2022.11 Crone Update


We spoke to 14 more beta users this month and identified 3 bottlenecks below.

Crone Thesis

Our current understanding of the problem…

The problem is leaders want to be more effective, but they don't have time to think and write deeply about their work. Our solution is Crone, a conversational AI that helps you plan your next steps with the world's greatest minds. Crone helps leaders create plans and meetings that move the needle. We're initially targeting growth-stage startup founders.

We describe this to our customers as "Get coached by expert AI. Create plans and meetings that move the needle."

Top PMF Bottlenecks

Our top PMF bottleneck is that users don't love us enough (as measured by retention and DAU). When our users plan their week, they want to feel clear and confident about their plans, so they can communicate and act likewise.

I presume the top blockers to giving them this are:

  • Value clarity: the purpose of using Crone isn't clear to them from the outset.
  • Top-of-mind flexibility: our content doesn't align with their top-of-mind objectives.
  • High-fidelity draft: the draft they create isn't as useful (final, actionable, or shareable) as they'd want.

In short, it must be much easier for a user to input their top-of-mind objectives and output a high-fidelity draft. The process has to be higher ROI than using a wiki, notebook, or note-taking app (e.g., with templates).

In addition to fixing the above, we should anticipate other bottlenecks:

  • Lack of flexibility and control - i.e., a blank page might be better. Or open-ended conversational AI might become feasible for this use case. Or Notion creates a Github Copilot for creating wiki docs.
  • It fails to become a priority - either planning itself isn't a priority or Crone isn't baked into a workflow.

In the perfect world, we're both edutainment (Pluralsight, MasterClass, Brilliant, Duolingo) and a objectives tool (15Five, Lattice, BetterUp). We're both the burger and the salad. But this could backfire by being neither.

Top Projects

To solve the 3 bottlenecks above, we selected the following two projects:

0.4.2-faithful-draft-ux: create a high-fidelity draft from a user's top-of-mind objectives.
0.4.1-single-sitting-story: create admin tools to produce stories in a single sitting. This advances us to a more flexible open-ended convo UX.

UPDATE: we revisited both these objectives in our 2023.02 Crone Update update because they were still bottlenecks


What went well?

  • Prolific coding. Tons of features, clever UX breakthroughs, polished end product.
  • Fast 0.4.1 release. Single sitting drafts were finished in 1 week, even though it was new territory for us.
  • We timed our energy well. We had a lot of energy and focus until Nov 24 at which point we were wrapping up last features.

What didn't go well?

  • We were several days behind schedule. 0.4.2 took much longer than expected.
  • Our interviews were all over the place. We need to hone in our target audience (those like us)
  • There were a few miscellany tasks that are dev related and still important to finish