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14 Comments

My product is not first-need, should I keep working on it?

My main product is Legendsverse, a Marvel Legends figures collection tracker. Currently has 300+ paid customers, most of them paid for a Lifetime deal, and about ~40 are current subscribers.

I've been working on Legendsverse for about two years now, being honest, I have't found the sweet marketing spot.

I've tried a few things like Blog posts, free tools, sharing stuff in reddit/facebook/twitter/instagram, etc. but haven't been able to get a recurring amount of sign ups.

Legendverse has made about $5K in its lifespan, but still, I think that it's ROI should be bigger.

Legendsverse's Analytics

I think that the main issue is not a first-need product, it's just a tool for a hobby?

I've been thinking in pivoting it to a tool to sell/buy Marvel Legends figures, or to alert people when a nice offer is up in eBay, but I'm not really interested in that, since it's something I wouldn't use at all.

Most of the time I find myself thinking that I should focus on a product that actually makes people money, saves people money or saves people some time.

What are your thoughts? Have you worked on a non first-need product, and how's your experience been?

  1. 2

    Evening, I'm not a business owner, but I am someone who is one of your customers who found this post while searching for comparisons of your product and your competitors. I am 43 years old, director of a non-profit organization, and a Marvel Legends collector who began the hobby this past summer after my board of directors told me to get a hobby and stop focusing so much on the organization. Anyway, that gives you a sense of who I am demographically and where I'm at in my collecting. I needed a way of tracking what I had, what I wanted, and what was inbound. Your app showed up in either a FB group or Reddit, or somewhere, but I saw it, thought it sounded like a solution to my need, and decided it was worth $3 to support a hobby for which I was spending hundreds a month in this early acquisition phase of my collecting. Is it worth $3 a month ongoing? Well, I did find this post while researching competitors. I must admit that now that I have entered my collection, my wish list, and my preorders. I don't much see the added value that I should expect from a subscription model. What you have created is great, and I do enjoy it, but you could easily hand over the updating of the figures to a community of moderators who would gladly do so for free to make the app more widely available. The valuation feature is interesting, and something I'd use, if I could figure out how to make it work in a way that I can look up what a figure is going for on average, and not just seemingly random information on figures I already own. I'm not bashing your product, in fact I quite enjoy it. I just don't understand what my $3 a month is getting me. Especially when I read that you are considering making this less of a priority, when regular updates with new features is what I am assuming that $3 from me and the other 39 is going towards. I agree that a buy/sell feature would be fantastic and make for a clearing house of sorts, if done correctly and marketed properly. I would much rather go to the app than scan 12 different facebook groups with outdated posts and spammed nonsense. I think if you want to make this a killer app, you need to add the buy/sell feature, a newsfeed on new releases/announcements, and maybe even a retail tracker that shows which figures have been spotted in each stores. Make the app something that a variety of types of collectors will use, but each will interact with the app and each other in different ways and begin to integrate it's usage into the hobby more fully.
    If you don't do it, someone else will. And they will be getting my $3.
    I hope this is helpful and received in the encouraging and supportive spirit in which it is intended. Keep up the good work and earn dat tree fiddy.
    -Professor Z

    1. 1

      Hey @ProfessorZ thanks a lot for your feedback! You really have no idea how important it is to me.

      I would love to go deeper into it if you have time to chat or a call. Feedback like yours it's the exact thing I'm looking for. I want to know and understand what's missing from Legendsverse, I use it whenever I get, preorder or want a new figure, just like you said. But, beyond that, I'm not sure what to do with the app as a collector myself.

      I do have some ideas, but not sure how make them work with Legendsverse's paid model.

      Please feel free to send me an email to amedina@mylegendscollection.com or join the discord channel of Legendsverse and we can chat there.

      https://discord.gg/2KqZaFQ4

      I would really love to talk more with you and make Legendsverse an app you really enjoy and it's worth it.

  2. 2

    Personally I would not abondon this product. It's a massive achievement to get paying users no less for a product that isn't a "painkiller".

    In my opinion just keeping it and iterating on what you have done between Nov 2021 and Feb 2022 might be an idea to get more users.

    Otherwise, I think you could have this as a small side project and build something different as well.

    1. 2

      Thank you! Right now I'm focusing on SEO and getting people to the product via reddit comments. I'm also considering making a shift in focus, instead of Legendsverse being a "show your collection" tool, make it more like a "plan your collection" tool.

