Alan talks about the difficulties of launching a product with lots of different use cases, onboarding ideas & subtle problems with microcopy, and Mario discusses the latest changes to fusioncast’s landing page.
Alan: So, Hey, how's it going?
Mario: Hey Alan, how's it going?
Alan: Where we call me?
practice at this,
Mario: yeah, I know
to start recording
I should turn that on.
it starts recording from the
beginning and we don't have to worry
And so it captures, it,
everything from the beginning.
Alan: So yeah, last time you
were having issues with this this
session re auto recording right
off my recordings, at least anyway,
Unfortunately, I haven't been able
to spend any time working on this, on the
product itself because I've
been working on, you know,
Alan: doing the actual other
So actually, that's one of the
things I want to talk to you about
So yeah, one of the things that I
wanted to talk to you about is this idea
that I have to force myself
to spend more time working on
marketing, you know, related items.
Mario: so I'm thinking about splitting
my time somehow in, half the time
working on the product itself, and
half the time working on marketing
I know I know the feeling
well, it's, it's really difficult to
Because it's a, you think, well, I
can't get my marketing stuff
I've sorted this for the
product, because then it's not
Or it's changing.
And then when you
too much time
on the marketing side,
you're like, oh my God,
changed in two weeks.
So you feel like, yeah, it's,
it's a tricky balance to get
Mario: yeah, yeah, exactly.
Alan: that'll change over time as
I mean, I think at least for the
stuff like landing
page and stuff, or at
least the basic marketing material, yet
once you've hit a certain point, you'll
be like, okay, I can step away from that.
Then I guess, bouncing
between the two, rather
than trying to
split your week, half And half
is going to be probably more
keep your sanity in the long run,
And that's, that's the tricky part.
So considering that at least for
myself, Don't do well with, and
probably most people don't do well
with context switching, Right.
So it's a, it's a real productivity killer
to be switching context all the time.
So I, I'm more productive when I'm,
when I can focus large blocks of time,
know, working on, on something.
So even if it's a coding
session, right, I, I do better if I have
at least a couple of hours to dedicate
to coding as opposed to, you know,
just an hour or half an hour here and
there, I can't really get anywhere.
Alan: So hard to, yeah,
you can't get anywhere.
in that amount of time.
I mean, this is what makes it so hard.
This, you know, this idea of trying
to, you know, do client work, I'll
do other work, you know, working
on multiple projects and things.
It's, it's great.
In theory, it just, it's
really hard to do in real life.
you I think I'm the only
same way to do it is
make sure that.
Block out a certain amounts
of your time to say, okay, I am going to
be spending three hours
tomorrow evening to
work on a thing and not trying
to think, well, I'll
squeeze this in at the end of doing this.
just like, it's no good for you.
And also I
think it just makes you feel
more anxious about it as well, because
you feel everything's like piling up
rather than being able to think I
made significant progress on this.
You feel that you're just constantly
fighting things as opposed to,
And so taking that into
account, I've been thinking about
maybe splitting my
time in a way that is like maybe
week, you know, a
week I dedicate to coding dedicated to
the product itself and then another week,
dedicated to marketing related stuff.
And so go
back and forth between
that, a week, coding a week
Alan: As I say, you'll probably find a
certain changes happen at certain
times of the product as well.
You'll hit a point where it's like,
okay, I need to spend the next two or
three weeks focusing on development
because marketing is looking after
itself an hour and I can shift focus.
But yeah, I think something like that
Mario: Yeah, because part of,
part of the marketing is also, you
know, social media, social media
posts and, and stuff like that.
That can be sort of automated.
If I, if I spend, let's
week creating not the whole,
not the entire time doing that,
but as part of that week of
work on marketing, I could,
Create some, posts or,
you know, some Twitter,
posts that I can schedule
and, you know, stack
And so the following
week, when I'm working on
then, then those can be, you know,
Alan: Stuff still active, even though
you're not actively
Mario: yeah, exactly.
it's like dripping those those,
Alan: Not just disappeared off the
face of the planet for a few weeks.
Just cause you're
So something like that find ways to
automate and still be doing something
in that front while focusing
on coding and focusing on
Alan: And of course,
then you've got the point
when you actually, when we actually
start having more customers
who are going to start having
more support requests, then.
That's another constant, which is
going to be in the
I mean, that's not something
you can put off for a week.
Mario: Yes, exactly.
Alan: I think leaving
space in the future,
you know, shed your brain schedule for
that as well as it's.
So, yeah, regardless of
whether I'm working on
the product itself or the
other things that I need to work on
I would have
to be focusing
on, on support for sure.
So far, so far you, with
the users that you've got
how's the support been ha as in how many
support requests have you been getting?
Is it like a few occasionally
Mario: far I haven't gotten
any, any support requests
I only got one for,
Backup recordings then they
Alan: Oh yeah.
Alan: Cause it's manual at the
You have to
Mario: yeah, they have to request
them from me And then, so I
send them to them.
So I got one of those
because it was an issue,
but that's been fixed.
So I haven't gotten any
more requests like that.
Alan: And that's something you
can at least to a point
automate in the future as well.
So that's, that's something that.
you can just tackle when it's, when
it becomes something that will take
up a significant part of your time.
It's like, okay, now
it's time to automate it.
Rather than wasting time
And and then I got
another, it wasn't really a
more feedback or, you know,
just something that, happened
with the app you know, they submitted a, a
message, you know, just
indicating what had happened.
a little, glitch
something I need to
So it kind of is a
support request, but
it's not it's
it was like a one-off kind of
Alan: it is a one at very,
It's not, not the type of thing.
