31 Mar 2020

Luke Thomas from Friday ($10k+/mo)

Luke Thomas is the founder of Friday, a communication tool for keeping track of your most important updates at work. Luke has worked in early stage technology for most of his career, and was previously the Head of Product at Crystal and ran growth at getAbstract. He lives in Portland, Maine, and has a business partner, dog, and father-in-law all with the name Steve (which if you ask me is too many Steves).

Where did the idea for your product come from?

I originally started working on Friday after coming to the conclusion that the majority of workplace pain is a byproduct of poor communication. I noticed that the best teams/companies created repeatable communication habits to make sure people felt connected and aware of what was going on. It was like they approached communication like someone in operations approaches any other key process at work.

I originally built the product with a focus on improving the feedback loop between an employee and their team leader, but shifted to become a low-code tool for automating routine updates at work (daily standups, weekly updates, retros, etc). Now, we automate everything related to routine updates (prompts, reminders, notifications, sharing with stakeholders), with the exception of actually filling it out 😀.

What growth tactics have turned out to be ineffective for you?

I spent a little time on paid acquisition before the product was sticky and it was a massive waste of time and money. Throwing money at a retention problem never works. It’s like pouring water into a leaky bucket.

Another problem I experienced was not staying focused. It’s easy to want to build new features in the hopes that suddenly people will want to use the product. That is rarely true (it wasn’t for me). Spend all your time focusing on the core product loop instead (a repeatable behavior in your product) and build out from there.

It’s a better use of your limited time and dollars.

What is your business model and the reasoning behind it?

Friday is ideal for distributed teams/orgs. This can be tech firms, but also the deskless workforce. When you work outside of the office, you feel a bit disconnected from what’s going on. This is because you can’t rely on observation anymore. We help provide rich/useful data to give you improved visibility, even when your team isn’t in the same room.

Most importantly, because we help create communication habits at work, you end up experiencing more predictability with someone that is historically unpredictable (i.e. - random water-cooler conversations).

Specifically, we are a subscription service and we charge $6/mo per user right now. There wasn’t a lot of science to it. It was based on the following factors:

  • We looked at the competitive landscape.
  • We tried to collect as much data as possible like budgets and willingness to pay.
  • We tried selling the product at various price points to see what worked and what didn’t (via real-time conversations typically).

I’m sure we will change this a bit in the future. Pricing and packaging is always a work in progress.

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