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Hi, I'm JB, I run Notedock and Jots


#1

Hey everyone! I’m JB, and I’m bootstrapping Notedock and Jots.
I also do web development for Hutility, a software consultancy where we do development/customization/integrations mostly for accounting software. Notedock and Jots are being built under Hutility.

I’m a little over a year out of university, and I started on these right away. In that time, I’ve learned a lot about product development, but need to pick up more on the marketing side. I’m finding that getting the word out, reaching people who can use your product and making sales to be the hardest part of it all.

I go through spurts of marketing, which as a developer, exhausts me pretty quickly. So I’ll market and try to gather leads and make sales for a week, then revert back to development and stay there for a few months :smile:

Notedock and Jots have gone through many iterations of different positioning/marketing/value propositions, and I’m still trying to find the sweetspot.

The issue with these 2, is that they were built mainly to scratch our own itch.
Built in this vacuum, it became something perfect for us, but hard to communicate the value to others.
Jots I built for myself, to log what I was doing for work daily. I was trying to be too clever with it’s positioning before, but now I’m just going with “a simple, web-based logbook”.

So the lesson learned in this short time for me, is to not build products in a vacuum. Gotta go out and validate the market first, generate interest and have customers ready before building. Something I’m finding especially true for bootstrappers.

I’ve been lurking here for a while, but looking forward to contributing and learning more!


#2

Welcome! It sounds like you’re clear on the value of customer development, so good job there.

You said those two products are being built under Hutility – what’s your arrangement with them for IP & ownership of the products? They’re giving you time/hosting/etc to work on it, in exchange for a percentage of ownership or something?


#3

Thanks Corey!

I actually don’t have your usual employment situation. To keep it short, Hutility is my dad’s software business.
Not the usual family business haha.


#4

Then you’d better be extra careful to get everything in writing! :smile: I like the designs you’re using for the main Notedock & Jots websites. Clean, simple, and modern.


#5

I think I can trust him :wink:

Thanks. At first the simplicity was due to a lack of design skills, but now I prefer cleaner simpler pages.


#6

Welcome. Really like the Notedock idea. As a web developer trying to keep all the reference material for a project in a single place is always a pain. A similar type of pain caused me to create www.pageproofer.com … actually having Notedock and PageProofer together would be an intriguing concept.


#7

Thanks. PageProofer looks really useful, I like it.
I can see the pain it’s trying to solve.

Do you have anything in mind for how Notedock and PageProofer can work together? That would be interesting.


#8

The idea of giving feedback on a site and also possibly attaching files that could then be found in a single location, ala notedock , revision comps, content docs etc


#9

I can definitely understand this! When you like building things, it’s way too easy to spend your time adding “critical” features and fixing what seems high-priority to you, because marketing is not necessarily in everyone’s nature. But, as you referenced elsewhere, you’ve got to get the word out and get feedback as early and often as possible.

I think for someone who is only a year out of university, you’ve got your head in a great place. It takes most people (me included!) a lot longer to even wrap our minds around a lot of what you’re addressing in this post.

Best of luck with your products!


#10

Totally agree. I’ve been running my own show for 9 years, and out of college for nearly 20. And only this year did I finally got on the right track with this stuff.