@Jimmy's Momentum Blog

Working on https://listninja.co, but also a few products in the super niche amusement gaming space.

jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Meeting scheduled with our VP of marketing to really go over how this lead scoring implementation might look for us to use in house. Signed off with legal that this is an "integrations project" and not something developed "in house". I figure if I'm able to get some real results here, then I can use this as a marketing asset as validation to other customers.
  • ListNinja subscriber count is currently at 6, with about 90 trials so far. Slow and steady.
  • Getting some uptick in demand for a series on embedded operating system development for things like IoT, but on low cost devices like a raspberry pi.
Mon 23rd Jul, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0

Oh boy... where to begin... lots of updates the past few weeks:

  • Met with two VPs of sales and our Chief Sales Officer to talk about implementing a more comprehensive lead scoring model. They'd be willing to pay and switch if we're able to show a pretty clear gain in lead conversion based on those social factors.
  • As a result of this, I've had two CMOs interested in ListNinja for marketing automation (mainly instagram, twitter, youtube). Outside of our current scope sadly.
  • Had two companies sign contracts for more embedded OS design, which has been the bulk of time spent away from LN the last couple weeks.

Too many things, too little time.

Thu 19th Jul, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Working on onboarding a new company into ListNinja with a huge mailing list of about 25,000.
Tue 10th Jul, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Working on some product licensing deals for the other side hustle by frequent request.
  • Making a list of features for ListNinja in an effort to hone the marketing campaign. The value is realized today for those who really want to segment their audience based on their other internet actions. Really seeing how we can tie those features into higher priced recurring revenue streams.
Wed 27th Jun, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • More customer research
  • Got questions about a few other products that I've released in the past, so seeing if there are any opportunities there. Trying to have minimal distraction from deciding where LN is headed.
Tue 26th Jun, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Working on talking to more customers
  • Cold emailing is not a good way to solicit customer feedback, so looking for more sales affinity groups
Mon 25th Jun, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Talked with @justin about the new sales page. Congrats on all the new milestones!
  • Worked on some trial onboarding questions that a user had.
Thu 21st Jun, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Talking to new ListNinja signups about what drew them to the product and what they want to get out of it. I've gotten signups ranging from a SaaS company, to a gaming company, to an info-product marketer, and even a chamber music group...

  • Reaching out to some new marketing groups today to gauge interest in configurable lead scoring.

Mon 18th Jun, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Working on an article for IndieHackers about lessons learned through the building and launch of ListNinja
  • Looking for more sales groups to talk to
  • Meeting with marketing department at day job today to talk about their interests in configurable lead scoring
Fri 15th Jun, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Worked on more customer research for ListNinja

Had a good meeting with some Indie Hackers last night that loved the product

Wed 13th Jun, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Approved press release to go live today. Many thanks to @jnoetzelman at PressAdvantage! Looking forward to reviewing how that goes.

  • Looking for potential customers to interview on the sales side to see if this type of enhanced/configurable lead scoring is something they'd be interested in.

  • Attending an IndieHackers meetup in Downtown Austin tonight. Looking to potentially bounce my ideas off of a few people there and see if anyone might be interested in joining Nugget so we can keep closer touch.

Tue 12th Jun, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Approved press release and sent out a list of dates, we'll see how this goes! I'm anxious to share results.
  • Working more on customer discovery and development for the higher-end of the line.

I've decided long ago that I don't want to focus on entry level users because they're price sensitive and don't have specific goals/product directions in mind, so support costs will often be higher, and product-market fit would be harder to achieve with them.

So far, if we adopt the configurable lead scoring model, we'd be targeting marketing departments and/or sales managers directly for mid-sized businesses and up.

Another path with the current product is targeting marketing agencies that do consulting for clients on email communications/content. They could use this internally.

Sun 10th Jun, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • reviewing press release for ListNinja
Sat 9th Jun, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Had a nice heart to heart with @justin on the phone yesterday, mainly revolving around "Who is ListNinja's target customer, and what is the end-to-end value proposition?"

Right now I'm looking for ways to move the business price-point upstream. The current proposition fits really well with people who are just starting out (Like on BetaList, Nugget, IndieHackers) and who want to know more about their target audiences like early access subscribers and such. However, the tool in that form doesn't lend itself to recurring revenue. Right now the main selling points are "We help you identify your target audience more clearly, and we help you segment based on a host of different attributes so you can laser-focus your content."

