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Developer marketplaces with Robin Warren, founder of Corrello & Blue Cat Reports Episode 40

Developer marketplaces with Robin Warren, founder of Corrello & Blue Cat Reports

Robin Warren is the Founder of Corrello & Blue Cat Reports. Corrello is a Scrum and Kanban extension that instantly and seamlessly integrates with Trello.

· 30:43


Robin: And the best way to test that is to have that thing and to see if people will pay for it. But if that's gonna take you a year to build, then yeah, you need to find shortcuts. But if you can build it in a month

Jack: hi everyone. You're -listening to Scaling Dev Tools, the show that investigates how dev tools go from zero to one. I'm joined today by Robin Warren, who is the founder of and Corrello is a dashboard for Scrum and CanBan teams using Trello. And Robin is also the founder of Blue Cat Reports, and it's generally the God of building tools for Trello I think is. Maybe one way to put it. Robin, thanks so much for joining.

Robin: No thanks for having me on. It's a pleasure.

Jack: Could you tell us a little bit , about Corrello and about Blue Cat Reports and all the things that you're working on?

Robin: Yeah, sure. I mean, a little bit, sort of stepping back before Corrello, I guess this might be relevant to. Listeners. My background prior to that was I was software developer, and I was head of development. I think my technical title was cto. I probably gave myself that title at a um, 40 person company.

So it was like a dev team of 15 mix of sort of dev and testers. So managing the development team there either way was kind of my role. I took redundancy from that. I'd been building side projects, evening weekends, and never really getting anything off the ground and ended. yeah, the plan was I took the redundancy, my first child was born and I was like, okay, I can't really do evenings on weekends so much now cuz it's gonna be family time and I'll just be tired anyway.

So I've got a little bit of money saved, a bit of redundancy and I can go and try and build something. So that was where I, um, started building a few different things. Ended up settling on car, which. Wasn't initially focused on developers, but after a coup two, three months was focused on developers building freo, that took off, did fairly well and I just kept on finding more opportunities within Trello eco ecosystem.

And it was kind of, there's a lot of things there that were sort of half built already cuz we've got a lot of the code, we understood the users, you know, we had a mailing list of people, who were Trello users so we could, it just kind of made sense to keep. Working in that, that ecosystem that we kind of understood.

CAR was the first one, so that state said it's Scrum and CanBan team dashboard, so burn down charts, cycle time, cumulative flow diagram. And we've got whip page stuff like that in there now, some sort of more sort of modern stuff. Um, we added a free PowerUp, which is a kind of a leave magnet to that, called Agile tools.

So that was somebody at TR actually contacted us and said, Hey, we've got loads of people asking for story points. And there was ways of doing it in Trello, but it was kind of hacks and chrome plugins. So we built that as a Trello power up and made that free and got quite a lot of installs for that. I think we're up to about a hundred thousand installs for that one now.

And that was collecting email addresses and you know, sort of pointing people towards Corrello if they're interested in that. And then the story points there would integrate well. Car and we could sort of use all of those there. and we've got, I think 10 power ups now. So it's a mix of paid and sort of free lead magnet ones.

So we've got, sort of four paid ones, if I'm right. We keep on adding more and more. We'll add more this year, I think. So Blue Cat Reports, is that the next sort of really big one that we built? So I was coming out of Corrello. A lot of people were signing up for. But they weren't really dev teams.

We were one of the better, if not the best reporting option in town. So they would sign up for that and then get very confused by a lot of the terminology in there. So we built like a general purpose reporting tool for Trello with Blue Cat reports. And then we keep on following the smell of, you know, what people are asking for in the forums and when we're chatting to customers, what they're trying to do, that kind of thing.

Jack: It seems like you've really like cornered that space of, Trello and um, kind of reporting and add-ons.

Robin: Yeah, I mean my, my background as well was always reporting, so I've always worked at sort of software companies building reporting tools, first company. Doing reporting for like, you know, general elections in bbc. So not the swing o we never did those, but we did all of the data systems behind the swing auditor and we did the reporting tools for the producers, the, um, like Dimbleby and everyone, all the presenters would be looking at our screens with, data on.

