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Michael DubakovFounder, Fibery.io
Digest

#20. Staying Alive in March 2020

April 06, 202010 min read

TLDR: Panic mode. +Pavel +Alexey 🚘. Productivity soars. No VC 🚣‍♀️. Remote 📡. New pricing scheme 🍫. New getting started 🌈.

Flashback: #19. First Customers in February 2020.

Main numbers ( sign shows the changes between December, January, February & March):

Fibery. 
No-code platform to build a collaborative workspace for your company

Leads/month:       1900 → 900  → 900  → 600
Active Accounts:   65   → 70   → 100  → 70
Team size:         12   → 11   → 12   → 14
Burn rate:         ~$50 → ~$45 → ~$50 → $60K/month
MRR:               $80  → $160 → $470 → $900
North Star:        40   → 80   → ?    → ?

Overall

📉 The world is in crisis, many startups are dying, many industries are struggling. Fibery has relatively good position here, since it is designed to connect teams, so remote work opens new opportunities for us. Still we have to explore them very fast and choose the right direction. This is hard.

💸 On a negative side, it is much harder to raise a seed round now (it seems). At least 5–6 calls with VC I had this month went nowhere and even one “we are ready to invest and will send you the term sheet next week” deal was put on hold. We do have some interest and ongoing calls, so there is still hope!

🌈 Our development speed is cool now. I am happy!

🦔 Sales are slightly slower than expected. I hoped we’ll double MRR every month and it did happen in March, but April forecast is not that promising, it seems we will unable to have $2K MRR in April…

+Pavel and Alexey

Two cool developers joined our team in March. Pavel and Alexey got to speed very fast and already implemented some cool features in Fibery.

Pavel and Alexey drive to the bright future.
Pavel and Alexey drive to the bright future.

Our R&D team is very strong now and we are not going to increase it in near future. Next goal is to create great customer success team, but so far Polina handles the load alone 💪.

World Trends & Strategic choices

You all know that the world broke loose. In March we saw fewer active accounts and fewer leads. On one side collaborative tools like Fibery should benefit from the situation, on the other side people have more urgent problems to solve:

I started using Fibery a few weeks ago and was going to get on a paid plan and all hell broke loose in the world. I'll get to it, but need to get things stabilized across the board. Love the product and I know it needs proper attention to get a handle on Fibery as a whole, but need to put it on the back-burner for a bit. I do look forward to being able to devote some serious time to it!

As a result in March we have fewer active accounts than in February. Not cool.

It seems our previous focus on startups is not so great anymore. We are thinking about strategy for the next few months. Here are the main choices (more probable on top):

  1. Connect Software Development with Product Development. In this case Fibery will be able to replace tools like Jira, Trello, Asana, Aha, Productboard, Dovetail. Re-focus on slightly larger and more stable companies (50–200 people).
  2. Remote teams. Another idea is to explore remote collaboration patterns and improve them. For example, we use Slack and are not super happy, since we always switch between Slack and Fibery to find information. Yes, Fibery replaced Google Docs for us, but not chat. What if we can get rid of Slack and implement required communication patterns in Fibery to have conversations and work together in one app? What if we can integrate work and documents even tighter using automatic back-references and more advances work representation in documents? There are many ideas and I feel we have something deep here, but from the first sight it will take ~6 months to implement. In current situation I doubt we have this luxury.
  3. Remote education. This is new emerging domain and there might be interesting opportunities here, but we are not educational experts and it will take time to do a proper customer discovery process.

So far I think we will go with strategy #1.

Pricing restrictions changes

We were thinking how Team and Company plans should be different. How to measure Fibery value? Well, in general it depends how many apps a company has in Fibery. For example, if there are 3–5 apps, it’s a Team plan, if there are around 10 apps, then this is a Company plan.

However, apps can be larger and small, so it is better to stick with something lower level, like Types in Fibery. Types are kinds of things you’d like to organize. For example, Customers + Projects + Tasks = 3 Types.

We’ve removed restrictions for number of Chart and Whiteboards, and replaced them with Type restrictions. In Team plan you can have up to 15 Types. Note that we count only “mature” Types (with at least 10 entities).

New Pricing scheme in Fibery.
New Pricing scheme in Fibery.

NOTE: This is still experimental and we might change exact numbers, but it seems this is the right ideology.

Remote work

Our team moved to semi-remote mode. 4–6 people visit office quite regularly, but 8–10 working remotely usually. We use Fibery + Zoom + Slack more heavily now. Do you know that Belarus is a very special country and we have no quarantine? Now you know.

