Strategy for July: Grooowth

Just gathered this month’s analytics and it’s … not good. I’m faced with the persistent problem of how to get new users. Last month, I was able to ship a few big features and some much quality of life improvements but that didn’t move the needle hugely (which makes sense).

I love making new features, but I need to spend more time on other critical parts, the stuff that gets people to bring in new people…

Some ideas:

  • new produthunt launch (there’s been lots of new features shipped since the original launch, https://www.producthunt.com/posts/kinopio, so maybe it’s time for a 2.0)
  • a referral system? Invite people to your space and get a free month/$-credits or something?
  • removing more friction, open(or all public?) spaces don’t require accounts to edit (very technically most difficult to do)
  • more blog post writing, making the blog easier to subscribe to via email
  • influencer outreach (this has never worked for me, so unless something changes it’s probably not worth it)
  • sharing/tweeting out more community spaces in Explore

hmm any other ideas? things you’ve seen work well for other apps?

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another thing that occurs to me is that I rarely use the term mind-mapping to describe kinopio, but it’s also what a lot of ppl use to describe it or find something like it

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So, I wonder if you have an image in mind of who your ideal users are… a persona kind of thing (I know personas aren’t perfect)

I recommended Kinopio recently to a friend on LinkedIn who was overrun by To-do’s, and they were getting loads of other suggestions in the Trello/Monday/Asana/Clickup vein. Yuck. But to a lot of people I guess Kinopio looks a bit “out there” and not a place for seriously organising yourself.

From the spaces and users and orbits I see on Kinopio publicly, I think it attracts a folksy, artsy crowd.

It’s difficult, man. I think my bottom line is that you can’t target your marketing until you can pinpoint your market. I am not an expert, obviously :slight_smile:

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that totally makes sense and is in line with what I’ve seen too. I def need to do some hard thinking and define a target market(s), and then hopefully figure out how to reach them.

I think it attracts a folksy, artsy crowd

I def agree, but I’m not sure how to get on the radar of that kind of community, and where those people read/hang out on the web?

not a place for seriously organising yourself

I’ve been pushing it more as a ‘thinking tool’, organizing your thoughts (kinda like muse, although I think I did it first lol) … but irl I use it to organize my life in practical ways more and more.

Maybe I should ‘pivot’ to communicate kinopio more competitively as a primarily organizational tool?

That space is pretty full, and I think you’d lose some of what makes Kpio special…

are.na, right?? :laughing:

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are.na, right??

Yeah def huge overlap with are.na, but where does the are.na audience live? how do people find are.na?

I found are.na through you @pirijan :slight_smile:

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lol from a tweet?

(cross-posted in futureland.tv)

thanks for sharing @pirijan. I really want Kinopio to succeed. I’ve never been down this road before, but here’s some spit-balling and thoughts nonetheless :slight_smile:

  • it’s interesting to me that producthunt is a main way for publicizing new releases of stuff. I’ve been aware of it, but I don’t follow stuff there. My only interest is repping good apps like your own :slight_smile: But I’ve seen more apps/services go there recently (logseq, craft, mmm.page e.g.).
  • I wonder about a support-the-artist type model. (https://opencollective.com/rosano/contribute, https://opencollective.com/logseq, various patreons, https://accounts.dendron.so/account/subscribe). Also different tiers of support. I guess this doesn’t help with getting more users, tho.
  • re: referrals. I feel like it’s challenging to get people to “get” kinopio. and notes/note-taking is so personal and a commitment to invest in.
  • re: removing friction: I feel like there’s something here where you gear kinopio towards publishing pieces/works that people are more inclined to share with the world. I’ve mentioned the ability for anyone to add comments, but maybe it’s not that. An example is mmm.page—it’s a fun tool that is inspiring to build stuff with, and makes me want to publish sites with it. It’s a low-friction creative tool to make a site. I had/have this feeling about Kinopio, too. Is it the URLs that make it feel like not a published site (kinopio.club/blah-blah-; vs mmm.page/bentsai.coffee ?) Maybe if each user had a dashboard/landing page to link to their creations (e.g. kinopio.club/bentsai)?
  • it’s frustrating that “influencer” outreach hasn’t worked.
  • what about connecting kinopio to other business-y or workish sites? like a sync with GitHub, JIRA where you can spatially organize work?
  • maybe embedding kinopio in places for a more free-form spatial chat? have you seen kicks’ use of FigJam for live-streaming his chats/interviews with folks?
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I honestly don’t remember how I stumbled on kinopio, but then I started following you and your stuff, and you kept your dev journal on are.na and that’s when I started following you there.

