July '21 Update - Feedback, feedback, feedback (+ what's next)

Learnings and feedback from our closed beta, and what's on deck to be improved in the product.

2 months ago   •   8 min read

By Tony Cai

Transparency is core to what we do at Atomic.Finance.

To that end, beginning last month, we've begun to share publicly our monthly updates that we send to our investors and advisors. As always, if any of you have a new thought for us (it could be ideas, feedback), please give us a shout @AtomicFinance on Twitter! Thank you being on this journey with us to build #SoundFinance together. 💪


Email to Atomic Finance investors and advisors sent 22 July 2021

In the past month, feedback gathering from our closed beta users via video call onboardings has been the #1 priority. This has allowed us to capture an invaluable number of qualitative insights that are helping inform our product roadmap in the short to medium term, as I'll detail below. We've also observed some quantitative insights that shed additional light on user behaviour and user psychology.

On the engineering side, in addition to bugs squashing, we're kicked off setting up the infrastructure needed to scale up the closed beta to an open beta, as well as building out the foundations for necessary improvements to address concerns observed in the closed beta.

Summary

Closed beta stats (does not include friends and family that have been onboarded):

  • # users onboarded: 28 users, 17 of which have entered a position
  • # users rolled over - 4 users, out of 13 that have completed their first position
  • 14 active positions - 5.7 BTC locked, 16 expired positions
  • Amount of BTC yield earned so far: 0.02264894 BTC, at avg APY of 24.1% -
  • Our waitlist grew by ~1K in the past month from 5K to just over 6K.
  • # of positions expired in the money vs out of the money: All positions expired worthless - users earned yield

Product / Design:

Our main learnings from the closed beta tests:

  • Some bottlenecks in both the activation and retention flows
  • Many users let us know that entering into the positions felt more like a gamble, and felt risky. Especially in a time where options volatility is low (meaning slightly lower premiums than usual) and most users don't know exactly where the market is headed. This perceived risk is, from our observations, the largest bottleneck to adoption and retention at the moment.
  • Tension in user's minds - "I'm bullish on BTC but entering into a covered call feels like I'm betting against it"

Looking ahead:

  • Users have a job to be done of wanting to grow their Bitcoin stack with confidence in a simple and transparent manner. To better serve this job, we're going to make a bet on 3 important product improvements:
  • Adding recurring strategies that will leverage backtesting and historical data to create a one-click experience for our users, rather than forcing users to analyze markets themselves to make a decision on which option to choose (draw inspiration from vault strategies like those on Ethereum)
  • Including stop losses / downside protection with our strategies ****to cap the downside on their BTC and give users more peace of mind.
  • Adding recurring strategies focussed on short puts in addition to covered calls to earn BTC yield since that is a more inherently bullish strategy that may better align with our user's bullish sentiments.
  • Screenshots and sneak peek of new feature below!

Engineering:

  • The main focus this month was closed beta improvements, bug fixes, and protocol development.
  • Additionally, we worked on building tools to backtest covered call and short put trading strategies using historical data.

Content / Social:

Community:

  • We've kicked off our Discord community to engage with users who have onboarded into the app, get their feedback on product, as well as provide technical support.

🙋🏻‍♂️Asks:

  • What are your thoughts and feedback on the product improvements and direction we're proposing around recurring strategies?
  • Do you have any feedback on the proposed flow / designs around the recurring strategies?

📈Metrics / Waitlist Signups - Now at 6K (+1K growth)

  • Growth of the waitlist continued to be strong this month - growing 1K from 5K to now over 6K in the past month. Some of this growth can likely be attributed to our increased push for transparency across our social and content channels.
  • Additionally, some of our initial closed beta users discussing their experiences on Twitter has likely also contributed to increased signups.

✨Highlights

  • Reminder of our initial target customer segment and their job to be done: privacy / custodial-wary retail Bitcoin holders looking to grow their Bitcoin stack with confidence in a simple and transparent manner.

🎨 Product / Design & Closed Beta Learnings

  • In the past month, we've begun working through the top of our waitlist to onboard our initial closed beta users. We onboard each individual user over a Zoom call and add them to our Discord community to better facilitate them providing feedback or asking for support.