So I've always worked. And then the pre, the previous company just before this was, um, I was there about 11 years and we're doing reporting systems for public. Performance management. So I've always kind of worked in reporting, so I knew what works and what doesn't work.

Jack: I was gonna talk about it in more detail anyway. This article that you wrote called Zero to one K Mr. R in 57 months, and in that you kind of talk about your journey and all the different things that you built from like a word search generator to like,

um, yeah, like some job, finding tools. It's interesting that you landed on something that was. Much closer to the skills that you've been building over those last, like, your whole career, I guess.

Robin: It was random chance, but it was also slightly, you know, it's the sort of look surface area. So when I took redundancy and I was going and trying to work out what to build, I did a little bit of digging through some of those old tools that I had out there and just contacted some of the more active users or putting an idea to a mailing list and saying, Hey, what if it did this?

What if it did that? And just tried a few things just to see if I could get any of them off the ground. But within a, I was sort of pretty militant on that as well. It was, you know, it was like a week maybe on something and doing everything very manual. And if it wasn't showing, Interest from people, it was like, well, I'm not gonna carry on with this because at that point I was just spending, I dunno, two and a half round a month for me and a family to stay alive but not bringing any money in.

So you really feel the pressure to start bringing some cash in. I was casting around for ideas and yeah, I was actually ended up going and working with a friend who had a, marketing agency and he was interested. Trying to get some data out of Trello basically was one of his issues. We chatted about a load of different things all day, which I was helping him out with.

Just trying to work out where he could maybe hire someone to build some internal tools or where they could buy stuff. And one of the things they had issues with was getting data out of Trello. And then I went home and then it was full 24 hours before I realized, oh, wait a minute, that could be like a product idea,

And then I, and then I built it. The sort of chance had to kind of come and beat me over the face with a stick before I realized it was there in front of me. I was putting myself in the area to find, to be lucky at the time. If you know what.

Jack: Yeah. And I guess like they considered you as someone that probably knew how to solve this problem.

Robin: Yeah, I mean he didn't come to me with that specific problem. It was more he was, he was kinda looking to hire someone to be a tech person within his business. And I'd said, I, I wasn't interested cause I just left a job and I wanted to do my own thing. But I said, let's look through, you know, what you would get that person to do.

And then I can just tell you what you know from a sort of, Lead developer kind of point of view, what of those things just aren't solvable by technology? What you could just buy something on, what is an interesting problem? You could actually get someone in and then I can sort of work out or do a bit of spec work for you and then you can hire a developer to, to do the work.

It was kind of my pitch. I said, look, I'll just come along and hang out with you for a day and, do what a lead developer would do for you so that maybe you can hire someone a bit more junior to, to do the work. Which ended up not going anyway. I think they decided they didn't wanna go that route.

But one of the things they were talking about was this sort of Trello idea. So it wasn't necessarily coming to me with a pitch of saying, Hey, could you build this? It was quite tangential really, that it was, it sort of came out. Yeah. So not something anyone can replicate, I'm afraid. I was saying that I think one of the things I thought after that and after that had kind of worked was if I wanted to get ideas again, I would potentially go to.

Meetups for marketing teams or you know, whatever kind of teams and just chat to people over the evening and say, Hey, look, if I said that you could have a free developer for two months, what would you get 'em to do? You know, because a lot of people in their companies do have issues that they need resolving that they, they think, oh, a developer could probably fix this.

And half the time it's possibly something a developer can't fix. That way you're framing it to them, you know, it's like, Hey, if I just said I would do free work for you for two months, it's a good software developer, what would. What would you have me build? If you go and ask a software company that they'll just tell you to build their products.

But if you ask a, I was gonna say real estate agent, but that's not the UK term is it? What do you call 'em in ? I've been spending too much time for Americans. But you go and talk to cafe owners or whatever, you know, you will find something in our business, which is a technical problem, and somewhere along the line you might find a problem, which is worth 30 pounds a month to them, or 40 pounds a month, you know?

Jack: Yeah. And that actually lands on one of the other interesting points that you raised about, building something worth 30 pounds a month or more. And it'll be great to kind of hear a little bit about the kind of summary of that 57 month journey and the kind of the lessons that , you learned.

