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Jan 14, 2019 15:49:55

200WaD Post-PH launch

by @basilesamel PATRON | 540 words | 422🔥 | 473💌

Basile Samel

Current day streak: 422🔥
Total posts: 473💌
Total words: 218776 (875 pages 📄)

It's been almost two weeks since the launch on Product Hunt.

The community reached 1600 members. We grew a monthly-recurring revenue of 65$, which is enough to cover the business's costs (but not enough to make a living). We peaked at 150+ posts published in one day.

We are now reaching a growth plateau at 200 daily active users and around 70 posts per day. It's time to ship again.

I'm arriving in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow after a week at a friend's house near Georgetown.

I will be locking myself up in an Airbnb condo near the Petronas Towers to grow 200WaD even further and keep on adding value at a higher speed.

My short-term goal over the next 6 months is to reach ramen profitability, meaning, I want to generate enough revenue to cover my living expenses, which in turn will enable me to work on 200WaD full-time indefinitely (I'm living on my savings as of now).

I can only do that by adding enough value for the members to invest in this community, so what differentiates 200WaD from other writing products? Its focus on a free and open community.

The community is truly the only thing that matters. This is why I'm gonna spend my whole time helping the members by interacting with them and releasing community features, with openness being our core value.

How does it translate to reality?

First, I'm going to release a basic API this week to allow anyone to build over 200WaD's engine and create endless feature possibilities. We have many makers and developers in the fellowship that can create wonderful things, so it makes sense to welcome and encourage any community development.

Then I will be working on new community features: onboarding animation for the new members, crowdsourced writing prompts integrated to the writing interface, 200 words replies, and 200 words reviews.

Lastly, I am going to push new habit-forming features such as email reminders, leaderboards, a karma system and badges.

@jasonleow also mentionned in his great post about 200WaD the necessity to add features dedicated to readers, so I decided to release a bookmarking system as well.

It's nice to make new features, but it's more important to communicate. The format of the daily newsletter is going to change. The weekly newsletter is going to change as well. Many members published great writing tips. I want to feature them in the Tools section. A 200WaD account will be created to keep everyone updated on what's being released, what's the state of the roadmap, but also to feature the members and celebrate every small win together.

The best part? I made sure to create the right environment in KL to release a MVP version of everything over the next two weeks. To say I'm excited is an under-statement.

After that, we will talk about what to implement next together. I also need to keep talking with the active members on a daily basis, and figure out why most members dropped out and how I can help them with their writings.

Thanks to everyone writing here. You push me to new heights every day.

Don't hesitate to message me if you have any question or suggestion. I'm here to help and always happy to hear from you :)

See you tomorrow,


From Basile Samel's collection:

  • 1

    @basilesamel wow, that's awesome! kudos for your passion and your amazing productivity!
    BTW, maybe you've already shared that somewhere but I haven't seen it, what's the technical stack you're using?

    PhilH avatar PhilH | Jan 14, 2019 22:56:19
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      @philh Thanks!!! :) Symfony 4 on the back-end, JQuery/Twig/Bootstrap on the front-end.

      Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Jan 15, 2019 08:52:04
    • 1

      @basilesamel +1

      PhilH avatar PhilH | Jan 15, 2019 17:09:23
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    @basilesamel Yey badges! LOL it reminds me my days as a girl scout!
    <<To say I'm excited is an under-statement.>> To say I'm excited is an under-statement!
    I'm also very curious why most members dropped out, will you publish some info on that?
    <<Don't hesitate to message me if you have any question or suggestions>> maybe I should hesitate just for a moment from time to time Hihihi

    Lucjah avatar Lucjah | Jan 14, 2019 16:07:55
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      @lucjah Yes badges are an old reward system :P I guess that's why they have been so present in the Army as well for so long...

      I'm trying to figure it out myself. But I would be happy to share. The psychology of habits is an interesting one.

      DON'T HESITATE!!! :D I'm gonna answer your messages on Slack, then you can ask some more, no problem

      Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Jan 14, 2019 23:34:23
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    @basilesamel - excellent work so far.

    I think the #1 reason people drop out is breaking the streak. It may be a lot of work but having a one day forgiveness by posting twice the next day may raise your retention levels. Just a thought.

