Whether it is to send feedback on design or point out some errors on a page, the process is much more simpler when you can take a snapshot and add text, labels and/or comments which can then be sent to your team. This process avoids the need for unnecessary long emails as screenshots convey the message much more quickly than descriptive text. Good Annotations is a tool that helps you do just this. It also makes it possible to create how-to-guides for consumers. In conversation with Perry Steward, Founder of Good Annotations, we learn more about Good Annotations and what makes it different from other alternatives to taking screenshots.
What is the startup/product about? Give us a brief description of it.
Good Annotations is a tool that can be used to provide design feedback or report bugs to your team online. It reduces the need to send back and forth emails, you just snapshot the page that needs to be shared, add text, labels and/or comments to then send to your team. GA can also be used to create awesome how to guides, by creating better screenshots for users to follow.
How many co-founders are there? Please introduce them and their backgrounds.
There is just me at the moment, I’m up for looking for a co-founder as its a lot of work for one person!
How big is the entire team currently?
There are 2 other people helping me out part time with some tasks. I have a copy writer as even though I’m English I have a difficult time grasping how to write! I also have a developer friend who helps me out with some features.
How did you come up with the idea? What motivated you to do this?
The idea is something that has transformed over time. It started as a simple image annotation tool to add text to an image. Something I did early on was make sure I could analyse what users were up to to see how they were using the tool. I noticed people where mainly using screenshots of software (website, app, desktop) and placing some sort of markers on them to indicate some important information or feedback. So I decided to focus my efforts on those users and the idea has changed from it. The core is still very similar but its everything around it that has changed and probably will continue to change.
What is your target market? Why do you think your product will appeal to?
Our target market at the moment are companies from startup to small business that are looking to improve how they communicate. The ideal user is someone who is working as part of product development whether that’s a website, software or application and is in a position that provides feedback to another team. This could be a founder, tester, developer, designer or anyone in the product team who needs to give some feedback, that could be saying the font here looks wrong or something bigger like there is a bug here if you repeat these steps. It can also be for the same type of people looking to create user guides like how to change your password. You see most websites these days have step by step textual guides which are super hard to follow. Why not just add some nice images for users to follow.
What are the marketing plans apart from the product hunt/beta list launch? How are you planning to acquire new users?
Most of our acquisition at the moment comes via social like twitter, reddit, quota, etc which is great at the moment for early adopters but its a lot of continuous work where I have to be very active to get high numbers. What I’m trying to do is switch majority of users to come via SEO but that takes time to develop. So in the mean time I use social to share links of my pages to hope that they in turn get shared which should ultimately help SEO. I’m also running tests with other channels like guest blog posting, interviews like this one and some paid advertisements too (which mainly I’m trying to use free credit options first so I don’t actually end up paying for the test). I want to try more engineering as marketing which is where you create free tools in the hope this drives traffic to your main product. My free Chrome Extension for capturing website screenshots has proven to be pretty good at driving some growth, I’d like to do more like this.
Do you have a separate dedicated team to take care of marketing (digital marketing/traditional marketing)? Which digital platforms are you focusing more on?
This is just me at the moment, I’m no professional at marketing either. Everything I’m doing, I’m learning on the job. I wish I had the budget to hire someone to do it 100% everyday because it is very time consuming but the results are great. When we start charging and have some income no matter how small it is I will probably hire someone in marketing/growth.
What according to you is the biggest challenge that you faced? Is it product development or marketing or scaling or … ?
Easy, it’s the marketing side of things. Without marketing I would not be able to get users on to the tool I’m creating and without those users product development would be absolute guess work. I think learning that was an odd experience. I mean I’m still learning it but even though it sounds obvious I think you have to go through the steps yourself before you really understand that spending 100% on product development is absolutely pointless.
Who are your competitors/alternatives? What sets you apart from them?
So our hardest sell so far has been that you can also use us to capture screenshots. People are like why would I use a different tool than what’s already available natively? Especially in Mac OS where the tools are actually pretty awesome, Windows less so. What’s sets us apart is that we are providing a workflow for you to give feedback and create awesome how to guides and we’re providing tools so that workflow is as simple and easy as possible. In 3 clicks you can capture a screenshot of your website, add feedback or lead a user to a call to action in the form of an arrow, annotation or box highlight and then share it with a link so that anyone can view it. That’s our USP.
What are the future plans with the product/startup? Any new features you are planning on?
Short term we have a few plans to simplify more of your workflow. We realise that one screenshot is often not enough for the use cases we are aiming to solve, often there are multiple as part of a story. We also know that there is often back and forth discussion on a bit of feedback so we also want to simplify how that works for our users especially those working in feedback loops.
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