      And will keep it as a small side project for a while, while I develop other projects I'm working on right now.

      Thanks a lot for your input!

  3. 2

    I think the answer(s) stem from the question: Are you trying to make this a full-fledged business or are you happy with it being a profitable personal project?

    Nothing wrong with a few hundred paid users if this is a fun project that you enjoy just working on it. That's a great achievement in itself - congratulations!

    If you're looking to expand on it, have you considered a paid community? You've clearly appealed to a group of people that have a keen interest in this hobby. Surely they'd be interested in talking shop, estimating value, speculating on new releases, or just showing off their collections to each other. Could do it within a slack/discord community which should be fairly easy to test-run without a lot of coding or manual effort.

    1. 1

      If I'm being honest, I would love this project to make 5K a month, but just considering that at its current pricing it'll need 1500 users just makes it feel so unreachable.

  4. 2

    @amedinadev, it's not that a non-first-need product can't make money. In fact, people make more money on things that are beyond the basic needs. Luxury brands make more money, right :)?

    The issue is the combination of non-first-need and "customer segment". I may be wrong, but it seems that the customer segment would be the younger generation, who may not have extra cash in most or many cases.

    It may be good if you can repeat the same idea to address the needs of the right customer segment.

    Just my two cents.

    1. 1

      Actually I think that this product is aimed to veteran collectors, people who has been collecting for years and have hundreds figures in their collection. I've been considering making a similar project for more expensive collectionables. Maybe in those segments collectors are more willing to pay for something like this?

  5. 2

    Honestly, just the fact that you got 300+ people to pay for this is quite an achievement.

    As for the future of it, you are right. There needs to be something else for this to become a product that drives more revenue. The marketplace feature would not be bad. Perhaps you don't need a full-fledged transaction infrastructure, but simply allow posts/conversations to happen when people are looking to buy/sell these figurines. Similar to craigslist or Facebook marketplace.

    An additional stream could be to make the product support more collectibles (e.g. pokemon cards, baseball cards, etc).

    Have you ever spoken to your users and asked them what they'd like to see?

    1. 1

      Thanks! I've been asked by a lot of users to add a more collectibles lines, but I'm not really sure if I should.

      I like the idea of the marketplace, and I've considered to do something like job postings kind of deal? Like, people can add stuff for free, they will expire in a few weeks, but they can also pay for small upsells.

      What I'm not sure about is if it should be a standalone project, or inside Legendsverse.

      Legendsverse is a gated product that does a lot of things, with some free tools (checklist, price guide, build-a-wave), and I'm not really sure if I should break it in smaller products.

      What I feel is that Legendsverse is too scattered, maybe?

      1. 1

        You could "white-label" what you currently have set up for Legendsverse and release new collectible lines.

        Your site would then allow users to jump to Legendsverse, [Pokemon]verse, [Baseball]verse, etc.

        That way, you could start testing if that would be something worth pursuing without diluting/messing with what you have created via Legendsverse.

        Same with the marketplace/job postings idea. I would work on a prototype, look at how that would work / how users would interact with it, and from there decide if it should be a standalone product or integrated into the Legendsverse set of tools.

  6. 2

    First off, what is the reason for the spike in traffic in late 2021? Anything you can manage to repeat?

    Second, congratulations on a product that appears to work. But does it also grow?

    Third, if you don't see a big future for the tool, why not just keep it running, in mainteance mode, while you focus on the next product?

    1. 1

      Hey @jansroka thanks a lot for your reply:

      First off, what is the reason for the spike in traffic in late 2021? Anything you can manage to repeat?

      I released build-a-wave.com a tool to imagine the figures wave of your dreams, it was a fun project and it flooded EVERYTHING Marvel Legends related. That month I think I got about 20 new sign ups only.

      Second, congratulations on a product that appears to work. But does it also grow?

      Thanks!, I don't think that it's actually growing, you know? I do get more visits, but not higher conversion rate, or event a lot of sign ups monthly.

      Third, if you don't see a big future for the tool, why not just keep it running, in maintenance mode, while you focus on the next product?

      Yeah, I think this is my idea, like add more Marvel Legends figures whenever they are released, but not develop anything new

      1. 3

        Well, sounds like a plan :)

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