So this is something that
again, I've only got, you know, this
handful of like beta users at the moment.
And this is, this actually comes into
something I was going to mention today
as well, is this the expectations
of my Japanese users are quite
different from the expectations.
I'll lose the the patterns I'm seeing from
all the first few Japanese users
of Japanese users versus non
Japanese users is quite different.
And there's, there's definitely this
aspect of like tell me what to do.
Versus, let me figure it out for myself.
So I'm kind of seeing this
repeatedly is rather than for
instance some of my BT users in
the UK like just give me a log in.
Let, let me poke around,
let me work it out.
And the difference here with the users
are like, what can we through it?
Show me how to use it.
Show me not just how to use it
perhaps, but how I should be using it.
And that's something that's, I guess it's
a change of mindset that I think I've got
to make is I think for the longest time.
And I think all of the products I've
built myself, as opposed to, for clients
who are part of another company, I like
this idea of, I guess something like the
original delicious or flicker or the,
the, the old school web applications
where they were like, we've built a thing.
It's does things, there's features,
there's things like tags and
things, and you figure it out.
It's the, there isn't a
prescribed way of doing it.
It's, it's just, it does things.
And then over time,
people will find patterns.
There's a lot of human hacking of
making it work the way they want it to.
And I guess my product design tendency
is to think of things like that as
well is to think things in that way.
It's like, okay, if I add this
feature, then it could be used in
these five different ways and I'll
let people figure it out and, you
know, work out what works best.
And the thing that's a difference of
most web applications that I'm finding
today, which are now as I've, I'm kind
of more aware of this and I'm looking
a little bit more critical about their
onboarding and the way the interfaces
are constructed and the word yeah.
The way they're designed
and the copy they use.
And say the onboarding particularly
they like use do this, use
this, like this, and that's it.
And that's really difficult for, I
guess, for me internally to feel like
I have the confidence to do that.
I mean, I have, in my mind, a, an ideal
usage pattern of how the application
would is used best, both from experience
and from designing it in a particular
way, but I've been very, very hesitant.
Telling people to use it like that,
just because I'm like, well, who am I?
Who am I to tell you how
to run your business?
You know, so I can advise, but I don't
feel that, you know, I, I'm not going
to storm in there and say, okay, you
need to do this and you need to do that.
And don't do that.
So the product is, is almost like
a light touch it onwards probably
too late to touch in telling
you what to do or how to use it.
And, and I'm now rethinking that just
because they, everybody I've spoke
to is using it in a different way.
All of the B2 users tend to be used
in a different, and that's fine.
But at the same time, they're
also like, am I doing it wrong?
And I'm like, there is no wrong.
And they're like
that you're, you're using it differently.
And I'm like, yes, but that
doesn't mean it's wrong.
It's just that what fits with
your business and, and that's
causing anxiety for my users.
Because there feel like, ah, I,
I, I feel that I'm doing it wrong.
I don't know what you want me to do here,
so I'm not going to do anything because
I don't know what I should be doing.
And I'm like, okay, that's,
that's thrown me a little bit.
So with that in mind, I'm trying
to address it in both my marketing
onboarding of my marketing materials.
Just so it sets the tone for
why you should be using this,
not just what it does, but
this is the problem.
I guess this is a marketing and
product design thing to consider
right from a marketing aspect.
You know, we the almost like recommended,
you know, the, the, the known this
is how we should do it is stating
the problem that somebody has and
how this application will help make
your life better by doing these.
Rather than just saying
it does this have at it.
So I'm trying to rethink the like
the pitch as to make it clearer as
to what not just what the problem is.
It does that already, but how
that our product will solve it.
In what specific way it's like by doing
this, you will have this outcome be
much more clear about what I expect
you to do if you use this product.
I think that'll set the
expectations going in a little more.
But then as part of the onboarding be
very basically have a stronger hand
with telling people what to do next.
Like, you should do this at this time,
and this is when you'll do it next.
So be much more opinionated in
how I expect people to use it.
I, it makes me nervous.
It makes me kind of
makes me feel anxious because I'm like,
you know, They don't want to do It like
It makes me wonder how other
products handle that and how
the Japanese culture
deals with other software.
you know, a
couple of products come
to mind, like notion, for
where you can do so much
and it's so, you know
Alan: The classic do everything's right.
And at least the, of the modern
you can, do
anything in different ways.
want, you know, it's
designed for you to, to,
to do it.
However you, However
works best for you
Alan: think what they do well is.
They address very specific
use cases within that though.
So, I mean, they have like a ton of
different landing pages depending
on where you're coming from.
So, you know, if you're, if they do a
promoted tweet for you know, project
managers, you end up at a landing page
that talks to project managers and says,
this is, this is how, what notion does.
And these are the things
you can do with it.
And I think I've done,
it used to another few.
I've been trying around lots of different
products like this and almost this like
template idea of
know, what's your primary role?
Tweaks the onboarding to make it work
for you So It suggests use cases.
It suggests templates.
It almost is like a private, you,
know, onboarding service for your job.
So they have tons of use case
examples of, you know, if you're
a, a product designer, this is the
templates you might work for you.
If this, if you're a developer,
then these are the ways you
can use this.
Both in the, the images
they use, the language
they use it it's,
it's quite intimidating
when you think about, oh
Mario: well, yeah.
Mario: and they have the
resources to do, to do that.
Alan: the resources to do
Mario: And as an indie maker, it's
not possible to compete at that level.
So you have to
figure out another way that you can do it,
you know, at a.
At a scale that works for you
or that works for us, you know?
Cause I may
come across the same problem too.
Alan: Well, I mean, it's almost like,
fusion cust as
well to the
point where it works great as a,
you know, two person
three person podcast.
