Fanfare October 22 🎉
This is a slightly redacted version of the update I shared with the team and our investor. I removed our cash-at-hand numbers and anonymized customers since I didn't ask for permission to name them.
In October, we shipped the most requested features to the clip editor. The editor is now a serious, minimally viable option to make clips for podcasts and YouTube videos.
We also discovered the potential use of public transcripts, the next feature we'll focus on.
Users talked to:
Extra hours revenue (non-recurring):
Months to 0:
(by Feb. 2024) // Includes some buffer
- We now support using any Google Font in the clips.
- Users can now have multiple templates for their clips.
- We support background images: They can be used to brand the clips by adding a logo. Together with the templates and the fonts, this makes it very easy to create a personal style and then reuse it.
- We've had our first user buy some extra hours.
- We wrapped up the 2021 corporate taxes for the Swiss and U.S. entities. We also finished setting up the payroll provider in the U.S. This should simplify my tax reporting significantly. Previously I was in this weird administrative limbo that created quite some overhead.
- We'll hire K. to help us make clips for our cold outreach. She has experience using Fanfare and will edit the clips that come out of our automatic outreach pipeline.
- We've had a user sign up but immediately cancel because they ran into a bug. They were the 26th account created on Fanfare, which triggered a bug that wasn't noticeable for the first 25 users. We fixed the bug within 12 hours, but the user didn't respond to any e-mails.
- Krzysztof mostly worked on automating the outreach. His tasks were close to the product and customers compared to his usually more long-term data-science work. He told me on multiple occasions that he enjoyed it a lot as it was actionable, he worked closely with the team, and he saw progress quickly. It highlights the need to balance long-term scientific work with more hands-on projects.
- We had an uneven distribution of tasks in the engineering team in the last two weeks before the shipping deadline. Coupled with some misunderstanding, this led to some friction. We did a good job resolving those issues and intend to get ready to ship features earlier in the cycle.
- We're done planning the next development cycle. We sometimes had heated discussions until we found a compromise, but it always felt constructive. The resulting plan seems much better than what anyone could have come up with alone.
- The team did a great job helping me out with making clips. The work is somewhat tedious, but by having everybody do it, we got many more clips done for our cold outreach. It also had the positive side-effect of the engineering team using the product in a real-world scenario.
Customer stories 📣
- J. talked about how he loved our public pages and asked if we could help him launch his biggest episode to date. Krzysztof helped him create a high-quality transcript by automatically merging his manuscript with the transcript, creating a high-quality transcript in a very short time.
- Je. told me that she spent four hours editing one hour of transcript generated by Otter.ai. With Fanfare, this is down to 2.5 to 2 hours.
- I'm grateful for any pointers or even warm intros to podcasters that create high-quality transcripts of their episodes.
Outlook for next Month 🔭
We're planning to scale up our marketing of the existing functionality. At the same time, we are working on the first release of the public pages feature.
- Public pages: Our engineering focus is launching a revamped public page feature. We will allow users to manage their pages, link them to their RSS feed and significantly improve the styling1.
- Better transcript: The transcription service often makes mistakes when people use jargon or terms specific to their podcast. It's frustrating to podcasters to change the same words repeatedly with each new episode. We learn from the users' edits what words are often misspelled and pass them along to the transcription service when transcribing.
- Subtitles export: Users repeatedly asked me to export SRT subtitle files of the transcripts. We currently provide those on request but will implement this as a self-serve feature.
- Regularize and improve cold outreach: Our cold outreach works well, with a response rate of about 10% and a sign-up rate of about 2%. We send the e-mails in bursts and sometimes only send out e-mails for a couple of days when busy with other tasks. We'll hire somebody for 1-2h a day to create clips and prepare the cold e-mails. We plan to systematically test different niches and e-mail templates to see if we can increase the conversion rate.
- Landing pages and pricing: We need to refresh the landing page to include the public pages feature. We'll use this occasion to test a couple of page variations. We also plan to run some pricing experiments with coupons.
- More content marketing: Fanfare should eat its own dog food and do some serious content marketing. It might give us not only clients but also many warm intros to people I could do user interviews with. I've found it hard to get the ball rolling with our direct outreach taking most of my time. With direct outreach in a good state, I will spend more time on content marketing in November.