OnlineOrNot Diaries 4
Max Rozen (@RozenMD) / March 17, 2023
Another Friday evening here in Toulouse, let's go into how OnlineOrNot went this week.
This week was a coding week, and I managed to release a feature folks have been asking for, as well as some businessy things that aren't quite marketing, and aren't quite coding:
- I finally added multi-region monitoring back into OnlineOrNot after migrating off of AWS Lambda
- I updated the pricing page, to let folks know we do indeed have a free tier
- I removed in-product analytics, and updated OnlineOrNot's welcome email to invite customers to tell me more about why they monitor their sites.
First, some context.
I was never sure OnlineOrNot would attract any users. As a result, early on OnlineOrNot ran uptime checks entirely on AWS Lambda (with serverless products like AWS Lambda, you only pay for what you use, so if no one uses your product, you pay nothing).
Another benefit of using AWS Lambda is that running an uptime check in Tokyo, Paris, and LA simultaneously is effortless after you deploy - all you have to do is specify where your code should run.
After enough folks started using OnlineOrNot, it made sense to move off AWS Lambda in favour of a server that runs 24/7, and in doing so, OnlineOrNot lost the ability to easily pick where to run. This week, after a bit of work, I now have constantly running servers in:
- LA, USA
- Virginia, USA
- Tokyo, Japan
- Sydney, Australia
- Amsterdam, The Netherlands
After talking to a few customers, I realized my pricing page isn't clear.
In the original design, I wanted to keep it short so folks could skim the page, as well as get an understanding of what each plan lets you do. In reality, I made a page too long to glance at, and too short to properly sell all of OnlineOrNot's features.
Basically, in trying to make the page good on average for two use-cases, I made it suck for both.
To fix this, I split the page into two parts: an above-the-fold table highlighting the most popular features, and the original table I used to have, but with more detail.
After reflecting a bit on what I use to decide whether I'll build a feature, I realized: I haven't even logged into PostHog (the tool I used for in-product analytics) in months, why do I bother keeping it in my web app?
The reality is, as a small independent business I spend a good deal of my time actually talking to customers to figure out how it's going, and what features are missing, rather than digging through analytics.
Vibes-driven product management.
So I also figured, perhaps it's time to update my post sign-up email to learn new things.
For the last two years, I've asked every person (via email) that signs up to OnlineOrNot:
What's the one thing you were hoping OnlineOrNot could do for you?
It's driven quite a bit of feature development and helped shaped my understanding of what people expect OnlineOrNot to do.
Now I'm trying a new question to understand the broader context of what OnlineOrNot gets used for:
What led you to need uptime monitoring in the first place?