If you then
think of people like in a business
context while I want to do a
manager podcast is just me using it.
Well, I don't
guests that none of your,
All of your UI
a having more than one
people share, fueling a
doing a a recording and then
to something else.
It's, it's very designed around
this aspect of like a guest having guests
on your podcast rate.
So you for you've already kind of,
Decided that's your, it's not a
niche, but that's your focus, right?
That's your, your audience.
And I guess that the, I
guess this is part of the.
Again, the recommended practices
of doings, a, an indie product rate
is picking a very targeted audience
and talking directly to them.
it's, you know, it's this thing that
will, who's your audience home, everybody.
And that's just impossible to cope with.
So I think
I guess I have to just be
more targeted with that right.
Be much more conscious of who I'm speaking
to, at least at this stage, it's like,
look at my list of people that are, that
are already on my waiting list that are
already Beta using the app and find that
common trait between them or at least
the majority bucket that I can put them
in and then start to talk towards that.
I mean, I've already made the
conscious decision of, you know,
looking at smaller companies.
So avoiding the, you know, the big mega
co-ops and even though, right, exactly.
Even though, as I said,
Like the bank advisor, the, a lot of
the people I've spoken to in Japan are
like, don't talk to small businesses.
They've got no time for this talk to
a bigger corporations who will have
got time and money to try things out.
I can't do that.
Alan: not at this stage.
I don't have the resources to be
able to cope with talking to Toyota.
Alan: That's going to take a
little bit of my time to do that.
So I think, you know, looking
at the small you know,
10 to 15 person companies makes much
more sense at this stage for me.
So I guess optimizing
my, copy that the way,
Yeah, just the entire experience
optimizing for that is something I need
to do a little bit more of, I guess,
a lot more of,
Alan: but I mean, you, you mentioned
Japanese companies versus others.
I mean, this is a problem, not a problem.
It's a difference between
generally software and how it's
used here, or at least not how it's used,
but how people use it and how they see
it as fitting into their, their job.
And it's very much this idea
it's it's this is, these are the
tasks, these are the instructions
for doing this, do that.
And that's it.
And also, I mean, Japan has
a, a much stronger history of
being mobile first as well.
So especially with
desktop software, I mean,
I, I, grew up with a computer since
the age of like seven or eight.
There were eight bit things
that didn't do anything.
But we've always had computers
in my house, everybody.
I know all of my friends.
Computers in their house.
And that's not a common thing
that, that, isn't a historically
strong thing in Japan.
People didn't have a home computer out.
Of course, that's very generalizing.
There's obviously a home computer market,
but it wasn't as widely commoditized
in the way it was in least in the UK.
and I think in the U S as well.
So the seems to be a little bit more
hesitancy about trying things in
software, as in, you know, you had a,
you open up a new application, you,
you just click on everything, right?
So it was this do, what does this do is
that there's no fear about breaking it.
There's more curiosity
about where's its limits.
What can I do with this?
What, what, how can I
use this for what I want.
Whereas here, it feels like, again,
I'm speaking very generally and
only from the BT users that I've
been talking with having used it and
watching them and talking to them is
like, what, what, what do I press?
And it's like, well, what, what
do you think you should practice?
And I like, tell me where to
press, you know, how do I use this?
Which button do I click on it?
It's it feels a lot more
like to tell me how to use
this tool as opposed to
give me a hammer and I'll
Alan: So that needs to be part of my
And I think we've talked about,
In the past, I think we talked
about the use of video
that you, I think you wanted to
implement more video and integrate it
into the app itself.
So it, it, it serves as,
On the spot
kind of help for
You know, what's really funny about this.
It's like, so, you know,
on my New check-in page.
I think it's called your
plans at the moment, which I'm
in the process of changing.
I'll mentioned that as well.
Th there's a normal, not a quarter of the
screen, but it's a big chunk of the bottom
right-hand corner of, the screen is like
a video box saying basically play here for
I spoken to two people
who now who didn't see
It's on their
screen, but I think we've got so blind
to pop-ups and sidebars
and inline things.
It's like, they almost, they
literally blank that out.
I'm like th there was two people and
they were using the same company in that,
like, and they're like, he's like, well,
I didn't know what to do here and there.
The lady's like, there's
a big video on the screen.
Did you watch that?
And it's like, what video?
It's the big box with a play button on it.
And he's like, I never noticed that.
And I'm like, whoa, hold on.
Mario: It's like video of the gorilla
in the middle of the room and no one's
Alan: Right, right, exactly.
I was like, hold on
Mario: wow, interesting.
Alan: I think this
idea of like, doing like a
modal based welcome is I need to
Blast it on, on their faces.
Alan: full screen.
Like watch this, I'll
skip it right.
As opposed to like I, you know, I
was like, well, if I just put it
there on the screen, they can hide
it and it's done, but if they want to play
it and they're like, I didn't notice that.
it's going to have to be a modal that
auto opens and auto plays the video.
So you don't have to click on anything.
Mario: yeah, those are
all interesting challenges
that we have to figure out.
And th this as a side to that as
well I'm just realizing the, the,
language of some
Things like plans and check-ins
again, I know what they mean.
That doesn't mean my users
So I'm trying to
make more consistent the language
throughout my application.
So I'm trying to, I I'm
re almost removing this.
I use plans
a lot and that
throws people just because everyone is
like, what's a plan.
say, well, it's the plan?
lots of plans.
And they're like, I thought I'd plan.
I thought a check-in was a plan
then I'm like,
Alan: So it's yeah,
I'm, I'm rewording that.
And I'm also
changing the New check-in
I'm not gonna use it.
