They Won’t Come

Published April 14, 2019

I really love this whole idea of “if you build it, they will come,” or that other similar phrase, “just build a good product.” It’s a fantasy though. It sounds nice but it doesn’t ring true for most human relationships. How does someone know you exist unless you show up?

I spent a few months talking to different people in the beauty industry for Jupiter and interviewing them before one line of code was written. Jupiter’s original spec’d out features are still being built and we’re one year out from our official full-time starting date.

In the meantime, we’ve been building out an email list through a website, Instagram engagement, and Facebook ads. At the end of March, here were our stats:

Leads 11751
Facebook spend $5952.46 (CAD)
Cost per Lead $5.06

Most recently we’ve decided to start pre-selling our subscriptions and as of today we’ve sold 10 pre-paid annual subscriptions. We’re officially post revenue and all of the sales came from the non-product related work we were doing: telling people.

If I had let myself believe, “if you build it, they will come,” we could have languished in product build mode before finding out if anyone was going to pay for it. With our run-rate this could have put us in a very dangerous position. If anything, I wish we had done this sooner.

They didn’t “come” in the magical sort of way entrepreneur-optimism wants but they gave us money to continue building and it’s a welcomed light signal to receive in the midst of start-up darkness. Over the next three-six months our metrics may be able to tell us how viable this business really is.

As you build it, tell people to come.

1 Usage of the word 'Lead' here is a bit undefined. We do not know how qualified they are yet.