Ginzametrics has been in private beta for 30 days now (as of yesterday), so I thought it made sense to take a little time away from new features, bug fixes and everyone’s awesome feedback to talk about what I’ve done over the last month and what I’m going to do next.
First, some details about the launch. Ginzametrics was covered first by Techcrunch and was picked up the next day by Techcrunch Japan. The response in both countries was far beyond my expectations and there are thousands of people waiting to get into the private beta. Today there are about 400 sites running on Ginzametrics and it is being used all over the world.
One of my goals from the very start with Ginzametrics has been global scale. The system was designed from the ground up to support multi-language usage and is currently localized in English and Japanese. So far, I haven’t heard many requests for other languages but am happy to add them as demand materializes. However, global support extends far beyond just UI preferences. When I launched last month, it was only possible to run SEO campaigns in two markets, the US and Japan. Last week, I added eight new markets, providing support for Argentina, Australia, France, Germany, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain and the UK. This is great not only for customers in each of those regions, it also makes it possible for large advertisers and agencies to run global SEO campaigns from a single, centralized platform.
Aside from adding support for more markets (which will continue), most of my work has been in stabilizing the backend systems, observing which parts I need to scale sooner than later and understanding what things I need to fix in order to make the user experience (UX) more positive. All of the feedback that I’ve received as been extremely valuable and I am working to work it back into the product day and night.
Also, as part of the launch, I announced my Y Combinator funding. Just after launching, Demo Day was upon us. It was a crazy, adrenaline-soaked, jam-packed week of meetings, phone calls and (of course) presentations. I am proud to be a member of the Summer 2010 batch.
My immediate goal is twofold: 1) be able to send invites to the people patiently waiting to get into the beta as quickly as possible and 2) implement some features that some of my earliest and most loyal customers (you know who you are) have requested. I’m going to do a more work on the UX side (which includes backend improvements as well) first to respond to the feedback I’ve received so far, so that when I let a new batch of people in, they won’t have to deal with issues that I’ve known about for a few weeks. Thanks again for your patience if you are waiting for an invitation.
Please continue to send me feedback. I know that it is far from perfect today but I don’t know what to fix if I don’t hear from you.
After I’ve accomplished some of these short-term goals (over the next 30-45 days), I’ll begin to add some exciting new features. Some are features that I know many people are waiting for and some, in my opinion, are quite unique and will hopefully shake things up a bit. Yes, I am being intentionally vague. Stay tuned. 🙂
One of the cool things about YC this summer was getting “lessons learned” from people who launched relatively early in the cycle about what worked and what didn’t work. I thought I’d share some things that helped me get through a busy launch.
One thing that served me very well was the decision to separate this site and the actual app. This site (the sales site and the blog) are powered by Jekyll and run as a Sinatra app on Heroku. The way all these pieces fit together so well speak to the amazing work being done in the Ruby community and in particular to how easy Heroku has made it to manage these apps.
I received over 35K visitors over the course of two days after launching. I know this isn’t a huge load by today’s standards but the fact that this site was running on a completely different server than my main app and hosted as a static site by such a reliable provider meant it was one less thing I had to worry about.
Olark is another app that has saved my bacon more times than I can count. Because so many Japanese customers signed up and the fact that I was able to customize the Olark chat widget to say “Japanese is OK too” many people reached out and asked me questions in Japanese. These are all people who might have never made it through the sign up process as the sales site is still in English. I’ve had quite a few longish conversations with people all over the world through Olark, including one with a kind gentleman from China who told me what I need to do to make Ginzametrics work in his market.
There are many other things that I’ve learned over the last 30 days but today I just wanted to provide a brief update and say thank you for everyone’s support and business. Ginzametrics is just getting started and, thanks to the many people who have supported me, it’s off to a great start indeed.