tl;dr: We onboarded some stores, some things were broken.
Quick April update. Live suppliers: 3 Live dropshippers: 0 Revenue: $0
What went wrong last month?
Issues with real users in production were both exciting and demoralising. A user goes down the wrong path and causes a condition without an error handler, and that’s it – they’ll never be back.
It’s a 10 minute fix of course, but that guy won’t be back for a year. We had 4 or 5 of these critical errors in real paths users take.
Every issue I’ve fixed this month now has a unit test attached to it. This means the code didn’t have coverage in the first place. I’m standing by that.. I don’t think it’s right to spend precious hours (on a time and motivation constrained project) testing shit that probably isn’t broken.
Of course, we’ve paid the price for this. It sucks so much seeing that a user won’t be back because of code you wrote (or, didn’t.. As the case may be)
Our content marketing is going OK. Each week we get more impressions than the last. Google search console is showing key terms that are important to us.
We’re slowly learning to output better and longer content. But most importantly, we’re putting out a lot. It’s easy to get side tracked from that. I like to think an hour spent on a well targeted, well researched article that can help our users will pay itself off many times over the expected lifespan (this is a post in itself – unless we end up in legal trouble or something, this tool is sticking around).
I wrote an article I’m pretty proud of, about setting up dropshipping with WooCommerce.
Technical next steps
I’m not sure much needs to be done on the technical side until we have some real users. We need to double down on reaching out to people.
A clear issue came up last month that we need to uncomplicate. To properly set stock counts, list prices, minimum sale prices, a user needs to export, edit, and then re-import a CSV. They all got stuck on it, in creative and different ways. So we’ll be working on a grid style editor for that, that at least cuts out the export and import steps.
We keep live smoke testing the order path and everything is working. But, everytime we onboard someone new, they find some new things. I guess it’s the nature of third party integrations with people at the low end of the budget spectrum – there’s going to keep being capacity and security constraints.
People with proper budgets aren’t going to give a shit about us for a year or two, so this is the crowd we need to make happy first.
I think the technical next steps at this stage need to be defined by the issues that the next batch (“Batch” is loosely defined, since it’ll probably be like 3 stores) find. So we need to find that next batch.
We’re still marching to dollar number 1. It’s hard to tell how far away that is at this stage, but its a hell of a lot closer than it was 4 weeks ago.