The question so far is "What is ListNinja could hook into external sales systems like SalesForce, Pipedrive and Close.io and monitor for social media interactions in order to produce a lead score so that you send the right email at exactly the right time when the lead is primed?" While this does have a higher price point and potentially a much higher value proposition, it is a turn in a different direction that will first require some customer R&D. My mission is to find groups of sales people and see whether or not this kind of system would help. Of course it relies on prospects actually posting on social media about their problems.

Fri 8th Jun, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Fixed the list import flicker problem caused by data subscription information changing as the workers updated the list data in the background
  • Added a welcome email that automatically gets sent
  • Submitted press release information

Going to work on some of the more transactional emails and here is what I have planned:

  1. An email that gets sent when your list is indexed with a stats recap
  2. A potentially weekly email that summarizes the new users on your list, or any common trends that have happened with your users last week (what they're talking about on social media to generate content topic ideas, competitor alerts, etc)
  3. An email that gets sent if you DON'T hook up a list within a day or two
  4. An email for when your list doesn't have any users

The idea is to make the user feel like a rockstar, so each of these emails will have a very conversational tone, and I want the brand perception to be rather upbeat.

Thu 7th Jun, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Shipped a few performance optimizations for ListNinja. I was having issues with the search and segment page taking forever to load. This is one of the largest pages on ListNinja because most of your email data is displayed. Ended up removing some of the useless fields from being sent across the wire for each subscriber. 10x improvement, but still need to paginate or do an infinite scroll.

  • New podcast format idea for Product Validator, will discuss with @justin

Wed 6th Jun, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Indexed the entire IndieHackers site so that you can segment and automate based on which of your subscribers are active in that community (also works for competition identification)
  • Going to be sharing my public momentum updates thanks to @justin that way we can get multiple streams of traffic to a central update repository and continue building openly.
Tue 5th Jun, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Several bugfixes reported by other early access customers in progress
  • Working on some content that I think might drive traffic over to ListNinja's website. Going to test it out on a few other marketing/entrepreneur communities.
  • Thinking about making some of these updates a bit more public
Mon 4th Jun, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Just shipped some major speed improvements to the dashboard view.
  • Got some valuable feedback from a few Indie Hackers.

One IH member said that the site was too expensive, but then proceeded to say that he could see the value in the data provided. Confused by this, I prodded a bit more and asked what features he thought should be implemented that would justify the cost, his response was "No, the tool does exactly what I think it should, I literally just can't afford to spend the money right now, but would love to use the product."

If anything, the price of LN will go up over time, I just need to figure out where my high value customers are. Yay research.

  • Added social activity feed to each individual subscriber profile view as well
Sat 2nd Jun, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Cleaned a bunch of fake emails out of ListNinja's index to make for a better customer experience
  • Fixed the auto-refresh on the subscriber social activity feed
  • Color coded the cards on the activity page so you could quickly pick out YouTube actions from Twitter actions.

I won't be doing much coding today, I plan to draft up a press release for later this month as well as an IndieHackers post to get the next batch of beta testers in so I can squash more bugs.

Exploring the roadmap a bit more, wondering if there is a potential need for this type of tool for eCommerce store owners.

A few uses I've heard from users so far:

  1. Product audience identification (Answers the question "Who the hell is interested in what I'm doing?)
  2. List segmentation tool powered by insights on job/market/social interaction
  3. A "reverse HitTail" type product that gives list owners ideas for content based on what their subscribers are engaging with
  4. Email marketing automation powered by social media

I'll poke and prod a bit more to try to figure out exactly how I want to position the marketing materials.

Fri 1st Jun, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Fixing a stupid problem with the list importer flickering back and forth between the "Connect a list" and progress screen during the import process
  • Fixed problem where some cards didn't display emails on the influencers panel on the dashboard
Thu 31st May, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Working more on restructuring the activity view
  • Scheduling more user interviews
  • Trying to find out who my potential "super seed group" is.
Wed 30th May, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Working on early access feedback, found a few IndieHackers members that want to use the service and have volunteered their feedback as well.
Tue 29th May, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Finished the activity pane for ListNinja
  • Automating the activity update logic today
  • Stubbing out the activity updaters for Quora and Instagram
Mon 28th May, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0

