2   +   7   =  

Why?

After going through many iterations trying to build something people love, I got trapped in this customer-feedback loop that wasn’t going anywhere.

People would not use HuggyList but gave recommendations on what could be improved. My power users were friends and I wasn’t sure how to interpret that — where they sincere or trying to help out? 

Recently, I received some very direct feedback that the value perceived was almost zero and it needed much more to make users change habits.

This got me thinking… a lot

After all, what happens today when users don’t have access to trusted recommendations? What was the issue?
  • They basically just look up for random opinions because it doesn’t matter as much as I thought. People we trust matter a lot but the number of opinions can overweigh trust.
  • Also, people don’t see a value of actively sharing recommendations for no direct return. This problem is huge when launching a marketplace.
  • Finally, the speed and never-ending quantity of information available on Google and other platforms is a very profound habit and HuggyList needed to be 10x better to get a small market share. For my users, the value was not there.
HuggyList beta, 1.0 and 2.0 (+ all smaller iterations) didn’t resonate with my users. Still, I want to thank everyone who took the time and gave me feedback, this was truly appreciated.

I needed to react

Before I decided to pivot, I was generating some content of startup recommendations that I shared on HuggyList. I thought it would be a good idea to “fake it til I make it” so I summarized content from famous entrepreneurs and venture capitalists (mostly Y Combinator partners).

Now… Interestingly enough, I touched a nerve and suddenly received a lot of positive reactions. For the first time, I was not pushing my product down the throat of anyone. People started reaching out to 1) ask for more 2) say thank you. This is when I decided to fully shift my focus and pivot. What you know of HuggyList is now past.

What am I doing now?

HuggyList now connects early-stage founders and verified content curators. Curators search and summarize relevant knowledge (from blogs/videos/podcasts/social media/…) in bullet points for founders to easily browse and digest in no time. Entrepreneurs save a lot of time while curators make some extra money. I plan to grow and centralize knowledge industry by industry to help all busy professionals save time and learn fast.
Working on my startup for now 5 months, learning from the market is definitely something one cannot ignore. I am very excited about the new direction of HuggyList. It really looks like I can help a lot of folks absorb more knowledge within their tight schedule so they can have a greater impact.
As usual, feedback is more than welcome: daniel@huggylist.com