Umano - Product Stars
Best products of October 2018

Umano

Interesting articles read to you by real people

Upvotes 66 PH Page >
Ryan Hoover
Hunter
I'm a HUGE fan of Umano. Like many products, it took me several weeks to become a daily routine. It now lives on my homescreen. I listen to several long-form podcasts and have found Umano to be a good compliment to consume content in short bursts while getting ready in the morning or cooking dinner. I also read a lot of blogs but the attention and cognitive effort required to read is often too demanding. P.S. a few of my articles have been narrated. :) E.g. http://umanoapp.com/clip/51dd9006c2f44e2469b8b0fc and http://umanoapp.com/clip/523a85ddc2f44e2469d45ea7
Ryan Hoover
Hunter
Hey, @ianmendiola (CEO of Umano). How did you and the team come up with the idea for Umano originally?
Ian Mendiola
Maker
Hey @rrhoover - We identified a pain point some of our friends were having. They weren't satisfied with existing audio solutions like podcasts, TTS, etc. so it eventually lead us to ask, "Could we get real people to read us TechCrunch?" In fact, the very first article we recorded was MG Siegler's "Apple's Magic is In the Turn, not the Prestige" (http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/13/the-iphone-5-event/)
Ryan Hoover
Hunter
@ianmendiola - I've found asking friends for feedback can be very misleading because they want to appease you. I'm curious to know what you did after that initial outreach to further validate demand and market size?
Nathan Bashaw
Thanks for hanging out with us @ianmendiola! How do you pick which articles to record?
Ian Mendiola
Maker
@rrhoover - I agree. Fortunately, the pain point is something the founders experienced as well. But to further validate that there were customers who wanted this, we looked at our engagement metrics over several days, weeks, months very closely.
Ian Mendiola
Maker
@nbashaw - Glad to answer questions! Product Hunt looks very promising, can't wait to see how it grows. The curation process is done part algorithmically using historical listening data and external signals and part editorial.
Kam Bain ✍
@ianmendiola How was the launch process of Umano? Did you have funding prior to launch? I'm launching my music sharing app in January and am wondering if you have any recommendations concerning a product launch?
Kevin Li
i love umano! @ianmendiola how did you pick the voice actors?
Ian Mendiola
Maker
@kam_bain - Sweet! Look forward to checking it out. We had no funding when we launched. We tried various things but found PR to be most effective. For an app I *highly* recommend getting in contact with the developer relations reps for the play store / app store. They'll not only provide helpful feedback on your product but can potentially help with the launch as well.
Ian Mendiola
Maker
@liveink - Prospective narrators apply here: http://umanoapp.com/narrators then our editorial team review their submissions :)
Kam Bain ✍
@ianmendiola Awesome will do. We are launching on iOS first. Anyone specifically you've worked with? Also, were you able to plan articles to release around your launch date?
Ian Mendiola
Maker
@kam_bain - each rep handles a different category. Unfortunately, I don't know who heads music. I can ask around and see if I can dig anything up. Follow up with me offline and I'll do my best to help: ianmendiola@gmail.com. We were able to plan an article on our launch date. I recommend reaching out to writers a few weeks prior to launch, might be tricky with the holiday season though.
Kevin Wang
One of my favorite apps, use it daily since it first shipped.
Ryan Hoover
Hunter
@kam_bain - here's an excellent article on getting press - http://www.startup-marketing.com/deconstructing-pr-advice-from-a-former-venturebeat-writer/ @ianmendiola - What features or product changes lead to the most significant uptick in engagement, growth, or some other goal?
Ian Mendiola
Maker
@rrhoover - improving p13n has definitely contributed to increases in engagement. Customers saw more articles they'd be interested in and as a result spent more time listening.
Ian Mendiola
Maker
Thanks @kevinverse ! Let me know if there's anything we can do to make it better
Ryan Hoover
Hunter
@ianmendiola - You recently (~2 months ago) released a paid, "premium" subscription service for Umano. Why did you go with this monetization approach instead of native advertising or something different?
Kevin Wang
+1, would like to see that question answered
Kevin Li
+2
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