Postcard Panda March 2016 Report

I am captivated by bootstrapping instead of raising VC money, and following the journeys of people who do so. To me, it represents a return to a sensible business ideal, sustainable operations, that often isn’t present in venture capital funded companies. I also relish control, which is fundamentally gone as soon as you take money from investors.

In the coming months I’m going to be giving Postcard Panda dedicated time every week, which I have never done before. It will probably be a small amount of time, to the tune of 0.5 to 1 day a week, but it will be dedicated time nonetheless. I have no plans to raise money for Postcard Panda, and it will remain a ‘side project’ for the time being.

For the uninformed, Postcard Panda is an iOS app that lets you send a custom photo postcard to anywhere in the world. So if you’ve ever wanted to send Grandma a photo of your darling face, now’s your chance.

Because I’ve gotten value from reading similar reports from Patrick McKenzie, Nathan Barry, and Matt Bearman, I’ve decided to write about my journey. I plan on writing a monthly report that includes details like stats, what went wrong, and what went right. So, without further ado, here’s my first report that details March of 2016:

Overall Stats

 February 2016March 2016% Change
Total Expenses-$105.40-$158.1450.04%

Low numbers make this look like incredible growth from a percentage perspective, but let’s try to keep the absolute numbers in mind too. Still, I’m happy with the increase.

Expenses Breakdown

 February 2016March 2016% Change$71.25$11054.39%
Hosting (Heroku)$7.00$7.000%
S3 + Cloudfront$6.63$7.4712.67%

USA App Store Stats

 February 2016March 2016% Change
Guest Orders5725-56.14%
Logged In Orders063N/A
Total Orders578854.39%

In February and March Postcard Panda was available only in the USA store (it’s now available in the UK too). The reason there were zero logged in orders and signups in February is due to the fact that the app didn’t have that functionality yet. Version 4.0.0 was released to the USA in late March, which added account functionality.

What went right

I finally released version 4.0.0, which was almost a complete rewrite of the app. It has the following features, which I believe are the core set of features that my audience needs in order to get utility from the app, and nothing more:

  • Accounts
    • Automatic receipts sent
    • Credit cards saved via Stripe
    • View cards you’ve previously sent
    • Duplicate cards you’ve previously sent
  • Retrieving an address from your contacts
  • Worldwide delivery
  • Photo cropping
  • Apple Pay
  • Guest checkout

I’m going to be very stingy with creating new features, and will instead focus on marketing or at least features that I have a reasonable belief will bring me more customers. I don’t have time for technical debt or weird features that only 5% of my user base will find useful.

What went wrong

I had a few bugs to fix up, but nothing major went wrong this past month. I’m sure fate is just storing up a few kicks to the ass for my future self instead of making me deal with small issues now.

Want to follow along?

That’s it for this month’s report, but if you want to receive future reports via email please drop your name and email into the form below.



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  1. Very cool! I’m always curious about more individual stats, so it would be interesting to see how many distinct guests vs new users vs (in future months) “old” users placed those orders. For example, I think it’s interesting to see that there were more logged in orders than signups, which probably means at least a few people reaped the benefits of your new account features!

    • That is a great question. I imagine if I can identify which types of people over the course of x months send the most cards, I can better tailor things to them. I’ll have to do some digging and break that out in coming months!

      I have had a few power users so far, a couple with over 15 orders to their account, which seems to indicate that account functionality is seeing some success.

      Also, thank you for reading. It’s awesome to get insightful comments like this, so I hope you come back next month!

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