Dayton men build productivity app in 24 hours
Last month, Noah Bragg & Drew Bidlen live-streamed the development of a software product they launched within 24 hours.
SnoozeYouLose is a text-based application designed to help you with your morning routine — you set when you want to get up & you get a morning text accordingly. If you don’t respond and answer the math or trivia question within five minutes, an amount you specify at setup is donated to a charity.
Noah & Drew began at 6a on Saturday, Aug. 10 & launched the initial version 24 hours later on Product Hunt. Of the roughly 30 products that launched that day, SnoozeYouLose landed in 7th place with 86 up-votes, Noah said.
Over the 24-hour window, 550 people unique viewers popped onto Noah’s Twitch stream to watch, and 850 unique viewers popped onto Drew’s Twitch stream. That meant there were typically 15-30 people watching at a time — and when the developers got stuck, the viewers often jumped in to offer suggestions & solutions, Noah said.
“It was a lot of fun, thought we got really tired in the last 4 or 5 hours,” Noah said.
One challenge they stumbled into toward the end of the process was figuring our user’s timezones, he said. In a mobile app, you can pull that data from the mobile device, but in a text app, you have to have people report it, in order to send their wake-up text on time.
They also ran into an issue with the credit card integration — when Noah tested it, he was charged right away, which makes the app look like a scam, he said. They wanted to be able to charge individuals the following day after they signed up. In the end, they launched the first version without being able to take credit cards, so the first day was free. Initial user pledges ranged from $5 to $50 per day, but having to re-sign people up later significantly cut the number of individuals who actually followed through and provided payment info – a lesson learned, Noah said.
After launching on Product Hunt, a nonprofit founder reached out to Noah and Drew to talk about potentially collaborating, Noah said. The nonprofit’s website receives about 300K hits per month, and the founder was interested in the potential of SnoozeYouLose as fundraising platform.
If that opportunity doesn’t pan out, it’s unlikely the cofounders will put much more work into their experiment, Noah said.
“Building something in public can help you learn pretty quickly,” he said.
Having friends and strangers watch adds a layer of accountability and provides feedback and motivation, he said.
“Just get out there, build stuff, see what happens,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be perfect before you try it.”