Ethan 👨‍🎤

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What is KanbanMail?

  • Tell people what KanbanMail is if they don’t already know

The idea

  • How I had it

  • When I had it

Starting out

  • Why I told people about it before it was released

  • Buying a domain name

  • Starting a Twitter account & posting ‘sneak-peeks’ to get people excited

Building KanbanMail

  • What technologies I used & how I decided on them

  • My crappy code quality & why I programmed like that

  • My coding set-up, music choices, etc.

Staying motivated

  • Why you can lose motivation

  • Don’t stop, keep up momentum

  • Building your network

  • Maker’s Kitchen

  • Twitter

Logging my progress

  • Why did I do it?

  • What it gave me

  • Why should you do it?

  • Makerlog is cool :D

Launching the beta

  • Why I did it

  • Getting over perfectionism

  • Design & wording choices for the landing page

  • Adding live chat

  • Why I pretended it was paid already

  • Sharing it!

KanbanMail made it to #1 on Hacker News the very next day 😮

  • Mini-narrative because it was an awesome day

  • Stats — page views, sign ups etc.

  • Deciding whether to make the beta free forever

  • Deciding if/how/when to let people in

  • How to deal with sudden virality

  • How to face negative comments

  • How to stay realistic when you got to #1 on HN but have earned $0 so far

  • The excitement slowly dropping off (only partly though)

More building

  • Getting down to work and doing all the things I’d been putting off but needed to be done before launch

  • It was especially important to do one thing each day at this time

  • How to decide whether to include features before charging

Giving everyone beta access

  • One day I woke up and said “stuff this batching thing, let’s let everyone in, what’s the worst that could happen?”

  • Getting over that fear and giving 450 people access all at once

  • How to make people remember you and still be excited when they signed up 1 month ago

  • How to respond to feature requests

  • Debugging with users

  • People are so helpful!

KanbanMail itself was ready… But there was more to do

  • There’s more to launching a product than the product itself

  • Payment

  • Transactional emails

  • Legal stuff

  • Making sure that everything is obvious

  • How to tell users about features that aren’t there yet

Deciding on pricing

  • Sending out surveys

  • Asking the right questions

  • Making the graphs & analyzing

Charging for KanbanMail

  • You’re taking people’s money and you’re responsible for everything

  • How to overcome the fear of charging when your product isn’t good enough


  • Just because it’s a soft-launch doesn’t mean you have to make it boring

  • Share stats

Preparing for launch

  • Making a video – OBS + iMovie

  • Making a GIF – SVG + CSS + EZGIF

Launch day

Livestreaming the launch

  • Why I did it

  • Benefits

  • Downsides – You don’t have time to think

  • Was it worth it? – YES

  • Livestream stats

After the launch

  • Share stats