Reflections on failing to reach out

Nov 8, 2023 · Follow on Twitter and Mastodon general

My last month has been all about wrapping up and releasing a brand new major version of KeyboardKit. It has been a fun project…but failed to deliver on all the work that went into it.

KeyboardKit 8 involved a lot of feature development and refactoring, as well as rebuilding the website, trimming text from the website and the documentation, rewriting everything on a daily basis, and moving things around until they fit.

KeyboardKit 8 also moves from a yearly, single payment license, where I have to put a lot of work into each license, to a Gumroad subscription that allows me to offer a 7 day trial, as well as a monthly and yearly payment plan.

All in all, I’m very happy with the result. I think the SDK is much better, that the website is more concise, and that the feature distribution among the tiers is more balanced. Going from the basic tier to gold makes more sense now, but I should have been a braver pricer.

I’ve focused a lot on current users and customers, and have actively reached out to gather feedback and thoughts on the changes in the library and license model. I’ve put a LOT of work into making the transition from KeyboardKit 7 to 8 as smooth as possible, with a huge set of migration guides in place.

However, not all is happiness. I’ve once more found myself a subject to “build it and they will come” thinking, although I’ve been aware of it this time around, and therefore prepared myself for the most likely disappointment that I suspected would follow the release.

But it doesn’t stop me from being disappointed over that while most things has been going great work-wise, where I’ve learned so much and had a rewading process, I’ve gotten very little response and a single signup since KeyboardKit 8 launched a week ago.

I’m getting tired of struggling (and failing) with reaching out. I understand that posting and launching on Twitter and Mastodon with few followers, and on blogs that few read, is a bad alternative to proper marketing, but I see so many other people in the community manage to get good reach while I find myself failing at it over and over again.

I’ve previously been happy with the process, to build things in the best way I can, but this time it hit harder, most probably since I gave it my best for such a long time, and still failed to get traction despite having quite a few customers and people who use KeyboardKit.

If you have any thoughts on these topics, I’d love to hear them. Thank you for reading!

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