Announcing Metacortex

As some of you may have noticed, recently I took a brief haitus (from blog posting & updates).

There has been a lot going on and although I have been able to manage most technical issues, new features and blog posts have taken a back seat.

Primarily, this is due to my limited bandwidth: 20 – 30 hours a week at the moment. However, I’m excited to announce, we do have some updates this month!

Announcing Metacortex.me

We are pleased to announced Metacortex.me!

The goal of which is Enterprise Knowledge Management – find experts, search content, track mood, reduce duplication and more!

The end goal for projectpiglet.com was always to accomplish two goals:

  1. Debug the search and tracking algorithms for metacortex.me
  2. Keep the lights on while doing #1

To that end, it’s been a smashing success. The algorithm (ExpertRank) is currently being drafted for patenting (provisional filed), and should be filed within the next few weeks. In addition, we have several working demos and I personally (and others) continue to use projectpiglet.com regularly to make gains on the market (over the last year: 55%, lower than last year).

projectpiglet.com was always intended to be limited in scope; with search being the real end goal. Since 2013, when I wrote the first version of ProjectPiglet, I knew it could be more – a better search engine. This has been exhausted since I’ve started working corporate jobs; I’ve grown to yearn for that search engine.

Even alluding to the fact I didn’t think search was solved (or could be solved) on my personal blog. The point is, if I focused entirely on projectpiglet.com I would be doing a disservice to myself, my company, and probably to you.

The Future

Unfortunately, this means two things:

  1. We’ll be competing in the enterprise search space, doing B2B
  2. Minimal effort toward new features on projectpiglet.com

Competing in the enterprise search arena is scary, not only are there big players, there are free players! With that in mind, I have spent the past few months patenting what I could and obfuscating the rest.

As for development on projectpiglet.com; the metacortex.me demos still rely on the data collected. Meaning, it’s not going anywhere any time soon. It’s the testing ground for the enterprise search. Meaning, it’s necessary to maintain the project, if metacortex.me is to be a success. On the other hand, development outside the scope of enterprise search will be limited (i.e. probably no nicer financial charts). In addition, today I still use projectpiglet.com regularly to make money.

In other words, projectpiglet.com will continue – albeit primarily for bug squashing and any new features will be focused towards the end goal of improving search and the algorithms.

Building a Startup – April 2018 Stats

In the last 30 days, I’ve attempted to not change any of the notification settings, nor did I advertise the business. Might sound strange, but I wanted to ensure a steller experience and you only have one chance at a first impression. You can’t make a good impression with a load of bugs. The goal was two fold, improve for advertising this month (April) and identify attrition rates (if any) and attempt to reduce the attribtion.

Bug Smashing & Feature Improvements

Regarding bugs, this month I’ve closed out 41 issues with the website, mostly identified by current users (hence the ~$2000 from feedback refunds).

The web site repository recap:

The data science engine repository recap:

Combine this with the feedback and I still have 27 outstanding tasks related to ProjectPiglet.com, so improvements will continue!

Email Notification Stats

Email notifications are a corner stone of the business. The number of emails we send, along with the open rate, and click rate is a key metric for determining growth / engagement. The fact is, we are already blowing away many of the industry metrics for news notifications. This could be huge for us, in terms of selling the service to other applciations such as Robin Hood (their news section leaves much to be desired).

With that in mind, we’re excited to see we’ve sent just over 2500 emails between March 1, 2018 and March 30, 2018 (a 66% increase):

Our average open rate of 34% (10% decrease) and 5% (40% decrease) click rate:

In contrast, from January 30, 2018 to Feburary 28, 2018 we saw only 1500 emails sent:

With an average open rate of 40% and click rate of 8%:

Unfortunately, that does mean a decrease in engagement across our users (although not massive). Given the tweaks to the notification emails, where there is more detailed information on the news updates, I did suspect the click rate would drop (no need to click a link, if the info is right there).

The more pressing question is the reduced open rate. Upon inspection it appears people didn’t open notifications over the weekend(s) last month, where the month prior we did. In part this could be due to the weather improving, shear luck, or perhaps the new users habits (I really have no idea). Regardless, we’ll be monitoring open rate and attempting to improve where we can.

We also decided to slightly modify the notification email to be more information dense. Hopefully, this improves the value to opening the email.

