Hello World, it's Ambrose - (launched first SaaS in productivity niche)

Hello Bootstrapped World!

I’ve been following @mijustin for a while now and purchased @limedaring’s hello web design book, which listed this forum as a great place to get feedback.

I don’t know how I didn’t discover this forum sooner…

Anyhow, about myself - I live in the Seattle area and have 2 kids aged {currentYear - 2013} and {currentYear - 2016}. and I have a full time job - my SaaS is just my side project I started in 2016.

About my SaaS - My Orator is a tool that tries to help people consume their web content - it lets you queue up web-articles, convert them to speech - you can then use your podcast app to add a personal xml feed to it. This way, you can listen to those saved web articles on the commute home. (so far, it works well with Medium and news sites).

Currently, I’m struggling to get just a few testimonials, I’ve been emailing the users, but response is nonexistent. So if you try it and you like it, let me know. I will return the favor and leave a testimonial for you if you need one (or do you another favor).

I would appreciate any feedback on My Orator (if suitable, please add it to my Product Hunt page discussion if you have an account - link is at the bottom). I’ll just end off with some benefits.

  • No need to create an account (just log in with Google)
  • Integrates with Pocket
  • You can tag your articles and get the feed for the playlist with tag ‘blah’
  • You can play your articles on Amazon Echo (by track title or by tag name)
  • I’m in the middle of trying to launch a Chrome extension, which I’ll post later in “show bootstrapped” - can be activated by shortcut key so you don’t need to clutter your toolbar
  • Planning to make the parser smarter - will extract .mp3 links from page and use that as the audio

Check it out and let me know your thoughts (or just click the upvote button - I need all the social proof I can get).

I’d be more than happy to provide feedback on your product in return.

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Hey Ambrose!

Small question, why are you using strike-out here?

It’s something that caught my eye and confused me. :slight_smile:

This is pretty cool! I was looking for something like that before I’ve stopped reading the web. :slight_smile:

However, how you’re planning to monetize it?

Podcast hosting are having hard time, last I heard, and doing good only if provide additional services.

I’m not sure in legality of using someone’s else content and insert your own ads, too. It may be, or may be not. I’m certain the content owners won’t like it.

P.S. You video is not too good in selling it to prospects. It tells how to do it, but doesn’t tell me why should I want to do it. You should have started with the problem - someone wanted (better: needed) to read an article, but have no time, need to drive (not commute in a train, I can read in a train) or jog. And here you offer a solution, with a bang! The mechanics of share (opening email, type in the address) I’d hide for now - looks like too much steps when you video it, tho in reality it is easy.

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Yeah, it is confusing, tho after reading it I realized he means that he eliminates the distractions from the content (such as “you may also like” links).

“Take my $” menu? Hmm… well.

Also, the price should be available to people who did not sign up yet. Hiding it just raises suspicions.

“Thanks so much, your support means a lot to me! - Ambrose”

:roll_eyes: This is not a support. This is a payment for services rendered. If your services are good, you do not need a “support”, the transaction is mutually beneficial.

Thanks, I’m going to replace this first page with a marketing site. The idea was just that there was not going to be anything to sidetrack you into reading something else.

Thanks for checking this out @rfctr, I will definitely change the wording and try to frame it in more of a painpoint-solution type of explainer video.

I appreciate your comments!

You however avoided the most painful question - how are you going to monetize it?

With podcasts the producers pay for storage/network because they need to promote their content. In your models the original content owners by default are not interested in converting of the content into MP3, because the consumer has already visited them, and the reading quality is not good enough to use as a supplement for the text. Consumers are not trained to pay for read content either. (They do pay for audiobooks, but not for podcasts or pages).

As soon as you get any popularity, your costs will increase. If you do not have a plan for monetization now, you’ll have to make one in a panic mode - or shut down the service.

So, do you have a plan?

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So I’m giving a 35 min of conversion free trial - after that, it’s $10 for 10 hours of conversion time (pay as you go) with automatic refill $5 for 5 hours when balance falls below 35 min.

I may implement monthly plans, but for now, I haven’t yet because I’m still trying to figure that out.

I don’t plan on putting ads in the content for the reasons you’ve mentioned - but if I were to use ads, I’d probably insert ads into the podcast feed as a separate ‘episode’. Maybe find some advertisers, but I’m a long way from that at this point.

Would like to hear your thoughts too.

Promote your own site, not Product Hunt’s site.

You should be posting your own website in forums like these, not Product Hunt’s website. Why?

  • When you post a link to your product on Product Hunt, you are helping Product Hunt much more than you are helping yourself.
  • When I click your link to Product Hunt I see lots of things not related to your product demanding my attention. These links are “leaks” where potential customers of yours will get “leak” away from your marketing.

Trust and authority

Your website needs some important but easy improvements to make people trust it.

  • You need your own domain name for your site. “https://orator.azurewebsites.net/” makes me think this is a temporary site and not to be trusted.
  • You need “About us”, your address (city and country are enough), pricing, privacy policy, terms and conditions at a very minimum. You know those Bootstrap themes you see everywhere that are all more or less the same? They look like that because they work pretty well at giving out enough information to visitors to think about trying your product while also giving the impression that you, a stranger on the Internet, can be trusted with personal data.
  • Pricing, please! This is so important, I’m repeating it here. You’ve got to have pricing front and clear on your home page.

I recommend spending a couple of days improving your website before continuing with any marketing efforts.

Currently, I’m struggling to get just a few testimonials, I’ve been emailing the users, but response is nonexistent.

Testimonials will come with time once you start getting your first customers. Don’t sweat it until then - your biggest problem is not the lack of testimonials.


Because I wanted to show people here that I’ve put it out on Product Hunt and got some upvotes. I will share the link to the actual site when I promote it to other users - You’re point is valid, but rest assured that I won’t be pointing people to product hunt if I wanted people to sign up.

Your website needs some important but easy improvements to make people trust it.

I agree with you a ton, I’ve actually was working on my “marketing” site this weekend and it took me waaaayy longer than I’ve expected.

I will share it out in Show Bootstrapped soon, but if you’re curious, it’s here: myOrator [dot] net (sorry, it’s not letting me post with links)

I greatly appreciate your time in sharing your thoughts. Thank you so much.