    Keni avatar Keni | Jan 14, 2019 10:03:26
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      @keni Thanks so much!! :)
      Yes I think you are right about the streak. The problem though is that people should not over-focus on the streak because the goal is to build a habit, not an addiction haha! There is a scheduled post feature in the Patron plan coming up though. I will see how I can balance both. Maybe a day freeze like @efran suggested after a full week of writing or something similar to what you are saying. We can talk about it in details on Slack.

      Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Jan 14, 2019 23:32:01
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      @basilesamel @keni I OVERFOCUS ON STREAK!!!

      @abrahamKim is my new antystreakhero


      3 times! then hoops, and back... Respect!!!

      Lucjah avatar Lucjah | Jan 17, 2019 02:56:02
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    @basilesamel keep up the great work. I think some of the members here will see great accomplishment from this platform. In time you will be able to add a section that showcases these accomplishments which should encourage more people to join.

    Also, do you count private posts in your numbers above? Or is it just public posts?

    Imanuel Gittens avatar Imanuel Gittens | Jan 14, 2019 12:16:13
    • 1

      @imanuelgittens thanks! Great suggestion. private + protected + public posts yes :)

      Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Jan 14, 2019 19:25:21
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    @basilesamel I can't wait for badges. :D

    Yaki avatar Yaki | Jan 14, 2019 11:02:07
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      @yaki me too :P Are you on Slack? I might want to ask for suggestions

      Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Jan 14, 2019 18:22:36
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      @basilesamel no. I'm on Telegram and email. I'd be more than willing to provide you some suggestions.

      Yaki avatar Yaki | Jan 15, 2019 08:06:55
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    @basilesamel Wow you're doing so much! Nice! Awesome work so far and looking forward to seeing the new features. Love the open transparency too.

    Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Jan 14, 2019 17:23:15
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      @jasonleow Thanks for the support ? I remember when you tweeted about wanting to get started on 200WaD but took a few weeks to actually do it. We wrote for so many days now ?

      Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Jan 14, 2019 17:36:21
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      @basilesamel haha yeah looking back i should have started earlier! Realised that I probably didn't need to think/plan so much beforehand tbh...

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Jan 14, 2019 17:38:40
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    @basilesamel Keep going Baz .. amazing job so far!:) .. maybe you could integrate some 1-day streak freeze feature for the people who travel a lot I think it would be very useful .. and also more people wouldn't give up .. cuz after a losing a streak it's really hard to get back on track...

    Efran avatar Efran | Jan 14, 2019 10:17:07
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      @efran Thanks for the kind words Efran :) It's part of the process not to focus on the streak as the sole source of motivation. If you break it and drop because of it, it just means you didn't build a habit by definition.

      Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Jan 14, 2019 17:21:56
  • 1

    @basilesamel What you're doing is admirable not only because of your dedication to the project but also the approach. You're not only offering a writing platform but an "open startup", with the kind of transparency that creates a tighter knit, more engaged community. I'm looking forward to see the roadmap come to life.

    Gabriel Greco avatar Gabriel Greco | Jan 14, 2019 09:50:42
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      @gabrielgreco Thanks :) Can't wait too!!!

      Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Jan 14, 2019 17:15:59
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    @basilesamel congra and keep up the good work, let me know if after KL you will be coming to JB.

    Knight avatar Knight | Jan 14, 2019 16:05:22
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      @knight probably going back to Bangkok :) Or going to India. My visa will be over by the end of my stay in KL

      Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Jan 14, 2019 16:13:26
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    @basilesamel I don't know if it's in your feature list or not but I think you should try to convert this in a PWA.

    Himanshu Mishra avatar Himanshu Mishra | Jan 14, 2019 13:31:49
    • 1

      This is something motivated members can do in the short term using the API.
      I don't plan on doing it myself before at least reaching ramen profitability. It's a lot of work, my focus is on generating sustainability before complexifying the architecture.

      Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Jan 14, 2019 16:11:39
    • 1

      @basilesamel Yeh, I like the API idea. May be I will make a android client or something with it. Any idea when it will be ready.

      Himanshu Mishra avatar Himanshu Mishra | Jan 14, 2019 14:35:19
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