhead. Then once you've got a community of users, you have a chance at adding more and more functionality that will get people to stay with you instead of migrating.

I've always thought there was a market opportunity around that.

Good luck

Thank you!

That's interesting. I'll always help you export your data whenever you want manually until I've built a good export tool :).

i love love businesses that start with services before automating with technology. Fully support this approach - def don't build until you need to and have requirements from your experience / your customers. I also really encourage you to think through the messaging that i described (your best 1st CRM with zero pain migration to Salesforce)!

No API information.

This is what I look for first when evaluating CRM software, which gives me an idea of the underlying schema and how to extend or integrate the software.

Most smaller CRM's do not support multiple price books, for example, that can be critical to businesses that have price differences between sales channels and regions.

A typical use case, customer story, for your solution would be helpful.


Thanks! I also check API docs :)! I'll be working on documenting the API in September.

Agreed! Having APIs helps me integrate better into our current work flows.

Also, I'd love to see some analytics / visualization features (or integrations into Looker/Tableau)!

I'll be making some basic analytics features this autumn. Pipeline overview over time, per-user metrics, maybe extrapolated deals etc, nothing super fancy :).

Went to check the landing page, looks nice.

Does not answer why I would choose this over all the other 1000000 of CRM offerings (just in our office we tried Zoho, Close.io, Salesforce, Pipedrive,....).

Plus, not fully sold on the "Built to last - Wobaka is like your favorite craft beer or artisan coffee. Made with love and hand-picked ingredients. No mega-corp here." pitch.

Great effort tho.

Yeah I wouldn't draw attention to the concept of software longevity anywhere. New SAAS by a solo developer is not what I think of when I think of things that will last.

OP you're just straight up not going to get people for who stability is a priority any time soon. Your target market is people who like to fiddle with their work tools, likely beyond pragmatism and in to productivity as a hobby territory. Guy that wants to get his organisation on to something and know he wont have to think about it again, ie the guy who cares about "built to last", is going to go Salesforce and call it a day.

Thanks! I know there are many CRMs out there. I'm trying to build one that I enjoy using and that is specifically made for small businesses. This way I can remove a lot of the stuff I don't care about and still have a nice and efficient system that is easy to stay on top of :).

I'd echo the parent comment. I hope you can get some paying users to sign up. The first place I would spend money is on a top-notch copywriter. I really like some of the copy but it feels disjointed as a whole.

When you say that it's for small businesses and it's really efficient and light, I think people will identify with that. As long as features keep getting added to platforms, we will always need a super lightweight version. Again, I hope you get some paying users right away!

I think I'm just missing something and I see these as clashing messages that don't get fully explained: this platform will make you smile and you'll have fun using it, this platform is faster than other platforms, and it's built for small businesses. I'd ask you "How?" for all three of those.

Just some thoughts from a marketer who thinks about positioning and looks at lots of landing pages. I hope you ignore all advice, trust your gut, and have tons of success :)

At $49 per month with no free tier the author is setting themselves up for failure.

Get people on board with free product than offer value add. A CRM requires trust.. so spend money on the brand or give a free tier and build trust.

Free tier comes with A TON of support demands from people who many not ever become customers. That'd lead to failure a lot quicker. Seems better to have a a few paying customers who are invested in the product providing feedback than hundreds or thousands providing 'feedback' that will never lead to a conversion

I understand where you are coming from. Currently the website doesn't sell the product as is. I think you'll have trouble finding that paying customer. You need a good unique strategy if you want to break through.

Thank you :)!

They shut down Highrise and I am pretty sure there is a place for small business CRM. When I looked a while ago, I could not find a good Highrise replacement

Congratulations on your product launch! I am not your potential customer but as a fellow software developer I would like to know the technology/programming languages driving your product if you don't mind.

Thank you!

It's Clojure + ClojureScript, using a view library called Rum :).

Wow! I love Clojure. Unfortunately never got to use at work and of course never built anything serious with it.

Would you like to share more about your experience building a live product with Clojure? Did you face any challenges due to the smaller community and smaller set of libraries compared to something mainstream like Python or Go?

I love it :)!

I've built products with Python, Ruby and Node before and Clojure has been super fun!

Not missing anything particular. Since it has interop with both Java and JS you can often find libraries if you like to.


Looks nice. For anyone looking to self-host or develop their own CRMs, I can't recommend https://erpnext.com enough. It's written in Python and is FOSS.