So it's not my plans anymore.
It's then create new check-in page
Right now it opens multiple
form fields because the
expectation is it's like, well, you
went to your plans in there, and that is
throwing people because a I used the word
save as well next to each form field.
And the idea is, again, it
different people have different
experiences, but a save button
saves a page.
Doesn't save a
thing on a page.
So I'm changing that to add and they
won't auto open you click on add new
planned I forgot the trying different
textbooks and new plan click on that.
And it opens a form field to add it
hit return so rather than popping up
too many form fields, because again,
people think of a web form as being.
Still a thing that gets submitted as a
page rather than being an in-line thing.
And I think that's also
maybe a downside of using more traditional
form looking elements rather than
a more custom if you use a, an spa
SAS product, it, they don't tend to
style things in a traditional web way.
As in it doesn't have a, the, with slight
border shadow, a, you know, an inline
form field it'll have a, something that
looks more application as a form field.
And people disassociate
that from being a web.
Again, it depends on the user's
experience, but someone who's coming
from, you know, knowing what a web
application is and its limits, they
assume that it's like, well, if I click
save, that's going to save the page.
And it's like, no, it's
just adding that item.
And it's like, oh, well
it looks like a form.
It is, but
Mario: yeah, yeah,
Alan: this is me losing,
learning UX in real time.
I can see that.
I can see that.
And it makes me think about my UI for
adding guests to a schedule session
where there's just an add button that,
adds a new row to add a new guest.
And there's just a one save button that
saves the whole thing.
Alan: And it's like, does that, by
adding that, does that save it or does,
do I need to click save after adding.
Mario: Yeah, yeah,
Alan: And this is where,
yeah, the copy I need to is on the page.
It's much more clearer about our it's
much more obvious what's happening.
Not like it doesn't leave any
ambiguity because again,
there's the, the main, it's been
interesting that it just
I've had some very good direct,
Feedback about, like, I don't
understand this, this isn't
clear to me, what does that.
button do and say, okay,
this is what I need.
This is the, and these aren't
These are like, you know, core users
who I expect to be selling to, you
know, it's so this is, is really,
Helping just make that experience much
So it's, it's
been super, but yeah, you can
see me learning how to do a
interface design in real time.
Mario: It's it's, it's
unbelievable how, how,
difficult It is
address all these different aspects
and, and make it
clear for everyone because
everyone has a different background
and a different perspective
and they see things differently and
it's, it's, it's, really
It's, it's, that's why it's
feel of its own, you know,
user experience, user
Alan: and that's why
there's usually a team
Mario: And we're just
one person doing it all.
Mario: So it is challenging, but
Alan: But I mean, it's
super, I mean, the, the
massive benefit of this
as, you know, just the it's
how I learn best, right.
Is by doing it and finding and failing.
it's I won't make that
You know, it's just every bit of
Just make sure
next time you do it better.
And it's funny now
I think I tweeted this the other day.
I been working on
this redesigned rework
of the new check-in.
and because that's what I'm using in
And so I'm used to seeing that now it's
constantly being tweaked.
It's just looking better
day by day.
And then I opened production with
the client and I'm like, oh my God.
It's like, it looks so like old now,
I guess that because I'm used to
it looking so much better seeing what
the production users are
using is, oh, that's you okay.
I need to get this done.
But at the same time, like two
weeks ago, three weeks ago, that
looked fine to me.
Mario: yeah, yeah.
just this, you know, like it is a massive
Mario: that's it, that's the way it is.
That's the way it is.
You, you have something
you know, you come back
later and look at it and it's
like, ah, yeah, it's not,
it's not the most ideal maybe.
And and then you've gotten feedback And,
Alan: Speaking of that yeah.
Saw your new landing page for Fusioncast
Mario: oh, thank you.
Yeah, you saw it.
Alan: That's very nice.
Yeah, No, it looks nice.
I don't know how I feel about It yet.
I didn't want to go the route
of training something that's you know
that, that looks just like
everything else out there.
I wanted to do something
unique and different and,
and that's why I had created
different before with
a landing page that was designed
based inspired by the 1950s, you know,
radio, radio era.
Alan: just looks awesome.
It really does
Mario: Thank you.
Alan: but I understand your yeah.
Needs to do something a little
bit more, more traditional.
It was hard to carry, carry that design.
Yeah, It was hard to carry that design
through all the way, you know, it was
great for just that one page, but to do
it all like that, and maybe it is maybe
I can pull it off later on or, you know,
hire a designer to help me out to create
that brand and create that look and feel.
But I think.
You know, being honest
with myself, I think I hit a
limit there, you know, with my
creativity you know, my design skills are
you know, I, I'm like,
I'm just gonna stop there.
And I, I can't, you know,
one, I can't spend the time,
You know, doing that.
It takes me a lot longer
because it's not my, my core
And so I decided to kill that design
and go with something a little
more traditional keep it really
simple and not spend too much time,
Alan: it's you, you can focus
on the actual content, much
easier with this right now.
I noticed the, even though the,
the other one looked wicked, you
almost skim the text because it is
it's designed heavy as
opposed to content heavy.
Whereas this is
I mean, it, I say simply
styled, but it it, it looks good,
but it's all about the content,
everything that the content
is you know what it
says, the features it does are
front and center.
There's no, no
so I think in that way, that can probably
help you, you know, get that, that
correct, because you'll focus on
that rather than making it look.
And I already got
some feedback from some
folks and it's good feedback.
So I'm going to go back and, you know
revisit certain things.
Plus there's a ton of stuff that is
not there that I'm planning to do.
I just want it to get
something simple out there and,
and just, you know, have decent,
good to go so that I can get back
to focusing on the product.
