Our launch experience, part 3: Now the real work begins

I ended my last post mentioning that I figured we could take a small break the day after DEMO.  Boy, was I wrong.  When I woke up the next day, I saw several hundred emails, about 300 tweets referring to 80legs and dozens of articles discussing us.  So instead of checking out the beach, we spent the morning responding to emails and catching up on all the 80legs discussion.

I think we did a really good job of getting the word out for 80legs.  Here are some quick stats showing how well we did on this front:

  • # of articles on 80legs: 16
  • # of times 80legs was mentioned as “Best of DEMOfall09”: 2
  • # of re-tweets of articles: 700+

Here are just some our favorite articles:

I should also note that we got posted to Hacker News, Digg and Slashdot.  Here’s what happened to our web traffic in the week following DEMO:

google_analytics

Having a 1 Gbps connection helps

Interesting note: most of our web traffic came from Hacker News.  We check HN regularly and participate in the discussions from time to time, so it was awesome to get so much interest from our own community.  Of course, our main focus is not our web traffic (which I think is pretty good for non-consumer-facing service), but customer adoption.  Here are a few stats on that:

  • # of users that logged in since DEMO: 1554
  • # of jobs run since DEMO: 1557

Just as an aside, there were about 50 active beta users, and not every user that logged in has run a job.

Another interesting outcome from DEMO is that we’ve realized there’s demand for customized services on top of 80legs.  In other words, people want to use our team to either build customized products for them that are powered by 80legs, or they want us to build the 80Apps that run within 80legs.  We originally expected third-party companies to build these services and products themselves over time as 80legs became more popular.  In the long-term, that is most likely the key to 80legs sustainable success.  In the short-term, however, we think it’s prudent to pursue these engagement ourselves.  In fact, it makes sense to modify our business model somewhat and form 2 additional product/service lines: one for developing value-added services on top of 80legs and another for custom implementation of 80Apps.  Of course, we need to consider how to manage these two additional lines while still managing and improving the core service.

I feel our team’s experience so far has been pretty awesome.  We spent about 2 years developing what we feel is a pretty cool technology and now we’re starting to see the fruits of our labor.  That said, I’m a big believer that developing good technology is just the first step of many when it comes to finding commercial success.  Now we get to focus on execution, customer satisfaction, and delivering on what we’ve been promising.  Now the real work begins.

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