This is a summary of week 2 of my #100DaysOfTechStartup challenge with Chiffre.io. Not much has happened on the product side, but I’ve been busy on the marketing and social front. It’s not as fun as coding, but I learned a lot.
TL;DR: The invites are at the end 😉
One of the nice features of Buttondown that I use with Chiffre is subscriber context: when a visitor subscribes to the newsletter, I can set some key/value metadata based on where they subscribed from: the landing page or the signup page, and know which pricing plan they were looking at.
The only code I wrote last week was for the landing page, which now lists features and dummy pricing elements :
The IndieHackers community has a group dedicated to landing pages, so I submitted Chiffre’s, and got some interesting feedback: some people did not understand what the project was about. It makes sense: the first draft is vague, it does not show the product or what added value it gives compared to other privacy-friendly analytics solutions.
That’s one of the hard challenges ahead: how to promote a core feature that is essentially invisible to the end-user, and that favours something that most don’t care about (data ownership and ethics) ?
It seems my target audience was too broad, and not well-defined. Just slapping end-to-end encryption on an analytics solution is not a product, it’s a technical solution in search of a problem.
Large businesses have money, but don’t care about data ownership: see the rise of surveillance tech built around the free flow of personal data. If they cared about privacy, everything would be a cryptographic paradise and we’d all have Yubikeys on our keychains. But encryption is friction, and businesses avoid friction at all costs. Paying to get less options than Google Analytics (which is free) makes zero sense, especially if privacy is not in your stakeholders priorities.
The tagline on the landing page “Insight, for your eyes only” implies you have something to hide. From me and from anybody. End-to-end encryption is like an armour, it only makes sense to wear it if the data you want to protect is valuable. Is it the case for analytics ? I’m not entirely sure, but I might be wrong. It’s more the possible deviations of mass data collection that can be a problem. So, is it a cannon to kill a mosquito ? Maybe.
The other issue is with the privacy-first approach. Not that it’s a bad one, it’s one of the fundamental values that lead me to build Chiffre. But there already are well-positioned solutions on that front: Fathom leads the way, Plausible and SimpleAnalytics not far behind. Small indie companies that placed their ethics as a founding principle of their product. Maybe the market does not need another privacy-first analytics solution, so pivoting on whatever Chiffre collects and how it shows it to you might be in the pipe for the near future.
Enough existential rambling, let’s look at some data !
The images did not send properly in the first issue, so here are the stats of the MVP running for a select few alpha testers:
It’s so close to 10k ! Let’s make it happen together: the owner of the project that generates the 10 000th event will receive a free-forever unlimited account 🎉 (if it’s one of mine I’ll get the next in the list).
If you want to give Chiffre a try and don’t mind hitting some snags, you can sign up for a free account for the preview here:
This link will be up until Friday.
If at any time you encounter a problem or need a hand, hit me up at email@example.com, I’ll be happy to set you up.
At the moment I’m filtering incoming events by origin domain, which means that a project configured for
https://example.com will refuse events coming from
https://preview.example.com or any other domain. If you want to allow more domains, let me know and I’ll set you up.
I added that feature early to avoid spam from preview deployments, but it may be premature optimization.
Before I leave you, I want to ask you a simple question:
How many daily visitors do you have on the most popular website you own or manage ?
Let me know on this poll on Twitter, or you can reply to this email. Thanks !
Founder | Chiffre.io