Robin: You've read it more recently than me, so you can tell me if I'm getting anything wrong, so, I mean I really wanted to write that blog post and I was looking forward to writing it when I knew that I was actually gonna get to the one K M R, cuz you, I dunno if you get so much of it now, but the world I was in there and you were seeing, like, it just seemed like all the time when was like, oh, we launched something, we were up to like one K M R in a day or three days or, you know, and it's like, look at us, aren't we great?

You know? And I didn't know many people who are having that kind of success to be honest. You know, it's a s slug. , and some people were slogging and. Get there, not guaranteed no matter how good you are or how good the product is, all this kind of thing. It's really tough. Um, and it does take time.

But yeah, so I was going through, I was, I was building a lot of different products and one of the things I was doing was trying not to make the same mistake more than once or twice . So with each product it was like, okay, this, you know, so like, one was this word search generator I think. , Patrick Mackenzie had his bingo card creator.

I was like, well what about word searches You. For, schools, same kind of thing. And I can do, use a lot of the same marketing tactics. , . Yeah, at the end of that, it was from chatting to a few teachers afterwards, it was like, yeah, PE teachers are buying this out of their own budgets of their own pocket, basically.

There's no real interest. There's a load of free alternatives that they could just go and download and get sort of worksheets. So I think that part of the idea was there was like, No one's got this problem in a recurring fashion. I can't remember all the other products I was building. It built up over time and the rules I was kind of setting for myself as I was evaluating ideas were, it needs to be a problem, which is a recurring problem for them.

And you see it sometimes people launch something and they have a kind of SAS pricing on it, but the recurring problem they're solving is that they want money every month. Not that that customer's got that problem every month. You know, they're wondering why, oh, why does my backup tool or download something tool all is.

No, everyone subscribes to one month and then cancels my churn through the roof. It's like, it's cuz it's not a monthly recurring problem for those people, you know? Um, and it needed to be a problem that was worth at least, I think I put 30 pounds down and it'd probably be 40 pounds an hour with inflation.

But, you know, it's something that forces you to developer to be honest about. , is this something which if, if you think you can only honestly charge like a dollar, $5 for it, you know, and people make success with that kind of route. But for me it was like that was a way of getting rid of 80% of ideas that would need such huge volume that it was gonna be tricky to, to achieve that.

Yeah. What were the other rules that I, I

set with,

Jack: Some of them have got, don't spend ages building a load of perfect functionality. No one will ever see.

Robin: Yeah. . Yeah. I think most of us know that nowadays, don't we? I think I probably knew it at the time, but the same thing is like, I'm not gonna do something just cuz somebody told me it's the wrong thing to do. I'll learn the lesson myself the hard way. So yeah, built, I spent a lot of time building codes, tested up the Wooooo, and then launch it and crickets, you know, and it's like, well that was a bit pointless, wasn't it?

I still slightly stand by building things rather. You know, a landing page and build an email list, this kind of stuff. I think, you know, ultimately you're trying to test the theory that if this thing existed, people would pay you money for it, you know, um, and you could find sufficient quantities of people that they would pay for it, um, that it would be worth your while to keep on running as a business.

Right. And the best way to test that is to have that thing and to see if people will pay for it. But if that's gonna take you a year to build, then yeah, you need to find shortcuts. But if you can build it in a month or two weeks, is it better to build a just a landing page? You know, cuz a landing page doesn't truly test for other people will pay for it.

It tests whether people would sign up and give you an email address on the landing page. You know, if you wanna do prepay or you know, if you want to build a small version of it. Well, that test, if people would pay for a small version of it. Necessarily rule in or out, whether they would pay for the final thing, you know?

And espe especially hard, I mean, I was sort of thinking earlier, especially hard early on with the product, cuz until you've built it and talked to the market, you don't necessarily know what it is you need to build. You know, I sort of go into MicroCon there and study FD talking about what his expected conversion rates are from like how many phone calls he needs to make to get how many demos to get a customer.

And I think it's like, you know, it's like a hundred. Calls to get 10 demos, to get two final demos to get one customer. But that's Stuy FD for one. I'm not Stuy fd, so I'm not gonna be as good at sales. He's selling a product that he knows what exactly what that product is and what it needs to be. They've got their market positioning working out, and they know how to explain and sell that product to people.