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Super great responses, I’ll think through this and reply a bit later. In the meantime:

Is this an argument in favor of, or against, referrals?

against, I guess. I’ve shown off kinopio to lots of folks, but it hasn’t stuck with them. So what I’m saying is, a referral system wouldn’t have helped me there. I am already well-motivated to get people onto the service :slight_smile:

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Hi Pirijan,

I’d love Kinopio to succeed. In addition to my personal use cases, I have tried to attract three distinct crowds to it:

  • my 12 year old daughter. She is very attracted by emojis and gifs and should really be a prime target group, but maybe she still is too young to appreciate the Kinopio’s potential. I used Kinopio to draw out topic for workshops with them
  • my student sons, using Kinopio to digest long sciency papers and draft their own homework. Problem there: They frown upon using a second monitor for having enough real estate to pan out a Kinopio space
  • my product management colleagues at work. Their world view is - sadly - restricted to Microsoft tools. I managed to get Miro into the mix and some of them love it. The few times I used Kinopio on them they frowned upon its playfulness (which I love)

Have you tried to attract teachers as evangelists? I guess Kinopio could really resonate with them and I guess it would be a good thing if students start to pick it up.

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  • what about connecting kinopio to other business-y or workish sites? like a sync with GitHub, JIRA where you can spatially organize work?

As Olav mentioned, I think the ‘playful’ view of kinopio will always hamstring it in conservative environments (just like glitch)

maybe embedding kinopio in places for a more free-form spatial chat?

Making an iframe embed would prob be pretty easy, I’ll have to learn more about kicks use cases though? What kind of places are they looking to embed it?

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Hey Olav! Super helpful feedback :smiley:

  • my 12 year old daughter. She is very attracted by emojis and gifs and should really be a prime target group, but maybe she still is too young to appreciate the Kinopio’s potential. I used Kinopio to draw out topic for workshops with them

do you remember what parts she struggled with, or what didn’t stick/resonate with her?

  • my student sons, using Kinopio to digest long sciency papers and draft their own homework. Problem there: They frown upon using a second monitor for having enough real estate to pan out a Kinopio space

so they’ve got like a writing app, and another window open to research/write homework? Does the zoom out slider in the bottom-right help with that?

  • my product management colleagues at work. Their world view is - sadly - restricted to Microsoft tools. I managed to get Miro into the mix and some of them love it. The few times I used Kinopio on them they frowned upon its playfulness (which I love)

That makes sense, sadly. The things I hate about miro are probably what others like

Have you tried to attract teachers as evangelists?

Some of my earliest users and promoters were teachers, they wrote about it in their newsletters etc. But not much more came from that. I don’t have an official way to think of evangelists (unlike https://www.notion.so/Notion-Community-04f306fbf59a413fae15f42e2a1ab029)

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Got a lot of great responses/ideas here, and replies to my questions in the last kinopio bulletin email. Collected all the themes here, it’s an open space so def feel free to add your thoughts and comments

https://kinopio.club/ideas-for-growing-kinopio-WjASP_gR0dWatK1Avy_rJ

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To this point, I wonder if there is a ‘skin’ that could be incorporated that people might feel more inclined to use in a formal presentation type setting. It doesn’t have to lose the whimsy entirely but maybe tones it down a bit (duller colors, straight lines, boring font). This may very well go against your goal with Kinopio, and I’d completely understand.

I’m thinking if you get the in-betweeners (who are both artsy and corporate) where they have a way to present information in a way they feel like it could be appropriate, it could expand users that way? That corporate audience might not be who you are looking to go after, but Kinopio is better than any Vizio-like (although very different) tools I’ve used.

Even I was tentative with the look at first, I wrote on my blog yesterday:

It has a level of whimsy that most tools just don’t have. The aesthetic is a bit cutesy, which typically would be a turn-off for me, but the whole package just comes together so great and the aesthetic just feels like a natural fit for the tool. It’s more than grown on me, I completely adore it now.

I don’t know if that segment of people is even worth going after, but was just a thought I had.

The more I think about it, the more I dislike it, but it still could help widen the net a bit, maybe…?

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I’d love to read that blog kordumb :slight_smile:

Instead of a reskin, there are some smaller changes I want to make in the meantime. One thing I’ve noticed is that the default new color/type for each connection leads to overly complex and colorful spaces that make information look more confusing than it actually is. I want to revamp the connections system to address this.

Basically making small changes that might, as a sideeffect, help with ppl on the fence.

In general though, I think with products and people we can either try really hard to be accepted, or find the crowd that likes us for who we are. For now, I’m focused on the latter strategy. The feedback I’ve gotten strongly hints that I’ve targeting Kinopio more directly to artsy crowds might resonate really effectively.

Relatedly, part of the reason for not chasing funding or employees is that I want the flexibility to be profitable inside of a niche. This may not be possible irl, but at least right now I’m trying to see if I can design the business to not have to appeal to all people in all industries in order to be comfortably profitable. (I like focused software)

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