Zoom + Fibery + Slack is all we need.
Zoom + Fibery + Slack is all we need.

Metrics

Telemetry is till not there. However, in April we will have it back for sure. We don’t expect good metrics for March anyway :)

Our next three milestones with current numbers (the first one is a guess):

Active collaborative accounts with 2+ people        ~50/100
Paid accounts with 2+ people                         12/100
MRR                                                $900/$10,000

Product Updates

March was a very productive month. Is it “remote effect”? Or two more developers? (but common knowledge is that new people slow development down initially). Maybe it is just Spring. 🤷‍♀️ Anyway, there is the list of all the things we’ve done in March.

DONE

Colors and Emoji in Single Select Field

Add colors in your life and in single select fields. Emoji can be added as well. This will help to spot important things faster.

Colors and Emoji in Single Select Field

Colors and Emoji in Single Select Field

Multi-select field

New highly-requested field to select several options instead of one. No more workarounds with types and relations, just add a multi-select field.

Multi-select field

Multi-select field

URL field

URL field is just that. Any text in this field will be transformed into a clickable link that opens in a new tab.

Lookup Field

This is a powerful thing to automatically access fields from higher levels of hierarchy. For example, if you have hierarchy Product-Epic-Feature, you can add fields for Feature to see Product or Epic Importance.

Lookup Field

Lookup Field

States smart icon

Workflow extension has a new cool icon to indicate state progress.

States smart icon
States smart icon

Weeks on a Timeline View

Highly requested feature to have weeks granularity on a Timeline view is there. And we are using it ourselves.

asset 8

Invoices

Find and download all your invoices in Plans and Billing section in left menu.

Better Comments. Images, rich formatting, mentions

Comments are rich now. You can insert images, highlight text, mention people and even create and mention work items in from comments.

asset 9

Workspaces

Workspace is a separate Fibery account. For example, you can use one account for your private tasks and personal stuff, and another account for real team work. Now you can quickly switch between accounts in 3 seconds.

Workspaces

Workspaces

Register your account using ANY email

Previously it was possible to create Fibery account via Google or Microsoft accounts only, now you can use any email address. Nothing fancy, but it was a very laborious feature to implement. Ilya is taking vacation after it. Auth is hard.

Allow selecting unique units on a View with multiple Types

Imagine you have a board with two Types as cards (User Stories and Bugs). Now you can select fields that belongs to only one Type. This increases flexibility of what you want to see on Board or Timeline Views.

asset 11

All getting started videos

Finally, all three getting started videos are finished (kudos to Lena Dorogenskaya & Anton Iokov). We are quite happy with this experiment, since it is very hard to make videos not boring and helpful at the same time. It is very easy to cross the invisible border and create something funny, but worthless. General reaction is positive, but we have to wait to learn how they really work.

I want to ask, what agency created these videos? I want the same for my project!

See? Marketing Agency as Plan B to finance Fibery has good potential :)

IN PROGRESS

Whiteboard v.0.3 (Entities & Cards!)

Whiteboard is approaching usefulness milestone. Soon it will be possible to create mind map of your ideas and convert them into real work very fast.

Create Epics and Features quickly

Create Epics and Features quickly

Calendar View

This View was removed from Fibery due to internal problems. Now we are getting back to it and adding enough functionality to make it useful.

You will be able to see entities on a Calendar, create new entities and move them around. Nothing fancy, but some apps need this view badly.

Change state and assign people inline when you have entity in rich edit field

You can create entities from the text in Fibery, but it is hard to quickly assign them to people or set status right here.

asset 13

We are adding more fields into these entities, so you will be able to quickly assign them to people and change state right here, without extra navigation.

Dates in Formulas

This is frequently requested feature, so we are adding calculations around dates:

Cycle Time → days(EndDate - StartDate)

Current Cycle Time → days(today() - StartDate)

🍷 Random

Random link from our Slack channel:

Introducing a simpler, more organized Slack - Several People Are Typing

Random video:

Random Image from our Slack channel:

asset 14

Random photo from Fibery instagram:

View this post on Instagram

Half-remote Fibery team

A post shared by Fibery Team (@fibery_team) on

Random quote:

Notion said it raised $50 million from Index Ventures and other investors that valued it at $2 billion. Notion had previously been valued at $800 million.


To be continued → #21. Public Launch in April 2020.

🦅 Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/fibery_io

🐌 Register your account https://fibery.io

P.S. We’ve launched on ProductHunt April 1st, but this will be covered in the next post

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