Tips For Launching a Low-code SaaS on ProductHunt – Honey Mittal
In this interview, Peter speaks with Honey Mittal, the Co-founder of Locofy.ai. Locofy.ai helps engineers and designers launch products 5-10x faster. They do this with low code by converting designs into production-ready code without changing any design tools or your tech stack. Honey shares tips for launching a low-code SaaS on ProductHunt.
[00:00:00] – Peter
Okay, so I’m here today speaking with Honey Mittal from Locofy.ai. Hey, Honey, great to meet you. Thanks for joining us. Welcome to the chat.
[00:00:08] – Honey
Hi, Peter, thanks for having me. It’s an honour and looking forward to having a chat with you.
[00:00:14] – Peter
Excellent, excellent. So we’ve connected in our group, the SaaS Founders Facebook group, and one thing that struck me was the challenge that you’re going on building your product. So you have quite an innovative product which helps bridge the gap between design and development implementation. Can you tell us a bit about your product, what it does, how it works, and who it’s for?
[00:00:38] – Honey
Yeah, sure. Thanks for that. So, Locofylow-code is basically a low-code platform. Essentially, our goal is to help speed up engineers and developers and basically product development teams to achieve their goals and launch their products much faster. And we do that by converting your existing designs into code. So rather than leaving your existing design platforms like Adobe and Figma and Sketch, or moving away from your frameworks like React Next JS, react, native for mobile apps, Flutter, we basically adapt to your existing design tools and stacks.
So think of us as a plugin within Figma and Adobe that’s already live and Sketch is coming soon, where we take your existing design files and after your designs are done, rather than engineers writing the front-end code from scratch, which could take them weeks or months. In some cases. We make that process like a day or half a day by converting your designs into front-end code, where you can take that code and then focus on writing the back-end code and integrating, rather than spending the time on doing both front-end and back-end. So that’s what Lucia does. It’s a problem that we decided to solve for ourselves, me and my co-founder.
[00:01:53] – Honey
Our background is in building products for travel, ptech, health tech, and this is one of the areas where we felt, after having built for all platforms, that it’s a time-consuming product. Designers and engineers never really like to spend time on those fine-tuning of pixels and making things responsive, and we felt there was a big opportunity to kind of help fine-tuning, time-consuming, solve that problem.
[00:02:14] – Peter
Sounds great. At UserActive, we’re a product design agency, so we always design software. We work with Figma, and we’re always handing off our designs to developers. So we have this back and forth, often with the design and then the implementation with developers. We’re going back checking the designs, and there’s a few revisions on ensuring implementation reflects the design. So sounds like you’re solving a really great workflow problem for designs and production. What kind of code do you receive at the end? Once you use your Locofy plugin to export some code? I assume you have HTML markup with CSS?
[00:02:57] – Honey
That’s exactly what it is. So it’s essentially the front-end code. We will still give you the code, we will organise it into, like, pages and components. We give you the flexibility to just also only take the component code itself and then essentially just plug it in along with your APIs. In future, we will go deeper into that and make it more than just pure front-end code. But right now, we are focused on making sure that that front-end code works exactly the way you designed it.
So when you run it on the final product, the experience is not different from what the designer envisioned it. And I’m sure you’ve probably felt that when you design something, the approvals you got on the design versus the final product when you see it a few weeks or months later, there’s a lot of back and forth between designers and engineers. So not only are we helping people save time from writing that front-end code, we also give designers that surety that even before you hand over the designs to an engineer, you can already start to kind of see what the end product will look like on code.
[00:04:04] – Honey
Not just a life prototype that you can run on envision on Figma, but actually what it would look like and work like and feel like when you run it on code, even before you hand over anything to the engineers.
[00:04:15] – Peter
That sounds really cool. What’s been the market reaction to your product so far?
[00:04:22] – Honey
We’ve been live for less than a year. We launched on Christmas night, actually last year, so about ten months. In the first five or six months, even though we were an open beta, we didn’t really, like, spread the word as much. It was all organic through the Figma community because that’s where we launched earlier. And we also ourselves knew that this is not a problem that you solve as an MVP and, like, it’s really solid. So we were looking for feedback. We got some awesome feedback and we’ve been fading super hard. The feedback we got in the early days was from designers, and we focused on improving the experience and making sure they can add media queries and do all kinds of animations and tags and everything.
But I think three months ago we launched on ProductHunt, and that’s where we became a bit more mainstream. So we now have users in 185 countries, including designers and engineers. And now the composition of our users is more engineers than designers. So the feedback we received recently is a lot more coming from engineers. And we know we have a long way to go, obviously, but about 70%, 75% of our users tell us that we’ve saved them at least 60% of their time.
[00:05:34] – Honey
And that’s obviously a great feeling because saving engineers time in today’s time, where engineers are difficult to find and almost impossible for some early-stage startups and expensive, is a great feeling. But we also know that this is just the beginning and we have a long way to go and we are hearing our community’s feedback on a day-to-day basis. So, yeah, we’ve kept the product for free for the same reason, because we believe we have a long way to go and we don’t want to avoid getting any feedback by adding a payroll. But yeah, we’re super grateful for the feedback we’ve received and we know exactly where we have to go in the next six, or nine months and hopefully get to a point where it becomes a part of the day-to-day of product building.
