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Show HN: I'm bootstrapping my company and this is my first product. Thoughts? (myminutesapp.com)
31 points by ktusznio on Aug 28, 2012 | hide | past | favorite | 44 comments

On an aesthetics note: pick a cleaner, more serious font than the script. It shows that you mean business with your app and it's meant to be used seriously rather than as a fun one-off.

On a consistency note: the examples in your copy should match those in your example image. You have 30 min for exercise and 1 hour for emails in the image but they're the opposite in your copy.

The app looks good though and quite useful. Might I also suggest, instead of listing all the features to have them displayed around the image with arrows pointing to what they're referring to. Context can make all the difference, especially with a long page.

Changing the font to something more professional is at the top of my list. I made a conscious decision to give the app an informal feel but I agree that that was mistake.

I'll also fix up the examples and look into a more efficient page layout.

Thanks for the feedback!

I agree with the font thing. My first thought was, "why marker felt?!?!"

I like how you have the 'at least' and 'at most'. There are things with no end in sight but need an hour a day.

It might be fun to play the background music of your video while the clock is running in the app, it reminded me of a Sega Outrun feeling for some reason and might help in gamifying speed.

Quick pitch: It's a time tracker with a robust goal-setting system that allows you to set up 'at most' and 'at least' goals. Spending too much time in your inbox? Set up a 'Do at most 1 hour going through email' goal. Want to work more on your side-project? 'Do at least 2 hours of side-project development'

I found this method of goal-setting to be pretty helpful for me both in maximizing time spent on things I want to do, and minimizing time spent on things I do that I'd rather not. What do you think?

Here are some free promo codes for those hesitant to take a closer look:

Please comment if you take one so I can take it off the list.

I'd love feedback on just about anything: design, execution, features, etc.

Thanks so much for taking a look!


Personally I find it weird looking at my phone each time to mark off a task done and starting a new one. Its like a stopwatch on my phone.

That's sort of the idea. The main selling point is to find out where your time is actually going. If that's not interesting to you then yeah, the app doesn't make much sense.

For myself, that's something I wanted to know so I built this. When I first started working on my company I was spending a lot of time doing random research and reading, and not enough development. Of course, I didn't find that out until I actually quantified where my time was going.

I then added the goals feature to wean myself off of the time sinks and towards the more valuable stuff. I found it helped me achieve a more balanced time allocation for productive vs. unproductive tasks.

Also, the simple procedure of setting up the goals made me way more conscious of where my time was going, which I thought was valuable.

The web page could be much more reader friendly (and less about you).

Specifically, the reader shouldn't have to search around the page to get a clear picture of what the app does. The top section of text (The Mission) does very little to explain the app. It says that you built this app to scratch your own itch (which is nice for you, but which we don't care about)... and it asks your readers for favors before we even know what the app is.

I'd dramatically shorten this. At the very least, the features section should go ahead of the request that we tell our friends about it.

I know this page is just something temporary to get the word out, but it will be more engaging and effective with small changes to make it more reader-oriented.

Thanks a lot for the feedback! I added the Mission bit to drive some social behaviour for the launch. I definitely agree that it detracts from marketing the app's features. I'll work on making it less prominent!

I'm curious why you didn't use the stock iTunes app store badge. That might convert slightly better if you get some site traffic.

You should make sure to go through AppCod.es preso on app store SEO. I am regularly amazed at how bad my competitors are on their app keywords. http://www.appcod.es/

You should go sign up with LinkShare and whatever the other iTunes affiliates are and work out your affiliate link from your site. 5% of the sales through your site might not be much now, but it's free money.

Awesome, thank you.

"The web page could be much more reader friendly (and less about you)."

I thought the same thing -- and moving the features and demo above "The Mission" is a great first step.

People generally don't care why you are doing something -- they want to know what your product/service/app is going to do for them.

Make "The Mission" into their mission ... how your app is going to help them ... and I think you'll see a lot more success. (Would be really interesting to do an A/B test on that!)

Congrats on launching!

Great idea, I'll rework the copy to that effect.

Moved the Features and Demo sections above the Mission. :)

I'm really impressed with how responsive you've been with comments on this page (and by quickly you are incorporating feedback).

I think that's a great sign, and I hope the app really takes off!

