Piqued for Grouped
The community platform for creators.
According to Exploding Topics, there are over 200 million content creators in the world, and growing rapidly every single day.
Creator communities are grown typically with the following software:
TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Slack, Twitch, Patreon, etc
Many of them allow you to grow your following but lack the ability to refine the experience and focus on the community at a personal level between the creator + the community member.
Finn Hodgins decided to build Grouped when his fiancé communicated her pain points from other community-driven platforms. They lacked the ability to own their content, monetize within the platform, connect with members on a deeper level, and allow them to truly own their community and its growth by content.
Building software is hard, we know this. It’s even harder for people that aren’t technical.
Did that stop Finn? Hell no.
That’s what I love about founders. They have a tenacity that cannot be broken.
Grouped is in a pilot phase which is one of my favorite parts of software building. Consumers have the ability to become early adopters, learn about the software, and influence how the software will be built.
Find the early adopters and treat them like GOLD. Those early adopters will advocate for what you’re building, provide you with priceless feedback, and share your brand with the world.
Want to join? Create a group and get started building your brand.
🌟 Feedback. Feedback. Feedback. 🌟
Let’s start with the Marketing site:
When I look at the website and read the content outlining the product, I understand what they’re doing. Because of this, however, I think of their competitors immediately. The two that come to mind are Circle.so and Mighty Networks.
When I’m researching the brands, I see that the taglines of the 3 companies are eerily similar:
Your community will grow faster on Mighty Networks (MN)
The all-in-one community platform for creators & brands (circle.so)
The community platform for creators. (grouped)
I’m calling this out because as a software buyer, the first thing I do is google everyone that does what I need. Then I make a spreadsheet of their features and outline the deltas to help me narrow down the best option for me.
Am I saying that a headline is a feature that I use to narrow down? No. But what I’m calling out here is that if they all say the exact same thing, I may overlook the newb in the industry unless it tells me they do something different. Otherwise, I’m going to knock them off my list fast.
Next up, is the marketing video:
Ok, the video is fine. I don’t have any special comments BUT one thing caught my attention (0:45 mark):
“A place where you have the full attention of your audience. Without any distractions, ads, or algorithms.”
No algorithms?! You mean, I can control my own content and how it’s viewed in my own community? 🤯
Listen, I work for a Machine Learning company. I support algorithms. But I also completely understand the pain that they cause.
Personally, I think this should have a bigger focal point above the fold. Bring up your differentiator sooner so people are interested to learn more.
Why don’t you use algorithms?
How will it benefit the members?
How will it empower the creator?
These are elements that will make a brand stick out amongst the competition.
Let’s talk product…
I’m going to review the product through the lens of an early adopter for what I would call an Alpha launch.
What is an Alpha launch? It means that research has been underway, a true MVP built, and the company is now looking for feedback to find its niche in the sea of software. Alpha products can be in the market for about 6-12 months before a true Beta is released with more features and better user experiences. I like to think of Alpha's as a grandiose testing round.
For context, this pilot round has 6 creators all of which are in private mode so I’m unable to view them all unless invited. I’ve been invited to Claire’s community which is focused on healthy recipes.
Instead of diving into extreme details I’m going to provide feedback via first impression power round particularly because this is an Alpha/pilot launch and I believe it will be more helpful. Let's do this…
There are 6 pilot communities, all of which are private. I can’t access them unless invited - but I would still expect to see them all. Show the customer what they're missing and allow them to request to join!
I’d like to visually see the groups on the dashboard focused around categories - allow a user to find communities based on interest.
Decrease emphasis on me as a user. I’m not important. Instead, focus on communities and hide my profile in the navigation for editing.
When you click on manage subscription on mobile, the navigation doesn’t close so it looks like a bug. Automate the close on tap. This is not an issue on the desktop.
I have access to “Payouts” as a member, not a community owner. I would introduce permission style functions to the platform so these items are conditional based on the type of user.
As a community member, I am unclear how monetization works. Is it by purchasing to become a member per month? Or can I purchase specific items within the community itself? This is a “free” group so I imagine there will be content to purchase. I don’t currently see any.
The “Home” tab is a list of postings in chronological order. I would like to see more visual interest with different features tagged at the top, media differentiation, and the ability to purchase a highlighted item.
The notifications tab is empty — I’d expect to be able to opt into email, text, or notification updates for my device so I am always on top of the newest content and offerings from my favorite communities.
Right now, I don’t see a standout feature that will make me come back for more. I need something that says “ooh Instagram can’t give me this!” I see the value for monetization for a community creator, but I don’t see the same value for the member, yet.
Lastly, polish. I’m a designer by nature so to build trust, I need polished UI. For an Alpha, it’s what I expect so I’m looking forward to the Beta release!
Have any thoughts on the feedback? Use the comment section, and let’s dive into it!
More on Finn Hodgins
Finn is the founder of Grouped, the software to turn your following into a community, build a stronger brand, and make more money. He’s a young entrepreneur that was determined to make his way into the software world after learning about influencer marketing at his first job in a startup. He and his fiance, Claire, are planning to be married in 2023 and enjoy spending time as entrepreneurs and learning about the software industry together!
Building software is hard. But the Piqued founder community is making it happen every single day. Thank you for being a part of this journey.
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