Looking for feedback on product & pre-launch page for RealLive.co

Hi, I’m Matt. Like probably everyone else here, I like to build things. While working on another product that uses similar technology, I came up with an idea that I think might appeal to a fair number of bootstrappers. It’s a tool for getting user feedback for web-based products or services, especially those with relatively small user bases. It’s called RealLive.

You can check out the pre-launch site here: http://reallive.co. I think it does a pretty job describing the concept, but I’m sure it could be improved. I’d love to know what you think.

The product isn’t far enough along yet for an MVP, but it’s getting pretty close, so I’m trying to validate the concept and spread the word. @ian’s perspective on the podcast has inspired me to start talking about it sooner rather than later. Makes me kind of queasy, since my inner voice thinks more like @andrey, wanting to focus on the coding and ignore the marketing. (I hope I’m not mischaracterizing either of your perspectives!)

Anyway, this seemed like a good place to start sharing. Thanks in advance for your thoughts and feedback.


Haha, are you more Ian or Andrey?

Looks interesting.

Ha, thanks @ian.

I think down the road it could be built into something useful to services like Snappy, but I think you guys are already larger than what RealLive will initially target. If your service is small enough that analytics doesn’t answer questions very well (because the sample size is too small), RealLive is perfect; at that stage, every user is critical. At least, that’s what I’m thinking.

Love the podcast, btw!

I think you need to put this on your landing page “If your service is small enough that analytics doesn’t answer questions very well”. I didn’t really get that from it and that seems like an interesting angle.


Awesome suggestion. Just pushed the update, I think that really helps clarify the niche I’m targeting to start. Thanks!

I’ve thought about actively engaging with users to find problems early on. How would this differ from other embedded chat services like those listed on http://www.getapp.com/s/live-chat-saas-comparison?

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Hi Oliver, great question. I knew there were a lot of chat services, but I didn’t realize there were THAT many.

I think RealLive shares a lot in common with some of the basic chat services like Olark or Zopim, but since it’s not about customer support but rather about user interaction, the focus is less on letting a single operator handle as many clients as possible, and more on providing a really deep experience with a single user at a time.

What does that mean in practice? Like Olark/Zopim/etc., you generally would start a RealLive session with the in-browser chat widget. But with RealLive, it would be really simple to escalate a chat into a voice or video call, and then enable screen sharing on top of that to get a thorough user experience discussion going. But that makes it really hard to scale the usage of RealLive if you have hundreds or thousands of users (though I also have some preliminary thoughts on how that might work, down the road).

All that being said, it looks like the list you linked to includes at least some services that are similar to RealLive, so I’ll have to take a closer look at those. Thanks for that!

I think that as of this stage, any idea you can think of will have a million competitors, and ten million open source alternatives. Its better not to think too much about it. Like Ruben said on the other thread, it doesn’t matter how many competitors you have, if no one is visiting your website.

@mattm, sounds like the distinguishing feature is that the UI will quickly drop the user into a call or a screenshare so the founder/dev can quickly understand product issues. Awesome. The competition seem to be geared towards scaling out real-time support.

The copy on the site explicitly lists that at “Audio and Video Chat to Make the Connection” half way down the page. May be good to bump that up to the front page right after the highlighted phrase.

@shantnu, while I agree that it’s okay (probably even good as a way of validation) to have competition, from a marketing perspective, it’d be beneficial for potential users to know who it’s for. In this case, it’s more for product people than support.

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@oliverzheng That’s a great point about promoting the audio/video and the screen sharing. The reason it ended up halfway down the page was that it seemed like chronological order would help simplify the flow, but promoting it on the landing page too makes a lot of sense. I’ll take a crack at it now. Thanks!

EDIT: I updated the landing page copy to include the key features/differentiators. Still needs some polish I’m sure, but it’s definitely improving. Thanks again.

