I need to let people know that I have a working app. How do I do that?
I've been signing people up on an email list for early access. They are a pretty dedicated crew, but...it's only eight people. That's not going to work.
Similarly, I've still got a small Twitter following. Also not going to make a splash.
I decide that my best option is posting in the fantasy football subreddit, which has nearly 1 million members. I figure there's enough traffic that my post won't stay on top long, but it's still enough for it to reach thousands of people.
The trick with Reddit is getting through the moderators. The fantasy baseball subreddit has an especially heavy-handed crew. And I've never paid any attention to the football subreddit (a possible red flag itself), so I don't know how their moderators are.
So my strategy is to post DraftKick with no mention of charging for it. That's obviously not my long-term plan, but I'll give it away this time in order to get some user feedback and hopefully spare myself from downvotes and deletion.
My plan is to post on Saturday morning so I can monitor the post during they day, answering questions as they come up. However, as I'm prepping my post and scanning the current topics, I see something terrible.
Just moments before, someone has posted their own draft app. Not only is it free, it's open source. It is closer to DraftKick than any other tool I've come across.
I can already envision the conversation veering toward, "Woah, it's weird that two people posted about their apps at the same time" rather than actually talking about DraftKick. I feel like my plan is ruined.
With some encouragement from my wife, I decide to press on. I edit my draft to lean into the repetition and acknowledge in my own post that this is "yet another" draft tool, but one designed to meet my own needs.
I click submit. I patiently wait and click refresh.
As I said, the fantasy football subreddit is huge. I ended up with about 14,000 views on my post the first day, and almost 21,000 by the end of the second day.
Out of that 21,000 who saw my post, only one person left a comment. It was a positive comment, though!
There was more discussion on the other draft tool that got posted, but it was a mix of positive and negative.
Six people created accounts on DraftKick. You can actually do a lot without creating an account, so I assume lots more people tried it out.
Interestingly, 6 of 6 people chose to sign-in with Google authentication, and no one created a username/password.
I've struggled to get Google to index pages on DraftKick. I submit these blog posts manually, even though Google's crawlers should be able to find them on their own.
However, Google apparently pays close attention to links from Reddit. My post on the subreddit started showing up right away in search results for "draftkick." The app's page appeared immediately, and Google even sent me a notification that it's not very useable on mobile. (Obviously.)
Overall, I was happy with this launch. Lots of people have heard and seen DraftKick. I didn't get a lot of positive reactions, but I also didn't hear anything negative.
It reminds me of the analogy between marketing and dating: You wouldn't expect someone to agree to marry you after just one conversation, and you shouldn't expect people to commit to your product the first time they hear about it. This post was about bringing some awareness that will hopefully pay off when they come across DraftKick a couple more times.
If you're still tracking your draft with a custom spreadsheet or even just pen and paper, you need to try DraftKick.
It is packed with features to help you succeed on draft day:
It's completely free to try out!
I'm Mays. I've been playing fantasy since I was in high school (over two decades ago).
My speciality has always been player valuation—converting player stats into rankings and salary values. VBD for fantasy football? Rotisserie z-scores? We go way back. In 2009, I started Last Player Picked, a site that generated fantasy values customized for your league.
These days, I'm building DraftKick and Projectile, a fantasy baseball site with in-season projection visualizations.
You can find me on Twitter at @MaysCopeland or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.