Growth & Revenue

This month we have:

  • Gained 8 new paying or feedback providing users
  • Saw a 50% increase in survey completion
  • Lowered the monthly price from $50 to $10
  • Added a referral program (90 days free, per referral)
  • Added payment and survey notifications
  • Improved onboarding (shows a 3x engagement)

Overall, not really a “good” month, we are still averaging slightly over one new user per day since launching the “beta #3”, but would like to see it improve. The more impressive part, is that we haven’t advertised at all in the past 6 weeks. Meaning, every user who’s registered is hearing it from a friend. Importantly, we also have a high conversion rate of ~50% to paying customers, with no disputed charges, and all 8 users came through referrals.

During the month of April 2018, the target is around 30 new users.

We lowered the price for the beta from the standard $50 / month to $10 / month to reflect this. The real goal is to get more feedback, not make money (yet). The incentive to provide feedback in leiu of money has been insanely effective. If we charged the customers outright today, we’d net somewhere around $2000 / month, with applied discounts. However, today we’re doing around $500 / month (enough to cover costs).

Finally, we’ve also seen a massive increase in the number of trends being followed:

This is entirely attributed to our new onboarding system, which we launched March 10th. Each new person who registered started with at least 5 topics being followed and automatically jumped into the tutorial. Those users who registered after the onboarding process change(s) appear to engage 4x (on average) more than prior to the onboarding process change(s).

Future Outlook

Given the improvements regarding onboarding, I’m optimistic. Steady progress is being made technically and users feedback is being addressed¬†almost as quick as it’s coming in. There are a few hurdles regarding some entity recognition I’m working on, but overall the platform is scaling well.

We saw a 66% increase in emails sent, while seeing a 15% drop in open rate, and the ~40% drop in click rate can be explained by the increased information in the email itself. Assuming the open rate and click rate stabilize soon (i.e. above 25% for open rate and around 5% for click rate), we’ll have a stellar product, compared to industry standards.

Finally, the new onboarding (with limited test subjects) has seen a 4x improvement in engagement. We are poised to continue to grow. The goal of beta #3 (the current release) is to figure out how to market to and keep users engaged and I think it’s going very well. For reference, the next beta release (#4) is targeted to release in May – specifically targeting platform enhancements.

April 2018 – Updates

Below is a copy of our monthly newsletter for April 2018

Salutations,

Thank you all for participating in Piglet Beta #3! This month I’ve refunded a total of ~$2000 for those who completed the monthly survey. If you’d like to save money, please fill it out!

 


March Recap

During March we made steady improvements to the site and platform as a whole. The primary focus has been fixing various issues found by all of you and improving onboarding.

Ways to Make Money & Save

Make Money with Referrals – 90 days free, per referral

Save Money with New Plans – We released a new “Beta #3” plan (it’s 80% off)! You can change your current plan to that plan – go to Account -> Edit Subscriptions, then select the plan.


Exciting April Updates:

ProjectPiglet.com:

  • Landing page & Onboarding
    • Improved “regular price” display (was big, tacky red line)
    • Onboarding category selection, select up to five general categories
    • Mimicked Twitter onboarding process
    • Guided tour always available
  • Users & Subscriptions
    • Launched referral program
    • Growing through organic shares (i.e. no ads or marketing)
    • Added “30 days free” button
    • (Admin Only) Added user specific analytics
    • (Admin Only) Features to enable multiple web portals
  • Assets (Crypto & Stocks)
    • Active users add/edit associated brands for stocks
    • Added sorting Crypto by daily trade volume
    • Fixed stock ticker(s) impacting search results
    • Added real-value for volume and stock/crypto price
    • S&P 500 is up-to-date within 2 – 3 hours for stocks
    • Top 150 cryptocurrencies tracking time is 20 minutes
    • All Cryptocurrencies tracking time has a <3 hour delay
    • Trade potential is calculated every 3 hours
    • Fixed NaN dates bug associated with Safari
  • Trends / Notifications
    • Show trade potential on notifications
    • Removed gray box on header of emails
    • Notifications of pending charges, with free option
      • With this change, I will stop reaching out directly
    • Fixed weekly and monthly notification bug (wasn’t sending)
  • Enterprise

Piglet Blog (posts below):

Upcoming (Next 30 Days)

  • Assets (Crypto & Stocks)
    • Add top stories to asset(s) chart
    • Add net promoter to asset(s) chart
    • (Possibly) Hourly tracking for top stocks and cryptocurrencies
    • (Possibly) Minutely tracking for top stocks and cryptocurrencies
  • Trends / Notifications
    • Feedback mechanism for indicating “these stories don’t match subject” – this will improve notifications
  • Lettergram.net (Rollover from last update – delayed)
    • Going to host new Email-Only service for curated emails
    • All users will have basic access to ProjectPiglet.com (no assets)
    • All servicing should be one through Lettergram.net
  • Additional Blog posts
  • Implement User Feedback & Smash Bugs
  • (Possibly) Add feedback directly through website
    • This is going to replace the google form
  • Architectual / design changes to improve website speed

If you have any questions or concerns, please add to survey and / or reach out.

