Journey to Launch
Week 29 of Founding Typogram
Hi there, thanks for reading! Last week, we launched a pre-order of our app Typogram! We have had modest success in the number of sales. I will share more about the statistics next week; stay tuned! Today I would to tell you about our journey to the launch.
First of all, a brief introduction: We are Hua and Wenting. We are passionate designers who want to make design more accessible for everyone.
Hua and I first met in a public lecture at Type@Cooper, a typeface design program in The Cooper Union school; we both went to this program but in different years. We cared a lot about typography and built our careers around Typography and Design. We had first-hand experience designing brands in the traditional designer-to-client setting.
Along our journey, we met many newly minted business owners looking to launch their product with a unique, eye-catching logo. They needed their logos designed but didn’t know where to turn to. They often can’t afford a professional designer’s hourly rate. Many ended up designing logos themselves and complained about the lack of easy-to-use, beginner-friendly tools.
Paying a professional to design your logo is ideal if you can afford it. You are not just paying for their time but also paying for the expertise and knowledge. But what about people who can’t afford it? We thought of making a logo design tool that is easy to use and will teach users design knowledge at the same time.
We developed our concept quickly using no-code tools like Notion and tested out our idea with an initial group of customers. At certain steps, I would pretend to be the “app” to execute the “commands” from customers, i.e., “swap the letter o with an earth icon,” “change the text to a different font,” etc. This rough prototype allowed us to test early and validated our idea without spending months building complicated features.
We brought users on-site, had them test out our apps, and nervously observed their interactions with our app. After we figured out what worked and didn’t, we then started building the features that worked with code. I have shared some of the building process and my struggle in my earlier posts. Finally, we have built a lot of exciting features that we think are enough to launch with a pre-order.
As shy creatives and engineers, the most challenging aspect of this launch had two layers. First, putting ourselves out there in many unexpected ways, and second, internalized pressure of launching and the desire to be perfect. This was a massive project for us and required us to put ourselves out there consistently.
An example is the product video. We wrote the script, recorded the audio ourselves (in case you are wondering, this is my voice!), and assembled the footage with in-app recordings and animations. Every single aspect challenged us to do something out of our comfort zone. We were lucky to have a supportive community and friends that challenged us every step of the way!
My deepest fear of the launch day was to get a big fat zero, and I actually dreamed about getting six paying customers the night we launched. I dreamed that I woke up the next morning with eight payments in the record, but two of the payments were made by us testing the system - a very specific dream indeed ... specific and sweet.
Now my deepest fear has been debunked, and my dream, in a literal sense, has come true and more! We feel more confident now because of a growing list of paying pre-order customers! The rolling numbers are adding more and more fire under our seat to deliver a top-notch product soon! So keep a watch on us, and stay tuned!
See you next week! If you have friends who are interested in founding startups, please consider sharing my newsletter with them!