  • Implemented revision 1 of the activity monitor feature on ListNinja. Now your subscribers' social media actions (right now just YouTube and Twitter) appear in a consolidated activity feed so you can get an idea for what your subscribers are up to for better content targeting. Quora and Instagram coming soon.
  • Sent emails to new signups to prod more. Will share more on that feedback when I get it!
Sun 27th May, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Had a few people sign up for a ListNinja trial and I have no idea who they are. It seems that one is with a marketing agency, so I look forward to digging in a bit more on what this customer was expecting and whether or not I hit the mark.
  • Working a bit more on my marketing game plan today
Sat 26th May, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Sending out more early access emails and gathering feedback
  • Diagnosing an issue on the dashboard where the word clouds don't load sometimes.
Fri 25th May, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Putting in a quick patch that allows you to unlink your current list.
  • Sending emails to the next batch of early access customers today.
Thu 24th May, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Got the docker containers rigged up for scaling the worker processes for ListNinja
  • Drafted the welcome email for the next batch of Early Access customers. Will be sending that out tomorrow when I can support the usual onboarding questions, which I'll then package into in-app cues and docs to make things clearer.
Wed 23rd May, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0

  • Got docker compose containers working with a bunch of list indexer workers. This isn't so much for the "Oh my app is going to be insanely swamped with users" as much as it is for ensuring that there's a smooth experience for users when they go to index their list.

TODO: Working on the update list logic for the app during my downtime here in Florida. Basically right now the system isn't indexing new subscribers after your initial connection. This will address that. Each API has a filter so you can import subscribers since a certain date.

Tue 22nd May, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Continuing on the drip email course
  • Also planning out features for ListNinja v2 since I'm in airports throughout the day.
  • Will be sending other early access invites
  • Momentum 7 achieved. Boom.
  • Signed up for Stripe Atlas access to see what that’s all about.
Mon 21st May, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Working on the drip email course for ListNinja
  • Going to send some email notifications if someone goes 24 hours without connecting their list
  • I will also fix the problem where you add a list with zero users and you get a blank dashboard. We should prompt the user for a change, or to just silently listen in the background for new subscribers.
Sun 20th May, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Still working on fixing that one bug
  • Need to respond to PressAdvantage today if doing a press release is the path I want to take. Not sure of the immediate benefits
  • Going to test the on boarding flow a bit more and then maybe email 5 or 10 new early access customers
Sat 19th May, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Launched https://listninja.co to a few early access customers as well as the Nugget community
  • Got a very nice list of bugs as expected
  • Fixed bugs with OAuth, list trials not indexing the entire 25 promotional emails and a few other things
  • Launched the new ListNinja sales site late last night
  • Infrastructure upgrades due to NGINX hacking off websocket connections

Today I'll be working on getting the bug fixed on the top influencers page not displaying all the info as it should. I'll also be setting up a Facebook pixel on the new site just in case I want to do retargeting down the road.

Fri 18th May, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Got the production app deployed last night.

  • Taking things easy to make sure the job queues can handle simultaneous indexing of lists.

  • NOTE: Any nugget user is welcome to try out the app at https://app.listninja.co and you'll get your 25 subscribers indexed for free. If you need more, just drop me a line. I can always use the test data.

  • Reaching out to a couple early access folks today.

  • Fixed an OAuth bug with some old development callbacks that I didn't update thanks to Peter!

Thu 17th May, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • I held off on the launch last night due to a double charging issue I found. I want to get that stuff fixed.
  • If push comes to shove, I will onboard two of the early access customers with a higher fixed credit amount so we can bypass the troubled logic.
  • I expect to fix this up today, however.
Wed 16th May, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Well, today is the day. I'll be rolling out ListNinja to about 5 early access subscribers tonight. So a bit of last minute preparations today.
  • I refactored the payment links to be simply "Pay X amount to index your entire list" and it's an exact amount. Below that, you can purchase individual packs of subscriber credits if you wish to keep sampling. The minimum is 300 subscriber credits for $29, but I imagine that I'll tweak that as time goes on.
  • Shipping docker containers into prod this afternoon
Tue 15th May, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Working on the billing logic for ListNinja. I'm trying to simplify things a bit, but basically since I will need to do overage charges (If you buy a pack of 300 subscribers, but you index 500 of them, the overage is about $0.10 per sub, so I have to bill you later). This is a bit different than the simple Stripe Checkout logic. I'd really like to just show people one price to index their list, have them click a button, and it goes.

  • 1 day until early access launch! I should get this thing deployed onto production servers tonight.

