We're no longer accepting new questions for Tuesday's event. Stay tuned for the next one.
[12/22 12pm PST] Live Project Feedback with Daniel Gross
Shared by pioneer · 29d ago · 28 comments

We're hosting another player feedback session! Our founder Daniel will publicly answer questions and give feedback to projects in the Pioneer Tournament.

Post your questions below by Monday 12/11! We'll select 10 or so to cover during the event. Questions can be general (e.g. What are the most important qualities in a first hire? When should you worry about competitors?) or specific to your project (e.g. Should I be thinking about monetization? Do I have the right KPIs?). No need to describe your project—we have access to your project description & progress updates.

Check out the last one here.

Hi Daniel!

- is the tag line on the landing page clear enough to understand what the product does just from it? (https://timeos.co)

- What are the main things I should be aware of building a team as a solo founder?

Thank you!

Kiter.app · 26d ago

Hi Daniel and team,

When pitching https://www.kiter.app/ to institutions who advise/mentor our target users, some seem to loose interest when we mention the product is free. We have remained free to grow quickly, but now wonder if there a Giffen good effect in selling an app to institutions. Should we charge?

Matthew_Brooks · 26d ago

Hi Daniel, two questions:

1 - How's the website I just built for my slack app? Hopefully, it's very clear and immediately shows value: https://www.incognitoslack.com/

2 - I'm doing a 2 week free trial of my slack app w/ the 150 person startup I work at. If I convert them as my first customer (or even if I don't) what should my next steps be? Try to find other startups on LinkedIn and pitch to them? Paid marketing?

yotastamou · 26d ago

Please find a video of our prototype
http://unitedbits.io/yota/pioneer-app-project-update-2-5gp1

Our question: "Would you like to commission a remix of your favorite song or a new tune to treat your loved ones?"
You can do it in UnitedBits!

dimazyuzin · 26d ago

Hey!

My project called Dap Land http://dap.land/, this is a social media for the basketball community. My questions are:
1. Does it make sense to use 'TikTok for the basketball community'?
2. Would you leave your email there? If not what should we change on the landing page to make you interested in the app?
3. In your opinion how is it possible to find a co-founder for that kind of products?

Thanks a lot!

Hey!
Thank you so much for everything you guys are doing so far. I would love feedback on:
- landing page, https://autopilot.feelzesty.com/
- the flow of the product. And as an individual would you find it useful or interesting to use?
- bit more specific to the product, do you have an alternate approach compared to the way we are doing right now?

cilliancollins · 28d ago

Hey,

We (papershop.io) would really love to hear Daniel's thoughts on an effective marketing strategy for B2B startups. We're predominantly targeting restaurants, where it's hard to actually get through to a decision maker. What would be the single most useful thing we could do to improve our visibility to restaurant owners?

Thanks for your time!

tab-trader.com · 28d ago

Daniel!

First off, great interview with Jason Calacanis ! Really enjoyed it.

Question: how to avoid mistakes of late monetization that IFTT, Evernote and some other companies have made. First they were free and then started charging and failed. Is it just charge from day 1? We started charging PRO subscription after having organically acquired 1mln downloads of our app.

Our website is www.tab-trader.com, we are a mobile app for cryptocurrency trading that allows users to connect multiple exchanges.

rishi · 25d ago

Hey! We answered your question at the last event: https://youtu.be/Zf1q7TtbvCk?t=1419.

Spirulinahub · 28d ago

Hi Daniel & Team,
Thanks for taking the time to review.
Goals
1. Many many spirulinahub.wordpress.com viewers/ readers. How does one get a lot of views in a week?
2. What is Hacker news for food supplement?
3. How do we make professional web page to gain trust to increase sales conversion while still using subdomain?
details like white space or certain theme are welcome.
4. Which theme in wordpress is awesome for us?

Thanks a million.
Ben
Spirulina hub

huongngtm · 28d ago

Hi team.

