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Pine Beta is close to opening. A week ago I deployed a small homepage with a signup form for anyone interested. The next step seemed quite obvious – publish to Betalist. What’s the benefit of that? We’re about to find out.

 

A quick note on Open Startups

Pine is not really a startup. I’m not looking for venture capital, a big team or quick growth. Pine is a fully bootstrapped one-man show. However, the idea of an open startup is very dear to me.

An open startup is simply a product that shares its numbers. Users, revenue, expenses, employees, you name it. Spending all this free time working on a product can be daunting, especially when you have no idea what returns to expect. Open startups can give you a glimpse of what can happen as well as some well-needed encouragement.

It was the open startups and the indie maker community that made me realize that building a product may just be worth the effort. This is why I plan to share these kinds of details about Pine.

 

Ok, so what about Betalist?

The three big numbers to reveal today are:

  • 👥640unique visitors
  • 🙋250signups
  • 💰129dollars

The part about the dollars was a surprise to me. I assumed you just submit things to Betalist like you’d submit things to Reddit. While there’s a free tier in Betalist, you’d need to wait for a month or two for your submission to appear. The money bypasses the queue and guarantees you a place in the newsletter.

So was it worth it? I’d say hell yes!

  1. I got 250 highly interested users for what is essentially the price of 50 cents per user. (insert rapper joke here)
  2. While the number of site visitors isn’t all that high, the percentage of people signing up is incredible. More than a third of all visitors signed up to try out Pine.
  3. Even if just one of the beta testers signup for a paid plan – I’ll get my monies worth with time.
  4. I received several emails from people personally asking for beta signup. That’s one hell of an encouragement to keep coding.
  5. I’ve worked on Pine for almost two years now without any market testing. That’s way too long. The percentage of signups, the comments, the personal messages, they’re all proof of interest. And boy does it feel good to have that.
  6. People are still coming to the site and signing up!

 

I’m making a product. Should I pay for Betalist?

I’m more than happy with the results. I was hoping to get around 100 signups and got 2.5 times that. However, $129 can be steep for many early businesses. Waiting is absolutely an option, you just need to be more strategic about timing.

The good part is that even if you pay and don’t end up getting the results you want – Betalist has a money-back policy, where all you need to do is ask for a refund. They’ll send you your money back and won’t even remove your site from the list.

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