Reflections on failing to reach out
My last month has been all about wrapping up and releasing a brand new major version of KeyboardKit. It’s been a very fun project…that unfortunately has failed to deliver on all the work that went into it.
KeyboardKit 8 has involved a lot of feature development and refactoring, as well as rebuilding the entire website, trimming a lot of 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 pay license, where I put a lot of work into each license, to a subscription that validates licenses over Gumroad. This allows me to now offer a free 7 day trial, as well as a monthly and yearly payment plan. Pay less in total with the yearly plan, or a little every month with the monthly plan.
All in all, I’m very happy with the result. I think the API is much better now, that the site is more concise, and that the feature distribution among the tiers is more balanced and obvious. The journey from the basic tier to gold makes better sense, although I should probably have been a bit braver with pricing.
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 also 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 everything is happiness and joy. I’ve once more found myself a bit prone to “build it and they will come” thinking, although I’ve been better aware of it this time around, and therefore actively prepared myself for the most likely disappointment that I suspected would follow the release.
Still that doesn’t stop me from being disappointed over the fact that while most things has been going great work-wise, where I’ve learned so much and feel that the process itself has been a very rewading one, I’ve had very little response and just a single signup since KeyboardKit 8 launched a week ago. I’m getting tired of struggling with (and failing to) reaching out, despite doing my best.
I understand that posting updates (and launching) on Twitter and Mastodon with accounts that very few follow, and on blogs that very few read, is a bad alternative to proper marketing, but I feel like many projects from other people in the community manage to get good reach while I just find myself failing at it over and over again, while most times being very happy with what I’ve created.
I’ve previously been very happy with the process itself, to build fun things in the best way I can…but this time I felt it harder, most probably because I gave it my best for such a long time, and still failed to get traction despite having a reasonable amount of customers and people who have reached out to tell me how much they love KeyboardKit.
If you have any thoughts on these topics, I’d love to hear them. You can find more information about KeyboardKit and the new v8 on keyboardkit.com.
Thank you for reading!