Y Combinator Feedback: it hurts so good

Yesterday we decided to get some much needed feedback by putting Genotrope (web app) or Genotrope (landing page) in front of the toughest audience we could think of, the Y Combinator News community.

Within ten minutes we were receiving comments from all over the world. First of all, I highly recommend giving this a try. You won’t like everything you hear but that is the whole idea. If you can make it on YC News, you can make it anywhere. What happens when some reformed enterprise server developers build a web app and let the YC News community pick it apart? They can’t sit down the next day due to missing buttocks parts. 🙂

So the end result is that we had about 350 visits from YCN. 75% bounces, only about ten users spent much time looking into the actual application. Thanks to those users who spent from two up to 40+ minutes on the site. They came from all over the US as well as Peru, Australia, India and Eastern Europe.

What type of feedback did we receive? A few people thought Genotrope was a strange name, even by web standards. A few said they liked the site. A couple didn’t like the color scheme. A lot thought the landing page graphic was distracting or just plain bad. For the most part it was about the UI, usability and graphics. The best inputs were to improve our landing page by focusing our value proposition and clearly stating what benefits we provide to users.

Another take away was that this group does not casually register for every site they come across. Out of 350 or so visitors, we got 4 sign ups. The feedback here was, show me what you can do for me and then we will register if we like it. Some of our functionality requires registration (just an email), so that limited what the new visitors could experience.

We really needed the input regarding the site design, however, the feedback was somewhat disappointing in that it was all web designer input and there was none regarding the actual concept, business model or use of the application. Granted, the blame is mostly ours, due to a less than attractive design and muddy benefit message, maybe most could not see past that to get to the business proposition. We will make the improvements suggested by the YC visitors and then come back to get more feedback on the use of the web app.

Cant wait to do it again.


4 Comments to “Y Combinator Feedback: it hurts so good”

  1. A tips for improving the images.

    The images looks “unfocused”. Try to save them as PNG instead of JPEG.

    As a rule:

    JPEG for photos
    PNG for graphs/drawings

  2. Hi, I just came from new.yc. Your point about being disappointed by the fact that no one looked past the design to see the features and business model is a key one and shows the importance of putting a good coat of paint on a site.

    If a group of hackers can’t look past the design to check out the application, do you really think the general population will?

  3. thanks coward and Brad:

    I hear what you are saying, and that is why we put ourselves up for the scrutiny. But I think that it might be the opposite when you ask for comments and critique on YC News.

    General users are more concerned with what can this site can do for me ? instead of, this site is not ready for the public, you have a typo or I don’t like the colors. Don’t get me wrong, we took all comments seriously, but like a musician listening to a guitarist, the average person hears the song while the musician is wondering if that is drop D tuning.

    But we got what we asked for, and now we are making good use of the feedback to improve and iterate.

    thanks for the input. ts

  4. I came trough YC News, and it was nice to hear these experience from your startup. I want to suggest to try ClickTale, it’s a great usability tool, because it records videos from your visits.
    Good luck

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