Story

Waves of Traffic

Jan 12, 2016

This weekend, Cushion’s expenses page made its way to the top of Hacker News, claiming the #1 spot for the day. I knew something was up when Hacker News bots filled my Twitter feed. Even on a Sunday, Hacker News was able to drive over 32,000 unique visitors to Cushion. I was out of the studio at the time, so I could only watch from my phone, but I was finally able to read through the comments once I returned home.

“Don’t read the comments!” everyone exclaims. Actually, the responses were mostly positive this time around. Hacker News is known for “you’re doing it wrong” comments, but I received a lot less than usual. Surprisingly, the majority of commenters showed appreciation for the transparency and understanding of my decision to spend more money on services early on.

When starting an app, everything feels like a sprint. I remember being so impatient with every day Cushion wasn’t online—I wanted it in the hands of others as soon as possible. Because of this, I knew to spend my own time coding Cushion-specific features and “outsource” parts that were the same for any app (servers, metrics, etc). A monthly bill and a few clicks later, I could have everything set up and running. If I wanted to build everything myself, I would have to take a DevOps crash course and spend weeks crawling through tutorials while Cushion sat idle. I do plan to eventually move off many of the plug-and-play services when the expenses become too much, but at the moment, they’re manageable, and it makes more sense to eat the cost.

These waves of traffic are great for spreading the word and potentially scoring new users (and maybe even new customers). So far, I’ve relied entirely on word-of-mouth for getting Cushion out in the world because I simply can’t afford any sort of worthwhile marketing routes, like advertising or sponsorship. Hacker News drove a huge wave of traffic, but since it was more about the expenses page than the app itself, Cushion only saw ~50 new signups—most of which are probably tire-kickers. But hey, I’ll take 50 new signups any day. The conversion rate might be incredibly low, but 32,000+ more people know about Cushion now. They may not sign up this week, but down the road when they’re ready to freelance, they might recall a freelancer app they once saw on Hacker News.

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Archive

  1. Restructuring an Evolving App: Part 1
    Design
  2. My Typical Week as a Founder
    Story
  3. Building Components in a Sandbox
    Dev
  4. Reactive Time with Vue.js
    Dev
  5. Visualizing Daylight Saving Time
    Dev
  6. Recording Screencast GIFs
    Dev
  7. Writing a Job Listing
    Story
  8. Using Feature Flags to Run Betas
    Dev
  9. Our First Company Lunch
    Story
  10. How to embed Vue.js & Vuex inside an AngularJS app... wait what?
    Dev
  11. Funding Cushion
    Story
  12. Hiring a Team of Freelancers
    Story
  13. Taking a Real Break From Work
    Story
  14. Slack as a Notification Center
    Dev
  15. Document Your Features
    Story
  16. 300
    Story
  17. Vacations
    Design
  18. Offering Discounts
    Design
  19. Waves of Traffic
    Story
  20. Less Blogging, More Journaling
    Story
  21. Retention Through Useful Features
    Design
  22. The Onboarding Checklist
    Design
  23. Spreading the Word
    Story
  24. From Beta to Launch - The Subdomain
    Dev
  25. From Beta to Launch - Sign up
    Design
  26. From Beta to Launch - Messaging
    Design
  27. Launch
    Story
  28. Authenticating with 3rd Party Services
    Dev
  29. Intro to Integrations
    Design
  30. Inspiration vs Imitation
    Story
  31. The Emotional Rollercoaster
    Story
  32. Designing Project Blocks
    Design
  33. Everything in Increments
    Story
  34. Deleting Your Account
    Design
  35. Designing the Subscription Page
    Design
  36. Rewriting the Timeline
    Dev
  37. Restructuring the Individual Project Page
    Design
  38. Project Blocks
    Story
  39. Redesigning the Homepage
    Design
  40. Multiple Timelines
    Design
  41. Archiving and Estimate Differences
    Design
  42. Multiple Financial Goals
    Design
  43. Zooming in on the Timeline
    Design
  44. Currency
    Dev
  45. Preferences, Accounts, and a Typeface Change
    Design
  46. Sending Out the First Email
    Story
  47. Currency Inputs, Notifications, and Invoice Nets
    Design
  48. Dots and Lines
    Design
  49. Calculating in the Database and Revealing Tendencies
    Dev
  50. Improved Form UX
    Design
  51. Cushion is Online
    Story
  52. Schedule Timeline Patterns
    Design
  53. A Slimmer Schedule Timeline
    Design
  54. The Schedule Timeline
    Design
  55. Plugging in Real Data for the First Time
    Design
  56. Transitions and Project Lists
    Design
  57. Death to Modals
    Design
  58. The Individual Project Page
    Design
  59. Estimated Incomes and Talks with Other Freelancers
    Story
  60. Statuses to Lists and the Paid Beta
    Story
  61. The Timeline
    Story
  62. Invoice Terminology
    Dev
  63. Modal Forms
    Dev
  64. Wiring the Backend to the Frontend
    Dev
  65. Balancing Design and Dev
    Story
  66. Timecop, Monocle, and Vagrant
    Dev
  67. Going with Ruby and Sinatra
    Dev
  68. Ditching local-first and trying out Node.js
    Dev
  69. Switching to AngularJS
    Dev
  70. Building the Table with Vue.js
    Dev
  71. Clients, Projects, and Invoices
    Dev
  72. Introduction
    Story

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