2023 W4: Preparing for v2
Every week I post about one thing that happened at Rows. We're building in public!
We spent a good part of last week laying out the plan for our Rows v2.0 launch, and discussing what that means.
We decided to focus a single message but 5 steps: First, announcing 4 key new features and follow them by a big announcement of the v2. And we created a plan to go with it. The plan includes:
A story for the launch. The story must be build around a message that is powerful enough to crown a major version of our software, while crisp enough that it clearly introduces the individual features being launched;
A time-line of launches that includes 4 elements. A sequence of dates; What will be announced in each date; The channels where we will announce these stories (website, email, social, HackerNews, ProductHunt etc); and The visual language that will connect all posts (image below).
Assets matrix for the announcements: what needs to be designed, images to be captured, and needed updates to our Homepage.
One more thing: We love Easter eggs. A big launch like this is an opportunity to experiment with communication, and it has produced good results.
Other story types.
Because there are many things to announce, we can fit stories into 3 broad categories:
Do several unrelated announcements, independently; This is the easiest option, because you don't have to connect assets or time launches; In other words, release features as they come. Launch early and frequent.
Do a sequence of announcements that lead up to the big one; this requires a bit of sequencing, but you can still release features as they get ready, provided that timelines are broadly aligned.
Save the firepower for a big splash with all of the releases at once. This is the easiest way to create a lot of attention and relevance. Also, if you do it like this you have the advantage that in the future users will remember you do proper big launches. It's the Apple way of doing it. The downside is that it may be too much to talk about.
We decided for #2: focus on a single message, delivered in 5 steps: 4 key features + the big announcement (#2).
Back story for a launch
Our product turned v1.0 on November 2021, just over 1 year ago. Why are we doing a v2 now?
Since the v1 we launched 15 big features and more than 100 improvements to our platform. Among them were Embeds, Conditional Formatting, our Wizard and several upgrades to our computation engine which resulted in a speed improvement over 10x on just range operations.
Despite all those launches, we still have a lot to announce this year. In particular, we are about 1/3 into the most prolific quarter ever in Rows history:
we started by launching an OpenAI integration;
we have to 4 major features to launch over the course of the upcoming weeks.
we will still have lots more features to announce, some of which are quite powerful too.
Overall, the product feels More powerful and Easier. It's much faster, more stable, and smarter too.
We think by the end of March anyone will be benefit from using Rows to build and share spreadsheets.
A little Spoiler
I'm not one to point fingers and disclose secret announcements.
But I can tell you one of the features we're about to release ends with "_PI".
See you next week!