The best user feedback management tool for startups and small teams.
FeedBear lets you collect feedback, prioritize product features, and keep your users in the loop.
During my previous work in a software agency we worked mostly with startups. Their struggle to prioritize features they asked us to build was making the work slow, chaotic and expensive. This gave me an idea to build a tool that would make rapid product development in startups easier.
Since 2018 FeedBear has grown from a little tool to a complete user feedback management platform. I wrote the story of how it all started from a more personal perspective in this article.
- 2018, August: Finished MVP, acquired the first customer (that is still a customer to this day!)
- 2018, December: Ran a Lifetime deal to secure initial funding and more users. I wrote about my experience in this article
- 2019: Freelancing as a web developer / designer with little focus on FeedBear
- 2020, January: Decided to dedicate a full year to improve the product and acquire more customers. The ultimate goal was to make a living from FeedBear
- Hosting: Heroku with Cloudflare CDN and Amazon S3 storage
- Backend: Ruby on Rails
- Frontend: Vue.js
What I learned
Working on FeedBear exposed me to the complete lifecycle of a SaaS product. At the beginning, I didn't even imagine the amount of work needed to build and sustain a project like this as a solo developer.
At first, there was a simple Ruby on Rails application. The first big hurdle for me was subdomain multi-tenancy. The ability to separate different accounts' data into silos accessible only via their respective subdomain seemed common for SaaS products yet there was very little written about it.
I managed to find my way around, connecting little bits of information and now besides plain subdomains, FeedBear supports connecting a custom domain.
- Relational database modeling, quering and optimisation (PostgreSQL)
- Multi-tenancy (data separation, routing)
- Frontend performance (CDNs, caching, API optimisation)
- Background job processing of secondary tasks
- Advanced Ruby, Ruby on Rails, and Vue.js features
Beside having a technical education and background, I was always interested in a design work, or at least an intersection of design and development. Building a project used by various teams with various workflows allowed me to rapidly iterate on UI and UX with real-world feedback.
The biggest challenge from the design perspective was making the navigation simple and encourage exploration at the same time. Simply removing elements or hiding them from view was thus not an option.
In the end, actively listening to feedback from customers and observing how they use FeedBear led me to create a useful tool that's also delightful to use at the same time.