I decided to stop this project because I launched it and had two people sign-up, but they didn’t end up taking action to go through with the final action of paying for the service.
My acquisition channel was also ruined once I learned that you can’t run Google Ads for government services (aka this project). Lastly, I found a few other services that were doing this more broadly across all the Visa/entry services.
July 26, 2022
I purchased the base $100/month subscription to the form tool that I will use. It is the same one that CitizenPath uses so I know it’ll be applicable for what I want. I wanted something that:
- Allows users to save progress. Important since this thing takes time to fill out.
- Can show previews of what the documents that are needed look like.
I also started a 30-day DocuSign subscription so I can have users fill out their signatures online for some required documents.
August 6, 2022
Yesterday I started to diagram the workflow of how the form would determine which application the user is supposed to fill out.
I also reached out to a lady who is a YouTube content creator in this space to see if she would be interested in collaborating on this “done-for-you” service.
My plan was to make this amazing form that has all the conditional logic done and is ready to do from the get-go. But I’m realizing that each individual form is really complex and it’d be better to first figure out what type of form each person has to fill out and then send them a separate form that collects the information I need from them.
This has two benefits:
- I don’t have to spend all this time making and testing the form just to find out that no one is going to fill out a form.
- The form itself takes a long time to fill out. That means I wouldn’t be able to immediately validate whether people are going to use this service. Plus I could get overwhelmed by the number of applications that come in. And I would have all these people’s sensitive information. No thanks. Not till I’m ready.
August 8, 2022
Last night I created the preliminary form that would allow me to capture emails while understanding which form I need to send to that person. It was my way of creating a true MVP.
But then my dreams were partially crushed when I tried to set up the Google Ad and I got hit with the restrictions. You can’t pitch a service that a government agency already provides unless you’re a tax advisor or lawyer.
So basically my user acquisition strategy is not looking great.
This morning I started going through people’s tweets to see if I can help people who have been complaining about the process. And I’ll see if I can write a post on Reddit to gain some traction. Maybe even product hunt. Plus I’ll make a post on my Dad’s Facebook and let my personal network know. Maybe Facebook ads won’t have similar restrictions.
August 10, 2022
Last night I posted a Facebook status that shared why I started this project.
I also shared this post from my Dad’s Facebook account (given that he is friends with a lot of older Indian uncles and aunties who probably know people trying to go through this process).
Well.. it must’ve worked because at 9:04 PM last night, the first request came through!
I was initially pretty stressed because now I felt like I had just taken on a huge responsibility that I didn’t 100% know that I could fulfill. I still haven’t created the big form that captures all the information I need and I don’t know how certain elements will work such as getting the applicant to e-sign their documents with the same signature across all forms, etc.
But I went down to my desk and started plugging away. Around 1:15 AM I got pretty tired and went to sleep a little annoyed and discouraged because the form tool I’m using said that my form was on hold because it might violate their terms and service!
But I woke up this morning with a notification that they reviewed it and it seems fine. Phew!
I’m finishing up the form this morning.
If we’re being honest, the product really hasn’t been validated yet because I haven’t received any payment yet.
At the end of this next form, I’ll have the full payment due and we’ll find out if people will actually pay for this. (And if I’ll receive my first dollar for this project!)