Also, at the very bottom, "Wobaka cost way less than lost deals" cost should be costs.

IANAL but I don't see a "Legal" or "Privacy Policy" in the app itself. Maybe someone in the know can say if it's required or not. I do skim through these document if they exist and I can't find it here. At it's current state, it screams like an open source project since it says "Made with coffee by @drikerf"

Same price for 5 ppl as for 500? WTF?

This is going to be a tough lesson to learn.

Out of curiosity - can you share if you received any new paying users through this Show HN, and if so, how many? I realize there's a 7 day trial so even number of trial signups would be interesting. Trying to gauge the HN effect for a product like this.

I clicked because you said that you made something I'll "enjoy using." It made me interested to see what a CRM is. I can tell by visiting your site what purpose it generally serves, but nowhere did I find mention of what CRM stands for. Maybe you don't need to spell it out for your target market, but I think it would still be nice to establish the acronym for unfamiliar guests. To be fair, maybe I'm in the minority, as a quick web search provides me plenty of results clearly stating that it's "customer relationship management."

In any case, good luck with your business!

Great design! Is this some known scheme/template or is it all custom? Because it resembles Notion's design a bit. Did you start from a reusable framework (e.g. bootstrap)?

No framework, just CSS :).

Is the name a play on Wookiee Chewbacca? Asking for a friend.

Haha, I honestly don't know where I got it from. It used to be a word game I made in 2012 and I've just had the domain since :D.

Congrats on building this. It looks great. Two bits of feedback: I didn’t see any mention of an API. Comments indicate an uploader function, but to get into anything close to enterprise you will need an API yo manage the data. The API will need to be able to get data in and out. After that, larger customers will expect customizations. Big companies always want to customize the software.

Hey! Thanks for the feedback!

There will be an api later on. I'm building this for small businesses, so I don't want to bother them with enterprise features they won't use :).

I think you may be underestimating the need for an API. We're a small company (17 employees) and we wouldn't consider it without an API.

Remember lots of systems generate leads/customers, so if you don't want to provide tools for all those various systems, you need to offer an API.

Also on your sign up page, there's a typo:

"Wobaka cost way less than lost deals" should be "Wobaka costs way less than lost deals"

Unless Wobaka is plural?

Thanks, I fixed the typo now :).

As I mentioned, there will be an API soon (same as I'm using for the frontend). Just have to document it.

In your sample, Bruce Wayne should be in company Wayne Enterprise, nobody knowshe is also in the justice league

Looks nice! What about self hosting? I’d copy the Gitlab model. Open source community edition, and a quite pricy Enterprise edition that is full of features that only larger companies need (compliance stuff, audit trails, fine grained permissions, etc).


I'm making this for myself and other small businesses. So not really interested in enterprise :).

Open source model is interesting though and I've thought about it before. We'll see :)!

Trying to sign up in Firefox and when I click the Start 7 Day Free Trial button, nothing is happening. I get a brief spinner on the submit button, and nothing. Assuming maybe some validation is failing but its not telling me anything.

For me, the biggest pain points I face with CRMs are in integrations and customizations. Even Zendesk Sell+Support was awful when integrating to our ecom app. Does this CRM offer anything better in this area?

Not really atm. I will publish documentation for the API and will also make it work with Zapier. But if you're after lot's of integrations maybe Pipedrive is better :).

Looks great, well done for launching it (and getting onto front page of HN!).

What I really like is when there's a video showing what it's like to use the product.

I launched my leave tracking app (https://leavetracker.app) a couple of months ago and once I'm finally happy with the design I'll be making a video for it, I think it can really help with conversions.

I'm always impressed when one person alone builds a product and actually ships it. It's a very different journey to working in a team on a startup. Best of luck!

Thanks! That makes sense. I'll def make a video/gif! The product has changed quite frequently so didn't want to redo it every other day :)!

How great would it be if you did redo it every other day, though?

You'd automate the video publish pipeline, of course, and then it would be like a cross between a high-level UX test and a rehearsal for your pitch. You'd get really good at the workflows you demo, which would probably make the demo more impressive, and you'd be more likely to clean up any rough edges or annoyances that you come across repeatedly.

Can you tell us about the backend stack of this venture?

Backend is Clojure, frontend is ClojureScript :).

Nice to see a full Clojure stack! React based? If so, which library did you go with? Nice work!

Yes! I use Rum :).