Cause I as of now, I
working on the product
itself for about three
And so I I really need to get back to that
because I've been
focusing on, on the website and I just
wanted to create a strong foundation.
So it's built on Statamic
3 and Tailwind CSS.
And so I wanted to have
the blog, component.
I wanted to have
Way to edit and, and
you know, make changes
easily for myself.
Alan: the worst thing is,
you know, so I'm using,
It wasn't intended to
be a long-term thing,
using Umso, which was, we used
to be called London which is
a, basically a launch page tool.
It's basically a website
editor plus it's got like email
lists and blogs and things like that.
And it's, I think it's like $30 a
month and you get like three sites
So as a pre,
Creation thing, it was like, okay,
No waiting list type thing.
They can integrate with
MailChimp And all the rest.
So I use that as a,
like a placeholder and
it's become more than that because,
So my wife's been working
on the Japanese side,
so she's been adding like guides for
these beauty users, how to use things.
Because we, we feel that we need that
like a bit more tutorial level led things.
And so just being able to
say, okay, go on, work on the
site and, and it looks good.
It makes a huge difference.
Not having to mess with
your tools all the time.
So I can appreciate that.
At least you've, now you've got
a thing that
works and you can edit
and you're not, don't
have to fiddle with it.
Yeah, And it started me.
Statamic 3 is awesome.
Alan: Is it.
I love Statamic.
It's, it's built for developers really,
you know, so it's super flexible.
You can do a lot of things with it.
and you can customize
Behave and work the way you
you know, wanted it the way it
works best for you.
So I wanted that
so I kept the design super simple.
I still need to
drop a video on top
of the homepage.
You know, I'm going to record
Just haven't had time to record it the
way I want it.
I want it to get?
to capture really nice.
Alan: a good excuse anyway, right?
Mario: HD video and actually I just got it
today in the mail.
What'd he get?
Mario: it's a logitech Brio.
it's a 4k
Mario: HD camera.
It's It's really
It's supposed to be good.
So I just got it in the mail today, so
I haven't really tried It
yet, but I haven't even
opened the box yet, but I want to
record this video and then
put her on the homepage and,
A ton of other stuff that I,
that I have in mind to add to the
website, but it will be little by
And so for now it's just
Alan: But so it can be
incremental improvements now.
It's not like you've, you've got the
baseline done and you can, you can now
start to focus on improving the content.
Alan: I haven't, I've never used to
something because I don't have any
experience with like Laravel or any
like modern PHP, you know, my, my first
webapp was PHP, but that was a long
Mario: long time ago, the old days of a
Alan: like, well, It's like
the, a levels.io all of
my applications are
pretty much one PHP file when it works.
Alan: It's like, it was like, it was like,
adventurous when you
had the second PHP file for you
I remember those days That's that's
when I started that's the way
it was and it was all,
it was all procedural.
No object oriented.
Alan: No, I don't think he
even existed in PHP back then.
There was, he had no objects or,
So no modern
PHP development has come a long way.
Alan: I've heard so
many good things about it.
A lot of holes and yeah.
And, And, stomach as well.
I mean, I love
the documentation and the
homepage and it's just like, they really
that like spot on.
Mario: Oh yeah.
Alan: it's a,
it, I, I don't even know
anything about the product, but I
want to use this.
This is cool.
Mario: Jack McDade it he's one of
the co-founders he's the he's super
talented designer and he, has a really
good, way of designing and also,
Also has a good sense of humor.
you can see, you can see
that all throughout in
documentation and everything he creates.
There's a sense of humor.
Applied it to
And yeah, it's, I've met.
I met him
in person 2019 for
the Laravel conference Laracon
so I met him and
Alan: conferences in person.
Mario: yeah, it's, you know,
right before the pandemic
Mario: right before the
pandemic is the, it's the last one
So yeah, I met him in
person and really cool
Yeah, so that's,
what's going on with the
Alan: Do you have a, do you have
plans for cause your email list is
probably reasonably large now or at
Mario: you know,
Mario: it, you know,
it's not, it's not that
large and that's one of the
reasons that I need to focus on
marketing and I'm planning
to do this, you know,
a split schedule kind of thing, because
they need to focus more on that.
I haven't been promoting it as much as I
So my, my mailing list is not that large.
That's and that's one of the reasons
I wanted, I wanted this website to
be, kind of like the way it is now, so
that I can feel more confident about
pointing people there
and promoting the product
Alan: I part of, part of this I'm
not going to say rebrand, but change to a
simpler style makes it easier
to maintain consistency going forward.
I think if you, your other
landing page, it looked great,
but that also is like, you
kind of almost have to commit
to that, right?
So not just the landing
page, but you almost
need to start about how does
your application fit with that?
How do your emails,
You know, your welcome mails, you want to
try to make, look within that
same kind of branding, right?
So, so that's
a big commitment.
Mario: yeah, yeah, yeah.
And it's, it's too
much for me.
Alan: least at this stage.
Mario: I've been, I've been
trying to think more in terms of,
You know, what's what.
works best for
me as an indie maker, solo
I have to,
Alan: He said just be realistic.
Mario: yeah, exactly.
what can I
what are my limitations and,
and, and what can I do with
the resources that I have?
You know, I can't be designing
these extravagant website and
spending all that time.
I don't, I can't do that.
just keep it simple later on,
you know, that'll be time,
you know, the right time will
you know, once I have more resources
and I can hire a designer and
then, you know, it'll be a lot
easier to do that kind of stuff.
So for now, simplicity, minimalism
is what works.
Alan: Well, it just means that it's
sustainable and maintainable and right.
