If you are heading down the wrong path, stop and turn around.

This week marked three important milestones in the evolution of Trickytix.

  1. We started to receive emails from prospective customers asking about using the product. No prompting from us, no cold calling. Just unsolicited emails.
  2. We developed our first piece of marketing material (a brochure), and sent that to a prospect.
  3. We all got together and discussed the current state of our solution, and unanimously agreed it was crap. More on that below.

Unsolicited emails

The only marketing we have done so far is attach a logo to our email signatures, and this blog. Somehow, the word is trickling out there, as three separate prospects from around the country emailed us this week asking for more details. It’s a good sign that we are building something that solves a tangible business problem.

Marketing Material

Due to the fact that we have started to receive enquiries before we have a complete product to show, we quickly whipped up a brochure that can be easily emailed out. The best thing about putting the brochure together was that it forced us to put down on paper our pricing model (something we had been avoiding making a decision on).

It also helped us to define exactly what it is we are doing. In fact, page 1 of the brochure goes something like this:

Trickytix is an online event management solution that anyone can use. Whether you’re planning for 2 people or 20,000, Trickytix can handle the online registrations for your event.

In less than 5 minutes you can:

  • Create an account
  • Set up your event
  • Accept online registrations for free

Trickytix is free to use for free events. If you want to accept payments for your event, Trickytix provides a low cost solution for processing online transactions. Accept real-time credit card payments straight into your own account, or use the Trickytix account if you don’t have your own facility.

Yes – the more savvy amongst you will have noticed that we write our own copy. Web consultants we may be, copywriters we are not. Having said that, we will continue to bang out “acceptable” marketing copy while our budget remains tight.

Download a copy of the Trickytix brochure yourself. I would love to know what you think, so feel free to leave a comment below.

Crap User Interface

The meeting this afternoon was called to discuss the prototype of Trickytix, and get a feel for what the four of us thought of it.  The consensus was that it was not quite ready to release to the market.  I think someone even used the word crap.

This is a good thing though.  In fact, it’s fantastic.

A moment such as this is exactly why we built the software in this way in the first place (no wireframes, no use cases, just straight into coding).  Wireframes don’t tell you how easy your screens will be to use, and the only way you are going to find out is if you build it and start using it.  We built it, we used it, we hated it.

Now we change.  Now we spend the next 2 weeks improving and tweaking the interface so that it becomes a great user experience.  We embrace the fact that we are small (4 employees) and simply change direction.

It was one of those moments where we realised we were heading down a path we didn’t want to be on.  Being small allows us to simply stop, turn around and go back to the last fork in the proverbial development path.  Launch gets pushed back again, but the product improves significantly.

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