Mike Sallese Shares the Growth Strategy for Scribbl that Led to 1000+ New Users

 
Mike Sallese is the founder of Scribbl - Transcription + AI Meeting assistant
 

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

 
We currently have 2 products, one of which is in still in the beta stage.  
 
The first product is transcription for Google Meet and the beta product is an AI Meeting Assistant that provides recordings, summarization, transcription, etc for your meetings.
 
We were originally inspired by an idea to make meeting recordings more consumable. My co-founder was in sales and was listening back to the recordings of every call he had to re-take notes. He was selling very high priced deals and the information in the meetings was crucial, but the cost of going back through the meetings was taking up too much capacity.
 
 

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

 
We built our first proof of concept in 2019. We didn't have 50+ users until 2021. We spent most of 2020 trying to build a meeting assistant, and failing to get any traction of growing our user base.  
 
Our growth strategy that ended up working out for us, was just posting about our product everywhere we could find. We posted in reddit threads, quora, stackoverflow, support forums, etc. Basically anything that came up for google keywords we cared about, we tried to get on those pages. We found this process to follow an extreme version Pareto's principle. Most of the effort we made had no effect, and one effort in particular had massive effect.
 
The channel that ended up driving over 1,000 users to our product was a google support forum. There was a question of someone asking how to get a transcript from google meet. I simply posted in there saying you could do that for free with our product. Shortly after we started getting 5+ new users a day.
 
We ended up wrestling with the marketing channel we acquired. We were building a robust platform for meeting recordings, but the only part of our product people used was the transcription. Eventually, we retired our original product in favor of a chrome extension we built to strictly provide transcription to Google Meet.
 
 

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

 
We have a chrome extension written in javascript + html that talks to a Golang backend with a Postgres database (hosted on heroku).  
 
The really nice characteristic about building a chrome extension is you don't have to worry too much about scalability if you're not doing too much backend heavy work.
 
 

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

 
We spend a lot of time in slack & email. Mailjet has been a really useful tool for us. We use their api to send out emails from our backend server.
 
 

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

 
  • You only lose when you quit.
  • You need users to go through your product to see the vision of where it should go next.
  • It's easy to think that your product isn't good if you don't have enough marketing muscle. 
  • Often times your value prop isn't bad, but rather there is some friction in your product that needs to be removed.
  • Marketing channels matter far more than your product. You're more likely to be successful with a bad product and a good marketing channel than a good product and bad marketing
 
 
 
Book: The Mom Test
 

Anything else you want to mention ?

We're in the process of looking for companies to pilot our beta product. The beta is focused on pulling information out of meetings and helping teams share that information. This includes video recording, meeting summarization, participant information, and ability to create shareable clips by searching the transcript to find moments in the call. We're not currently charging for it. We only occasionally ask that you provide us with some feedback. If interested, send an email to [email protected]
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