I decided to temporarily shut down Reviewbunny.
It was a SaaS I built to send daily email digests of pull requests for your team to review. They were split into categories like “Low-hanging fruit” or “Waiting for a long time”, to make the review process more efficient.
I thought this idea had potential and I actually still do, but not the way I solved it.
Issue #1. Complicated onboarding
Reviewbunny was tailored for teams, but it required all of the team members to sign up individually to start receiving their personalized digests.
I tested it out at work where we still have a problem of hanging pull requests, but only two people signed up. Despite the fact that team was onboard to try my product out.
If a CTO or engineering manager would be able to sign up in a few clicks and then the entire team would start receiving reminders, it’d be a different product.
I learned that no matter how cool I think my app is, complicated onboarding will block its adoption.
Issue #2. Built-in reminders on GitHub
GitHub offers Slack reminders for pull request reviews in organizations. I knew about this, but I didn’t worry about it, because there are several issues with it:
- Organization admin must configure and set it up.
- Reminders for all pull requests are sent to Slack channels, they’re not individual to each team mate.
- Those reminders are not prioritized by evaluating the size of pull requests, how active the comment thread is, and so on (which Reviewbunny did).
However, the difference between a paid Reviewbunny service and a free out-of-the-box solution is not that apparent to users coming by my website. Even those who did set up Reviewbunny didn’t stick around after a free trial.
Issue #3. Money and focus
Reviewbunny eats almost a hundred dollars out of my bank account every month. I never had any revenue from it, so I spent $600 up to this point.
Given that I stopped working on it after the war started and moved on to Rosefinch and other ideas, it doesn’t make sense to let it run.
But, I can’t say that I wasted time.
- I learned Ruby on Rails more and built my first production app with it.
- I saw the light and changed how I want to approach web development. A blog post about it went viral and stayed on top of Hacker News for several hours. Quite an achievement!
- I came up with a ton of ideas for other projects, while building Reviewbunny.
However, it’s time to say goodbye to Reviewbunny for now. I’ve learned a lot and I hope to relaunch it someday, but in a much better shape and more benefits.
If you were using Reviewbunny, don’t worry, I deleted the database, all data is wiped clean.