Well, I can see that this app is going to be useful for me (assuming I don't forget to use it). Thanks for making it! A few comments:

- I'd like to start multiple tasks at the same time (like running, and listening to music--done at the same time, but have different limits)

- Make the granularity of time equal in 'Today' (curr min: seconds) and 'Goal' (curr. min: minutes)

- 'Goal tracking' on/off was a bit confusing, I think because it's on the screen that manages the goal and not on the one that creates it.

> I'd like to start multiple tasks at the same time (like running, and listening to music--done at the same time, but have different limits)

I had support for multiple tasks at once in an early build, but I decided to nix it to reduce confusion. I couldn't think of any compelling use cases that were hindered, and lots where running multiple tasks would cause confusion. Hope that makes some sense.

> Make the granularity of time equal in 'Today' (curr min: seconds) and 'Goal' (curr. min: minutes)

You're probably right here. Time input methods should be uniform.

> 'Goal tracking' on/off was a bit confusing, I think because it's on the screen that manages the goal and not on the one that creates it.

Good call. I'll be rework the UI a bit to make that clearer.

Thanks for the feedback!

I have an Android but would love an app like this. Are you working on an Android version?

Do not make an Android app until there's proven validation in the iOS app. If you're not getting very many bites in the App Store, you'll get even fewer in the Android world. Your app is market-agnostic, so iOS interest will be a good indicator of Android interest.

I disagree. Now that the op has launched, and given that this is pretty low hanging fruit (from a development perspective) I think it would be advisable to hit every feasible platform as quickly as possible before another HNer does.

This has the opposite focus of a successful business.

To grow a business, you don't focus on what's easier for you as a developer, you focus on what information you can get to make strategic decisions that maximize revenue.

In this case, the smart thing is to dedicate everything into determining if there's a market for this app before deciding to take on the massive responsibility of supporting not just one platform, but two.

Not currently but if there is interest I definitely will. I've had a number of requests for now so you're not alone.

My experience: There's always interest in an Android version, but rarely enough sales to justify porting the average paid iOS app. The only likely benefit to you would be having those Android apps in your portfolio if you need to do consulting work.

I'm also an Android user who would be interested in an Android version.

You could allow for a pomodoro time metric perhaps? (Instead of 45 minutes for X, I can spend 2 pomodoros) that way you can piggy back into that particular community.

Would also be handy to store info on a web interface so I can work on it from my computer.

Web interface is definitely something I'll get to if the app gets enough traction.

I considered adding Pomodoro time, but opted not to for the launch to keep things simple. I may make it an extra down the road.

Thanks for the feedback!

I love productivity apps that truly help you manage what you do. I have not tried this yet, but I will and let you know what I think. On the surface it looks to be a winner.

Thanks for the kind comment. :)

I've been looking for an app like this I downloaded it, I'll let you know if it works.

Awesome, thank you :)

It would be cool to set hours per a week dedicated to a specific task (job).

I'm a freelancer with 3 clients, each having set hours per a week (based on my estimation) that need tracking.

It would be cool if it could suggest different schedules that work for the set hours.

Will it track how much time you spend setting up/managing the data in the app?

I've tried to make that process as minimal and streamlined as possible. I tried to make getting started with the app as painless as I could!

Since the primary intent of the app is to help manage where your minutes go and make the process of managing the app as minimal and streamlined as possible - have you considered optionally enabling automated time keeping. Things like how much time you spend on phone calls, using your phone in general. GPS insights like driving time, time spent at home/office/bar. Anything that you could reasonably guess given the different features of the phone?

Very interesting idea, I hadn't thought about that too much! Would definitely be fun to build. :)

I just bought this. An awesome idea, I could really use this everyday.

Awesome, hope the app helps you out. Let me know if you have anything you'd like to see in the app!

I could see myself or friends using this but why brush script?

Yeah, I agree. The app is an interesting take on productivity. I haven't seen anything that does countdowns. But my initial reaction was "whoa, terrible font". Also try left justifying the labels and have the uinavbar label font match.

This was actually a conscious decision. I did it to give the app an informal feel. Basically to distinguish it from the super-serious professional time tracking apps that are overloaded with features. I could have been wrong though because I've gotten a few complaints about the font now. I may change it in the next update. :)

Using a font to give it that feel is the wrong way to go. It makes it seem like your development approach was informal.

Good point. I think that has a lot of merit. I'll work on changing the font. For some reason it has a special place in my heart, though.

Keep the font, and the color please. I think you're right about it.

I wouldn't change it because then you will have people that liked the original font/colors ... make a couple of "themes" that people can choose from in the settings and then everyone will be happy!

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