Happy Investing!

Austin, Piglet Team

March 2018 – Make Money in March

Copy of monthly email sent to customers for March 2018

Howdy,

Wait, it’s not March yet – why the March update?

We were too excited not to share! We are ahead of schedule and are going to save you / make you money (so read on friend)!

Thank you all for participating in Piglet Beta #3 and providing feedback. Just this month I’ve refunded a total of ~$1200 for those who completed the monthly survey (please fill it out).

March Update: Make Money in March

Feburary was a busy month. My son was born (Atlas), we broke one hundred paying customers, I closed 42 “issues” – 13 bugs & 29 features – which customers identified and somehow development is still on track!

My personal goal is to hit one thousand customers by end-of-year. With that in mind, please share ProjectPiglet.com with friends and colleagues. Currently, we only have enough funds through July 2018 (so we need more people!).

Ways to Make Money & Save

Make Money with Referrals – If you’re interested in participating in our referral program, please email me. At the moment, we are only accepting people who can net at least 10 referrals (i.e. have a distribution channel). We are offering 25% of all profit from those referred. Next month, we’ll open up the general referral program: one month free for both referrer and new user at registration.

Save Money with New Plans – We released a new “Beta #3” plan (it’s 80% off)! You can change your current plan to that plan – go to Account -> Subscriptions, then select the plan.

Email-Only Service – Next month I will be seperating out an email-only service, where you can create curated email notifications for yourself. They will be similar to those you receive from followed topics of ProjectPiglet.com. It will be priced at $10 per month. This service is already and will continue to be available on ProjectPiglet.com.

Exciting Updates

ProjectPiglet.com:

  • Improved mobile support site wide (including charts)
  • Assets (Crypto & Stocks)
    • Added sorting by Trade Potential
    • Added filtering by market cap
    • Added “Related Sector [companies]” to stocks
    • Added Trade Potential to index page
    • Added 1 day, 5/7 day, and month changes in price
    • Increased data density for quicker reviewing
    • Improved “Top Related Stories” for asset(s)
    • Real prices and volumes shown on asset charts (denormalized)
    • Added loading icon when switching timeframes (asset charts)
    • Improved trend notifications tracking “Company” or “Currency”
  • Trends / Notifications
    • When clicking “Get Notified” or “Follow” the type is not tracked
      • Types: Company, Currency, Phrase
      • Enables Trade Potential notifications [March 1st]
      • Must unfollow and refollow companies / currencies
    • (Email) Added links to subjects (to ProjectPiglet.com)
    • (Email) Notifications of Trade Potential [will be out March 1st]
  • Landing page
    • Added rotating words describing what Piglet tracks
    • Added “How it works”
    • Added sale bar (how many beta spots are still open)
    • Revamped the demo section (simple & easy)
  • Subscriptions
    • Added ~2 new users per day since Beta #3 launch (late January)
    • Refunded $1190 to those who provided survey feedback
    • Added new (80% off plans) for the first 250 users on the Beta
      • Coupons still apply
      • One month free for feedback still applies
      • [Coming soon] Referrals will apply

Piglet Blog (posts below):

Upcoming (Next 30 Days)

  • General Referral program
    • One month free for both referrer and new user at registration
  • Emails
    • Show prior opinion when sending email on opinion change(s)
  • Assets (Crypto & Stocks)
    • Hourly tracking for fourtune 500 + top 100 cryptocurrencies
    • Minutely tracking for fourtune 500 + top 100 cryptocurrencies
    • Add Promoter Score to “Assets Chart”
  • Lettergram.net:
    • Going to host new Email-Only service for curated emails
    • All users will have basic access to¬†ProjectPiglet.com (no assets)
    • All servicing should be one through Lettergram.net
  • Implement survey feedback / fix bugs

If you have any questions or concerns, please add to survey and / or reach out.

Happy Investing!

Austin, Piglet Team