[00:06:17] – Peter
Great. It sounds like you’ve had a good response to the product so far. It almost sounds like you validated this market need. How did you launch your Product Hunt campaign and what kind of success did you have there? Were there any learnings that you could share from that experience?
[00:06:35] – Honey
Yeah, quite a few. We frankly didn’t think much of the product and launch. Our expectations were we put in the best effort, but we were not really chasing any awards or anything like that. We just wanted more feedback. We just wanted the velocity of feedback to be a lot more faster and also get more balanced feedback from engineers and designers from outside of our networks. So we went in with a lot of preparation, but we didn’t know what to expect. But yeah, what we did was we didn’t launch in product hand straight away.
We waited for six to eight months to first solve for some of the blockers and some of the problems and some of the feedback and also build a community of people who would be happy to kind of support us. When we went live on product end, we did everything that protocol recommends, like a founder’s video. We went with the Launching Soon page as well, a couple of weeks before the actual launch. So that helped us build a bit of a subscriber ship. Joined a lot of communities on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit to kind of also make sure that when we launch, a lot more people can support us.
[00:07:43] – Honey
But yeah, I think what really helped us for Product Hunt, just for everyone to know, we did much better than we ever imagined we would do. We got the product of the Day, product of the Week, product of the Month. And then we also basically got development tool of the Weekend month and also design tool of the Weekend months. These are the two categories we went for. And what it also did for us was we got a lot of users from around the world, including product managers, designers, engineers, and a lot of them started tweeting about us right after launch.
So what I did was, to your point, it validated the need for it, but also it proved that not only are we solving a problem that people want and care about, but the product in its early days was at least not disappointing people. We got a lot of feedback on where it can go, but the code quality especially that we produce, actually, if anything, surprised a lot of people because it has been tried before and people are generally not happy with the code quality eventually. But, yeah, one of the things we learned about product was just be prepared.
[00:08:48] – Honey
Like, you know, there’s a lot of literature today out there on how to succeed. Don’t go for there’s a lot of schemes out there to get votes. All of that will not help you. It might help you on the day itself, but at the end of the day, you want real users to upload and try your product and give you feedback. Just make sure you are genuine. Share why you build this product itself in the first place. Don’t go for like a fancy marketing agency video, do it yourself, make it real.
Reach out to people who you genuinely feel will be end users and not just people who would go and up for you on a certain day. And at the same time, if you can first try out the product and build a community who can actually go on that day and support you, of course, goes without saying you solve a problem that the product hunt end users care for. Product hunt is mostly product people, engineers, founders, designers and I think the problem we are solving for resonated with them. And secondly, build a product that actually does what it says it can do.
[00:09:55] – Honey
But other than that, a lot of growth, hack learnings that we got as well. There was no group on Facebook or React, engineers Reddit communities that we didn’t reach out to and we just made sure that for the 24 hours that the campaign was live, the whole team was online. Even though we were down with COVID the whole team was online responding to comments, feedback, and questions and also making sure that if any traffic spike happens, you were there to kind of solve for that because a lot of people have had that issue where they went to sleep, woke up and realised that product was down for 12 hours. So, yeah, this is basically some learnings and just keep it genuine. I really believe if the product that you’re building has legs and the team is genuine, you will see the results.
[00:10:44] – Peter
Yeah. Oh, great. I love to hear your experience with Product Hunt. It’s very popular with launching software, so there’s some great learnings there. We just have one more minute. So I’d like a very brief answer if you can, but I know your product is free at the moment. How do you plan to monetize that as you keep growing?
[00:11:01] – Honey
Yeah, I think right now the focus is very much on making sure that we validated. It’s a problem that people want to be solved now. We want to make sure that we solve it to the point that people use it week on week, month on month, and it becomes almost like synonymous with other platforms like Mixpanel Firebase. Any product builder should want to have local fire as one of those products and it will take us some time to get there.
Figma kept it free for six years I think if I’m not wrong. So right now our focus is on getting good feedback that makes the product better before we even think about charging people. Once we ourselves as engineers and product builders feel hand on heart that it solves that problem end to end and we have a community that also tells us that we can think about charging at some point.
[00:11:48] – Peter
Okay, great. That’s wonderful. Hey Honey, I wish you all the best with Locofy. It sounds like a great product so far and I’m excited to see how you grow for anyone to try the product or try it out. Do you recommend they go to Locofy.ai?
[00:12:02] – Honey
That’s right, you’ll find everything over there. It’s a plug in. And you can also reach out to us on our Slack channel which you can find out on Locofy. If you need any help and our team is all over. I do support you.
[00:12:12] – Peter
Okay, fantastic. Thanks for talking with me today Honey. Wish you all the best.
[00:12:16] – Honey
Thank you so much for having me. Peter take care.
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