Fed from GummySearch Rapidly Grew its Customer Base from 25 to 325 through a Lifetime Deal

 
Fed is the founder of GummySearch - a tool for audience research for Reddit

Tell us about your product and what inspired you to start it?

 
I actually originally built GummySearch as a personal tool to market https://thehiveindex.com, my directory of online communities. I discovered that people were asking for such a resource on Reddit quite frequently, they just didn't know that mine existed. I would find these Reddit posts, plug my website, and people thanked me for it.
 
After a while of doing this successfully I decided to open up GummySearch to other users, and that's when it started taking a life of it's own (spoiler: people used it for different purposes than I originally intended).
 
 

How long did it take you to acquire your first 50 customers, and what was your growth strategy?

 
It took me about 8 months to get to 50 customers. I used my own tool for customer acquisition and built in public on Twitter. Additionally, I ran a lifetime deal which brought a huge amount of new customers and momentum to the business.
 
I ran a private LTD for early adopters to quickly go from 25 to 325 customers. I marketed it to my existing user base and joined the conversations happening in Facebook LTD communities to answer questions about the product, as well as run a livestream demo to those interested.
 
 

Which technology stack are you using and what challenges and limitations does it pose?

 
Backend: Python/Django. Frontend: Javascript/ReactJS. Landing page: GatsbyJS. Hosting: Render.
 
I wouldn't say the tech stack has provided challenges. Not nearly as much as positioning, pricing, and building a cohesive product for multiple use-cases.
 
 

What are some of the most essential tools that you use for your business?

 
 
Analytics: Plausible & LogSnag.
Billing: Stripe.
Email: Mailgun.
 
I also build a good amount of tools in-house, ones that are specific to my product like user activation and email flows.
 
 

What have been some of the biggest insights you've gained since starting your entrepreneurial journey?

 
It might take a lot of time to get to product-market fit, so be prepared for the long run. In my case, I've figured out a lot about my target customers along the way, and uncovered new use-cases for my solution which I didn't consider initially.
 
I built the product as a marketing tool, and some folks started using it for researching business ideas, validating solutions, and writing content for their target audience. This blew my mind, and I quickly adapted the product to support these use-cases natively.
 
I've spent a lot of time talking to customers and piecing together hundreds of different user's stories into something that makes sense in one cohesive product. It hasn't been easy, but it's been very rewarding.
 
 
 
4 hour workweek by @tferriss
Zero to sold by @arvidkahl
Built to sell by @JohnWarrillow
How I built this podcast by @guyraz
 

What other products are you working on? (if any)

I also run a directory of online communities https://thehiveindex.com
 
The Hive Index is an advertising model, not recurring revenue. But it's coming up on making $1k/mo as well.