A retrospective on the first two months of FoodNoms and plans for the next few months.
FoodNoms has had an incredible first two months. I'm extremely proud of what I've accomplished so far:
Still, some things could be better:
Now that meals and recipes are done, which were both deal breakers for many people, I'm excited to move on to new projects!
Please note that this is a roadmap, not a list of commitments. My plans may change due to feedback or unforeseen circumstances.
An alarming amount of people (~65%) install the app and never log any food. Obviously, this is a huge problem! Clearly my onboarding sucks and needs a complete rethink.
In the long-term, I view goals as a huge area of opportunity to differentiate FoodNoms from my competitors. In the short-term, I will be implementing some small changes that should have a big impact: more goals types, the ability to view charts with longer time periods, and goal suggestions/calculators.
Several customers have asked for a notifications feature. I expect this to be straightforward to implement, and I'm betting that it will have a measurable impact on retention.
I am hopeful that by offering a trial for FoodNoms Plus, I can do a better job of demonstrating the value of FoodNoms Plus to more users.
I conducted a customer survey in late December, and by far the clearest takeaway from the results is that FoodNoms users want a better food database.
I have spent a lot of time evaluating my options here. There's a lot of things I had to consider: financial risk, potential changes to pricing, focusing on US vs non-US foods, constraints due to contractual agreements, lock-in and transition costs, and privacy implications.
I have decided to continue to host my own database, and expand the dataset through licensing and crowdsourcing.
Advantages of this approach:
I view most of the disadvantages as temporary. As FoodNoms grows, crowdsourced data should grow as well. In the long-term, I'll have opportunities to obtain more international nutrition data.
I think many of my customers are going to be very happy with these improvements to the food database.
Currently, you don't need to create any sort of account to use FoodNoms. Which is really quite amazing. You can't get a more-seamless onboarding experience than that!
Due to the changes I'm making to the food database, I'm going to be transitioning to the next best thing, which is Sign in with Apple. With this change, I'll be able to verify the authenticity of the user making requests to the FoodNoms database server. Your privacy will still be protected and the sign-in experience will still be as minimal as possible.
Before I launched FoodNoms, I had tentatively planned to start working on a Watch version of the app in December. However, I received a lot of feedback from the launch that completely changed my priorities.
I have now addressed most of that feedback, so the Watch app is near the top of the list again. I think this is going to be a really fun project – I can't wait to get started!
(I'm also hopeful that by offering a Watch app, FoodNoms has a higher chance of being featured on the App Store. I'm not banking on this happening, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.)
Since launch, I've shipped 10 updates in the span of 2.5 months, which averages to around one update per week.
I have really enjoyed shipping these frequent updates. However, I expect the pace of updates to decrease going forwards. Most of these changes I've listed are pretty large in scope. I have decided to coalesce some of the larger changes into a single update, on order to have a higher change of getting press coverage.
This project has been, and continues to be, an extraordinary learning experience. Thank you to all of my customers and supporters that have been a part of this journey.