Sunday Coffee ☕️ #0047

May 9, 2021

Good morning!

I've been writing blog posts and sending out the Sunday Coffee newsletter for nearly a year now.

It's been a rewarding journey and as petty as it sounds, I enjoy seeing a blog that's filled with dozens of blog posts (75 to be exact). I remember for years whenever I would stumble upon a great personal blog, I would bookmark it in a folder as 'Inspiration' for my future blog.

Has my blog become that inspiration for others who are just starting out in their journeys? I certainly hope so.

Anyway, this is another different kind of Sunday Coffee. I've been focused on creating content each weekend, so much so that I forgot to just talk about the more daily and mundane that keep happening anyway.

So here's an update on what's been up.

DelightChat

Every day that I try to build a business, I learn about how little I know. There's so much to learn, so much to still understand and get better at in order to build a successful business.

DelightChat launched in beta in mid-Feb. Today, we have 15 brands using the app daily, sending out 1000+ messages to their customers each day.

The purpose of the beta was to learn:

  • the state of our MVP and how it holds up to real-world usage
  • technical and product issues that we need to solve
  • find a direction for the future

We discovered answers to all 3 questions, and I'm grateful for that. It's been a difficult few months, filled with ups and downs, realizations, mistakes, learnings.

Don't get me wrong, this is exactly what I signed up for. But in the moment while it's happening, it never feels like "oh yay I have 101 problems to solve" haha.

Based on every learning and mistake we have made so far, we've come up with a 3 month plan (May-July).

  • A support tool is complex. In terms of product, tech, as well as onboarding a user. Based on the effort it takes, having users who are worth more in terms of ARPU can make this journey easier.
  • Larger brands who are ready to pay ~$500/mo for a tool have a different set of problems that matter more to them. For example, automation that saves time or takes care of common customer queries on its own. We are building product features that will perform these jobs for our target audience.
  • Cold email larger brands doing ~$1mn/yr revenue or higher and either sell to them successfully, or find out what they exact problems a product like DelightChat can solve for them.
  • Clean up product onboarding and create help documentation and videos. Then, we launch on the Shopify app store to tap into its distribution. We tried working on SEO and while I still believe it has great long-term potential, but it takes a long-time + effort to find what's working and to scale those efforts.

When things get difficult, you tend to cut out everything non-essential and focus ruthlessly on the goal. That's the leg of the journey that we are currently undergoing: discovering the exact product + target audience which can help us build and scale this business.

On a separate note, we are helping out the Indiacovidresources.in team and its 200+ volunteers to manage incoming requests from patients and caretakers about hospitals, medicines, etc. through WhatsApp.

For that, we built a simple WhatsApp bot-like system and a few pieces of functionality like, automatically adding a tag to the ticket based on the option selected, or auto-assigning the ticket to a team (group of people) based on the tag applied to a ticket.

About 50 volunteers are active on the DelightChat app so far. If you're someone who needs help with anything related to the covid-19 in India, send a message to wa.me/919353373060

Sankalp's worked especially hard on pushing out these features, and I sincerely hope our product helps streamline the process for volunteers to respond to people who need help and hopefully save lives.

Personal

I recently had a surgery on the ring finger of my left hand. For those who are curious, look up GCT of tendon sheath.

It developed a few years ago when I used to go kickboxing. I punched with the wrong stance for an entire hour until my fingers bled (I know, what an idiot right?). One finger did not heal correctly. At least that's how I believe the events transpired.

The doctor said, "na that's BS this kind of thing is just random." I guess we'll never know.

This is less about the issue in particular, but more a realization that I left non-acute problems like these linger on for far too long without taking care of them. What was I thinking? Why didn't I act sooner? I'm not sure.

In the same direction, I'm finally fixing the alignment of teeth in my lower jaw. Should have done this years ago, but here I am, 27 years old, getting aligners (braces would just be too much eye candy).

But, you know what they say. The second best time to do something is now. I don't want to wake up 1 year down the line and still have unresolved problems like these that aren't taken care of.

I hope I recover full usage and mobility of my finger and be able to do pushups again (right now, bending my finger into a knuckle hurts like hell and only goes about 60% of the way).

Also, for the very first time in my life, I read a comic from start to end - Invincible by Robert Kirkman. I've read manga before, and as a child I would read several fiction books every month. At some point I got obsessed with non-fiction books, until I got bored of books altogether. I'm glad I'm reading something again.

Other than this, I'm just grateful that everyone at home is healthy during these trying times.

This blog

This section includes side projects that I work on from time to time.

  • I wrote that micro-SaaS guide last year that I want to expand upon.
  • Launched an online course about programmatic SEO that I want to grow.
  • Created a habit tracker app that I want to experiment with.

While it's been fun and rewarding working on small projects and mostly around content, I'm not going to lie that it isn't a shit ton of effort.

I think I stretched myself too thin. DelightChat is a difficult journey, taking on so many new things such as managing a team, doing sales demos, customer support/feedback, working on marketing, and making sure we are building the right product.

All these are challenges that I've enjoyed working on, but I think I tried to do a long marathon without a pitstop. Working non-stop during the week and then creating content for the blog or current project during the weekend was fun, but left little time and energy for me to relax personally.

That's why I'm going to take it easy, not put too much pressure on myself and focus on one thing at a time.

This does not mean I will stop blogging, far from it. Perhaps I will write new posts less often, and only when I have something substantial to share on the topic. I definitely won't work on projects for a while and just take a break from it.

Sunday Coffee

This newsletter started out as a way for me to hold myself accountable to chronicle my journey of trying to build profitable internet businesses and grow as an individual. I think it's served its purpose very well, and it shall continue serving its purpose.

Perhaps I will focus more on the newsletter itself. There's a lot of challenges to solve day-to-day when you're trying to build a business.

I could make the newsletter more oriented towards solving those challenges by sharing content and thoughts that can help someone get ahead in their journey.

What do you think?

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That's all for this sunday. Hope you are keeping healthy.

Enjoy your coffee ☕️

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