Product of the week | Sidekick
I got lazy last week to write this issue of Growth Story.
There is no excuse other than me being lazy. Period.
Writing consistent newsletter is harder than I imagined !
I will try to get better at the writing discipline🤞🏻
If you are new, here’s what Growth Story is all about.
Every week I pick a tech product, spend time using it, talk to it’s customers, understand how are they growing today & recommend 3 bets that will help them grow faster, cheaper & profitable. I am doing this to sharpen my own approach. Outcome on the newsletter and everything is a big bonus :)
Let’s get started 🚀
Product of the week | Sidekick
SideKick boasts itself as the fastest browser made for work. It’s three core functionalities viz. apps in sidebar, multiple logins, chrome tab organiser were boasted by few of the users I personally spoke to.
Some back story
Sidekick launched on Product Hunt (PH) on November 2020 & became #1 Product of the week (2700+ upvotes). Most of the early growth came from this launch.
Considering the product is in early scaling, I spoke to a bunch of ideal users (folks who use browser as the main window for work), showed them the product, asked them a few questions.
Insane word of mouth
The Sidekick website monthly traffic has gone from 50K to 150K (3X) in last 3 months 🤯 . This definitely has some great pull, mostly organic. Users LOVE the product.
Product Hunt + Referral program
The product hunt program got the super early adopter crowd in. The referral program which kicks in once you become a power user has got majority of the traffic in.
Sidebar apps is the delta feature
Everyone hates to open 100 tabs to do basic stuff on chrome. Removing tab clutter is core hook why users are retaining.
Post the user calls, pulling traffic & engagement data about the website, here are the three experiments that can help SideKick get more paying customers.
Top of the funnel is not the problem, free to paid conversion is.
1. Rank the features
The top features SideKick offers are
1. Organised Chrome Tabs
2. SideBar apps
3. Multiple email logins
4. Blocking ads
5. Less system memory usage
6. Notification control
7. Auto inactive tab suspension
8. Universal search bar across apps, tabs and workspaces
Take a set of users who are potential users for Sidekick.
Ask the users to rank the above features on what do they value high to low. This will help us find out the most & least important features of the product from a user point of view.
Run an experiment to understand which features should be part of the Free plan vs Paid plan. (Free → Least important | Paid → Most important) This will help monetise the users on the right features. For example, in one of the user calls the user said this line “Google chrome tab managers are free, why should I pay for tab management?” Need to validate this insight by expanding the sample size.
2. Test the pricing elasticity
It’s impossible to understand if the current $8 pricing is too high or too low.
The core audience for SideKick is western markets and some parts of Europe, essentially mature markets. This market has certain rules for pricing.
If we were to hypothetically compare Sidekick to motion (another productivity tool), the pricing is double of Sidekick.
One key experiment could be to test out pricing across different geographies by average salaries of potential users in that geography.
For example, $8 in California vs $8 in Germany is perceived very differently.
Smaller tests with different price point could help understand the right pricing x volume combination.
3. Fix the perceived value
Today, Sidekick is just a powerful browser, but how do I get more than a cute UI on top of existing chrome browser infrastructure?
Something for founders to ponder upon. You can not charge higher for a utility product but if this becomes a lifestyle (productivity + something X) product, you can charge higher. Plus having strong word of mouth and getting paid users are two different things. Free to Paid jump is still not clear.
I am still thinking on how this can be done.
Do you have something in mind?
Comment below and i will add thoughtful additions this experiment.
Like this issue?
Last week, I wrote about
What can dogs teach you about building engaging products? (Link: LinkedIn)
A note to founders hiring for growth teams. (Link: LinkedIn)
GrowthX is doing a community offsite in Goa (Link: LinkedIn)
Absolutely love using Sidekick (can't go back to chrome now)!
Here are my thoughts on the pricing:
- While I think $8 is a steal for the value, it does seem a tad bit expensive when you see the referral perks (invite 20 friends and free forever!).
- The free plan is good enough for me ('the plan has ended' popups are the only downside).
- Sidekick's privacy and ad-block system are pretty strong, comparable to Brave's. They could use it to attract a wider set of audience.