Alan: You're not just going
to spend all your time
tweaking emails because
they need to look right.
So that's about it, I
Alan: This is why all
my interfaces are like
It's like, well, I can't choose a
wrong color there.
just shades of blue.
I'll tailwind, indigo.
Alan: like, well, how bad can I make it?
it on my end.
The only other
now we have,
We've successfully launched our
at least with the trailer,
Just the trailer,
Mario: Folks listening to this later on,
Will be kind of
all news by
Mario: it is new
Thank you for right.
Good, good work.
Mario: Yeah, I was able
to put that together and
So it's, it's out there now.
Alan: Yeah, yeah.
Yeah, I think, I've picked
up by everything apart
from Google podcasts maybe.
I think, I think I'd already picked it up.
Alan: Oh really?
Mario: I think so.
I haven't checked, but
it's a good thing that we have
that now, so that when the first
actual episode is published you know,
it goes, goes straight through and
doesn't it doesn't we
don't have to wait for,
Cause otherwise you'd be like, it's
a new episode, but you can't listen
to it because it's not an apple yet.
So at least now everything's set up
and it'll just kind of flow through.
And I've been doing editing on the,
on, on the episodes that we recorded.
And that's one of the things I wanted to
to you about actually.
So I think that's the
last thing on my end.
It's it's the, the recording editing,
think there, there needs to be some
editing done in all the sessions that
we recorded my
goal, or I was hoping that we
wouldn't have to re
you know, do a lot of editing,
but because it takes so
At some point we'll
have to figure out
if there's a
can outsource the editing,
we get better at recording so that
we don't have to edit anything.
Alan: about to say, I hopefully
you'll find that the later
ones require less editing.
I think we've gotten a little bit better
about being aware of what we're doing.
Alan: I hope
And, and in the, in
the spirit of transparency, I wanted
this and let it be part of the
podcast and for others to listen.
Cause you know, it
Alan: educational show.
Mario: educational thing.
thing that I've noticed
as I'm doing editing is
that we tend to talk over each
other sometimes, you know?
and so when that happens, it
sounds really bad on the podcast.
So I'm having to edit things out
and kind of like choose which one
of us is saying the main thing.
that way that stays.
And then if, if the other one
was trying to say, something and
then it stops, then that gets cut
going through that and so that's
something that we can improve, you
know try not to talk over each other.
And the other thing
is I've noticed with myself,
That I speak very slowly.
I'm like, oh man, like I sound
cause I guess I tend to find the
right words, you know, before I speak.
And I kind of like maybe
overthink what I'm
saying and I don't want
to say the wrong thing.
kind of take
pauses and, and especially the
first and maybe you're Right?
Maybe it's part of, part of it
is that it's the first episodes where,
you know, we don't know, what we're doing.
we don't have that much experience.
I found myself pausing a
And so I'm trying to,
you know, edit
that out and and hopefully
as we progress, we
better and more comfortable
with talking and
Alan: Have you tried using a descript?
Mario: no, I haven't, no, I haven't.
I know that they have a lot of crazy
features for editing and stuff.
Alan: The biggest thing.
So when I did just a short video for
my presentation, I did adult plan just
being able to edit the audio as if it
was text, just being, looking at it and
thinking that paragraph, I can delete
that and just hitting, delete that word,
delete that it's like so
to do that
in, in, an audio editor
would have just been a
So yeah, it,
that might speed things up a little bit.
Obviously we've got
latency against us as well,
which doesn't help.
But so it's funny, you mentioned
speaking speed because you're when
I listened to the trailer like
I speak a lot quicker than Mario.
I was like, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
And you're like, blah, blah, blah.
like, okay, either we need to
meet somewhere in the middle.
Mario: Yeah, exactly.
So, I mean, one of the things they
say is that when, when you're I've
heard this in the context of
conference, speaking for example, right.
speaking to an audience one of the things
that happens is if you're nervous, you
speak faster because you're nervous.
So you speak a lot faster kind of
thing, or, you know, and so they always
say you know, speak slower than
what you normally do or what
you think you should be speaking,
Alan: Almost to the point
where it feels uncomfortable.
So when I did I've done public
speaking, like three or four times
now, reasonably large conferences.
I remember the one I enjoyed the most.
I got to the point where I was, I felt
completely wrong to be speaking this
slowly, but it was also the one which
people responded to the
People came up to me
after, as I said, it was
I'm like, did I not
like sound weird?
I was like, just to the point where
it feels like to myself, I'm
walking through mud or, something.
that's just the change from
my usual speaking pattern.
To me, it
felt like really,
but a bit it seemed to work.
So, yeah, I guess that's
just my, you know,
Alan: my problem,
Mario: So for me, it's the opposite.
I need to speed up a little, you
need to slow down a little and
we'll meet in the middle of somewhere.
Alan: As, although it's funny
because I listened to podcasts
with overcast to you, probably the
And they use their smart speed plus
listen to things at about 1.3, 1.4 times
Mario: the same.
I think one of the most
weirdest things for
me is John Gruber,
On, you know, daring fireball
guy if listening to his podcasts
on normal speed by accident.
Cause I, I
think I played in, on a
web sometime rather than
listening to it
And I'm like, is he okay?
Mario: it sounds so slow.
Alan: yeah, I was like
something, something, some problem
I'm like, oh no, it's just, I'm
used to listening to everything.
Kind of like
Mario: Oh yeah.
I totally experienced the same thing.
done that before and it's like, oh
some podcasts you know,
if I listened to it and
then the sped up, you know,
way that I normally do
Alan: becomes normal, right?
Mario: that becomes
normal, It sounds great.
