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Hi, I'm Tim and I'm building a branded forms service


#1

Hello everyone! I found the podcast a while back and thought it was finally time to make an introduction.

I’m Tim, and I’m currently working on a SaaS product that offers fully customized and branded online forms (www.formtide.com). I’ve been listening to the podcast for a while now, and have really appreciated some insight into the stories and lessons of developers starting bootstrapped companies and products. I figure while I’m here, I’ll give some information about my product (hopefully this isn’t too much detail for an introductory post).

While sharing many aspects of other form creators such as SurveyMonkey and Typeform, I’m focusing on embedded, highly-customized forms to provide a more cohesive contact/survey experience for users. My primary target customers are small businesses in need of contact forms and customer surveys, and web designers interested in using the submissions API to add analytics and report generation to contact and quote request forms for their clients. This can be simplified by using email routing to automatically send submission data to web design clients.

I look forward to joining this community and getting to know you guys!


#2

Did you validate the demand for this?
If so, I’d be curious as to how you went about that.


#3

Before beginning work on the project, I spoke to a few local businesses with which I had connections, and received a fair amount of interest in more brand-cohesive form systems. In addition, myself and a few other web designers/developers I’ve spoken to enjoy the thought of a back-end solution for custom/pre-existing forms to easily put together submission e-mailing and generating reports for our clients’ contact forms. My current dilemma is which of these markets I should prioritize (as it may be more beneficial marketing-wise to fit a specific niche).


#4

I have recently read “The Mom Test” book (my summary https://blog.kowalczyk.info/dailynotes/note/b4u674cvj43jdajdsukg-summary-of-) which was an eye opener for me when it comes to how to interview people to validate ideas.

I recommend everyone to read it (or watch the free videos as they cover the same material).

According to the book “a fair amount of interest”, “enjoy the thought of” are the typical polite brush off answers that don’t actually validate the commercial viability.

Now, maybe your actual questions were more pointed.

Per the book, the questions that you would ask in this situation are more like: are you currently using (and paying for) online forms?

If not, then they are not your potential customer.

If yes, then you wouldn’t ask “does feature X seems useful?” (priming them and putting them in a yes/no box, which is also polite/jerk that crushes your dreams box).

You would ask “what are the difficult things about using this solution” and then you would dig deeper to figure out if what the difficulty is really a pain point or a minor thing they came up with just to say something.

As an aside, at first glance I don’t see how your solution is any more “brandable” than wufoo or, I assume, any other mature form builder. Customizability seems like an obvious feature to have.


#5

It’s easy to hear what you want to hear. YOU obviously think it’s a good idea. So you [may] want to hear positive feedback from customers. (They may also sense this).

But think of this as a Hypothesis you’re trying to [dis]prove. You need an honest test of the hypothesis (“People will pay for this”). The suggestions above are GREAT.

-Clay


#6

Hi @twilson

Is https://www.formtide.com/ down? I tried to take a look at your site and got merely a blank page. (I’m using Chrome/Mac).

Anyways, I think it is clear that a form builder is a viable product. That’s why SurveyMonkey and Typeform exist and, at least in Typeform’s case, is growing rapidly.