The double-edged sword
We lost a client, and we lost MRR. It’s never great to lose revenue, but it’s not as bad as it sounds. Luke was surprised how well I took it. It was a good reminder of who we are, what we’re trying to do and what and who we built the platform for. While it was revenue, on reflection, it wasn’t in our sweet spot and swayed a little too far away from our core. We didn’t lose it on performance, they just decided to go a different route and hire an in-house data analyst. Philosophically, it was a good thing to get us really focused on our product and our target customer.
Despite our initial excitement about using Tonic.ai, we subsequently realised it starts from $10k pa outside the free trial 🤣. Lesson here is read the small print! If anyone knows of a freemium alternative, please let me know! Given we’re relatively bootstrapped, we won’t be using that in the short-term, but we really do need a solution to synthesise data for our SaaS and e-commerce illustrative dashboards as there’s a lot of core data needed to demonstrate anything of value. We will mainly be using Xero, Shopify and HubSpot data sets, along with some other less fundamental apps.
The other challenge we’re facing currently, now we have the tent up (terrible consulting phrase that’s stuck with me from PwC), is making the visualisations pop. Making them engaging and sexy. They work, but they’re bars, they’re lines, they’re tables, or they’re waterfalls. They don’t grab you and pull you in. This is something we’re likely to pick up in our Q2 OKRs as it needs a bit of a face lift.
We’re also looking to make our Knowledge Hub a little more in-line with our brand than it currently is. Despite having very clear brand visual guides, some of the app UI is a gap we know we have. We’re looking to develop this by up-skilling the front-end team (aka Matt) through UI courses.
We’ve finally released our custom groupings – yay! This is a big win to make reporting much more relevant for how stakeholders view their business, and it makes our team’s role of storytelling much easier.
We’ve built our demo environment separate to our main site. There are a couple of reasons for this:
- a fully sandboxed environment means all features of the application can be exposed without risking any sensitive data, and
- running as a separate site/server means that if there's a high volume of traffic on the demo site, it won't impact the live site and user experience.
Currently only flinder emails can access the demo environment but soon we will open this up for others to play around with. This is where we’re building our SaaS and e-commerce demo companies which will really showcase the power of the analytics available from raw data sources.
We’ve scripted more videos for our Knowledge Hub to help users with basic navigation and functionality. We’ve actually used Synthesia to record these, which was a recommendation from a friend who also uses them for help videos. It’s so much easier and quicker to record and produce these than record an actual human speaking and going through multiple takes!
We’ve also migrated more of our standard clients across (which have some non-standard aspects to them).
Metrics - Feb 2023
Bearing in mind, we’re still building and testing a lot of this, our metrics at the end of February are:
- Basic (free): 61 logos (59 logos)
- Custom (paid): 3 logos (3 logos)
- Basic (free) 183 dashboards (177 dashboards)
- Custom (paid): 12 dashboards (13 dashboards)
- Individual users: 83 (78 users)
- MRR: £1.2k
- ARPA: £400 (£667)
What's coming next
I’m not going to dress it up, it’s pretty basic what we’re currently visualising in our free standard version – both the metrics and the visualisations. But we’re working on improving this to make the free version more compelling. The real value in the product is when we get into really complex metrics that all fast-growth businesses want to know – CAC, payback period, LTV:CAC, magic number and more. These are all awesome, but we’re still on a mission to make these look more engaging than standard bar or line charts. We’re always balancing this development and functional development. Nonetheless, we have a few exciting updates coming in the roadmap which include:
- Releasing Knowledge Hub v1.0: Initial help page with some basic self-serve video tutorials.
- Xero consolidation: This is a big thing for us and our clients who often have subsidiaries. Xero lets you get data entity by entity but consolidation tools like Fathom don’t give API access to the consolidated information (we’ve been asking for this for years!), so we’re finally building our own consolidation to get the overall view of a business.
- Tech & SaaS dashboard: I’m super excited to be able to get something to show. Until now, our builds have been too custom to be able to share because of data privacy.
- Transactional P&L data: Moving from summary data to transactional data will give us significantly more user insight.
- Investing in team training: As mentioned above, we’re putting the team through various courses across UI/UX and product management.
Until next time 🤟