So much happened this month I’m not sure how to put it all into one cohesive blog post. Overall I did a good job staying on task for my primary objective: completing phase 1 of my planned educator features. Because I was feeling on top of my game, I decided to do some experimenting. I got distracted and didn’t complete everything, but made big gains regardless.
- $344 total revenue
- 3 new customers
- 4 canceled subscriptions
- 10,945 pageviews
- 55 hours logged (13.75/hrs per week)
Some quick highlights:
I joined a peer group
At the beginning of May, I was invited to join a small group of like-minded founders for peer coaching. This has been really fun and I’ve already learned so much. The group is very informal. Mostly people share what they’re working on in our slack and others offer feedback or advice when they can. It reminds me a lot of my college speech team, where peer feedback was a big part of our team culture and success. It’s also really refreshing to be connected with people who are also going through the same ups and downs of entrepreneurship.
Front page of Hacker News
I’ve visited Hacker News a few times, but never understood everyone’s affinity for it in the tech/start-up world. Likewise for Product Hunt. I shared this with my peer group and asked if promoting Fantasy Congress on these platforms was a good idea. They encouraged me to go for it. So on May 19th, I posted Fantasy Congress to Hacker News.
What. a. rollercoaster. I never imagined being so stressed over fake internet points. The post steadily acquired upvotes, and landed on the front page about 45 minutes after posting. For 3 hours, Fantasy Congress hovered between position 16 and 30 (aka bottom) of the Hacker News front page. Traffic spiked to ~45 visitors at any given moment and 1,768 unique users visited the site over the course of the day.
In spite of this, I only got two new sign ups. Initially my expectations were low because Hacker News isn't my target audience. But seeing so many upvotes and the huge spike in traffic got me excited. The disappointment was fleeting once I realized that overall, the Hacker News feedback was supportive and constructive. One person even enjoyed the concept of Fantasy Congress so much, they bought me five coffees on my Buy Me a Coffee page.
Yeah…I didn’t get far with these aside from the educator features. But I'm happy with the work I did finish. The Hacker News post resulted in some great feedback, so I decided to act on that instead of my remaining goals. I released several last minute UX changes and redesigned pages for the login and sign-up. I also implemented a 14 day free trial at the suggestion of Michael Lynch.
- Add the ability for students to sign up with out email
- Allow teachers to manage student leagues and teams
- Restrict access to certain features where necessary (ex: students shouldn’t be able to add a credit card to their account)
- Create separate sign up flows for recreational players and educators
By and large, my number one priority for June is making Fantasy Congress ready for classroom use. And after careful thought, I’m making this my only goal for June. I don’t have reserves of energy to draw on anymore for a big push. The mental and emotional burnout from my day job, quarantine, and the current political climate have drained me. Not to mention the energy it takes to grind away at something for two years. My stamina is spent and I want to make sure that if any work gets done, it’s the most critical work.
It feels hypocritical to blog about building something steeped in politics and not talk about the George Floyd protests. On the one hand, I think Fantasy Congress is cool because politics is always relevant. The things happening on your team have the potential to impact your actual life! On the other hand, people use the government to do terrible things. I ponder the implications of making government “fun” when it causes so much pain and suffering.
But, I also believe that if you're not outraged, you’re not paying attention. I know Fantasy Congress will never make a dent in the fight against racism, fascism, and police brutality. But maybe, there are a handful of people it could educate and impact. So that someday the world has one less fascist or one less racist cop.
In the meantime, I’ve set up a recurring donation to My Block, My Hood, My City and I’m educating myself on how to be anti-racist. I’d also like to share this website with resources for action and education against racism. If you aren’t supporting anti-racist efforts already, I implore you to look over this resource and consider how you can contribute.