Mon 14th May, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Continuing work on the upgrade/billing mechanism
  • 2 days to early access launch
Sun 13th May, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Woke up at 5AM today to get a head start on the upgrade billing functionality for launch next week.

  • Of course as timing would have it, the "day job" wants me to take over all of our marketing technology efforts and hire on a "mar-tech team". I'm trying to figure out what I can learn from this as I do my side hustle. I'll be transitioning off some of my enterprise architecture duties gradually. For reference, this is a $70M ARR company with about 300 employees.

  • 3 days to early access launch. The heat is turning up.

Sat 12th May, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Fixed part of the MailChimp integration with tagging. It turns out that there are 3 API calls per email that I have to make just to tag a user. So, I'm going to migrate this into MailChimp's batch API service.

  • Found and fixed a glitch that would allow you to see what OTHER lists an email belongs to. Rewrote the mongodb query and tested it and things look good. I'll be making another pass over all of the data publication queries.

4 days until early access launch

Fri 11th May, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Refactored mailchimp grouping by using "interest categories" since their segmentation feature doesn't have a ton of control through the API.

I was mowing my lawn yesterday and listening to Justin Jackson's Build your SaaS podcast which was just a recording of his MicroConf talk when he mentioned my first tool, Product Validator and showed it at his talk... I about dropped the weed eater right there and had to rewind to make sure it was MY stuff that he mentioned... Indeed, I go and watch the YouTube video and he had it on screen. That sent about 300 new email subscribers into my list, which will eventually be used to upsell ListNinja (I'll just send one email) as a product validation tool. That caused me to re-run the numbers and realize that there are over 800 people on the ProductValidator list now.

5 days until early access launches.

Thu 10th May, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Worked late on "real job" crap. Had a guy at our upstream NOC change an MTU setting that basically nuked most of the TLS connections to our main service. #TLAs

  • Fixed more job failover edge cases so that in the event of any exception, we hold off and retry at a slower rate to keep from nuking upstream APIs. We'll need to tie this into the UI at some point so the user knows that things are still indexing.

  • Today I'm working on more MailChimp stuff.

Wed 9th May, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Trying to wrap up some last minute technical issues before doing an early access launch next week to my mailing list.

  • Working on a uniform way to detect new subscribers across all MSPs. Most likely a combination of webhooks and polling... I feel like Zapier. (Maybe I should use Zapier...)

Tue 8th May, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Updated pricing tables so that plans have a price-per-extra subscriber charge tacked on. Larger blocks get more of a discount with extra subscribers as well.

  • Working on MailChimp oddities in my API translator service.

  • 8 days until launch.

Mon 7th May, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Responded to a few business inquiries.
  • Reviewing what will be required to implement AWeber post-launch, and negotiating a cross-promotion.
  • Mailchimp integration bugs...
Sun 6th May, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Working on the last little bit of UI tweaks for the first version of the product. The onboarding sequence is fairly well minimized with many thanks to @justin basically saying "If you shipped this onboarding flow, I'd say [expletive] this, I'm out." and, boy, was he right.

  • Interrupted @justin 's vacation with bug reports!

Sat 5th May, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Random bugfixes, trying to make API integrations a bit more fault tolerant.

There are times where the API (MailerLite) can randomly go away, so the job queue needs to wait and retry instead of just failing outright. I'll be continuing down this path today.

