Why i Stopped my Own Product (SmartWatch)?!

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In late 2021 and early 2022, due to inflation shocks caused by new US sanctions, people turned to the Iranian stock market to maintain the value of their money. In the past, only people with good knowledge of economics and financial markets were active in this market, but with the departure of the common people, the nature of the market changed completely. Almost all people had no logic behind their trades. These people did not have time to trade at all. They did not want to be traders at all. They just wanted to resist the waves of inflation and survive. So we had users who had neither the time nor the patience to observe the market. At this time I built a robot that did that job. That is, if any criteria of the ticker they want (price, volume, etc.) reaches the threshold they set, a notification will be sent to them. Three months after the robot was released publicly, I stopped the project. Why?! I will explain :)

Robot Specs

I implemented and built the robot on the platform of Telegram messenger bot. I used Python language to implement robot, Postgres database to store users information and python-telegram-bot module to connect to Telegram bot services. I also used signalr-client module to receive market live data.

The robot worked in such a way that you first had to select a ticker and then set a threshold on each of the various defined criteria, such as the last trade price or the volume of the trade. When the value of that criterion reached the user’s desired level, a notification was sent to him/her via Telegram and the user was notified instantly of fluctuations and market changes. The revenue was implemented in such a way that a maximum amount was set for the number of tickers and the number of criteria selected by the user, and the user had to pay the amount in order to be able to define more of them.

Why the project failed

After implementing the robot alone, I started advertising it on specialized stock market channels. The number of registrations was good and acceptable, but there was almost no use of the service provided by the robot. As a result, I decided to stop the project after 3 months. I list the reasons for this as follows:

1. Telegram is filtered MAN!

Accessibility is one of the most important pillars of user use. Access to Telegram has been blocked in Iran since 2018-04-30. Proxies can not be used by anyone, and not everyone can be expected to use Telegram without any problems like before it is blocked. Maybe the same service was provided in the form of a mobile application, the situation was different. who knows?!

2. Bad UX

Working with robots was not easy either. First, the user had to find and select the desired ticker from the list of tickers, which were not few. The impossibility of searching tickers made the work very difficult at this stage. Also, entering numbers to set thresholds required a special format that could not be said to be very user friendly.

3. Technical bug at first launch

The first time I released the robot to the public, I checked the database that night and noticed many errors. On the same day, I realized that I had considered the username as the primary key, and since setting username is unnecessary in the Telegram profile, many users who wanted to register in the robot did not have a username and thus, their information in The database was not saved. Of course, the same day I solved the problem and send a direct message to users who were in trouble, but many of them did not return to the robot.

4. Lack of knowledge of target users

I think this can be the most important reason for failure. I created and published this product simply because I was able to implement it. I did not conduct any community polls on whether or not they needed it. Maybe I could design and implement a better product based on the output of the polls. Also, after the product was not used, I did not go to the registered users to see what their pains are and what their needs are. That’s the least I could do at that time.

photo by Nick Chong

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