Faces

Create a people directory for your community 👫

#3 Product of the DayJuly 11, 2017

Reviews

 

Discussion

You need to become a Contributor to join the discussion - Find out how.
Marc Köhlbrugge
Maker
@marckohlbrugge · Founder of BetaList
Hi all 👋 Excited to launch Faces today. More than 4 years in the making. Kind of. All the way back in 2013 I created a site to showcase creatives and makers from my local community in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Ever since people asked me to create a similar site for their community. I was working on a lot of different products already and figured some other company would step in and create a service for this kind of stuff. Few years later, late 2016, there still wasn't a simple service to create a visual overview of the people in a community. I did some quick Twitter research and it turned out more people were interested in such a page and even willing to pay. So I created a few pages at $200 a pop (for the first year) for a handful of customers. Initially I literally just copied the codebase and did a find & replace for their community name, logo, etc. Later I replaced those with 'environment variables' so the codebase could be the same for each community, although there was still no way for customers to update those variables themselves and setting up a new page required me to spin up a new Heroku instance. About 2-3 weeks ago I finally started working on a true multi-tenancy version of Faces. That means every community page is hosted on the same server using the same codebase. Basically it means that people can now create and manage their own page, without requiring my involvement. A true SaaS. Anyway. That's where we are today. I'm excited to see what you'll do with it and let me know if you have any questions or feedback. 🙌 P.S. Thanks to @espreedevora for pushing me to help her make a page for the LA startup community ( https://community.wearelatech.com ). Seeing her grow that community inspired me to turn it into a service other people could use as well. Also shout out to @levelsio @flowen_nl @andreyazimov @oskarth for their continued support and feedback in our secret chat group. Thanks to @rpish for keeping BetaList up-and-running while I was off working on Faces. Shout out to all the beta testers and early customers @leonpals @itsakeller @mindaugaslt and countless other people 😍
Ramy@ramykhuffash · Founder @ Letter fuel
@marckohlbrugge Great launch story - good to hear how you got to this point with Faces. How did you find people on Twitter who'd be interested in this? Search, or just through your followers?
Marc Köhlbrugge
Maker
@marckohlbrugge · Founder of BetaList
@ramykhuffash Thanks Ramy. I found them just through my followers, by tweeting about the idea. Key element is that I followed up by asking for payment. It's kinda risky asking your friends/peers for feedback as they tend to be overly positive, but if they are willing to pay for your prototype that's a very good indicator there's real demand.
Fred Rivett@fredrivett · Co-founder UserCompass.com & @wecontrast
@marckohlbrugge I love this story. Letting demand dictate build and only going all in when it's clear people will pay for the solution. Having watched the build on Twitter, I love the care and attention Marc puts into the little details. Super neat app 👌
Milan vd Bovenkamp ♠@milann · Connecting people again with Wildcard 🃏
@marckohlbrugge Awesomesauce! Congratulations on launching the SaaS! We have been talking about this a few times. I think it's a great way for communities to show off their members. I'm actually part of the Startup Foundation group, and personally I have not 'got anything' from it just yet. So I guess, even as a really active member in many communities, I still have my doubts for the benefits of the user... From my experience in (online and offline) communities, the strength really lies in the 1 on 1 / face to face interactions. Being part of something bigger than yourself is great, but I found every time again that discovery and serendipity is way more important than lists or search.... (you talk about discovery, but basically it's filtering and search). I know it's just a cool thing to ship, and I salut you for that, but I'm wondering what's next to 'showing off', how do engage the 1on1 exchanges? :)
Tobi Rohmann@toomaime · Founder Teacherjobs.io
@marckohlbrugge Looks great...any possibility to see a payment integration and auto invitation. See a lot of slack communities with payment fee and tools like slackpass....build that for Faces and I think you have a super nice feature imho!
Marc Köhlbrugge
Maker
@marckohlbrugge · Founder of BetaList
@fredrivett Thanks Fred. Yes, I intentionally built Faces rather slowly and iteratively. Step by step. Only implementing features paying customers are asking for. Once I I had what I thought was a the minimal feature set I then sped up development and quickly built out all the underlying tech to support multiple customers in one codebase. Splitting up those two phases, slowly building front-facing product based on feedback, and quickly building underlying back-end, worked really well.