Also Garden for CSS so it's 100% Clojure :D.

Nice. I'd love to hear more about that.

I'm very happy with it! I'll write a blog post about it soon, meanwhile I do tweet some development stuff about it on @drikerf :).

On your sign up page, this one sentence isn't quite clear to me. - "That's a total, no matter how many people your are."

I agree, this sentence is strange.

And when a company of 100 signs up...... oops.

Is there a guide or a book you'd recommend on designing software like this (in terms of the UI)? You've done very well.

Design of everyday things is the only book I've read on design and it's great :)!

I also learn from others and save design inspiration all the time and share it on Klart.io/pixels.

Thanks a lot for sharing. I have it, but have never gotten around to reading. Will do now.

Hey Fredrik, this is great :) Really dig your styling. Have been looking for a less-clunky CRM. Just signed up for a trial.

Thanks! I hope you'll like it :)!

Kudos for the launch! Is there a way to demo the product? Or see it in live w/o having to pull out the CC?

Thanks! I'll make sure to put up a video/gif on some workflow this week :). Also, I'm using Stripe to handle payments and will not charge anything for the free trial.

Why the name? To those who know a little bit of Japanese, the name is rather amusing.

What would it mean in Japanese? If you know a little bit of Chinese as well, you could read it as 我 + ばか – meaning something like "I'm an idiot", perhaps. :)

But then again, I guess an amusing meaning can be found for any word if you allow interpreting its parts in different languages.

I know a bit of Japanese and it didn't strike me at all. Is it just the "baka"? :-)

Wo = The

Baka = Fool

Src: Typed "wo in Japanese" and "baka in Japanese" into Google.

Names can, of course, be whatever they want, so there's nothing to say whether or not the name is "right" or "wrong".

From a language perspective, を is most commonly transliterated wo when used in isolation. When used as a particle, it's generally transliterated as o. It also follows the noun rather than proceeds it. So if the intent of wobaka is to mean something like idiot (as the object of a sentence) a number of liberties have been taken.

There's an honorific o お that does precede a noun, which I've never seen transliterated wo.

Nice UI, very much in the style of Basecamp / 37Signals.

Thanks! I like their work :)

The look and feel reminds me a lot of basecamp!

May I ask how you did the product screenshots?

Sure! Just screenshot and some editing in Figma

Any chance the domain is Japanese? haha

Seems inspired by Notion.

This looks nice, but when you say "you'll enjoy using" it sounds like the "you" is a salesperson. As an enterprise software PM who works with a lot of CRMs from a partnership/integration perspective, I can tell you that whether or not salespeople like it doesn't matter.

CRMs are tools for sales managers (and folks further up in the hierarchy) to know what's going on in their org. An incidental benefit is that reps have useful views of what's going on with their prospects, but ease of use for them is just not a concern of the buyer (hence the wild success of Salesforce, which just sucks to use).

In some categories of enterprise software, ease of use is a benefit. I was at Box in the early days when one of the big value props is that people would actually use it, because at the time they were using unsanctioned tools like Dropbox. The issue there was that managers didn't have an easy well of telling when people were using those tools, so the idea that good UX would entice users to stick with company-approved software was a good selling point.

With CRMs, that's not the case. As a rep, you're judged on your performance, and the way people see your performance is via the information you put in your CRM. If you're tracking a bunch of leads outside of your CRM, your manager will know (because you have to keep them in the loop on your deals). Thus, there's no reason for sales management to be concerned about ease of use - their CRM is going to get used because the alternative is that the reps are going to get fired.

My impression based on your marketing pages and this post is that you didn't really take the time to understand the CRM market and buyers before you built this. Your $49/month for a whole team pricing structure makes no sense - companies are absolutely willing to pay more (and are very willing to pay per user). Having a price point that low is more likely to scare off serious buyers than entice them. The fact that all of your messaging is directed at a rep is a huge problem. You need to focus on things that matter to your buyers (reporting, lead routing, pipeline management, etc.). "Wobaka is the CRM system that will make you smile" is a bad tagline - the folks buying this don't care if the people using it smile. They care about money. If your product doesn't make money (by improving time to close and/or likelihood of close), then they're not buying it whether people smile or not.

The good news is you've solicited this feedback early, and the fact that you have a well-designed UI definitely isn't a bad thing. If I were you, though, I would stop development and spend most of your time getting this in front of people in sales management to see what their feedback is. Find out what problems they have with their existing CRMs and try to solve those.