Early on, you don't know what the products is cuz you're still trying to work out what it needs to be and you don't know how to sell it cuz you don't know what it is yet. So your conversion rates are gonna be. Abysmally low. I mean obviously people do have success with it, but the closer you can get to having a natural product, people can use and then you can have that conversation with the market through them working with that.

This, you know, agile approach of working software over contracts and that kind of thing is, um, I'm still sort of a proponent of that. If, if it doesn't mean disappearing from months and not talking to the market, you know?

Jack: There's a lot of talk about, you know, move fast, like build things, test things. But then when it comes to

actually. ,like looking at the reception and kind of thinking, is this, good or is this not good?

Robin: Yeah. No, and I mean, I've, I've been lucky as well in that, you know, after, after the first year, the troll power up directory became open to third party developers. And that was when business growth really took off for me. So products we've launched since then. We haven't had to do a lot of this kind of going and finding people and having conversation.

We've built products that we knew that was a market for, cause we're already talking to people about it. And we've launched it into a marketplace where we are guaranteed a certain amount of signups every week anyway without us having to work at the marketing at all, basically. So, and then we can have those conversations with people.

Whereas if I was starting again from blank, I, I mean I would still be in the same confused, struggling position I was then. I think it's just really hard to find people and know what you should be saying to them about this product to get them interested and find out, you know, what it is you actually need to build.

Jack: So I, firstly, I want to ask you about Trello's Marketplace and like how that's been, but I think that'll be the next question after, what was it like when you first launched Corrello and like, what did you build? How did you, find those first customers and kind of assess it was a good idea?

Robin: So the first thing was CAR was a tool for agencies. So this is based on my friend's agency. They had a board for each client I think it was only two or three of them in the company. And then a lot of freelancers writing content basically. And they were finding that every week freelancers were missing tasks on their trailer board and they needed to go and find them and chase them and make sure that content was getting done and pushed out in time.

And that that process of going through all these different TR boards every week was actually taking quite a long time to go and collate everything together. So that was correct. The name Corrello came from was co collate Andre. Which is my wife's idea. I had a load of really terrible ideas, but she came up with that on a walk one day.

So that was what the original tour was, and that was what we launched. I think I launched that after about two months of development. So it was, I mean, I took it around within a week to show my friend and say, Hey, this is what I built. And he was like, yep, I need that right now. And he was like, okay, well it only works on this laptop at the moment, so gimme another week and I'll get it deployed somewhere where you can log in and use it with your own credentials.

Um, and after a couple months, it was that kind of pressure I was saying that was sort of felt, and that was one of the most pressured times I've felt, I think in a whole business was in those days where I was just building and there was no sign. Where I was gonna get to where I needed to get to make money for me and the family.

But meanwhile, we're just burning cash basically. So I launched that. We went you know, hacker News, product turns, and in the meantime I'd done a lot of contacting, sort of agile coaches on Meetup. I'd gone to Agile coaches were been lately, cuz this is still focused on agency or so I was contacting agencies that going to, meetups in Bristol that would have these people at them.

. I wasn't really finding anyone who was, taking a bait basically. Um, I had introductions to, friends of friends who were said, oh yeah, there's somebody in my coworker in, area that uses Trello to go and chat to them. They'd sort of give it a go. I emailed the list for my previous product I've been building.

I said, Hey, I'm not building that anymore. I'm building this thing. Is anyone using Trello? And I think I've got one or two people off of that. We're using it. Only one person ever became a customer, and that was my friend who I'd developed it with originally. I think I'd, through all, its sort of cold outreach, I got maybe seven beta users who were trying it out, who were, who seemed to be actively using it, you know, who giving me a bit of feedback and we're trying stuff out.

So it was sort of last ditch, basically. I kind of thought, well just ticket it up on product. Aren, do a showy chan. You know, if I don't get any interest after a week of that, then it's time to can this thing and go and build whatever the next product is. I used to have a great time going to startup meetups in Bristol and telling people, like talking like that about it being like, I'm gonna give it two more weeks, and then I'm throwing in the bin and I'm starting on something else.

And they were like, you can't talk like that. You gotta talk about how you're changing the world and this is the greatest thing ever. And you know, it's like, but no, it's not how I see it. You know? It's like this is the latest. And if it's not working, then it's time to move on to something else, you know?

