I've thoroughly enjoyed watching Potluck evolve and their transparency through the process.
Hey, @libbybrittain, AMA? :)
Hiiii, sure! Here or elsewhere? I wish I could heart posts :)
Hiya, @libbybrittain! As I think you know, I'm a BIG fan of your weekly emails where you share the growth hacks and experiments building Potluck.
Which experiment was most surprising to you?
Here! Thanks so much for joining, Libby. I'm curious to hear how the "snack" idea has evolved over time. Potluck used to be just about links but now it seems to be more about taking those links and breaking them into smaller, more digestible bits. I'm curious how this has worked, if there are any unexpected consequences or surprises.
Thanks! I've been bad about writing them since we haven't been doing as many of those types of experiments recently. (I expected that + tried to sign post it in the first few newsletters, but I still feel a little guilty for sending things out that aren't directly related to growth.)
@rrhoover - I was really surprised by how well MagicRecs performed for us when we created a new account called @viapotluck that tweets links users share on the product. A few members of our team followed, which sent out a few DMs, then a few more, and in about a day we had 500 followers. Not bad.
@nbashaw - For sure. We have been thinking about our 'original creation unit' for a while. Our Potluck MVP was on the web and based around links, but as we got more interested in mobile, we started to realize that, hey, links are actually kind of awful your phone. (Think how many steps you have to take to copy and paste one...) So we thought up Snacks (a short, mobile-friendly 'card stack' with photos or text that you can swipe through) as one option for that unit. We think it might be a bit too much work for the average person, but it's actually helped us solve another problem, which is the dreaded zero state for new users. Now when you sign up for Potluck, you'll automatically see Snacks created by the Potluck Team — me and my other teammate Caroline.
@libbybrittain @nbashaw and I have some ideas to make Product Hunt more valuable through Twitter. I'd love to swap stories soon!
So you and the Branch team recently released FriendLib (posted by @imkialikethecar a week ago - http://www.producthunt.co/posts/187). What was the inspiration for this and what are your goals with the product?
Yay. Glad it got posted here. Short answer: For fun :) Josh (http://twitter.com/joshm) was thinking a lot about the content that gets his friends from high school and college sharing and talking, came up with the concept for Friendlibs over the weekend, and we built it in about 4 days. Our team just finished a big, months-long push to get the new Potluck for iOS out the door, and while we have a lot of changes we want to make ASAP, sometimes it's good to get your brain thinking about new projects and in new ways.
Oh, and we also built Friendlibs to get really familiar with Facebook Open Graph. We've always favored Twitter because that's where we all hang out, but... not so for all our non-tech friends! It's a powerful beast. Josh's Friendlib about growing up in Santa Monica has gotten shared over and over again by kids in LA, and it's up to 16,000+ views — from Facebook alone. (!!) Here's the link: http://www.friendlibs.com/lists/5341652f3e
I saw @joshm tweet about that. Impressive!
@libbybrittain - What are your longer term plans with FriendLib? It sounds like it was just a short-term experiment/learning opportunity but what if it takes off?
@rrhoover - No long term plans. If it takes off, who knows! That would be cool. We try to treat experiments like this as learning opportunities and mental exercise for our team, and have anything else be a bonus.
For me, it's also been a good conversation starter with some of my Facebook friends who haven't been super interested in Potluck, but who I think would really like it. Creating those little opportunities to reengage people (even your friends!) is really important. Not everyone wants or knows how to "give product feedback," but they do like playing with cool stuff. Ideally, those are one in the same, but it's been helpful to use Friendlibs as an opening to talk about what else we're building with them.
@rrhoover What weekly email?
FriendLib is cool, I made one and the GA folks enjoyed it.
@FrankDenbow Thanks, Frank :) And I started writing a weekly letter about what I was up to with Potluck. I haven't sent it for a few weeks since I haven't been focused more on product than on growth/users, but will pick it up again soon! You can sign up here: http://tinyletter.com/growingpotluck
Also, in case you were wondering, yes, I did lobby to wedge my first name into Friendlibs.
Totally unrelated to this AMA...
@libbybrittain *huge* fan of Potluck (but you already knew that).
@libbybrittain - haha! We actually call the discussion page that slides in from the right, the "Bashaw Pane" named after @nbashaw, of course. :)
What's your favorite Friendlib so far?
This one by our user-turned-friend Colette is awesome. "8 reasons why SF is Hipster Mecca" - http://www.friendlibs.com/lists/b6f9a29a4f