1. I have problem getting the first customers. I cold email app developers that might find our service useful, but the progress seems very slow. I've sent 10-20 emails weekly for 2 weeks and have not received interest. I've posted in Reddit, IndieHackers and some minor startup listing sites, from there those interested are not developers. Do you suggest any other distribution channels that might work for our case?
2. Should I worry about competition with big computer vision platforms like Google, Microsoft? How do you think startups can compete?

fernandocordeiro · 28d ago

Hello gang!

I think I have a positioning problem. My user and buyer personas are different and I have a really hard time pitching my product to the latter.

I've had good feedback and engagement from early users, and the pain I try to solve (lack of cooperation between teams) is one that many have, but no almost nobody owns*. So inevitably, when I go pitching to my buyer persona, I end up being compared to widely different competitors: from Workplace from Google to Lattice and CultureAmp.

Right now I don't know if:
- I'm focusing on the wrong customer or
- The customer is correct, but the business model offers the wrong incentives or
- If I should double-down and start focusing on educating the buyer persona

* Initially I had assumed HR would own it, but this was proved to be false during my first experiments: 90% of their concerns were operational in nature. More alarming is that almost all my interviews mentioned some distrust of HR-mandated tools at some point.

* forgot the link! XD https://pluckd.co

Blake · 28d ago

"More alarming is that almost all my interviews mentioned some distrust of HR-mandated tools at some point." -

This jumped out at me - and this is a valueprop to any HR - "Guys, no one trust your mandates, look at these surveys/studies" -

To me, your natural partner is an analytics tool - much harder to dismiss "lack of cooperation" and much easier to force ownership when you have objective numbers that prove it. Then you can show how your solution makes those numbers better - nice thing about this is you can ask them how they measure progress and now you have a common language (this is the part when you aren't doing something that scales but are figuring out your position, like you mentioned)

(Probably presumptuous of me to answer this but I saw it and something stuck out and I honestly didn't feel like trying to trace down a better place to write it, since I was already here. Just in case they don't get to it in the livestream )

fernandocordeiro · 28d ago

That's the biggest challenge when selling a vitamin instead of a pain killer.

"Cooperation" isn't measured, but "turnover" is. The thing about turnover is that it's a Titanic of a KPI: it takes a lot of effort and time to change it (we've been in open beta for less than 1 month, and in closed beta for less than 6 - during a pandemic that completely altered hiring and firing dynamics).

More rarely, some companies measure eNPS on surveys (usually bi-annual). This indirectly gauges the company culture, where the community aspect of the workforce (a better for for "cooperation between teams"?) is only one of many factors.

madhukarprabhakara · 29d ago

Hi Daniel,

Thanks a lot for taking the time. I would like feedback on the following:

- Landing page (https://www.humaneapp.com) from messaging point of view, if you understand what we are trying to do?
- How do I approach startups/teams to try our product. We are targeting small teams of 10 to 15 people right now.
- Would you and your team like to try our product? (Just a pilot for may be 15 days)

affordance.app · 29d ago

Hi Daniel, thanks for doing this! I would love feedback on :
- landing page
- how to approach VC's without a network?
- how to choose between free vs paywalled communities
- how to approach experts to try a new thing (platform)

Blake · 29d ago

Do you know any companies that actually fit the startup definition of truly exponential growth in Public Safety. (Fire, Ems, even Police)? There are companies, even big companies in the space but nothing that fits the startup description.

One of my biggest challenges is finding examples that I can learn from. Stripe can teach me a lot about certain best practices but finding a fire/ems true startup would be so helpful.

Classic example - our SCBA's invented circa 1940. Fire service didn't adopt en mass until 1980's & 90s... So something as vital as BREATHING was resisted. Combine that with a fragmented industry with a government sales cycle, personally I'd rather just run into a burning building. (I have and prefer that experience)

I guess that's what it means to be a Pioneer - you're going to have to blaze a trail - but I'd like some map of the territory.

