In early 2021 when I resigned from my fancy pants job at WP Media (the company behind WP Rocket), my mind was set on creating a product.
It wasn’t the stereotypical story where one leaves their cushy corporate salary behind and take brave strokes into the wilderness of the startup life.
This was more like leaving the comforts of your home to go to college where everything is paid for by your parents. You still feel like you are stepping out, but it’s nothing like the real thing.
I say that because I already had Image Attributes Pro going for me. It was bringing in enough moolah to keep the batteries charged.
COVID situation in India at the time didn’t really allow for travel. So there was no distraction coming up. I had all the time to focus on my next product.
I even had a multi-paged Google doc full of product ideas. An ongoing doc where I dump midnight burps and caffeinated sparks. But none of them where Delta-4. None of them inspired me to dedicate the next 5 to 8 years of my prime.
If you are not keen on watching the video, here is Delta-4 in a nutshell. Remember the first time you used Uber? You didn’t have to negotiate with the folks who specialized in looting you day and night. You couldn’t wait to brag to your friends about it. And you probably still use the app when you can.
That’s Delta-4. As long as your experience doesn’t go horribly wrong, you are never going back to the pre-Uber life.
I had already tasted a Delta-4 product with SuperPWA. People who installed the plugin talked about it organically. When your website is now also an app (thanks to SuperPWA), you just had to tell your followers about it. Their competitors and users would come, often out of curiosity, and many of them became new users of SuperPWA.
WP Rocket was a similar product. Users were proud to tweet and brag about how fast their website was since they installed WP Rocket.
On the contrary, Image Attributes Pro was not that. Users get it to remedy a specific pain and then go on with their day. Often the pain is temporary and except for the occasional review or a nice email there is no reason to talk about it or tell the world about the plugin.
Image Attributes Pro is a tool. A screwdriver. You need it to drive a screw (the pain) and then it stays in your toolbox until the pain surfaces again.
I appreciate a quality tool as much as the next person. But tools rarely get the press that makes it a Delta-4 product. Typically tools stay in the background. In a toolbox.
Enter marketing, black powder coating, swanky photos and upbeat music. Suddenly there is a tool that people want to tweet about. They appear as prop on YouTube videos and even gets displayed on a showcase with ambient light.
We live in a world where a 30 minute video about A SCREWDRIVER gets over 3.2 million views on YouTube (and counting).
I think it comes down to story and user experience.
Everyone loves a good story. Say it in a way that makes it relatable and achievable with proper dozes of edutainment and you have an audience.
A well told story also elevates the user experience the same way a premium price and fancy cutlery elevates a meal. In a way, the story is simply a component of the overall user experience.
Create a delightful user experience and you might just have users wanting to brag about your product. Even if that product is a humble screwdriver.