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Gijo Varghese
Gijo Varghese

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How my side project became my full-time Startup!

This is the story of how a side project I created for an e-commerce website, that later became a full-time startup.

I hope every developer's dream is to build a product themselves and live with it. Here is how I did it!

How it all started

Back in 2017, I was working on a startup called Quotzap. It's an RFQ (Request for Quote) platform where users can request the price for building materials

To get more conversions we tried several chat widget like Crisp, Intercom etc. As expected users put their email address and asked a few doubts. Things went well. But...

We got a problem

As soon as we get back online and reply to those conversations via email, we found that only 10-30% is opening their emails!

The hack!

So I made a quick hack. I used the Facebook Page plugin (an iframe) where users can directly message to a page from website

Directly embedding this on to the website didn't have many conversions, so I made a beautiful wrapper around it with the help of my designer.

Result?

Since users don't need to type the email address and they're already logged into Facebook, they were more likely to ask questions. The replies we sent were directly delivered to their Facebook Messenger. Guess what? We got 90% open rates and 4-10x conversions!

The turning point!

I thought why not others could benefit from it? So I made it available as a plugin so that others can embed it on their website. I offered a free version and a paid version with customization for $29.

Messengerify is born!

That was my MVP (minimum viable product). After a few weeks, I launched it ProductHunt and the results were amazing. I got 500+ purchases that resulted in $5500.

Spend time on talking to customers, less code

As developers, most of our focus will be adding new features. Instead, we should put more focus on talking to customers and get their feedback.

I followed these golden rules and I revamped my product to MFY.im for creators.

The new MFY.im (previously Messengerify)

Facebook didn't like the name "Messengerify" 😢. So I renamed it to MFY.im. The initial version was just an MVP. After hiring a few engineers I revamped it focussing on creators (Bloggers, YouTubers, etc, the niche I picked)

I built two widgets (Subscription box and corner widget) so that it's easy for visitors to subscribe to your blog/youtube. Later you can send them broadcasts and automated messages on new blog posts/youtube videos

Subscription box

Corner widget

Broadcast sent to Messenger

Launch on ProductHunt

I just launched in on PH today. It would be great if you can spare 1 min to support and give me your feedback about my product in ProductHunt. Check out MFY.im in ProductHunt

MFY.im in ProductHunt

If you aren't aware of ProductHunt, it's a website that showcases top (5-10) products every day.

If you've built a product, do launch it in PH. I'm also writing a blog post on how to launch in ProductHunt!

Discussion (20)

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alexflorea2 profile image
Alexandru Florea

Quite inspiring Gijo!
Looks like a promising and usefull product.

If you have the time please consider doing a follow-up in a couple of months with tips and tricks on how to manage the growth of the project.

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gijovarghese profile image
Gijo Varghese Author

Sure. Will do that

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mrgodhani profile image
Meet Godhani

Very nice article. I am also in same boat I have a side project. In your opinion what's the metric for validating your product. "Find 10-100 customers who love your product" means paid customers or just trying it out?

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gijovarghese profile image
Gijo Varghese Author

Let's discuss in detail. DM me

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jcharliegarciam profile image
Carlos García

Amazing story! Congrats!

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Gijo Varghese Author

Thanks

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Nikos Kanakis

Congratulations Gijo🎉

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Gijo Varghese Author

Thanks :)

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Andrea Lafertte

Amazing! I would love to know more about how the develop road was.
Congrats!

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gijovarghese profile image
Gijo Varghese Author

Thanks! This one was written in a hurry. I'll write down a detailed one on my personal blog

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Lucas Olivera

Wow, very impressive! I hope to achieve the same one day.

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Gijo Varghese Author

Thanks. All the best

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Matias Romero

Great!! Congratulations!

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Gijo Varghese Author

Thanks

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Shad Mirza

Inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

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Gijo Varghese Author

Glad you liked it :)

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Alessandro Diaferia

Incredibly inspiring post. Thanks very much for sharing!

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Gijo Varghese Author

Thanks. Glad you liked it 😊

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Akash Vaidya

Thank you for inspiring me!

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Gijo Varghese Author

Awesome. Happy to see comments like these :)