Since November we’ve had well over 400 users interested in the Stacks beta program. Imulus isn’t exactly a well-known interactive agency, yet we’ve been able to generate a good amount of interest in little time and with little effort. The interest in Stacks is primarily generated from our success with our Support Details product.
Support Detail is a free web-tech support application that we launched in April of 2009. It was a tool that sat on our back-burner for over 6 years, but it took less then 1 week to develop. We launched it to solve a recurring problem that we had with clients not technically familiar enough to give us the browser’s technical specifications. Within weeks of it’s launch, Support Details was featured in LifeHacker, SitePoint, StumbleUpon and MaximumPC. That early success drove visitor count up to 40k per month. With that much traffic coming to the site we decided to advertise our own products using Support Details as the advertising outlet. Our logic, if you like what we’ve done with Support Details, then maybe you’ll like our other products. Hopefully Stacks is equally as exciting as Support Details. We believe it is and we’ll work hard keep it useful without becoming cumbersome.
We’ve snowballed the success of one product into another. This method can be seen all over the web. Most notably by 37Signals. They’ve managed to build BaseCamp, snowball success into Ruby on Rails, then to the SVN Blog, then to the Job Board, etc”¦ Now they have an entire suite of products, most of which are very successful. They are selling by snowballing their success from product to product. This creates a community of supporters and users that grow with you over time.
I don’t think this methodology is difficult to replicate. Focus on solving a problem within your industry. It doesn’t need to be sexy, or feature rich. Stop yourself the next time you get frustrated with an aspect of your daily routine. Think about an easy way to solve that problem then execute on it. Just don’t wait 6 years to pull the trigger.