How did we launch? What were our expectations? What was the original plan, and what is the reality?

It's around 6.5 years from the beginning. I covered this in my previous blog post a year ago, so here's an update of the "original vs reality" part:

Original plan:

  • Budget: €70K
  • Team: 2 (designer, full stack developer)
  • Tech stack plan: Electron, React, Elixir. We planned to put together the text editor, collaboration engine, and file system from existing open-source libraries.
  • 3-4 months of development to MVP (minimum viable product) in 2017

Reality:

  • We spent: €770K+ to this date. Our current spend is ~€250K+ per year. I still work for free and the CTO for a "discounted" rate.
  • Team: 5 (designer, CTO, 2x frontend developer, 1x backend)
  • Tech stack: still Electron, React, Elixir. We had to build a custom editor, custom collaboration engine, and custom file system, all from scratch.
  • 5 years of development to MVP (April 2022)

I'll also put it this way:

  • 4 months → 60 months. That's x15 the original estimate.
  • €70K → €770K. That's x11 the original estimate.

It's funny how things turned out. Making a good text editor ain't easy 🤌.

How did we launch?

We chose a silent launch. That means just turning on the website and telling some of our friends about it. No fanfares.

This will give us space for the unknown unknowns, which we will need to fix.

The only campaign we plan to do in the beginning is to make a post at Product Hunt. We will try to post every time we add a feature worth mentioning. We'll see where that will bring us.

Our expectations

I would expect something between tens to hundreds of free users weeks after we launch.

Not many paying users at this point, if any at all. The app is still missing some of the crucial features like search, images or comments.

This stage will be focused on listening to feedback and developing the crucial features which are already planned. Some of them are publicly listed on our roadmap.

Give it a try

You can finally give it a try! 🚀 Visit smarkup.com to get started.

One more thing. We're looking for a backend developer to join our team.