Chris Armstrong

Chris Armstrong

Designer of Niice Joined almost 3 years ago via an invitation from Gearóid O.

  • 25 stories
  • 31 comments
  • 13 upvotes
  • Posted to Best moodboard tool?, in reply to Vladimir Babic , Nov 19, 2015

    I like Niice, but then I’m biased ;)

    2 points
  • Posted to Best moodboard tool?, in reply to Vadim Vichniakov , Nov 19, 2015

    Do you mean Niice.co? ;)

    2 points
  • Posted to Ask DN: Product Hunt vs App Store - which is better?, in reply to Sam King , Sep 09, 2015

    That's interesting, so getting in touch with press and saying "we've been featured on Product Hunt" makes it more newsworthy? I really suck at all that kind of stuff... I'd rather design a new feature than write a press release, which leads to us having a bunch of cool stuff nobody knows about :D

    0 points
  • Posted to Ask DN: Product Hunt vs App Store - which is better?, in reply to Olivier F , Sep 07, 2015

    Good question, I'm trying to think how we could figure that out... the only tracking we have in the app is through Intercom, which tends to be pretty terrible for that kind of analysis.

    0 points
  • Posted to We're making Niice completely free for students, in reply to Eric R , Sep 01, 2015

    That's fair feedback, and pricing is always tricky. We have to make a living, but it's up to us to ensure the functionality is worth the price of entry. For folks who spend hours putting together boards for presentations, Niice is a huge timesaver, but if that's not a painpoint for you then you're not going to get the same value.

    It's up to us to keep increasing the value of the product so it's worth upgrading to more people, but don't worry... you'll always be able to use it for free too :)

    0 points
  • Posted to We're making Niice completely free for students, in reply to Gajus Kuizinas , Sep 01, 2015

    That's odd... we're not likely to have any images tagged with your name but when I do a search for Apple it gives me quite a few results:

    Niice results for Apple

    Could you send me an email at chris@niice.co and we'll try and figure out what's broken for you?

    0 points
  • Posted to Niice adds CSS-based image editor, in reply to Ollie Monk , Aug 11, 2015

    Yep, hover over an image in your moodboard, then click on the 'effects' button on the left, and it should appear?

    Niice effects

    0 points
  • Posted to Icebergs to Octobox. I feel like I am being evicted from all these apps!, Aug 05, 2015

    I run Niice, a moodboarding tool and (I guess) ex-competitor of Octobox. I’m actually really disappointed to see it go though, just as I was with Icebergs.

    That said, I can understand why this happens. It’s one thing to design and build a useful product, another thing entirely to build a sustainable business. The two aren’t necessarily related either: there are plenty of sustainable business with crap products, and plenty of failed businesses that had fantastic products (Everpix springs to mind… may she rest in peace).

    I don’t know Milosz (the creator of Octobox) or why he’s having to shut the service down, but I’m sure the decision wasn’t made lightly. A product like this is your baby, you pour a lot of blood, sweat and tears into it, and you really value people who embrace it as part of their workflow. That said, if you want it to stay alive it needs to at least cover its running costs, and if you want it to grow it needs to cover development, marketing and support costs too. A common conversion rate for freemium services is 2%. That means you can have 10,000 active users, yet only 200 paying customers. If you’re charging $5-$10 per month (which seems to be what most people feel a service like this is worth, when balanced against all their other subscriptions), that means those 200 paying customers make you ~$1,500/month. I’ve heard people describe Amazon S3 as ‘basically free’ because $0.03/GB seems pretty cheap, but on image bookmarking sites it soon gets costly. Add to that Heroku hosting (because it’s cheaper than hiring a system admin, trust me…), an email service (we use Mailgun), Intercom for customer support, Kissmetrics (or Mixpanel) for event tracking (because Intercom doesn’t do ‘analytics’ very well) etc… and the monthly costs add up.

    Long story short: If you’re using an ‘indie’ app that you’d like to be around in a few years, then pay for it. It makes more of a difference than you might think (even just in terms of motivating the developer to keep going), and it definitely costs less than the time you lose switching services each time one shuts down.


    Note: Niice is actually covering its running costs pretty comfortably, so it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. I’m keen for it to still be going strong in 10 years though, which is why we’re doing the following:

    1. Bootstrapping. Not having a pile of money in the bank helps keep things real. It forces you to keep running costs lean, and ensure the app is providing real value (i.e. worth paying for) from Day 1.
    2. Charging for features that cost money to run (for example, only Pro users can upload images). This makes it a lot harder to demo the app’s full capabilities to free users, but it means your running costs don’t increase unless your revenue does too.
    3. Providing a backup. Right now we do this in the form of Two-way Dropbox sync, but I plan to add more options down the line. If worst comes to worst, you’ll still have your stuff.
    15 points
  • Posted to Is Sketch filling up your hard drive?, in reply to John P , Jul 27, 2015

    Will the latest version of the files be intact still?

    0 points
  • Posted to Is Sketch filling up your hard drive?, in reply to John P , Jul 27, 2015

    There seems to be something wrong with Sketche's implementation though... it's not supposed to just keep taking up space ad infinitum surely?

    0 points
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