This is a follow-up to an earlier post about launching the social network TimeStash.

Last time, we left off when we launched TimeStash in Mexico. Over the past few months, we unfortunately witnessed interest for TimeStash dropping significantly. We were able to get a lot of attention in the days following our launch, but unfortunately our product wasn’t strong enough to retain the users.

So it is time to reflect on why our launch utlimately failed and what to do about it now.

One thing we quickly noticed through interactions with users and people that got introduced to TimeStash, was that the purpose of the product wasn’t very clear. This is something that should have been apparent to us way before we launched, as we were never able to exactly pinpoint the core selling point.

I think we got lost into building something way more complicated than we needed to. Instead of building a small MVP around the core idea of retrieving and storing memories, we immediately aimed at building the final product. The product we ended up designing was kind of a monster. It had so many un-necessary features to feel “professional” and complete. It had friends, private messages, and a way to share and associate friends with your personal memories. If I were to redo it today, I would scrap the whole social sharing experience and focus on building a working product to store personal memories first.

I am not saying that being able to share memories is a bad feature, but I believe we should have started small and find product fit before piling up additional stuff on top of it.

However, since our product is already built with all the social experience, we are not going to unmake it. We should instead focus on making it easier to use and understand.

We came up with a long list of things that need to be done. The most essential being the introduction of a good interactive tutorial. The first login for a new user of TimeStash is quite rough. Lots of different options, and not a clear direction of where to go. We hope to introduce the main features of TimeStash with a short and interactive tutorial that would lead that user through collecting her first memories and finding her friends on the website.

Adding a tutorial is a somewhat easy task, we just need to put an extra features on top of what we have. But we also need to review the existing functionalities. For example, the landing page, while quite appealing, does not seem to correctly communicate the essence of TimeStash.

Screenshot of the landing page of TimeStash

TimeStash - landing page

We are planning to design a new landing page, as visual as the current one, but with a clear description of TimeStash and what tasks it can help you accomplish. Hopefully, once people register for an account, they will have a better idea of what to expect in the website.

There are other things we will have to change. The navigation bar should be simplified a bit, as well as the concept of stories attached to memories. There are still a few bugs that I will try to hunt down. Finally, some elements need more polishing, and we will take this opportunity to do just that.

All in all, a lot of work is waiting for us in the coming months. But if we manage to pull it off, it should be a significant step-up for TimeStash. We hope to be ready for a fresh start during Summer, with a more successful launch this time.