So I launched that on there with not great expectations, but just sort of like, you know, let's just do this. It did amazingly well on Product 10. We're in the top 10 at the end of the day, I think, and we're in the top five. Most of the day until like San Francisco woke up and a load of like a startup with stupid t-shirts, you know, and it's like, oh, they're number one now.

You know, this sort of nonsense knocks you off. But we had a really good day there. Um, we did quite well at the shown, I think. So I ended up with like one or 2000 trial signups after that. We had a free tier at the time as well, so I'd one or 2000 people on a free tier. , had to spend the next weekend rewriting a lot of the code because it was fairly, Not badly written.

It was fairly badly architected. The way it works and the way it generated the data for the report, it would do an email report on Monday mornings was it would just throw everything out and do a complete reload of all your data from Trello. And that was fine when there was seven people in there. But with 2000 people in there, it would've taken about two weeks to generate one week's worth of data.

So I had to sort of rearchitect all that to actually work and make sure all the emails went out and that was all going out. And I was picking the color of. , you know, second Ferrari and all this kind of stuff. And then after a week, no one's converting to the paid plans. So I was trying a few different approaches, that was when I started emailing everyone and saying, so the, the test there was, you know, would somebody get on a call with me for 15 minutes?

You know, if somebody's willing to get on a call with you for 15 minutes. They're either just reading like a chat or they've got a problem that is an important problem in their business. , it's not easy to get an email address of someone and get 'em to sign up for a trial.

It's a lot harder then to get them on for 15 minutes. So I started talking to a lot of people and it was the group people I was getting back were 50 50 marketing people who hang out in product. And love trying everything new. And those sort of people are now better customers for some of the newer tools like Blue Cat Reports, but they weren't.

And I, I started chasing some of those people down, but really, I don't think they had a problem they just liked, or there was a problem that I couldn't find out exactly what it was and find a solution for it. But the other half of the people I was chatting to were product managers, cto, head of development, you know, it was people like this all, you know this, the one software developer on the team who.

Is sort of standing in as a scrum master or does that kind of, you know, stuff for the team, but they're still just called lead software developer or something, you know. But it was people who cared a little bit about managing the Scrum process. And although we didn't have any of those sort of tools in there, they were, interested that we had something, you know, to do with reporting in Trello.

So they started asking for these other features that was where this. Sent from the, um, market came, , apparent. Basically it was like, okay, here's a group of people who if I said I was gonna charge 'em $40, $80, they were like, you know, Robin, I've got 20 software developers, $80 a month is nothing, you know, um, and they were, they had a real problem.

They were saying, you know, we, my team really loves Trello, but I really need x, Y, Z reporting. And I don't want to force them all into Jira or Pivotal or whatever. Because then I'm the big bad manager. So if you can give me something that just layers over the top of what the team's happy using, then I'm a happy bunny.

So it was like, okay, willingness to pay. They've got a clearly defined problem, and I understand that market. You know, I've been sort of a managing a Scrum team prior to that. I like the CanBan stuff. You know, I've been in that sort of agile world, software development world, so I knew, I thought how to talk to those people and, and where to find them basically.

So yeah. And then that was when that sort of pivot to the, Step till kind of focus and really started building that in that direction.

Jack: That's really, really interesting. How you got there and, and your kind of expertise. So then once you had that kind of like you were speaking to people, they were giving up their time to speak to you, telling

you that they're willing to pay for this. , I guess you had a lot of stuff to build. , as the next step. You know, how was that next step? Was it building, was it kind of doubling down on Trello's marketplace or,

Robin: Yeah, so the Trello marketplace still didn't exist. That didn't really come around until January of the next year. So that whole first year I was still kind of working a bit on marketing myself, sort of blogging, yeah, mostly blogging and sort of going into sort of some, probably posting sort of in discussions on Reddit and stuff like that.

Occasionally I've tried a bit of Reddit advertising as well. Lots and lots of building and most of that time after that was building and I think. If Trello hadn't launched a marketplace, I probably wouldn't be sitting here now. It was, that the end of that year was when I got to the one K r R, and I was also about to run outta money.

