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Finda: A desktop app for finding anything


#1

Hi fellow bootstrappers,

I built an app as a “scratch my own itch” / research project, but after showing it to a few friends they asked if they could purchase it, so I’ve thrown together a landing page: https://keminglabs.com/finda/

My goal with the page is to keep it short:

  • explain what the app is about
  • encourage visitors to just download the trial, check it out, and hopefully convert from there

I’m curious if ya’ll think it does a good job on that.
(Or if you’d recommend another approach.)

My marketing plan is to write a few technical blog posts in the next two months to get the app in front of as many developers (my target market) as possible.
If that proves promising, I’ll continue that approach (blogging, maybe a tech few conference talks); otherwise I’ll probably just wrap things up — again, this is just a side project, so success looks having a complete, useful product that sells a few hundred copies.

Curious if ya’ll have any suggestions.
Thanks!


#2

Great app, truly loved it!

Amazing how a guy with a hobby can dramatically outperform a team of “elite” graduates working at Apple on the piece of s**t that Spotlight has become.


#3

Kudos for the OS X 10.9 support! Do you mind sharing why are you supporting it?

Good luck!


#4

@dimitarnestorov I’m supporting it because I’m still running OS X 10.9 on my own laptop. I find that software upgrades usually break more things than they fix, so I don’t do them unless there’s a specific fix or feature that I know I need for my work.


#5

Hi Bootstrappers,

I launched Finda two weeks ago via tweet and blog post. The post made the frontpage of HN and the Rust subreddit, and has a video demo and link to Finda above the fold, as well as “try it out!” call to action at the bottom.

Over the past two weeks:

15k blog post impressions
3k impressions on the finda page
11k tweet impressions
350 tweet clicks to the finda page
21 sales (0.7% conversion rate from landing page, 0.1% from blog post. The rate will likely go down in the future, since these initial sales include the folks who know me personally)

50% of the blog traffic was from mobile.

The biggest open question for me is how to optimize free->paid conversions.
Right now the trial allows 2 hours of unlimited usage per 24 hour period; and I’m not sure if it’d be better to change that model somehow:

  • X day unlimited usage, then 5-second nag delay every time you open?
  • X day unlimited, then you have to purchase or stop
  • unlimited usage of some integrations (browser tabs, files), pay to integrate with programming editors
  • ad-supported free version and pay to remove ads

I’m not tracking how many people have downloaded and used the app itself.
Not sure if those metrics might inform which conversion model to use.

Open to any suggestions or thoughts ya’ll have!


#6

In the past I tried to find an ad provider for a desktop app and failed. AdSense specifically forbids use in desktop apps.

I would copy what https://panic.com/transmit/ does: an N days trial + really obvious button to buy the app. N could be 7 or 30 or whatever.

In your case another option would be to only trigger the trial after N searches, the idea being that if someone is hooked on your app (i.e. is using it frequently), he’ll be more likely to pay for it when there’s a risk it’ll go away.

I would certainly start tracking the use of the app (i.e. daily / weekly / monthly active users, where active == does at least one search a day). I would send number of daily searches to the server and crunch the numbers there.

I would also track what kind of searches get hits so that I know if people use it more for finding files or apps or what not. That would guide future development and marketing (you would emphasize the thing that you know is important to people).

Your number one priority should be increasing number of daily users and number of times they use the app. Evernote CEO had this insight that as long as people are using Evernote, the longer they use it, the more likely they are to pay for it. As a result they have pretty generous free tier.

You can always tweak how exactly you push people to pay but it can only work if people are frequent users of the app.

I would make a better website. Specifically, a light background, bigger fonts, better copy. Again, https://panic.com/transmit/ is one of the many good examples to be inspired by.


#7

This never occurred to me, but it’s actually a perfect idea!
Thanks!

Your reasoning behind prioritizing growth and people using the app also makes a ton of sense — it’s especially easy in this case as a desktop app, since there’s no marginal cost to me for more people using it.

I’ll spend some time on these improvements and write an update to this thread in a few months.
Thanks again for the great feedback!


#8

Free unlimited usage, but at random days the application says “I’m having a day off today!” and refuse to work until the end of the day or until paid.


#9

There’s an option to limit the number of launches. This way users are not limited to days - some may install the software and actually use it later.