OnlineOrNot Diaries 11

Max Rozen

Max Rozen (@RozenMD) / May 27, 2023

Another Saturday morning here in Toulouse, let's go into how OnlineOrNot went this fortnight.

I'll be honest, a decent part of the last two weeks looked like this for me:

La côte basque

Despite my time in the sun, quite a bit happened over the past two weeks, without needing to write too much code, or actively market the product.

My default to trial experiment

In case you missed it, in the last diary I mentioned I started an experiment in my onboarding flow, where I would require every new user to try the best of OnlineOrNot before letting them use the free tier.

I'm not going to bury the lede here, it's going very well:

OnlineOrNot's May metrics

The above is a graph of OnlineOrNot's MRR. I don't like to talk much about MRR as it's a lagging metric - things I did weeks ago affect it today. Though, without increasing the number of people creating OnlineOrNot accounts, just about every metric in the business shot up this month: average revenue per user (ARPU), customer lifetime value (CLTV), cash flow, etc.

One month of course does not "break a plateau", but things are looking a lot better than this time last month. I also replicated the experiment on an app I built in a weekend last year, and went further by removing the number of screens in that app's onboarding flow. The app's MRR is up 48.4% this month.

It turns out starting the business relationship with "this is a paid service, you'll need to add payment details to continue getting the good stuff" helps you get paid!

On building table-stakes features

There are two types of features I build for OnlineOrNot:

  • Features that help customers monitor their application and manage their incidents
  • SaaS features that everyone expects a SaaS to have

The secret is, as long as you build features that your customers actually want and give them value, you can get extremely far without building SaaS features like handling teams/invites/deleting accounts/etc.

For example, I released the ability to invite teams on March 19, 2021 - it wasn't until this week, May 25 2023, that I made it possible to remove people from your team. This whole time, folks have been emailing me whenever they needed to remove someone from their team. No one has ever told me "no, I won't pay for this, I can't remove people from my team". You get to spend that time building features that bring in customers instead.

Although this week someone asked for the ability to remove folks from their team, I decided it was time to just build the damn feature.

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