160 active customers and growing

Published on March 14, 2021 • 3 minutes to read

In January 2021, I launched the logbook, an app for people like me that want to do journaling with a more calmed down approach. At first, I envisioned this product mostly for me, I have tried multiple apps like mine in the past but haven’t enjoyed the process as much because all of them have something that I dislike, constant notifications, reminders, game theories, and other clickbait ways to draw your attention and make you use them,

So I said no to all those apps, and I built mine focusing on the core value of I want to journal when I want to journal and not when an app tells me I should, That’s how I like to journal and describe my journey towards completing multiple goals to myself.

It has been an interesting journey, and I must admit that I was quite scared when I launched this app and posted about it on producthunt. It received some really nice comments from the community, and it has been downloaded by people in 40 different countries.

But let’s talk about this journey and some metrics, as a side project, and as one that I see as part of my “indie dev” journey, I got a bunch of ideas that I want to implement and they feel, at least in my head that will be great for the app, but what I didn’t anticipate, and I see now that it was a mistake from my side to not do, was how much the community around my app will grow, what opinions, ideas, and use cases will these people want me to add to it.

And here’s where the number from my title comes from, as I’m writing this post, I currently have 160 other like-minded people using and making opinions over my work and they have influenced how I see my roadmap and what I want to do for this app in the short-term. I couldn’t be happier to be in a position where I found these individuals somehow, and they are enjoying what I did.

I don’t collect specific metrics about how they are using my app, heck, I don’t even collect metrics if they don’t allow Apple to send metrics to app developers about crashes and debugging, so the only metrics I have without “asking” are related to how many times the app is being used which right now it averages 2.7 times a day per individual for a session longer than 1 minute. The other metric I collect is, the emails they sent me with feedback, this isn’t a metric per se, but it’s more like immediate actions I should take or ideas.

I’m writing all these thoughts because I want to share them, and I also want to learn more about how I can help these like-minded individuals to grow the app with me, how should I work with the community? Should I be posting more about my app on Reddit for example? Would that attract the type of attention I think I would like to have to this app or would that play against my current ideals?

I don’t have the answers to these questions, and I guess this is part of the “growing” that I wanted to talk about, with my other app, I got a smaller more niche community to serve, and it has been easier, and a smoother ride because I have knowledge about that field, and I’m a customer of the product too, while with the Logbook, I’m just a customer with ideals that happens to also be the developer/creator of it.

My plan for the short term to get some of these answers is to build a communication channel with my customers that’s more direct, currently, they have to go to the trouble of finding my email through the AppStore links, so I will build a section on the settings of my app to just contact me with their ideas and see what feedback I can gather. This, I feel will help me even more in deciding what path this app will take.