Fri 4th May, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Working on fixing a search and segment issue where you create a new segment, but you can't filter by checking that segment in the right hand filter menu.
Thu 3rd May, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Worked more on the email mini course for ListNinja. This course is just about the benefits of segmentation and why blind email blasts are a problem. Once I get more of the higher level features in, I'll create another email mini course specific to that higher-end plan page that explains the benefits of marketing automation based on social interactions.
  • Did some wiring at the new house yesterday so I could get my development environment all configured so I can actually work on things at home
  • Day job shenanigans, digital marketing strategy, board of directors, boring stuff.
Wed 2nd May, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Continuing the work on drip email content since I don't have internet access.
  • I find myself having more and more growth moments in my founder journey. There would be times in the past where I'd always want to add this or that new feature just to avoid launching in fear of rejection. Now I'm welcoming the launch and can't wait for it to come soon enough. I'm ready for feedback and to iterate hard on the features people actually need (and will pay for)!
Tue 1st May, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Moved into new house, still no internet.
  • Got a few ideas put down for the ListNinja email segmentation drip course, I hope to expand on those ideas today into some actual content.
Mon 30th Apr, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Working on moving into the new house, but sadly the fiber won't be lit until Wednesday.
  • Working on the ListNinja email course on segmentation.
Sat 28th Apr, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Wire transferred more money than I've ever wire transferred for a house yesterday... but it will be the new ListNinja HQ next week!
  • Since closing hell is today, I'm keeping my expectations low. I would like to start on a drip email course about the benefits of marketing automation based on social triggers, as well as list segmentation. These two drip courses will go on the LN website when we go live.
Fri 27th Apr, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Fixed a bug with Drip where untagging a lead (when you remove them from a segment) didn't work.
  • Working a bit more on the coordination/orchestration of workers and making sure that the docker backend restarts/corrects in the event of a failure.
  • Working on the links where if you click a topic/keyword/job title in the word cloud on the dashboard, you're taken to the search/segment page with the given matches already filtered.
Thu 26th Apr, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Went to a side-hustler meetup last night in downtown Austin.
  • Fixed the damn drip issue with content types in POST requests using the nodejs requests library.
  • Going to finish up MailChimp integration today/tomorrow hopefully
  • Moving hell continues

At the meetup, I met a guy who went to MicroConf last year, so I think I'm going to try to go to my first one next year. With this group, you talk for 30 minutes about what everyone is working on, and what they hope to do that night, then you work for an hour.

Also got some great feedback on ListNinja. Many attendees hadn't done a ton of marketing before they were hacking on their ideas. I think I've further validated the need for tools that make early product validation and market analysis a bit more approachable for developers. I think ListNinja allows people to do that on the lower tiers, while also allowing more sophisticated automation on the higher end tiers.

Wed 25th Apr, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0

A few technical updates... yay!

  • Fixed the list segmentation/tagging problem caused by differences between Drip's tags and MailerLite's groups
  • Finishing out the code interface implementation for MailChimp today, so hopefully by the end of the week, we'll have all providers exhibiting identical functionality, completely abstracted away from the customer.
  • Lost two hours of my life listening to yesterday's TechZing episode. #noregrets, Awesome episode @justin!
  • Looking into setting up a pool of docker containers that service the backend queues for ListNinja. These queues are basically used for indexing mailing lists, looking up profile information on an email (enrichment), rebuilding the search/category/segment indices after a new email is added, monitoring mailing lists for changes in the event that auto-indexing is turned on, etc. This will be where any bottlenecks are likely to occur.
Tue 24th Apr, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Finished the baseline drip integration (thank God!)

Building out the Drip integration revealed other issues with the platform, mainly with tags. For example, MailerLite doesn't have tags, they have groups which are basically equivalent to Drip's campaigns. Drip actually has tags, and they're simple strings. I was relying on the MSP to give me a member count for each tag, and not all MSPs will have that information... so I have to calculate that myself and store it locally.

  • Got ListNinja dockerized! This is a HUGE thing, but it really only took me about an hour and a half to do. NodeJS and NPM can really be a pain...

  • Recorded a few new "30 Second Side-Hustle" tip videos for ProductValidator and scheduled those on YouTube.

Super productive weekend before "moving into new house" hell.

Mon 23rd Apr, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Worked a bit on the pricing structure of ListNinja yesterday using some advice that @justin graciously provided!

I am thinking of adding much higher end support (post-launch of the current feature set) for monitoring your subscribers' social media actions and triggering different events based on those actions. Here's what I have so far:

  • Monitor for subscribers who post YouTube videos containing certain content/keywords, subscribe to certain people, or favorite/like a certain video
  • Monitor for subscribers who tweet about certain topics, hashtags or at certain people
  • Monitor for subscribers who post to Instagram media containing certain content hashes. Optionally route new media to the Google Vision API to extract image metadata and trigger based on that.

Facebook is a no-go because you can't view a person's timeline posts without having explicit permission from that specific poster for your specific app.

Obviously I'm delaying these features until after launch, but I think they will allow me to move revenue upstream as they allow people to really "supercharge" their marketing automation.

Fri 20th Apr, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0

So, for ListNinja, I'm trying to come up with a plan that can potentially bring in recurring revenue. For example, right now our plans are structured based on volume, and it's a one time fee. So you get analytics and segmentation on 300 people for a one time fee, which I think people will find very attractive. But I'm not sure how to incorporate recurring revenue without the product offering and pricing structure becoming confusing.

