Hi I’m Jason, a Fullstack Designer and co-founder of Signal. This is our story.
Our journey began 9 months ago, we set out to develop a tool that would help us become better traders. Taking inspiration from one of our previous projects, we decided to build an interface that integrated with Binance and let us place both a stop loss and take profit order at the same time.
2 weeks in - MVP 1.0, success
MVP 1.0 was a success
We entered our trades, added a stop loss, added a take profit and then hit ‘Enter’ – BOOM it worked. It actually executed on Binance.
What if we took this one step further and built an interface?
Buzzing with optimism we got to work. First we considered building a native app, then quickly came to our senses and realized that was a terrible idea. So instead we settled on building a web application.
Our tech stack: VueJS for the frontend, Python/Django for the backend. We had worked with both before on previous projects so it just made sense to use them again.
Choosing to build a web app turned out to be a very good idea, mostly for 2 reasons.
- It gave us flexibility. Being online meant we could trade on both mobile and desktop, without having to build separate apps for each.
- It wasn’t a native app.
Being a Designer, I fired up Sketch and whipped up a few mocks for what the tool could look like.
1 week later - MVP 2.0
Looking back I can’t help but shake my head at some of these designs 🤦 It’s safe to say we’ve come a long way since then.
The tool underwent a few iterations, most notably we increased the number of take profit targets that could be set from 1 to 5 and created an ‘open trades’ table to show all of our active trades.
I shared the designs into a few discord communities I was a part of, looking for feedback, and what we got back was astounding. People went mad for it. Soon enough every guy and his dog wanted the tool. That’s when we knew we were onto something.
4 weeks later - MVP 2.1, setting up the infrastructure
Hoods up and sufficiently caffeinated, we coded day and night.
Slowly but surely things were shaping up. We got some AWS credits and built our basic front and back end infrastructure.
Jumping between the coding and designing, I iterated on the mocks, making sure to only include things that people actually needed. We ran mini interviews and tested prototypes to make sure we weren’t missing anything.
2 months later - MVP 3.0, it’s alive!
The app was up and running, you could click buttons and they’d actually do things. It was looking good, although buggier than I’d like to admit.
It was time to start our first alpha group.
5 months later - MVP 4.0, enter beta
For 3 months we tested the product with our alpha users, weeding out 100’s of bugs and refining the product at every step of the way.
Can I just say, these people were some of the most loyal, positive and damn persistent people I have ever had the honour to work with - we owe so much of what we have today to them, thank you.
Transition to beta! We got our first paying customer
I’ll never forget the day. His name was Ryan (thanks Ryan), and he he gave us our first $20. Now don’t get me wrong, I know $20 isn’t a huge amount of money. But at that time it felt like $2,000. There is no greater feeling than your first paying customer. The person that validates all of your hard work (5 months) and confirms to you that you’re solving a real problem.
There’s something magical about that moment.
6 months later - Product 1.0, we officially launched!
Our tempo increased from 1 to 3 features per day, we were moving at a pretty fast pace. We also revised our business model, changing our price from $20 to $10 per month and started offering a free trial.
Growth was slow at first, getting the initial 30 people is always the hardest. But then it began to pick up and soon we were at a hundred. When 100 people are using something that you have helped build you feel this sense of accomplishment, you feel proud. I’m sure that’s something anyone who’s been there can relate to!
9 months later - Scaling
It’s been one heck of a journey and we’re far from done yet. We’ve gone from 100’s of users to 1000’s, with millions being traded through us every month. The platform has evolved in so many ways, but there’s one thing we’ve stayed true to that will never change: help make people better traders.
Again, I’m Jason co-founder of Signal and I hope you enjoyed reading about our journey!
I tried to keep this quite high level for time’s sake, but there’s so much more I could have told. I’m thinking I might do a write up that goes a little more in-depth, possibly talking more about things we have learned, so if that’s something you’d be interested in then let me know!
If you have any questions, leave them in the thread below and I’ll get back to you ASAP.