So I was actively looking at, potentially getting a job. And then the marketplace came out and stuff started ticking up. And I think, you know, the, the business sort of kept on taking over and making a little bit of money, but it would've ended up being a, a nice, profitable side project rather than, You know, a business that could stand its own two feet, building stuff.

Luckily what seemed to happen was somebody would come in and say, like even nicely they would say, it'd be great if it did X, Y, and Z and that would be X, Y, and z that, you know, cycle time. And I'd be like, great. Make sense? You know, or they'd be really pissy and they'd say, I can't believe you're trying to charge $30 for this and it doesn't even do cycle time.

And I say, that's a great point. , let's, let's do cycle time. And I build that for two weeks or a week or two. They would become a customer and then the next person would come in with a sensible requirement. So, I was never completely overwhelmed with trying to build too much at once. But there was a constant, sort of obvious priority list of stuff to work through that made sense.

I was just adding this chart, that chart into the, into the product basically. It wasn't the greatest time in terms of code quality, I would say, because it was, I was building quite quick to get stuff. I was working from home, my wife and my sort of what I know, six, seven month old daughter at the time, so I was just working quite long hours, but still seeing them for breakfast, lunch, back time, all that, all that kind of stuff.

But fitting in as much as I could around all of that, just to try and get stuff done and try and get that revenue up basically. So it, there's a lot of building, but there was. Almost always somebody who is waiting to pay me money if I build that thing. Um, and then it's that sort of SaaS ramp of death, I guess.

You know, you spend two weeks building something and you get another 40 to $80 a month for it . So it takes a lot of those before you can, afford your mortgage basically.

Jack: You mentioned the marketplace kind of came in and, and helped.

I know there's like a lot of like advice sometimes given that like, especially indie founders, that marketplaces are a really good way to. could you talk a little bit about like, what it's been like

Robin: It's a free marketing channel that almost anyone else in the world can get into as well, low. So it's not guaranteed you'll get a huge amount of, , space in there, but I, I was lucky in that. I think when they launched it, there was seven powerups, seven free, third party Powerups in there.

I was just compiling the stats this morning. There's about 300 power ups now, you know, and there's a lot of power ups that are directly competing with my power ups now, whereas often when I launched 'em, they were the first one doing that thing. So if you can find a marketplace that you are early into, that is great.

It's good that Trello have been actively pushing the marketplace and try, they see the power ups as a useful thing for their customers to have. So they have continually tried to put the power up more and more in, in front of their customers. I use basically, whereas, you know, I think like Stripe's got a marketplace.

I use Stripe a lot. I've only seen a marketplace cuz I've gone and looked for it. There's nowhere in Stripe saying, Hey, why don't you click here and install this thing, or install that thing or check out. You know, then they don't seem as keen on pushing it. I, I mean, I don't know anyone who builds in the straight marketplace and maybe they do brilliantly off of it.

I mean, strengths are huge. Maybe that works, to the counter. But yeah, it's useful checking. Is this marketplace promoted by the, , platform in, in any way? But I mean, a, apart from that, it's, it's a case of listing it in there, you know, making sure it shows up for search, and. Yeah, just, just working with the, the trials you're getting getting in every week basically.

Jack: And how much, marketing and growth stuff do you do outside of, the marketplace?

Robin: Not a huge amount. I've done more in the last couple of years because I've started hiring a team who are handling the development and the customer support. Whereas previously I was doing all of that, which has freed me up to do a bit of experimentation on, marketing, to be honest. Everyone I talk to builds for marketplaces says the same thing, which is like 90% plus of leads are coming from the marketplace, , which is why potentially they're good.

It's a, you know, sort of engineering, its marketing play. If you've got a non marketplace product, but you can build an integration. It's worth checking that out as an option. You know, it's a, a way of getting a sort of a lead source in. So I do with the marketing, it's still at the experiment with it phase.

I just wanna see if there's something in there which is, worth the investment. And if not, then not do it. And if it is, then I'll do more of it. But I suspect it's always gonna be the same, that the majority of it comes from, , from the marketplace

Jack: That's really cool. That interests me as like a, you have such a constraint on your time and if, if you could just build like a really great product and then. The marketplace can do a lot of that. The marketing distribution for you.

It's like such a great opportunity.