I'll be attempting to work this out today. Comments welcome!

Thu 19th Apr, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Worked on the ListNinja landing page a bit more today. I've really grown to be disgusted with the current setup, and I'm really really tired of landing pages that are more obsessed with cool fly-in CSS animations and fades, instead of getting down to the core value prop.

  • I took tips from sites like Basecamp, Drip, Bidsketch and a bunch of others in order to cobble this one together. I'm digging it so far.

  • I really need to tweak the verbiage and fine tune that before it goes live.
Wed 18th Apr, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Worked on the search and segment screen!
  • Working on the backend segmentation with each individual MSP now and hopefully finishing that up by tomorrow!
  • Going to try to set up a talk again with the team at AWeber that requested an integration.

Tue 17th Apr, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Hustling hard on finishing up the "Search and Segment" view for ListNinja. This is the last core feature prior to release.
  • Onboarding flow refactored with a MAJOR SUPER MEGA thanks to @justin
  • Got four guests scheduled to appear on the Product Validator podcast. Ideally the podcast and the product validator website will serve as free info tools that drive customers to premium products like ListNinja.

Keeping up the hustle, and loving it!

Mon 16th Apr, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Working more on the user flow for ListNinja
  • Debating doing 15 minute short podcast episodes on the development of ListNinja on Transistor.fm under the Product Validator brand. People are interested in Product Validator, and I think LN is a good chance to share the validation process on that outlet with minimal time impact.
Wed 11th Apr, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Worked a bit more on mockups for the onboarding flow...

Sun 8th Apr, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0

Talked to Justin about the onboarding flow of ListNinja and got an insane amount of great feedback. I'm working on new mockups to share, and we've identified several pieces of the process that can really be eliminated and hopefully reduce user friction.

  • Minimized hopefully the minimum path to awesome
Sat 7th Apr, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Working on support for importing larger lists while respecting upstream API limitations.

  • Also working on general onboarding flow. The idea is the following:

Step 1) Ask the customer what mail provider they use (MailChimp, Drip, MailerLite) Step 2) Gather authentication information for that provider either via API key or OAuth2 Step 3) Show the user a list of their mailing lists and have them select which one to import. Step 4) Index the entire mailing list (shown above) Step 5) Show them a price screen based on their list size, and allow them to segment which people on their list they want to import. Have prices update in real time based on segments selected. Step 6) Index/enrich the list, then bring them to their regular dashboard where they can view insights and segment further.

I'm hoping the process isn't too verbose, and I'm always looking for ways to condense.

  • Working on the segmentation mockup for ListNinja. This is where the user can select which subscribers they wish to import into LN. The default is to select all, but for large lists, this could be costly. I'd like to design a better filter based on date ranges and such.

Fri 6th Apr, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Worked on the backend job processors for ListNinja
  • Diagnosing a core onboarding bug where someone can get stuck if they walk away after they input their MailerLite API key, but before they select a list to import
Wed 4th Apr, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Talked to beta customers to see what draws them to ListNinja. So far my assumptions are mostly correct in that people are interested in finding out more about their subscribers and thus their target audience.
  • There seems to be a much heavier interest in list segmentation/automation. So once a person signs up, they will belong to a certain segment, but their segment can change over time based on what they do or say over time, (like the things they say/follow on twitter, product hunt, betalist, etc)
  • I need to think more and more about the pricing model on ListNinja. I like the idea of an up front cost for the size of your list, but I need to make the product stickier.
Thu 29th Mar, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Going to be fleshing out the rest of the MailChimp implementation today.
  • Starting on mockups for the "Search and Segment" feature where you can click words, job titles, etc in the word clouds and drill down to the specific subscribers that meet those criteria.
  • Got two beta users lined up!
Tue 27th Mar, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Busy buying a house to call the new HQ for all things Jimmy (ListNinja, PCB business, etc)
  • Making headway on MailChimp support and graceful OAuth support. Most MSPs only do OAuth1.0 so there are no refresh tokens. This makes things relatively easy as long as the token doesn't expire.
Mon 26th Mar, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Yesterday I continued fleshing out the MSP implementations for MailerLite, now working on finishing MailChimp.