Marc Köhlbrugge
Maker
@marckohlbrugge · Founder of BetaList
@milann Thanks Milan. Some great feedback and critical questions. I love it! I think Faces is a great way to showcase an existing community and have members find out more about each other. Building the actual community however is something that requires way more interaction and ideally happens offline like you say. Where Faces comes in is introducing new community members to the rest of the group, and easily finding that someone you talked to before, or discovering who to talk next to whether it's at an offline event, Slack chat, etc. I think something that still needs some work is getting people back to Faces once they have created their profile. Especially with the Slack integration we're using at the Startup Foundation chat there's very little awareness of the community page. I have a few ideas to address that which involve notifying people of new members, and surfacing the profiles at the places you already visit. (in your case the Slack channel)
Marc Köhlbrugge
Maker
@marckohlbrugge · Founder of BetaList
@toomaime Thanks Tobi 🙌 Payment integration is something I'm considering, although it's not a huge priority at the moment. Since new profiles need to be approved by the administrator, it's not that hard to handle payment yourself (e.g. through a Typeform) and only approving a member after they paid. That said, I agree having it built-in would be much nicer and something we will add if there's enough demand. I am working on a Slack integration where new team members of the chat are automatically added to the Faces page as well. No manual approval needed. So that actually works great with Slackpass. More on that later :)
Sam Cholera@sam_cholera · Founder @ iSpy Sport Search
Really enjoyed flicking through this @marckohlbrugge. There will be a heap of people jumping on this. Looks like you made a product that's definitely needed, I'll be recommending to all I can for you buddy. Great work, glad you got it finished, neat story to build also.
Amrith Shanbhag@amrith · making ideas happen at feathrd
You're a genius @marckohlbrugge 🙌 Something so simple, yet important. Definitely a "Why didn't I think about this before?" moment :P Thanks for the interesting conversation on Twitter, means a lot 🙌🙌
Kieran J Parker@kieranparker77 · Product Designer, Creative, Maker.
@ramykhuffash @marckohlbrugge I often ask people for feedback but as you said, friends and peers are overly positive and can often (unknowingly) be hurting the product. Asking them to "put their money where their mouth is" is a great way to get a truer response from them. "Oh its good, but it isn't really for me" would be a better response than "Yeah amazing I'd totally hypothetically buy this idea possibly one day"
Marc Köhlbrugge
Maker
@marckohlbrugge · Founder of BetaList
@sam_cholera Thanks Sam. Appreciate it.
Marc Köhlbrugge
Maker
@marckohlbrugge · Founder of BetaList
@ambonium Thank you Amrith. Feel free to DM me anytime and please don't let me launching Faces discourage you from launching yours. Hopefully it motivates you to launch quickly :)
Marc Köhlbrugge
Maker
@marckohlbrugge · Founder of BetaList
@ramykhuffash @kieranparker77 Haha yep. I've made that mistake before. Asking them to get their wallet changes the conversation for sure.
Julien Ma@supacruz · Making things: CashNotify, InviteRobot..
@marckohlbrugge Woot Marc, congratz! That looks like a beautiful execution. We've had a very similar idea last year, which we wanted to build to complement our https://inviterobot.com/. I think there's something to be done with Faces + InviteRobot. DM me to discuss it: @supacruz.
Leon Pals@leonpals · Chairman Startup Foundation
@marckohlbrugge @milann I think it will become an even better tool when location is added, so people can see who is where, and indeed to look members up if they're around, to meet face to face.
Leon Pals@leonpals · Chairman Startup Foundation
@milann @marckohlbrugge we're implementing this in our new on boarding next week, I think it will probably resonate better with new members, who aren't aware yet.
Milan vd Bovenkamp ♠@milann · Connecting people again with Wildcard 🃏
@marckohlbrugge @leonpals yeah, that would work best over mobile and with messaging, hey that's exactly what we're doing with Wildcard ;)
Marc Köhlbrugge
Maker
@marckohlbrugge · Founder of BetaList
@supacruz Will send you a DM!
Marc Köhlbrugge
Maker
@marckohlbrugge · Founder of BetaList
@milann @leonpals Definitely. As I previously mentioned adding location support is definitely on the near-term roadmap. Especially helpful for a larger community like yours.
Aaron Lee D'Souza@aaroniclee · Designer/Executive
The logo looks almost exactly like Ello's logo, with the word Faces written in the middle.
Marc Köhlbrugge