And then I
listened to it in
north, in the,
you know, normal
speed and it's like, whoa.
Like, it sounds horrible.
It's it's, it's weird.
Alan: But I, Yeah.
so I think if we just try to be a
little bit more conscious of again,
this is probably me mode of waiting
till everything's finished before.
Making my point.
It's like, yeah.
Try to just try to hold back Ellen,
Mario: Yeah, but it's,
not just, you it's me too.
It's not just you it's, it's both of
us, but it comes with practice, right.
We'll get better at that.
You know, it's our first
recording, so we're, we're
still learning this thing and
Alan: a disclaimer at the beginning.
Cause say, w we're still figuring this
Alan: But I think even
as we're speaking now,
Even for the last few episodes we've
recorded they, they do seem a little bit
and paste maybe.
So hopefully that's
something we can keep
So hopefully people
will bear with us long enough that
Alan: very quits on.
the first episode
at the heels of this
Mario: We can only hope.
Alan: I guess it's just
one of those things of
compounding experience and quality
You know, we're never gonna, you're
not going to get things right on the
so just keep working
Let's just keep at it.
Practice makes perfect.
So we'll keep chipping away at it.
I think that's it on my end.
So anything else you want to share
W one, one nice thing was,
I got approved for Paddle,
So they were, when I first spoke to
them a few months back, they're like,
yeah, come back when you're finished.
We're for products who have actually
been finished building,
I'm like, oh, okay.
So it was, it was a slight burn,
but so I mailed them the other day.
I'm like, so I'm ready now.
Cause it's going to take
time to integrate that
And I just, I don't want to be at the
point where I'm like, okay, now I can go.
And now I've got to
go and way and build in
So I wanted to at least get that moving.
So they were like okay, can you
you know, explain your product.
So I did that.
And then that they.
Strange, strange to me worded email.
That was like, it sounds like your
product has human interaction.
And I'm like, yeah, of
course it does everything.
I'm like everything requires
human interaction it's and they
were like, okay, so we can't use
it because you're not allowed
to have human based services
There has to be
Like we, I sell software and they use it.
They meant me.
I read it as humans, as in my
users, they mean humans as in me.
So you're not allowed to sell like a
Mario: like a productized
service or, you know, something like that.
Alan: So it has to be software that
is like, self-service effectively
application or a subscription
service or something.
It has to be not involve me
to So I'm like, oh no, no, no, no.
because they were like, well,
in that case, you can't use it.
Here's a link to our,
And I'm like, oh no,
No, there's no humans involved
in making this service.
But that's a poorly worded
Sounds like the.
Alan: it's one of those things.
terms of S if they read, if you read the
that they sent afterwards beforehand,
makes sense because it
literally use uses the same
words, you know, human led
But when that's out of context, in
an email, it reads
And it's like, what do you mean you?
Of course it uses humans.
it's not just some bot
Alan: Well, your reaction was
Your reaction was the same as mine.
Of course it is right.
That makes no sense.
Alan: When we cleared that up, they said,
could you send through a a video
of your product being used?
So actually just sent them
a link to my onboarding,
like video that's embedded right now.
And three days later,
which was yesterday, they came back and
said, great, you're fine.
You can do it.
You need to send just legal stuff now.
So I'm like, so that's
So I've got no excuse not
to charge people now, right?
Mario: There you go.
Yeah, you gotta get up with that
payment page up.
Alan: well, at least I can write it now I
build the page.
So they have a
sun box thing.
So I'm going to just
play around with that.
And that also means I've got to
think about pricing, which is I've
been putting off for way too long as
Mario: Oh, nice.
So, they, they do have a
sandbox kind of like Stripe
as a sandbox.
Alan: So, I mean, I
chose pebble over cause I
noticed like Stripe now
launching attacks, Stripe tax and things.
The biggest thing for
me is the fact that I'm
selling immediately off
the bat to three countries.
At least that's,
you know, my, the beta users
and hopefully people who
will pay they're already in
and that means three different sets
sales tax and the, the U
S has particular you've
then got multiple states to deal with
So I'd be looking at like having
to do five sets of tax Filings,
even a sales tax filings, even
on day one, as long as all
the beta users end up paying.
Which is like
I don't want to deal with that.
That's not, and I don't want to get it
So a and Stripe also doesn't strike tax.
Doesn't want doesn't support Japan
in its initial version.
It will do.
I'm sure it.
And plus they don't file for you.
They just tell you what to do.
Mario: They don't have
that component yet, but
apparently they're working on it.
Alan: yeah, yeah, yeah.
So this initial version will be like, you
need to file this document, click here
in order to go to the thing in order to
Paddle is like, because
they're the merchant of record.
They effectively sell the product for you.
I think same as Outseta.
S I think
Cause that connects to Stripe.
connects a Stripe.
They don't they don't, it doesn't work
the same way they connect to Stripe.
And I think there's a way to
specify the tax that you want to
collect, but, you have to Do it
Alan: that was one thing that I'm
just that, especially since I'm
dealing with, you know, Japanese tax
authorities, which is not my area of
expertise, I'm like not messing around
Alan: or use somebody who
knows what they're doing.
Mario: Overall, how, how
was the process of getting
approved with, with paddle for you?
Alan: I mean, apart from that
slight misunderstanding, it
was, it was straightforward.
They would just like, explain what it
Why you why you need this effectively?
Why, what does your product do?
Yeah, they're basically just said
explain what your
product does And
how it's used.
So I just wrote a few paragraphs
about that, sent them the video and
it's all fine.
Mario: Oh, so you, you recorded a video
to like explaining your product.
I considered Paddle a way back before I
decided to go with Outseta, but I still,
I still don't know which way I want to go.
