Friday Updates: Pricing Updates, Professionalizing Preceden, Shutting Down Timeglider, Building a Data Team, Stuff You Should Know, and yes, Tiger King

Photo by Joakim Honkasalo

What I’m working on at Preceden

Pricing Update

For now the new recurring plans are going really well. Revenue year to date is about double what it was by this point last year. It’s only been a week though and I don’t expect that growth rate to hold for 2021, but the fact that it’s not down is very encouraging. I fully expected (and still kind of do) that introducing automatically recurring annual subscriptions will hurt new revenue to some extent because people would be turned off by a recurring subscription. But maybe it’s not as big of an issue as I thought in which case I should have done it years ago (doh!).

One possible reason for the growth right now might be the new design. IMO the site looks way more polished and professional than it did just a few weeks ago and it’s possible that it’s leading to higher conversion rates despite the new pricing. If true that would also imply that revenue might be even higher without the new pricing, but that’s alright, I’d rather get recurring revenue going even if it means giving up some revenue short term.

Professionalizing Preceden

For the rest of Q1 I’m likely going to be focused on things like:

  • Making Preceden GDPR compliant
  • Researching and buying SaaS insurance
  • Getting Terms of Privacy Policy reviewed by a legal professional
  • Bringing on more contractors
  • Experimenting with new marketing initiatives
  • Documenting processes

I would much rather be heads down coding, but I’ve neglected some of these other areas for too long and need to invest some time into them for the long term health of the business.

What I’m working on at Timeglider

Back in June 2019 I acquired Timeglider, another timeline maker tool. After the acquisition I redirected its homepage to Preceden as a way of acquiring new users but kept the app running for existing customers. In the time since it has paid for itself and then some.

I had originally planned to keep it running for two years, but decided back in September 2020 to shut it down at the end of November 2020 because most users were inactive, there was some security risk keeping it running (since I wasn’t super familiar with the codebase or any vulnerabilities it might have), and I also wanted to free up some headspace. I emailed all of the paying customers after cancelling their subscriptions as well as about 100k users who had timelines with 10+ events to let them know about the closure.

I wound up keeping Timeglider running until this week to give folks more time to export their data. The homepage will continue to redirect to Preceden while all other pages will 404 with a CTA that points to Preceden (redirecting all pages to Preceden seemed like a bad idea from an SEO perspective). I still have a local copy of user data for now so can still generate an export for people if they need it, but Timeglider should be pretty minimal work going forward.

Nice to have that endeavor completely done.

What I’m working on at Help Scout

For almost four years now the data team at Help Scout has mostly been me. As the company grows though, we all recognize it’s important to build out a proper team. I’ve been reading articles and watching videos about how to go about that and am likely going to spend a lot of time on hiring and training this year.

It occurred to me there’s some parallel between Preceden and data at Help Scout: both have been pretty scrappy and have mostly worked, but they are at a point where they need time invested in professionalizing them to get them to the next level.

What I’m reading

Stuff You Should Know by Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant. Apparently there’s a popular podcast by the same guys. So far I’ve learned about the history of Mr Potato Head, Murphy beds, facial hair, and how people get lost. It’s kind of a random bunch of topics but they do a great job of making it interesting and entertaining to learn about.

What I’m watching

Tiger King on Netflix:

Not my usual sci-fi but entertaining nonetheless.

Stay sane my friends 👋

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