Maker
@marckohlbrugge · Founder of BetaList
@aaroniclee Yep. Imagine my surprise when I saw Ello's logo ;). I designed mine over 4 years ago. It's somewhere in my Instagram feed if you're curious. I might change the logo at some point, since Ello is better known now. That said, it's not a priority at the moment.
Aaron Lee D'Souza@aaroniclee · Designer/Executive
@marckohlbrugge I think it works well for your brand, just a coincidence that the two logos are eerily similar.
David Plakon@dplakon · Product Designer @PledgeMusic
Seems like a very cool idea. $29/mo is pretty steep though fora lot of uses. Thoughts on tiered subscriptions? I think there's lots of smaller interest /friends communities that would use this if it had a cheaper option.
Tregg@treggify · Designer
@dplakon I was just thinking that something like this would be great for the Denver UX slack channel but the price is too steep.
Marc Köhlbrugge
Maker
@marckohlbrugge · Founder of BetaList
@dplakon What would be a reasonable price point for you and how many profiles do you plan on adding? Right now the $29/mo plan is for up to 100 profiles.
Marc Köhlbrugge
Maker
@marckohlbrugge · Founder of BetaList
@dplakon @treggify Hi Tregg. Same question for you. What would be a fair price point and how many profiles would you expect to list? I'm collecting data to see if it would make economical sense to support a cheaper, limited plan.
David Plakon@dplakon · Product Designer @PledgeMusic
@marckohlbrugge I think up to like 50 should be around $10/mo to hit a wide enough use case. I wouldn't expect to pay $30/mo til around 250 or so. Also, it really depends on the use. Honestly though, have you thought about making this integratabtle as a team page for companies? Those things are a nightmare to keep up to date and if you have a plug and play API that companies could plug their team pages into, that'd be very very useful and totally worth $30/mo. Slack is usually up to date with who currently is working at the company.
Tregg@treggify · Designer
@dplakon @marckohlbrugge Thanks for reaching out. I think a $10 plan would be a pretty good deal for something like a slack channel. I'm not exactly sure how you're determining pricing, so I'm not sure how many users that should include.
Marc Köhlbrugge
Maker
@marckohlbrugge · Founder of BetaList
@dplakon @treggify Thanks. Yeah right now the plans are limited by the number of members per community, but it doesn't make sense in all cases. For example a company with 50 people might get equal or even more value out of it as Slack community with 5,000 people. I'm still figuring out the best way to strike a nice balance.
Marc Köhlbrugge
Maker
@marckohlbrugge · Founder of BetaList
@dplakon Thanks for sharing your views on pricing. Like you point out it seems like the price people are willing to pay really depends on their use case and not necessarily on the number of members. It's something I'll have to think about a little more. As for the team page idea, that's something I've come across but I never considered a real issue. I've never worked at a big company before, so maybe I'm overlooking things. I'll keep it in mind and if more people request it, I'll consider making it a feature.
Pratik Shetty@pratik_shetty · Creator of VideoWiki
Great product Marc. One use case of Faces, which I see myself doing, is using it on the Sign Up Page. Human beings are born to recognize other human faces (YouTube Thumbnails which has a face on has more views than any other thumbnails) and putting this in the sign up page will definitely increase conversions. :D
Marc Köhlbrugge
Maker
@marckohlbrugge · Founder of BetaList
@pratik_shetty Interesting idea. I'd say the main benefit of using Faces over coding something yourself is that people can create and manage their own profile. Is that something you see being useful for this use case too?
Pratik Shetty@pratik_shetty · Creator of VideoWiki
@marckohlbrugge : yeah. If i had a system where the "Top 10 in the leader-board" / "power users" would end up being featured in the Sign UP page as a reward. In this scenario, Users being able to manage their own profile will be much more handy then manually updating their details. I will definitely experiment with this on VideoWiki in the near future and will let you know the results :)
Marc Köhlbrugge
Maker
@marckohlbrugge · Founder of BetaList
@pratik_shetty Clever. Let me know if I can help! ( marc@getfaces.com )
Chris Laurent@iamchrislaurent · Story teller at LoveJobsInTech.com
The simplicity of the community foundation is very clever. Adding a straight up price point is also an interesting move. Well done.
Romain BARON@baronromain · :)
@iamchrislaurent Could you please elaborate on "Interesting move"? You mean it's good to create a sort of inaccessible access to the product so more desirable and closer community, ...just super curious on that :) Cheers buddy
Marc Köhlbrugge
Maker
@marckohlbrugge · Founder of BetaList
@iamchrislaurent Thanks Chris 🙌