I haven't really integrated
Outseta yet fully into
only using a couple of their
couple of their services,
you know, cause they have they
cover billing payments and
you know, all the others some
other stuff and I haven't
fully integrated much really.
So I don't know because I suspect I'll
have a similar issue if, you know, given
the nature of the product, people can
be, you know, anywhere in the world.
Connecting and using fusion cast.
So I I don't know what I'm
going to do about that, cause
that that's a, that's a problem.
Alan: It's a concern, isn't it?
I mean, I know this, I'm sure a lot
of these early products don't handle
tax very well or at all right.
It's kind of almost
like brushed under the carpet
and I'm not going to do that
Alan: out of all the
decisions I'm going to make.
that's not something I'm
going to do.
Especially since I,
say I'm, I'm
located in somewhere that I'm
not, you know, I don't know.
Well with regards to how these
things work, so I'm not going to get
Mario: yeah, yeah,
Alan: So one reason that
so Outseta requires
you have to use their authentication
Oh, you have to link into
their CRM in order to build
Mario: I don't think you have to use their
Mario: Because I have my own
authentication and I can still from what I
understand, I can still integrate billing
Mario: I still haven't done it like
I was saying, but I don't So I don't
but if I remember correctly,
One of the co-founders did
with me way back.
And I remember, I think I asked
that question, you know, if I
have my own authentication,
can I still use billing and payments?
And he said, yes.
So if I remember correctly, so but
again, I haven't gone full in with
Outseta so I'm still thinking about it.
The only thing that scared me
about Paddle is, is some posts
that I read of some horror stories
of them dropping the product
without notice and,
Alan: I've read those two.
And those were, yeah, my immediate like,
Is this good?
This, this sounds
In all of those cases, they do seem to
be, there seems to be an after story
It's not like that was it.
It's like they, they respond to
them after a few days and things
And they, they do seem pretty
quick at responding to even
the onboarding, the onboarding,
the application emails, they seem pretty
quick about responding to all those.
So I'm hoping
that there's no
problems, but yeah, that was my, my,
was, this seems to be some horror
stories, but there seems to be
horror stories, regarding every
single product on the internet.
Alan: I'm like
take everything with at
least a, an understanding that you're only
seeing one side of it.
So if you're using paddle
then does that mean you don't
need to integrate with Stripe?
Does it work?
they have their own.
So the other thing, as well as it
handles, I mean, I
guess like Stripe, it
The, you can have multiple price plans.
It does the tax based
on where the buyer is.
It just handles everything
for you like that.
They, the only differences.
not your merchant accounts.
So things come through on the
credit card with like Paddle and
then your name of your company.
Mario: Oh, I see.
Alan: so there is a,
I'm used to it cause I use
a few services that
So it it's, I'm kind
of used to using it as
a, an end user
and it's, it's absolutely fine.
it's seems the API is pretty
straightforward and no
big surprises there, so
yeah, I think it should be okay.
Mario: nice, Maybe I'll give it a
I don't know.
Alan: So it did that, their fees,
their fees are a little bit higher
if you were just going
for straight Stripe.
Obviously because they're
offering more they're not just
taking the payment, but as I say for
it was just this peace of mind
that I know that the right sales
taxes are going to get taken and paid
Alan: by me.
That's just one thing I don't want to get
on the wrong side of,
And I guess it also depends on
how long it takes for Stripe to
catch up to that and offer that
service, you know?
Alan: I mean this w I mean,
can export from Paddle that doesn't
seem to be any limitations with
know, exporting your customers.
Obviously, I think
they'd probably have to
resubmit their payment
information, I assume.
But you're not,
you're not tied into it forever.
You could just keep those as old users and
onboard new users into Stripe or
something if you wanted to change later.
So it's not like.
Not an impossible thing to undo.
But at this stage it just seemed
to be the thing which suited my
Well, thanks for sharing that.
Alan: let you
how it goes when I onboard
it, when I've done three
a year, the sandbox
you'll be the Guinea pig.
Mario: All right.
you want to share?
Alan: And that's me all
Mario: All right.
I think that's it for me too.
Should we wrap it up?
Alan: Let's wrap it up
Mario: All right.
Most for the show
Alan: Were we supposed to like sell
a mattress or something as well?
Mario: I know, right?
we'll close it off with Justin Jackson's.
This podcast is hosted, not toasted on
Alan: I love the cause I was playing with
you know, you, you,
submit it to everything, just going
through the interface and things.
It's a really well thought out
Mario: It is.
Alan: very cool.
Mario: It is.
I love it.
Alan: can't imagine doing it
any other way.
Just having seen
that it's like all the
analytics, they just
just managing the whole processes
It's very cool.
I'm really happy to see it
and it's a pretty large
product, because it.
has so many different areas.
You know, it's got analytics,
the hosting side, the embeddable
the distribution, the websites, you
know, the custom websites for your, for
your podcast, that they host themselves,
All these different
It's, it's crazy.
Alan: It's surprising.
When you start going through it yellow.
Oh my God.
This is like really comprehensive,
really thought of everything.
And for a two people team is it's
just really incredible that all
they've been able to accomplish.
So, congrats to them
Props to them for achieving that.
It's it's great.
I love using it.
I love the product.
Alan: Yeah, absolutely.
Mario: I recommend that every, every time
I get an opportunity, someone
asks about hosting a podcast.
I always recommend transistor.
Mario: So yeah, we didn't get
paid to say all this, by the way.
I'll see you
and we'll, we'll,
be in touch online.
Alan: and upwards.
Talk to you later.
Mario: All right.
Alan: Cheers, man.