Arugula: 18 May - 26 June 2020

We're trying something new at Lettuce: challenging ourselves to focus on just a handful of projects over a 6 week period. We hope that this time and focus constraint will be energizing for our team, and help us to take a bold step forward in our product. 

This experiment is inspired by how Basecamp works. The idea is not to try to work through a backlog of tasks or commit to shipping a certain number of features (because after all, who can actually predict how long a piece of software will take to build until you start building it?), but rather to focus the team on shipping just a couple of meaningful features. How much the team ships of each feature is up to the developers, but we commit to doing whatever we can in the time allocated.

We're calling our first 6 week period "Arugula" (because that's one of my favourite types of Lettuce). In this cycle, we're taking in three big stories: Subscriptions, Multiple Portfolios, and a New Onboarding Flow.

Story 1: Subscriptions

The problem

Lettuce isn't making any money, right now. That means we have to go out every few months and ask rich investors for money, which means that those investors get to tell us what to do and how to run our business.

NAAHHHHHH. We'd rather build a product that our users value enough to pay us for, so that we can focus on making YOU happy rather than our investors.

The solution

There are a lot of ways Lettuce could make money. The way we like best is subscriptions from customers. That means that if our product is useful, users will pay us money. It's simple, elegant, fair and honest.

Here's a rough sketch of what we're imagining:
 

We're going to ask users to pay a small monthly subscription fee. At first, our messaging will be more: "Please subscribe to support us, so that we can keep building Lettuce." Very soon, we'll roll out subscriber-only features, and our messaging will be more: "Subscribe to unlock [multiple portfolios], [automatic account updates], [dinosaur mode] etc." Our hope is to build a community that is valuable for our subscribers, so we're also thinking about stuff like a monthly subscriber Zoom hangout, where we can hear from you what features would make Lettuce more valuable for you, and where you can ask us whatever questions you like.

Story 2: Multiple Portfolios

The problem

Many of our power-users have said that they want a better way to keep track of different groups of assets, that they like to think of as different pots.

Here's an example (an actual request we got from a user):
 

Today, a user can accomplish some amount of division through tags, but some users want to create completely separate portfolios, because they think of these as different pots of money. The primary use cases for this are:

  • As someone who helps other people in my family manage their portfolios (for instance, a spouse or parent), I want to track their portfolios separately to my own.
  • As a small business owner, I want to use Lettuce to track my business's assets separately to my personal assets.
  • As a person who lives and works across two different countries and has assets in both of them, I want to be able to keep track of those assets separately, in their own currency (e.g. I want to see my UK assets in GBP and my SA assets in ZAR).

The solution

Let's allow users to create multiple portfolios, so they can split up their accounts however they like.

Here's a rough sketch of how we see multiple portfolios working:
 

We'd love to add some playful customization to multiple portfolios; for instance, allowing users to give portfolios a name and a colour (in future, we could even add icons or background patterns). This will make it easier for users to distinguish between their portfolios at a glance.

Story 3: New Onboarding Flow

The Problem

Right now, only 45% of new users who install the app add their first account. This means that half of our new users never really experience Lettuce. This drives up our costs of acquiring each new user, and it means that we're not giving ourselves a chance to show off Lettuce's value.

The Solution

Let's guide our new users through the process of adding and tagging their first account so that they understand what Lettuce is for and how it works. We also want to add more playfulness, and (of course) more bunnies.

We'd love to hear from you

After Arugula, we'll be taking 2 weeks to deal with bugs, operational things and other small issues that crop up, and we'll also take a step back and choose the stories we want to bring into the NEXT 6 week cycle. We'd love to choose our next stories from your feedback, so please tell us here what you'd like us to build next. We're listening!