@shantnu Yeah, I definitely wouldn’t stop pursuing a product just because I saw there was a competitor. I agree that you shouldn’t get too caught up in it, but it’s still good to have a view of the competitive landscape, don’t you think?

Nice. No comments from a product perspective since I see from this thread where you’re aiming and it makes sense to me.

A few very minor points on the design/copy:
I find the stone/water background distracting, particularly when it moves subtly. It kept pulling my eyes away from the text whenever it moved. Also, when I got to the home page, I thought there was some error on the page since the top third is just blank - personally found the page layout more pleasing when i scrolled down a bit to move the copy box to the top third of the page.

This struck me as odd text to include: “Will RealLive make my service/product/SaaS/PaaS/life better?
RealLive is a tool. It will enable a new, more direct line of communication between you and your users. But in the end you’ll still have to do the work. Sorry.” I feel like you could use this space with a more relevant/valuable FAQ.

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I agree the moving stones are a bit distracting. Also, with the amount of copy, my guess is you could fit it on one page, perhaps avoiding the conversion loss of getting someone to click through your CTA to learn more.

As for the product, I love the idea of being able to jump directly into a screenshare environment with a customer. There’s a lot of benefits to that (not having to go back and forth via email, being able to do impromptu user testing, being able to see exactly the state of the application before a really obscure bug).

Might be helpful to really dig into my pain as an early-stage product creator (and as we all know there’s a ton of pain to choose from). But one of the big ones is flying blind when every interaction is so important. Remind me how awful it is to announce a feature, have it fail the second it hits a real user’s workflow and be unable to figure it out. It’s super super painful, the kind of pain that turns your stomach, and if you tell me I can prevent that pain and turn what might’ve been a customer-losing scenario into a positive interaction, I’d be much more apt to hand over my CC digits.

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@tompowell I was on the fence about the rock animation. Honestly, I just wanted to put up a site with minimal effort, so I grabbed an old site and retrofitted it. I finally dug out the original stock photo, so I swapped out the background to just use the jpeg. I don’t love it as a background, but I think it’s probably fine for now. Do you think it’s still distracting enough (after removing the animation) that it’s worth finding something else or redesigning a bit?

I’ll take a look at the blank top of the screen. I think it’s mainly an issue at certain screen widths, need to investigate.

Totally agreed about that FAQ too. I added it to try and add a bit of personality to the site, but it’s really not valuable, and definitely worth replacing. I took a quick crack at a potential replacement, but it still needs thought.

Thanks so much for the feedback. Super valuable!

@LostMahbles Yeah, I removed the movement just now. I would like to load all the pre-email-capture-form text on one page, maybe with a “scroll to see more” kind of set up. I’ll take a shot at it.

I love hearing you talk about the concept, it really helps me focus on the value proposition. Fantastic idea about calling out those painful moments that this could help builder’s avoid. I have to give that some further thought. Do you imagine this as more of a marketing page bullet point/call out? Or maybe as a blog post for more depth?

Thanks for taking a look and for the feedback. Lots of food for thought.

Oddly enough, I see it more as a long-copy type page. When you’re pre-product without screenshots, you’re relying on the prospective customer to see your vision and value proposition in their mind. In that way, I think long-form copy where you really hone in on your understanding of their problem and how you plan to solve it can be really powerful. Like in horror movies where it’s scarier when they don’t show the monster because you’re left to imagine the worst thing for you, you can use that same trick to convince customers that you know them so well that you’re thinking of the absolute perfect solution for them.

I found Nathan Barry and Amy Hoy’s discussion here to be really instructive, at least in terms of ways to think about the customer. There’s plenty of resources out there on long form sales letters (though I would stay away from the spammy looking yellow highlighter tactics and focus on the copy.)

Feel free to hit me up if you want some feedback on any drafts.

Interesting… I’ve read a bit about long-form stuff, but hadn’t really given it a ton of thought for this. I will dig in, thanks for the tip.

Much better from my point of view without the animation.