It's a bit tough as each MSP has a different notion of "tagging" someone. For example, MailChimp has "interests" which are ways of segmenting users, MailerLite has "groups" and Drip has true "tags". I'd say that Drip's API has by far been the simplest in terms of mapping ListNinja's segmentation logic nearly 1:1.

I've also added a feature to the roadmap that will allow ListNinja to auto-segment your subscribers based on what they mention/interact with on Twitter. Will also be adding BetaList based competitor/partnership analysis as well so you can identify potential competitors or partners that are subscribed to your lists. This also helps weed out the ones who only subscribe in order to market to you.

Sat 24th Mar, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0

Progress continues on ListNinja. I'm working on the batching system so that we can deal with large lists. Now if you have thousands of subscribers, it won't take forever until you see your data start to come in, it happens instantly.

  • Marketing plan still continues... this is tough for a developer. I'm primarily thinking of marketing to early businesses that are still in the process of finding product market fit.
  • ProductHunt, BetaList and other places where people tend to launch their products or landing pages to early-access customers
  • Podcast tour
  • Quora questions on product validation (not spamming)
  • Most likely cross-promoting it to the ProductValidator list

Ideas always welcome. I'm just winging it here.

Fri 23rd Mar, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0

Progress on ListNinja! Developed the base interface class for all of our mail service provider integrations and mapped the methods on our side to the necessary API calls on theirs. It's interesting because it should make the calling code on our side fairly generic. (screenshot attached)

Probably going to start working on the ListNinja marketing plan today. Lots of plans on the outbound side, but I need to put in some thoughts on the inbound side.

Thu 22nd Mar, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0

Got back from the tradeshow. It was great and exhausting, met a lot of new contacts, hopefully some contracts in the works for embedded OS licensing! Also gave three seminars while I was there.

Making progress on ListNinja! Working on the Search and Segment screens that allow you to segment your list based on any attributes. I'd share screenshots, but no facility here for that just yet.

Here are some previews of the interface on the dashboard for list insights as well as drilling down into individual subscriber profiles.

Wed 21st Mar, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Working on fixing things up for a tradeshow on the 16th. Its a lot of hassle writing emulation for microprocessors and ASICs that haven't been produced in 20 years
  • Weighing the pros and cons of working and continuing with ListNinja. Right now the other business has taken off, but I still think LN holds potential. I may see about scaling the feature set down to an MVP just for Drip and getting it out the door before investing much more time in it.
Mon 5th Mar, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Got pinged by Valley-Dynamo, one of my largest subscribers to design a license the software for all of their product production lines. This is a big undertaking, so I'll be scheduling a trip north to their home office and production facility to do a needs assessment.
  • Completed OAuth flow into Drip for ListNinja
Tue 27th Feb, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • It seems the firmware code I got wasn't the latest that the company's old developer was working on, so waiting on them to update me there.
  • Today, I'll be working on ListNinja and the integrations with Drip. Currently MailChimp and MailerLite have baseline integrations with the platform.
Mon 26th Feb, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Client confirms performance improvements with the latest software revision. Some bugs still exist, so I'll be knocking those out this weekend.
  • Will be testing out the newest hardware units received from the fabricator in China.
Fri 23rd Feb, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Got some bugfixes sent out for some clients that have to have a device at a trade show. Trying to negotiate a second contract into another subsidiary of theirs, so I'm bending over backwards.
  • Today/tomorrow I'll be focusing on planning the product roadmap for licensing the operating system to a broader client base.
  • Also investigating what hardware product options I can provide to clients that need to ship embedded devices with my software already on them.
Thu 22nd Feb, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0
  • Fresh new circuit boards in from the fabricator, ready to put into the store and ship to customers. About 60 backorders in this batch of 100. Will probably need to restock again within the month.
  • One client reporting a bug with the currency handling code, so need to investigate that and push out a fix.

I'll be going through the feature request backlog and prioritizing items for future releases depending on the demand.

Wed 21st Feb, 2018
jimmy K:210 / M:0

So I'd been working on ListNinja (a SaaS app that gives you insights on who is signing up for your email lists, and allows you to easily segment them), and then a completely different line of products I make started to take off. I'll still be working on LN because I think it'll be better long term, but I've had to focus on these other products, which is licensing real time operating system software I wrote to amusement companies.

  • Finalized licensing deal with American Pinball Inc
  • Finalized licensing deal with Spooky Pinball LLC

Currently working on a large deal for software licenses to Valley-Dynamo

Tue 20th Feb, 2018