Hard to believe we’ve been at Antler for just two weeks. It feels like so much has been happening.

After a lot of activities and sessions the previous week, we got back to working on Openly this week. It is absolutely wonderful to get back into work after such a long break (since mid November, more or less).

Here are some highlights from the past days:

  • Daily existential crises: It feels that every day we have at least one moment in which we question everything that we are doing. It usually does not hit Jessy and me at the same time, so we can support each other and balance it out.

    The crises are often caused by becoming aware of all the uncertainties that we are facing: Is this going to work? Does anyone want this? Will anyone want to pay for this? Are we qualified to do this? Are we walking in circles? Will this really make a difference in the world? What’s the point of all this? Is the light in the fridge on when the door is closed?

  • Tyler, our dedicated coach from Antler: One of the perks of participating in the Antler program is that every startup team gets assigned one dedicated coach. Our coach is Tyler, an entrepreneur and intrapreneur with experience in a variety of fields — he is extremely smart and super awesome. On top of all that, he also cares about having a positive impact in the world.

    We already had our first session with Tyler a few days ago and he helped us work through our existential crisis that day. He kept asking us questions to help us dig deeper into the problems that we are trying to tackle and recorded everything neatly on the wall:

    Problem Drilldown

    Tyler is awesome. Soak in some of his genius on Medium. Thanks, Tyler!

  • Our Reddit post that interested exactly 1 person: We hypothesized that Reddit could be a good place for finding early adopters because its users tend to be pretty tech-savy. So we launched a video post in the r/GoogleDrive subreddit. We got one response. Not exactly a breakthrough in terms of user acquisition, but hey, everyone counts!

  • The launch of the pull requests feature: After working on it far too long (and violating the “release frequently, release early” mantra), we finally released the first implementation of our pull request feature. In the spirit of de-jargonizing everything, we are calling this feature ‘Contributions’.

    What exactly is a contribution? It’s a process for suggesting changes to one or multiple files. The key idea is that rather than suggesting the changes in the original files and mixing finished work and work-in-progress, it is better to suggest these changes in copies of the original files.

    The contributions feature makes this process really painless. When a user creates a contribution, it automatically creates an isolated workspace with one copy of each files that the user can then edit to their heart’s desire. When changes have been made, they can be reviewed by the project team. A review page, that shows all changes made by the user, makes this process extremely frustration-free. At the click of a single button, the suggested changes can be accepted and merged into the original files. Or, the changes can be rejected and the user be prompted to make further adjustments and changes prior to merge.

  • The refreshing new look of our landing page: The last time we touched our landing page was in October last year. Since then, we have iterated many times upon the problem that we’re tackling and the words we use to describe it. And we wanted to go for something that looks modern and professional. I quite like the end result — what do you think?

    Redesigned Landing Page

  • An experiment — our first ad: In an attempt to quickly validate our value proposition (offering a GitHub-like experience for documents), we decided to take a hundred dollars and launch our first ever ad. We decided to advertise on Facebook because we could target specific job roles (product managers) with specific interests (GitHub and Google Drive or Box or OneDrive). We just launched the ad, so it’s too early to say anything about performance.

    Our Facebook Ad

Alright, back to work!