A while ago I used Hubspot CRM for a bit. I think it's slow and quirky, and to me it's a big red flag how hard they make it to get the data out (or, well, 2 years ago at least).

But Hubspot gets one thing right that I never understood other CRMs can't do. If Hubspot sees an email from name@company.com, they automatically make a new contact for that name, and a new organization for that company (derived from the @company.com), enrich it all with available data (employee size etc), which I guess they get from some Clearbit-like data. This is super useful, because it means all relevant organization about a new lead who just reached out is just there. The only manual logging I ever have to do is eg log calls or write internal notes. No bookkeeping whatsoever.

Similarly, if I want to log someone I met at, say, a conference, I just enter their email address from their business card (or whatever) and -poof- the contact and organization are there. Maybe I'll add the phone number if they're oldschool like that, but that's it. All the otherfields are immediately in "good enough" mode.

A while later I tried Close.io, who advertise loudly in the blogosphere about how much other CRMs make you click and type, and I had to make every contact and organization by hand! How is that automation? I simply don't understand how any CRM in 2019 can ship with so much manual data entry. What am I missing? Is my use case such an edge case?

If you'd add stuff like this, then maybe I'd be interested in switching over. But having to manually maintain every single piece of data, when much information is publicly available from various sources, is just not worth my time.

And if you have this feature, I'd highlight it proudly on the website :D

To other HN'ers, if you have suggestions for CRMs that get this right, I'm interested.

The few bits of automation hubspot do have, you end up fighting to behave well. It’s so hard to organise data in hubspot that you’ll end up negating any benefits from the automation. In my experience, it all becomes messy quickly.

I’d probably rank it as the worst bit of software I’ve ever used. The apis are inconsistent and incomplete. You can have multiple email addresses for a contact, but you can never extract them over the api and the only the primary is treated as a first class citizen. The interface somehow manages to portray the least amount of useful information in the largest amount of space I’ve ever seen. Updating anything is so painful that it’s hard to motivate yourself to do it.


Disclosure: I am one of the HubSpot founders.

Sorry for the poor experience you've had with the HubSpot CRM. We are working hard to make things better -- especially the APIs and how we present information in the Contact view.

Thanks for the candid feedback.

Thanks for commenting, in spite of my rude assessment.

Things have gotten marginally better over the last couple of years since we started using it, but it’s still not a great experience. Every part feels a bit kludged together. Take email integration. Really you should be doing something like closeio which just reads and syncs emails. Instead you rely on a plugin to bcc on send (miss the boat and the whole email chain is gone forever). But I don’t want to use the plugin (for reasons I don’t recall, oh maybe because I had to remember to keep turning it off all the time when emailing domains outside what we wanted in the crm). But then there are the obtuse track vs log flags, and depending on what you do, you may or may not receive the responses later in hubspot so someone else maybe can’t deal with it while you’re off.

There’s a lot more candid feedback I could give, but the response from the support team so far is basically, “put it in the forum”. Which seems to be the place ideas go to die.

Thank you for taking the time to write this :)!

I populate some things based on the domain but not all that you mention. I like these little smartness things and I want to do this. It's one of the things I'm going to try to make this autumn :).

A client of ours bought a CRM on Codecanyon and I have to say that it's pretty impressive. It's called Perfex.

It's written in CodeIgniter and has a lot of hooks so we were able to trick it out quite extensively. And it will create a lead or contact if information is sent through a web form that you can create on the platform.

We created a curl interface that fronts several different forms that feed into the CRM including contact and registration forms on various different sites.

Started on HubSpot and jumped around until we landed on PipeDrive. Very happy with it and their API makes it very easy to do internal tools and automation flows.

Have you tried Freshsales? It's loaded with automation but still has a DIY feel no akin to other enterprise crms

Disclosure: I work there and would love feedback.

I'm clearly biased (co-founder), but I'd suggest having a look at Nudge.ai for exactly that.

The open source Odoo does that too

I'm clearly biased (co-founder), but I'd suggest having a look at Nudge.ai. Does exactly what you're asking about.

Just added a nudge.ai account. Some feedback:

1. I'd like to see a zapier integration asap. 2. Consider a MixMax integration. Ping me if you want a contact there; or perhaps they'll catch this thread.

You can reach me at gardner ...\at/... hiredinsight ...\dot/... co

Thanks - good thoughts all round.

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