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David Bressler is the founder of excelformulabot - Transform your text instructions into Excel formulas in seconds with the help of AI.
Tell us about your product and what inspired you to start it?
There are 750M people worldwide that use Excel. People spend hours a month trying to solve complex Excel formula - looking Stack Overflow, Excel Tips & Tricks sites and simply trial and error.
As the “Excel” guy in the office, I’d always be the go-to guy to help a colleague with an complex formula.I no longer wanted to be that guy.While on paternity leave, I went down a rabbit hole of learning about artificial intelligence and no-code web apps like Bubble.io.
While playing around the OpenAI’s models, I asked it a simple Excel question - “what’s the Excel formula to average column A?”=AVERAGE(A:A)I started asking it more complex questions, then realizing I stumbled upon something that could be revolutionary to the business world.
The next couple of days, I made excelformulabot.com, where the site quickly went viral after a harmless post on Reddit asking people to test it out.
How long did it take you to acquire your first 50 customers, and what was your growth strategy?
On the first day I launched, I got 82 customers.
How did I get there?…Prior to launching the new site and a subscription model, the site was free for anyone. Unlimited formula requests, just required a login.
A month later, there were 50K people that signed up.
I emailed all of them on launch day and thanked them for being “beta” testers and rewarded them with a promo code for the yearly subscription.
I also got a few sales from Product Hunt.
Which technology stack are you using and what challenges and limitations does it pose?
Bubble.io, OpenAI, Stripe and currently working on integrating Postmark for broadcast and transactional emails.
No challenges yet. Bubble’s API Connector is a game changer.
What are some of the most essential tools that you use for your business?
I use Google Analytics and Microsoft Clarity for heat mapping.
I dabbled a bit in Canva and Figma.
Email and social apps on the phone are critical. I’ve had thousands of people email, DM, tag me, etc and I’ve literally responded to every single one.
Customer service as a solopreneur sucks, but it goes a long way.
What have been some of the biggest insights you've gained since starting your entrepreneurial journey?
Have a brand name that people will remember, let people try your product for free, with minimal barriers of entry and be active in the community.
Since I launched in mid July, I’ve found 5 other websites that do the same thing as excelformulabot. They all pivoted towards something else since, with one of them being funded by YC.
4 of the 5 sites launched before mine. 1 launched a few weeks earlier. That site required users to sign up and had several steps to get users to try the product.
Excelformulabot was the first time people have interacted directly with AI (aside from social media algorithms). Because of that, barriers to entry need to be low. In fact, when I launched, I didn’t even require an email. Collecting emails is great for marketing, but the primary reason was to slow down the AI API costs after going viral.
Since launch, I was boots on the ground in the no-code and data analytics community. I’d search for the brand name on Google and click into every single website that talked about it and provide commentary if there was user feedback, ie: message boards.
Your recommended books/podcasts/newsletters etc.:
Prof G show and Pivot podcasts!
I’m a big Morning Brew fan and my jaw dropped when they mentioned my site in one of their newsletters.