The Decision to Launch neetoCal
At neeto, we are building 20+ products simultaneously. By the time we decided to have a Product Hunt launch, we had four products to choose from - neetoForm, neetoDesk, neetoInvoice and neetoChat.
Initially, we had planned to launch neetoInvoice because this has the maximum number of customers. As we discussed in our first blog, we used to have a product called AceInvoice. Later, AceInvoice became neetoInvoice, and we migrated all our customers from AceInvoice to neetoInvoice.
neetoInvoice was by far the most mature and the most stable product. So we decided to go with neetoInvoice as our first product for the Product Hunt launch.
neetoCal was finishing up, and we had started using it internally in the company. The more we used neetoCal, the more we liked it. We thought we should launch the product which we are most excited about.
The trouble was that neetoCal was the most recent product and also the least battle-tested. So going with neetoCal was a bit risky, but neetoCal excited us all. So we decided to go with neetoCal.
Last-minute dash to get the website done
A week before the launch, the neeto website was just a list of our products.
We needed to overhaul our website, and we needed it fast. We got cracking on it, and after some intense sessions, we had the site ready just in time for the launch. When the new site was revealed to the folks in the company, everyone was happily surprised with the final work.
Now the neeto website was done, we turned our focus on the neetoCal website. Building a website is surprisingly a problematic task. The difficulty doesn't lie in building the blocks and having animated images. The hard part is what to say.
Here is how the neetoCal site looked before the changes.
And here is how the neetoCal site looked after the changes. We were thrilled with the final version. The site is colorful without being too colorful, and it's simple without being too simple.
Write up for Product Hunt
Since this was our first Product Hunt launch, we had read about how important it is to introduce the product properly. We took the time to write the essential features carefully. We kept the tone of the message professional and even used chatGPT to ensure we have the most polished version of how neetoCal can be introduced.
It was a good write-up. However, we didn't find it exciting. In fact, It was outright dull to read it. It was boring because it was safe writing. It was trying to please everyone.
If we don't find our own writing exciting, then that's a problem. It's a problem because if we are not excited about the write-up, how can we expect others to be excited about the product?
In our internal discussions, people pitched to highlight the exciting features that we have in neetoCal. However, as we talked, we realized we had no exciting features. It's not because we didn't build any exciting features. It's because of the space we chose.
If we are building software to make it easier to schedule meetings, there is little room to add exciting features. In our internal discussions, the word commodity came up a few times. And then it hit us. It was apparent all along, but we had not noticed it earlier. We have built a commodity software. Our product, neetoCal, had no exciting features compared to our competitors.
So, just before the launch, we changed our introduction, and we stated the obvious. We said what we believed in. The reality is that no one wants to build commodity software. Building commodity software is not exactly what excites the engineering, UX, UI, QA, or marketing teams.
In our discussions, someone had asked that if it's a commodity software, then why did we build it. Good question. We could have built something else. We had a nagging feeling that neetoCal needed to be built. The question is why it needed to be built?
BigBinary has 100+ folks in the company, and less than 5% of the people are paying for the scheduling software. Does it mean the other 95% do not need the scheduling software? No. They need it, and they want to use it. But it's the cost of this scheduling software preventing them from using this software. The average price is around $10/month. Remember, we are talking about folks in India. So $10 is a lot.
And then it hit us. neetoCal needs to be built so that more people can afford scheduling software. We think existing products are way too expensive for the value they provide. This soul-searching also helped us understand that "affordability" is what neetoCal is all about.
So now we decided to highlight the differentiating factor - affordability. We believe neetoCal is much more affordable as we are very price competitive.
You can take a look at the final version at Product Hunt.
Launch day was buzzing. The whole team was excited about the launch. We posted messages on our Twitter and LinkedIn to support us on Product Hunt. We also added a banner at the top of the BigBinary website to get some traffic.
You can see our Kochi team's excitement here.
Finally, neetoCal was live on Product Hunt. From the very first hour, we started getting good upvotes and comments. We got a lot of feedback, more than 600 upvotes, and even landed in the top four for several hours.
We got around 100 signups from the Product Hunt. Given that we had over 600 upvotes, we were expecting more than 100 signups. That was a bit disappointing.
The day after the Product Hunt Launch
We wrote a blog titled neetoCal, a calendly alternative, is a commodity and is priced accordingly. To our complete surprise, this blog was on the front page of Hacker News for a few hours.
This resulted in a lot of traffic, and we got around 130 sign-ups because of this blog.
Thank you everyone
Our Product Hunt launch was a thrilling experience for everyone in the company. It lifted the spirits of everyone. We started getting feedback about neetoCal. Some people pointed out minor bugs here and there. Some asked for new features like the addition of multi-language, the ability to cc team members when a booking is made, support for 24-hour format, hidden parameters, API support and more. All these discussions with neetoCal users boosted the morale of everyone here at neetoCal.
This Product Hunt launch wouldn't succeed without the community's support. So thank you, everyone. We really mean it.
We're excited about the road ahead and look forward to sharing more milestones. Thank you for being a part of our first Product Hunt journey.