Lessons from the Task Zebra Beta

There’s nothing like getting real people to use your product for the first time.

What didn’t work

Task Zebra was supposed to be a to-do list/invoice tracker hybrid – a single place you go to and get a list of the task you should do today + a list of invoices you should do something about (send friendly reminders, collect payments, etc.).

After looking at feedback and usage patterns from the beta I see this was a stupid idea – this makes the product lack focus and makes explaining what it is (and so all the marketing efforts) more difficult.

Also, since the first thing new customers see is the task list they don’t see it as an invoicing helper -  I thought the product was in the “help me get paid” market with an added to-do list but the customers see a “help me get organized” product.

This is made painfully clear by the fact that during the beta exactly zero invoices were tracked by Task Zebra.

What did work

The to-do part of Task Zebra is actually surprisingly effective – I’ve been using it myself and it just works – it pushes me to work on the right things and help me finish the important tasks on time.

Going forward

So, here’s what I’m going to do:

  • Remove all the invoice tracking functionality – Task Zebra will “just” be an effective to-do list.
  • Drop the price – as an organizing tool for individuals the original pricing was to high, I’m dropping the price to $12/year (yes, just $1/month). this is an introductory price, I don’t know how long I’ll keep it so low
  • Spin off the invoice tracking as a different product – this product will be called Invoice Squirrel and registration for its beta is already open (the official announcement will be next week).

And before I end this post I want to say a big thank you to everyone who helped out in the beta.

posted @ Thursday, March 29, 2012 12:34 PM

Comments on this entry:

# re: Lessons from the Task Zebra Beta

Left by Antoine at 3/30/2012 1:31 AM

Thanks for being so transparent and forthright in communicating. It makes me feel heard.

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