In this article, we speak to Abi Noda, the founder of Pull Reminders, a Slack App. Pull Reminders lets users set up Slack reminders for pull requests and motivate teams using metrics and leaderboards. Currently, Pull Reminders is used by over 300 companies including Pivotal, GitHub, Automattic, Webflow, Trivago, and Sensu.
Pull Reminders allows users to set up recurring reminders in Slack channels, get direct messages about your review requests, track metrics like review time and pull request size, and last but not the least, it motivates users with leaderboards.
Abi Noda started working on Pull Reminders in January 2018 and launched it to the world just over a month ago. It is currently generating over $1,000 per month and growing steadily. Abi Noda works on the project along and doesn’t anticipate hiring anyone.
During the launch phase, did you maintain a full-time job? (or even currently)
I’ve started a few previous businesses while keeping a full-time job and have found that it is very difficult to do. Last December I left my full-time job in order to be able to devote more energy to building my own products. Pull Reminders is the first product I’ve released.
In addition to working on Pull Reminders I do consult work for additional income and because I really enjoy being able to work on different things at once. I’ve been able to find great consulting work that’s rewarding but leaves me plenty of time and energy to focus on my products.
How did you acquire customers/subscribers/users?
Most of my initial customers have found Pull Reminders through the GitHub Marketplace and Slack App Directory. It was a bit of a process to get my app reviewed and published but it has paid off pretty well. Other than those marketplaces I’ve gotten quite a few of my initial customers through my personal network. Having people I personally know use Pull Reminders has also been a great way to get feedback on how to improve my product.
What software / platforms / tools have you utilized since launch?
The two main tools I use are Heroku for application hosting and Intercom for customer support. When I first launched I used Drift (an Intercom competitor) since it was cheaper but I ended up switching to Intercom because of its more polished UX and features.
For hosting, I don’t think you can beat Heroku when you’re first starting out. I use Sidekiq for background jobs and DeadMansSnitch for monitoring my scheduled jobs.
To date, what have been your biggest challenges as a company? What have you done to overcome them?
My biggest challenge thus far has been figuring out how to properly integrate my app with both GitHub and Slack. I made a lot of mistakes along the way and spent a lot of time learning and reading the documentation. Overall, both GitHub and Slack have well-documented API’s and good support so the process was pleasant.