How I'm Building Landscape: Part 1
Hey, Joe here. This post is a deep dive into the technical side of how I'm building Landscape, what's been done so far, and what's to come
Hey there 👋 Joe here, founder of Landscape.
A few weeks back, I published the 'Why I'm building Landscape' blog post. If you missed it, I shared a little of my story and how the idea of Landscape came about.
The post had a great reception, and I'd like to thank the people that reached out to me! It's super motivational to get nice messages and keeps me going during the inevitable startup down days.
In today's blog post, I wanted to break down how I've been building Landscape as a product – including what I've been up to so far and my plans for the product in the near future.
The Story So Far
Photo by Ian Schneider / Unsplash
When I first started to plan out building Landscape as a product, my aim was to spend the least amount of money (and time) possible to test whether there would be interest in the concept.
I'd always been fascinated by the concept of an MVP and how, in some cases, it is possible to go so far, with so little. For example, I love Dropbox's explainer video and sign up form.
With this in mind, I spent (probably far too long) exploring how I could produce the Landscape MVP.
After a while, I settled on a Webflow landing page, a Typeform review link, and a Twitter account. I was confident that between these 3 tools, I would be able to gauge market interest (or lack thereof!) in Landscape. If there was, then I could take it a step further and build out the review platform, but if there wasn't then I could chalk it off my projects list.
Whilst I've added a few more bits along the way, I'm pleased to say that those 3 core tools have indeed managed to validate exactly what I was hoping they would: that the startup ecosystem was interested and engaged in Landscape (🥳).
The Webflow landing page has had thousands of organic visitors over the past few months, people have been able to navigate around the site with ease, and it has enough content to get across the vision of Landscape. Result! 👇
A reasonably healthy bounce rate for a site that took a couple of weekends to throw together
The Typeform review link has generated hundreds of reviews, the completion rate is high, and the feedback I get from founders is that it's mega easy to leave a review. Another result! 👇
Twitter is more or less the only marketing channel I've been using. I've been testing LinkedIn, but it's early days there. My strategy for Twitter has been really simple, pretty much just posting a new review every day, and using it to announce new partners and advisors.
The engagement has been crazy, and more or less everybody that's heard of Landscape thus far heard about it through Twitter. Yet another result! 👇
Twitter has been an incredible channel for us, and one that's probably quite underrated on the whole!
With all of the positive signals coming from the Landscape "product" so far, it was time to start thinking about how I was going to build out the review platform.
Despite being a Computer Science grad, I'm an absolutely dreadful programmer, and to be honest, never enjoyed writing code...
It was my fascination with MVPs that led to me falling deep down the nocode rabbit hole around 18 months ago. I was amazed by a new wave of tools that were enabling an entirely new cohort of entrepreneurs to test ideas and build businesses. All of a sudden, the barriers to building an MVP were tumbling, and almost everyone had the means to build a 'product'.
Truth be told, I'm a total product nerd. I lurk Product Hunt daily, claim more "Free Trials" than my inbox can handle, and love the product comparison features of G2 and Capterra. In the last year or so, the number of new nocode tools hitting the market has exploded, and it's been amazing to see what 'non-technical' founders are now able to produce.
Ben Tossell and his team at Makerpad have been absolute pioneers in this space. They're providing the tools, education, and community for anyone to build their ideas, and it's really inspiring to see thousands of makers all over the world shipping their products to market. If you're interested in nocode, Makerpad is where you need to be. It's as simple as that really.
With all of this in mind, the first version of the Landscape review platform will be built completely using nocode tools.
What To Expect
We're planning on launching publicly in early October
We're fortunate that Landscape as a product doesn't require any significantly complex or bespoke tech to power it. We are mostly dealing with data input, and data visualisation and, thankfully, there are a whole suite of awesome nocode tools that excel in these areas, so the main challenge is picking the right one(s).
I've planned more or less everything that needs to be built for us to ship what we're calling the Landscape Review Platform, and we're planning on launching in publicly early October. Our early adopters will mostly likely have it in their hands within the next 2 weeks, and I'm really excited to get their feedback on it.
Here are some of the key features you can expect from the first version of the Landscape review platform;
📱 Mobile first, on all operating systems
🔎 Search for specific investors or accelerators
⭐ View an investors scores, and their individual reviews
📊 Explore reviewer demographics
🗣️ Leave reviews for a specific investor
🔥 Stream latest reviews
🧭 Discover our community partners.
Product aside, a major advantage of taking the nocode MVP route for Landscape is that it significantly lowers the cost of getting a product out. After all, we're self funded, and plan to stay that way for the forseeable future.
Everything you see from Landscape so far has been built on a budget of ~£300, and the review platform will only add marginally to that. Most of the nocode tools I'll be using are billed through a monthly subscription; a model that is absolutely perfect for founders that want to ship a fast MVP and get market validation for their idea and business model, without having to stump up a large sum of seed cash.
We're certainly not committing to nocode forever, but for where Landscape is right now, it's a match made in heaven.
And that's a wrap 🌯
So thanks again for continuing to join us on this journey. It's been really exciting so far, and we're just getting started.
If you're a founder reading this, the community would love to hear about your investor interactions. You can leave a review here (you'll get access to the private beta, and leaving 10 reviews gets you an awesome Landscape Tshirt!).
If you're an investor reading this, come and join the 50+ members of our Verified Partner community. You can read more about this here.
Keep an eye out for some more content coming out shortly from the Landscape team. We have loads of exciting announcements in the pipeline, and we share regular analysis on our socials. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn!
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