Probably not the best question to answer on the live stream but I'd love a response in any form.

andrew-miit.co · 29d ago

Hi Daniel and team,

I get asked this question a lot, would love your feedback on my response: https://frontier.pioneer.app/posts/796dc98a-why-we-will-succeed

Or, I often get feedback to stay away from horizontal list views in our UI, would love your thoughts: https://adobe.ly/3p45SIA

Thanks!

Miguel · 29d ago

Hi, we're working on a marketplace that transacts with Nano (a fast, fee-less, eco-friendly cryptocurrency). What should we do to increase our number of sales?

davidcrombie · 29d ago

How do you feel about cleantech companies?

tosh · 29d ago

Hi Daniel,

I'm building Apple Silicon Games (https://applesilicongames.com)

It shows which games are playable on the new Apple Silicon Macs and also how well they run including detailed reports w/ FPS, videos, settings used, hardware specs and so on

It helps people who care about their favourite games to decide which Mac to go for and connect with other gamers on our discord. In the last few days it also became a place for game devs to hang out and get access to early adopters and beta testers.

My question to you: if you take a very ambitious point of view, what can this become in the next 5-10 years?

cheers & have a great transition into the new year

a recent thread on hn: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25342385

launch on product hunt: https://www.producthunt.com/posts/apple-silicon-games

jonathanpedoeem · 29d ago

Howdy.

When can I reasonably go for a seed or pre-seed round? (and when is it a good idea)
I would like to hire some help to be able to help me move quicker. I can handle the current work load I have alone, but I think the right hire would allow me to grow and get to PMF quicker.

A mentor of mine told me I need $10k MRR before I can raise, I do not trust that number, but that has been my north star for now.

cregox@ahoxus.org · 29d ago

are there any projects closely similar to mine in pioneer? http://ahoxus.org/achoz

ps: achoz is a child project of ahoxus (the previous main protect i've been pushing over the past 57 weeks here) but they're actually both the same, like email and internet.

jameelmatin · 29d ago

Hi Daniel! Two questions here.

Active duty Military:
How would you advise us to work on manufacturing our own portable ID card readers to serve active-duty Military? An example we’re solving for https://militarycac.com/index.htm

We have found tremendous demand from our active-duty military users to purchase portable ID card reader's to solve the pain point of waiting in line to use Government computers; instead, these portable ID card readers allow service members to use their personal laptops to access DOD sites from the comfort of their barracks. We currently acquire our ID card readers from Amazon.

Military Veterans:
How do we think about a monetization model for our platform that serves veterans endeavoring to reach their goals, i.e land a job, take the LSAT’s, while our competitors offer a freemium model? An example we’re solving for https://www.marineea.org/index.php/for-employers-menu/list-your-company/62-marine-for-life.

We've been tinkering with the idea of a deferred payment plan.
Another revenue model could be using the GI BILL, however, it will take us over a year or so to be qualified.

Thank you for your time

elias@guineapig.app · 29d ago

Hi Daniel and team!
We'd love some feedback on our landing page: http://guineapig.app
1) Do you understand what we do?
2) Does it make you excited to try it out?
3) How would you pitch our product back to us?
Thanks!

cregox@ahoxus.org · 29d ago

1. looks rather simple
2. no interest in slack, sorry
3. "slack is too much, here's how to make it good". but i don't buy it myself.

mindaugas.galvosas · 29d ago

Hello, Daniel! Could you take a look at our website and give some feedback: is it clear what we deliver? is it memorable? what do you think about our slogan 'your invisible guard'? Would you suggest to include something else on the website (e.g., competitor analysis)?
Thank you in advance and looking forward to the feedback session!

cregox@ahoxus.org · 29d ago

very clear.

no such unique name is ever memorable. google took a long time to catch up.

i don't have dementia. the slogan doesn't speak to me. both my grandparents had it. still wouldn't have spoken to me, i could never get them to use such high tech.

you're almost competitor from my own project... keyword there is *almost*. i see it mostly like a cane, to get people away from the big fire and able to get back to walk. like most of the medical work, always trying to put out the neverending and growing fire in our world.

and i really rather look at life from a very different angle... but this is too big of a random comment already.

cheers!