There are plenty of link shortening tools and platforms on the internet. A quick search in Google reveals hundreds of options and in order to enter in this crowded market, one needs to be different in some ways.
When I started building Blanq, I had a vision of how a platform should look and work, some of which I have listed below.
1. Invest in Design and UX
I figured out early that I needed to invest and focus on design. I came to that conclusion after playing around with competing services. Most of them have far more features than mine but offer terrible design and UX.
Since I am not a designer, I bought a premium Bootstrap theme, customized it, and focused on every tiny detail I could – starting from icons to typography to colors.
This has helped Blanq to stand out from the rest. I have got a tonne of appreciation feedback on the design which makes it all worth it.
2. Be 100% reliable
Gain the trust of your customers by being reliable which includes 100% uptime of your service, no major bugs, and smooth deployments. Nobody likes to be on a platform that does not have these.
To achieve this, I release small changes to production, have set up monitoring alerts that ping me on slack, and proactively scale up whenever necessary. The public status page also helps build trust and openness.
I believe in the fact that customers can wait an extra day to have a new feature but 60 seconds of downtime is too long when there are hundreds of requests per minute on your servers.
3. Features do not matter that much
You can have a tonne of features during launch but there is no guarantee you will gain a paying customer. I think it is a good idea to launch with a minimum set and then grow organically.
There are plenty of features that I can build right now but it is hard to determine if there is a need for one. So, for me, waiting and listening to current customers is the way to go.
After onboarding about 50 customers now, I have better understood their needs and usage patterns and plan to add some exciting features in the coming days.
In conclusion, Blanq runs with these three principles and will continue to adhere to them in the coming future. What strategies do you follow? Would love to hear them.