Lean startup experiment, phase 3: product launch

My lean startup experiment is an experiment I’m running to see if it is possible to launch a successful product (product = customer facing software system) without spending too much money and in a short period of time.

In phase 1 I had 5 product ideas and wanted to know in which should I invest.

In phase 2 I pick the idea with more interest from phase 1 and invested in creating the MVP (Minimal Viable Product), ContaCal, a calorie counter system.

My phase 3 objectives were:

  • website launch
  • online campaign (Google, Facebook, Orkut, etc.)
  • real users feedback!

Website launch

I officially launched ContaCal on Sep 4th sending an email to all existing users plus the people who showed some interested during phase 1.

Online campaign

I used Google and Facebook. Both generate leads, but Google generated 3 to 4 times more leads than Facebook for my specific web application. Today I’m running a $30/day campaign in AdWords ($1500/month) and I don’t increase it because ContaCal still doesn’t generate any revenue. As soon as I find a sustainable revenue source for ContaCal I’ll certainly increase this investment.

During a certain period my web site was out for maintenance and Google suspended my AdWords campaign. It took 8 days and many emails sent with one or two replies for Google to resume my campaign. This hurter my new user subscription rate.

Real users feedback

I received tons of feedback. Some asking for additional features, some with difficulties in using the system and some thank me for the system! 🙂

Based on the feedback, I used some additional development as well as adjustments to the site layout. That costed me around $1000.

Some statistics

Below you can find some statistics about new users and how this number relates to certain events.

ContaCal users

ContaCal users

Total cost and time so far: $9,025 – 2 months and 3 weeks

  • Phase 1 (idea funnel): $1,600 – 2 weeks
    • 5 product ideas pages in unbounce: $50
    • 5 Google AdWords campaign: $1,500
    • 5 Domain registration: $50
  • Phase 2 (MVP): $3,425 – 1 week
    • crowd sourced logo: $310
    • wordpress template: $35
    • wordpress template adjustments: $80
    • startup dev MVP development: $3,000
  • Phase 3 (Launch + campaign + feedback): $4,000 – 2 months
    • Campaign: $3,000 ($1,500/month)
    • Application and layout adjustments: $1,000

Stay tuned for the next steps

  • the search for a revenue stream!!!

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