Whelp, Disco is officially on the shelf.
In a cupboard.
With a closed door.
In the words of Canada’s own Metric:
I’m making light of it with that song. But shelving our li’l incentivized survey is a decision that was beyond hard for me, Lance and our co-founder to make.
I’ve been such a champion of Disco – previously Kyvio – for so long that I feel especially frustrated by the need to shut ‘er down.
But we do need to shut Disco down.
Because we were building something that may solve a problem for a rather small group of people that’s well outside our network. And that is not exactly the ideal footing on which to balance when you’re building a business.
I know that. (Tapping head for emphasis.)
But I’ll have to challenge myself to remember that. Because I loved Disco. And I know I’m going to want to resurrect it every other week.
Here’s Exactly Why Disco Is a No-Go
Internally, we couldn’t agree on its value prop. And I don’t need to tell you how much harder it is to build and market a product if you can’t express what’s unique and highly desirable about it. Disco did something unique and desirable for website visitors – that is, it rewarded them with incentives for each survey question they answered – but its value prop for paying users was much harder to pin down.
We built Disco to scratch our own itch, and that’s the source of the problem. See, in all of our consulting, Lance and I recommend user surveys; we’ve recommended Qualaroo at least a hundred times. But Qualaroo’s kinduv expensive… and it locks you into an annual plan (or used to)… and users don’t get a reward for letting a biz interrupt them… and response rates weren’t what we wanted them to be for lower traffic sites. So we thought, Hey, let’s build a better version of that. The result was Disco.
…As I write that line, I can’t help but think, Maybe there’s still life in that little product. Sounds like Disco really could add value.
But I’ve got to put it to bed.
Because a product that scratches your own itch, has no clear value prop for paying users and isn’t clearly solving a problem is not a product I want to try to market right now.
Then throw in this extra kick of nightmarishness: in our user research, it became clear that the best market for Disco is – drumroll – big commerce.
We serve startups.
We know startups.
We love startups.
Commerce is cool, but I don’t exactly have a recurring Martini Thursday date with the web optimization team at Amazon.
Maybe one day we’ll open the cupboard door and pull Disco back down from the shelf. Dust it off.
For 2015: it doesn’t solve a clear problem for people we serve, so Disco is on the distant backburner. Indefinitely.
What part of your business needs to go but hasn’t gone yet? A new feature you’ve thrown into the product? A WordPress plugin that’s a pain in the ass to maintain and not really making cash? Join me in unloading the weight, hard as that may be…
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~ Mark Twain