Robin: Yeah. Finding the marketplaces where there are the opportunities, I think is, is the challenge they're facing. There's, there's a term and people have done blog posts, haven't they? On like, 97 marketplaces for Bootstraps and that kind of thing? Thinking specifically back in the early days around Corrello, and marketing.

Cause that first year I was having to do my own marketing more and was getting leads through that. And some of that was, you know, with the assistance of Trello, there's like, they had a Trello board of, plugins basically, most of which were like abandon wear, um, and stuff like that. But that kind of thing did help.

There's one blog post we wrote there, which was useful, which would. People thinking if they can do something similar to it. So I did a, a guide to how to use the Trello API to build a chart, like a basic chart. And it was sort of a, a quick start to the Trello api, I guess. You know, there was sort of code examples you could download and, you could very quickly go and get your API keys, tell you how to do all that, and then just sort of get some numbers out.

I think it was, and maybe even put a quick chart up. And that was useful and partly Trello linked to that. I linked it on, is it programmable web or something like that? This sort of API website. So I think I listed it on there and did like a summary of it there for them as well.

And that actually sent a reasonable amount of traffic. Cause I guess people were looking for Trello stuff on there. , um, and it would perform quite well in Google. I think we've got sort of people coming through that. And the thing is the people coming through to are often software developers who are looking to, I think, build their own burndown charts.

You know, it's like somebody's been given, you know, the break between a one sprint and next sprint or the end of term little project or something is like, oh, I'll just build like a burndown charts thing and they spend all afternoon in my little tutorial and they get a few numbers out and they just realize how much of a pain in the yard it's gonna be to.

You know, a burn down chart, let alone something like CFD cycle time, this kind of thing. At which point I can say to the boss, well, we can pay $30 for this thing, or you can pay me two weeks to build a, a less good version of it. Um, and that was actually a really good converting, blog post, you know, at the time.

I think it's, I'm not sure if it still performs so well now, but I, cause I haven't looked for a while, but yeah, something like, Can be useful and was, yeah, it was a kind of a surprise to me. I, I built it because I had the knowledge and I was just looking for things to write about, it makes sense after the fact, like, yeah, of course that converts well.

Jack: Have you come across Adam Du Vanda, the developer marketing does not exist.

Robin: No,

Jack: He writes about something similar that you figured out yourself, I guess is like, he calls it the developer, Jedi mind trick. , you show exactly how to build your thing, and in the process people are like, whoa, that that thing is actually really complex. I'll just buy

your thing

Robin: This's the thing it's gonna, every developer thinks they could build your thing in a weekend. But also every developer, and I'm speaking as a software developer, is massively lazy. I mean, like, if you're a good developer, you're lazy. That's why you don't write the same thing twice. You know?

That's why you go and use libraries. That's why you refactor your code so that it's easier to reuse. It's sort of advanced laziness, all of it. So if anything does take longer than a weekend to build, they don't wanna build it cuz, cuz they're lazy. So, yeah, that's a good idea. Yeah. You show them how to build your thing and they realize it, it does take more than two days and they say, yeah, we'll just buy it.

Jack: I think that's all we've got time for. It's been really amazing speaking with you, learning about Corello and Blue Cut reports. Could you tell us where people could learn more about what you're working on and about yourself?

Robin: The main website is blue cat reports.com. So we've got all of our Powerups listed there. If you're using Trello, You've probably seen some of our stuff. Anyway, we've got guides on there. So we did a guide to Free Powerups last year, so if any troller users out there, anyone to check that out.

Um, that's on our website and we, that's updated every single month with all the free powerups, which you can't get on over at the Trello PowerUp directory. I was on Twitter, I'm kind of on a Twitter break, but I'm on Master on, but it's too complicated to explain to anyone how to find me on Master On.

So if you go to my Twitter, which is at Robin Warren, you can find a link to my master on. So, and maybe I'll be back on Twitter at some point, or just come down to Tim and find me here. On the beach somewhere. Yeah,

Jack: Amazing. Thanks Robin. And thanks everyone for listening. We'll be back again soon.

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Creators and Guests

Lydia Melvin
Lydia Melvin
Editor of Scaling DevTools
Robin Warren
Robin Warren
Building https://t.co/0XbeOTxCwM. All opinions are that of my employer. https://t.co/u150UBPqW2


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