Peter and Bjrn co-founded Reform in response to a perceived need in the market for a simple, visually beautiful form builder. They use a conventional SaaS business model where customers pay a monthly membership price (currently $19). Peter had no fixed address between 2013 and 2017, leading a nomadic existence. He discovered while studying form designers that none of them appealed to him, and when he shared this realization with his startup colleagues, they concurred. Peter then sold WP Pusher and Branch.
In response to a perceived need in the market for a simple, visually beautiful form builder, Peter co-founded Reform. Despite just having a two-person staff, they were able to go from concept to 100 consumers in eight months.
What are you currently working on and who are you?
My name is Peter. I have a kid, am married, and I’m 31 years old. I’m preparing to move from Copenhagen, Denmark, where I presently dwell, to an 8,000-person little hamlet one hour outside of Copenhagen.
Reform is how my cofounder and I approached creating a straightforward, attractive form builder that we believed the industry lacked. As the CEO, I spend most of my time on marketing, client success, and operational duties, while I do occasionally develop code, mostly on the infrastructure. My cofounder Bjrn oversees the product and writes the lion’s share of the code. We use a conventional SaaS business model where customers pay a monthly membership price (currently $19).
What is your background, and how did you come up with this idea?
I had no fixed address between 2013 and 2017, when I relocated to Scotland with my then-girlfriend, leading a nomadic existence throughout my twenties. During that time, I traveled extensively throughout Southeast Asia and Southern Europe. I also spent one semester studying at a university in Morocco. While on the road, I worked as a freelance developer. Later, using the WP Pusher plugin, I started my own WordPress plugin company.
After running WP Pusher on the side for a few years, I introduced Branch, a SaaS that focuses on WordPress. I joined the TinySeed accelerator’s first class and earned some cash from angel investors. Despite still having a sizable runway and income from WP Pusher, Branch finally collapsed.
I made the decision to create a fresh idea with the runway, and the first concept needed me to find a form builder I liked. I discovered while studying form designers that none of them appealed to me, and when I shared this realization with my startup colleagues, they concurred. The developer I had recruited to work on Branch agreed when I asked him if he would be interested in investigating this idea as a co-founder.
We just extended our runway, so I sold WP Pusher and Branch.
How did you turn a concept into a finished product?
Although the form builder business was already well-established, I was aware of how fiercely competitive it was. I thus have to check to see if:
People were interested in the kind of form builder we were going to make.
In such a congested market, we were able to discover the distribution we needed. We started by talking to a lot of people who were already using a competitor product. I read The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick several times and did my best to follow his suggestions. After our talks, I had the impression that there was much more to learn about this area.
Next, we developed a landing page for Reform, our yet-to-be-built form builder. We worked on the page for a month since we knew it had to be great to truly stand out. Additionally, we produced prototypes of the Figma shapes in the desired state. The early access registration form was created using a hard-coded version of one of the prototypes that were utilized on the landing page. This was effective because it provided a clear example of what we wanted to create. It was really straightforward to welcome visitors to submit feedback and leave comments right on the website because the landing page was made in Figma. We probably asked twenty to thirty people for their opinions, and in the end, the copy and design were really effective.
I tweeted the landing page when I was ready to share it with everyone and requested my contacts to help spread the news. Over 100,000 people saw the tweet, and on the first day, we had 500 signups. There were 1300 of us when we finally took off.
We made the decision to devote a few months to building the product because the tweet was so effective. We were able to replace our early access registration with a legitimate Reform form after a few weeks, and we had signed up our first early access customer after a month. After a few months of onboarding, we had 40 or so paying clients. Then, we gave everyone access to our formal Twitter launch.
What marketing techniques did you use to grow your company?
As previously mentioned, our main marketing tactic was using Reform’s initial prototype as our early access signup form.
The second required advertising on Product Hunt and making an effort. Reform should do well on Product Hunt, as I had hoped, but you never know who else may debut on the same day as you. We made the decision to invest two to three weeks on the launch and go for the top spot. Surprisingly, our product ended up becoming the most popular during the week and the entire day. Derrick Reimer presented a free lecture at MicroConf Remote, and Corey Haines have published a blueprint online. We followed their lead.
The secret is to hold off until you have an adequate number of happy customers who can offer feedback and aid in spreading the word. I think a lot of people start using Product Hunt too soon.
What are you doing right now? What are your long-term goals?
I’m overjoyed that we recently exceeded the 100 customer threshold. In roughly eight months, we went from having no customers to having 100.
According to our present situation, Reform should be able to support both my co-founder and I by the end of 2022.
For both of us, the most important feature of Reform is that it gives us the freedom to live the lives we want. go specifically overseas for an extended period of time.
What have you learned most importantly while starting Reform?
If you put in the work, marketing may be beneficial, but many developer entrepreneurs don’t.
What were the toughest obstacles you overcame? What were your biggest mistakes?
The part that was hardest was leaving Branch.
You first try to make an endeavor succeed by giving it everything you’ve got. Finding the drive to try something again after recognizing it won’t work after two years is quite challenging.
Second, you now oversee two businesses because the company was making money (mainly from WP Pusher) and had hundreds of clients. Managing the WP Pusher/Branch sales process on the weekends and in the evenings was also incredibly challenging.
What equipment and sources would you recommend?
Rob Fitzpatrick’s “The Mom Test” and “Clearly Awesome” by April Dunford Michele Hansen’s Deploy Empathy Discussions:
Jason Cohen’s Designing the Perfect Bootstrapped Enterprise podcast episodes
Planning an MVP by Michael Seibel JTBD at Intercom: Articles by Des Traynor for Jobs-to-be-Done Radio: Overcoming SaaS Plateaus:
Give product-user fit more weight than product-market fit
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