KudaniCloud launched privately via webinar last week. Why via webinar?.. why not open it wide? So before I explain why..let me tell you whats been happening in the last few months.
With the disruptware podcast doing so well last - I found myself enthused in the process, connecting with entrepreneurs and learning about their stories. But here's the thing - I stopped listening to my own advice. When I talk to people about building and launching software - more often than not they talk about the stream of ideas and apps they have in the pipeline. I've learnt over the years that having too many balls in the air doesn't work. I used to think I could multi-task but it was a fallacy. Its like when I thought I was being productive working until 2am with a whisky by my side...it doesn't work.. but you feel its the right thing todo. One of the reasons many people have so many projects on the go - is they are scared of not making it, and by having several in the hopper, at least one of them will make it. The reality of course is none of them will unless you commit...fully. Plunge headlong into one project and see it through the dip and out the other side.
In fact even when I spoke with Neil Patel on my podcast - one thing stuck with me when I was asking about Kissmetrics and the success of software businesses. He said 'give it time.' Its true that when you're used to launching software you get so excited about the cash coming in, you get addicted to more and so you launch another product instead of investing time and patience in growing the first.
So this is the advice I'm dishing out and yet I thought I could continue the disruptware podcast and community at the same time as building my own saas business Kudani. I took a long break over summer and watched my revenues drop and Kudani getting more and more delayed and made a decision that I HAD to stop disruptware. Focus is everything and even if you think you are superman you aren't.
Don't get me wrong - I hated the idea of stopping disruptware. I felt I owed so much to the great people who came on the show and supported me in the early days of getting it off the ground. I enjoyed it. I was passionate about it. Yet I knew that there is no way I could ethically dish out advice about building saas when my own one is still behind. Even if I have already 10 years experience with the business model.
After pausing disruptware I looked at my other software businesses. With each one I decided to take offline or sell. KeywordXP for example was a favourite keyword tool that I loved. I enhanced it some more and then re-launched it as a version 3 with two goals in mind. One was to sell it and I couldn't sell it unless I demonstrated that it could sell. Secondly - it would be good lead generation for Kudani. Both were achieved in the last quarter of 2014. Most other products I simply killed the salespage and retired them gracefully but obviously we continue to support the existing customers. I kept SecureScanPRO as the one product to continue growing as security is one those big problems online...especially with wordpress.
Where are we today?
So rolling forward, I focused everything into Kudani and got KudaniCloud to a state when I would feel comfortable letting people in. This took some effort. Every new iteration I looked at made me more and less comfortable. Every step forward created another one backwards. It was a much harder slog than I anticipated and I did wish that I started lean in the first place and then I wouldn't have this amazing software app - that was also huge to maintain. The thing is I didn't want to 'let' people in until I was confident that they would have a good experience.
We developed an 'Alpha' program where we ushered in some experienced content marketers and agencies into the system and handheld them through the whole process. This went well and we uncovered a host of obvious usability issues and questions that led us to many head slapping moments .. like 'Why did we do it like that?'
Then finally with a sufficient feedback and a confidence level that was over 50%, I launched a webinar to our existing kudani desktop customer base to see who wanted to move to kudanicloud as an alternative. This I thought would be a tough sell. They already have an excellent desktop curation tool. Why migrate to an online version. This was not a free move by the way - it was chargeable, it had to be. Until people pay for something and actually use it - you don't know if its any good. Free users really don't show commitment.
The results were fantastic. Not only the sales, but the feedback. And this is what I was looking for. The money is less important than users actually using it and enjoying it. We were using intercom to monitor activity and send automated messages to people depending on where they were stuck in the process.
Then we launched KudaniCloud to all my customers who haven't got kudani desktop to test the webinar again - and we achieved similar results. Pretty awesome! I've scheduled a few more webinars with close partners to test the sales process and get more people using the app so we can tweak and tune the usability. The benefit of doing webinars is you can get an influx of customers quickly and generate cash to fund the development. As a bootstrapped entrepreneur cash is at always at the core of the everything.
In parallel I had built some lead generation material so I can focus on building out the funnel. I created headlinr and bought and enhanced a split testing product and named it winnr (read more here).
So now we're at a stage where KudaniCloud users are curating great content - and we're focused on enhancing the experience to make it easier and slicker. We'll still keep Kudani Desktop too - as that has always been an awesome tool with many passionate users.
So where does this leave disruptware?
This blog will always be my passion - and now the core software business is back on its feet - I will continue blogging here and keep the odd podcast coming out and continue to support the amazing entrepreneur community around us.