It's not over yet, but this year has gone by FAST. (My New Year's Resolutions will be to publish blog updates more frequently than every 6 months 🙃and to be more social in the metaverse (or at least hire someone to fake it for me 🤷♀️). )
In the past six months, we've learned A LOT and are excited to give you a peek behind the curtain...
We've brought in hundreds of new members, subscribers, and paying customers, growing by an average of 36% each month. We conduct several new experiments and dozens of informal customer interviews every month to validate & adjust our roadmap.
The two following learnings are guiding our next steps:
the technology isn't important YET... so we temporarily paused app development (and our exciting plans with AI, APIs, NFTs, and all the things) and went 100% no code to shift gears towards removing the biggest bottlenecks to scaling our service to more people
our customer's top concerns are being victims to flakiness, awkwardness, tedium, or rejection, and optimizing for quality over quantity via a fee-for-service model is appropriate at this stage and potentially critical for Refrosh to work
even though we have an average email open rate of 38% and click-through rate of 18%, email is an unreliable communication channel
organic marketing is working, and we have a plan to scale our approach
In the past two months, we doubled down on no code & have just released an early adopter paid subscription offering, 2-way SMS communications, post-event feedback automation, packaged deals, and strategic programs for event organizers and residential communities.
A lot of times solo founders say "we/our" when they actually mean "me/my, but please take me more seriously...."
I'm not great at pretending (which has gotten me in trouble more times than I'd like to admit), so when I say "we/our," I really do mean it. In addition to the support from my faithful sidekick, Alfie, Refrosh has been a collective effort since this summer.
After posting a handful of different jobs on LinkedIn and chatting with friends and Refroshers, I culled through over 1000 resumes of people who were excited about Refrosh and interested in joining... for equity only.
Our Lead Engineer, Michael, is actually one of Refrosh's earliest and most active customers, and his perspectives have been key to our strategy & roadmap. Steve is our Technical Advisor and curmodgeony old Brit with 30 years of AI/ML leadership experience, who's ready to get his hands dirty once we have enough data to work with. (So far just 20k unique data points and counting). Angelica is our very skilled brand, graphic, and product designer. Chad has launched multiple lean startups & previously worked for AngelList & Product Hunt. And Roshni is helping with QA and light coding until we're able to pay her a full-time Junior Engineering salary. Once we're at a point where fundraising makes sense, we'll be ready to hit the ground running as solid
And beyond the amazing folks above who meet weekly on Zoom & collaborate on Slack , Refrosh is significantly supported by our customers. I've personally attended most of our events and have had the opportunity to really deep dive into their needs, fears, and wants as young adults who want to expand their social circles with less friction and more support. Refrosher's have co-created our current service offering, which now consists of a freemium subscription model for curated regularly-scheduled small group IRL social experiences.
This is just our no-code starting point though. We plan to scale activity & event options to include the plethora of interesting things happening in the community, as well as more exclusive events with partners, and more. We've worked with the following partners over the past summer and are eager to establish more strategic relationships with venues, organizers, and residential communities to help them catalyze their communities with authentic connection.
It's been a really interesting summer & fall, with the reopening of most venues, Facebook's bet on the metaverse and the swell of investment in crypto & decentralized technology. We're following these trends closely, but not so closely that we stray from our mission to connect people for friendship IRL. That's our north star.
👉Are you interested in what we're doing & want to get involved as a potential employee, investor, partner, or customer? Please feel free to drop your email & any comments in the chat (bottom right pink bubble).💬I love chatting with people who are excited about what we're doing :)
Wishing you a very happy holiday season filled with friendship & festivities... IRL!