Qualitative Learnings

Below are learnings observed from our user onboarding and additional thoughts of the quantitative learnings we see above.

  1. Barrier of entry to activation higher than we'd like. A few reasons:
  • Too many options to choose from for newcomers to options / covered calls - a good number of them disliked the abundance of choice of options.
  • Entering into a position feels more like a gamble / bet than an investment. As the product is presented at the moment, many users let us know that entering into the positions felt more like a gamble, and felt risky. Especially in a time where options volatility is low (meaning slightly lower premiums than usual) and most users don't know exactly where the market is headed.
  • Lack of options to choose from for users with experience with covered calls - dislike the lack the of choice and lack of availability of longer-term options / higher strike price options. Interesting contrast here with newcomers.
  • Psychological tension around being bullish v bearish in user's minds - "I'm bullish on BTC but entering into a covered call feels like I'm betting against it"

2. Retention / roll overs lower than expected

  • Will find out more around the reasoning behind this during our feedback calls this week with existing users.
  • Our hunch is that the lower-than-expected retention has to do with some of the reasons I outlined above that are barriers to entry to activation, along with the high amount of mental energy to have to return to the app every couple of weeks only to redo the mental exercise of thinking through where we are in the market and choosing a new option to enter for the next couple of weeks.
  • This indicates that the active management requirement (the one of our initial key assumptions we wanted to get data on) - is indeed an issue for our users.

Product improvements we're planning

As mentioned earlier in the summary, we're going to make a bet on 3 important product improvements.

  • Adding recurring strategies that will leverage backtesting and historical data to create a one-click experience for our users, rather than forcing users to analyze markets themselves to make a decision on which option to choose. (draw inspiration from vault strategies like those on Ethereum)
  • Including stop losses / downside protection with our strategies to cap the downside on their BTC and give users more peace of mind.
  • Adding recurring strategies focussed on short puts in addition to covered calls to earn BTC yield since that is a more inherently bullish strategy that may better align with our user's bullish sentiments (and addresses the psychological tension I discussed)

We feel that these 3 product improvements may go a long way towards to better serving our user's job to be done of growing their Bitcoin stack with confidence in a simple and transparent manner.

How are we planning to validate these improvements?

  • Beginning this week Wednesday, we'll be getting on calls with existing users and community members and gauging their feedback on the new feature.
  • We've implemented an early flow of what the feature would look like in-app.

A few screenshots and sneak peek of the feature

⚙️ Engineering

Mobile app improvements, bug fixes, and protocol development were the key focuses

  • The main focus this month was private beta improvements, bug fixes, and protocol development:
  • App dev and UI/UX fixes
  • Daemon bug fixes
  • Fee calculation improvements
  • DLC Protocol improvements
  • Additional validation, which improves security
  • Adding support for varied ordering of inputs and outputs (improving privacy)
  • Support for Disjoint Union (one of the components necessary for adding stop losses)
  • Additionally, we worked on building tools to backtest covered call and short put trading strategies using historical data

📖 Content / Social

  • One of the complaints we’ve heard from folks on our waitlist and the early users that we onboarded is that there is a lack of content or information they can read about our product on our blog / site. This is a barrier of trust as potential users are not yet able to do the research they need to do to feel comfortable using the app with real BTC.
  • We’ve since doubled down on content creation as well as doing even more to be as transparent as possible with our users and community via social media and our Discord community.
  • Kicked off 3 part ELI5 series on explaining covered calls, DLC's, and how you can use the two together to generate BTC yield
  1. Part 1 - Atomic Yield Part 1: earn yield on bitcoin with covered calls
  2. Part 2 - Bitcoin Covered Calls: Atomic Yield Series, Part 2
  • Transparency Thursday: Kicked off ritual of having Matt or myself upload a 1-2 minute video every week updating the community on the lasting happenings with the product and company
  • This has been effective in generating social media and Discord community engagement as well as sparking conversations and feedback amongst users to help us inform product development
  • Good signs! During recent onboardings, we've consistently heard praise from users we're onboarding around our apporach to transparency through our content and our social media engagement
  • FAQ in the works: During our usability testing and onboarding calls to date - we've heard a number of questions asked repeatedly. We're planning to spin up an FAQ to address some of these commonly asked questions.

❤️ Customer Love / Twitter + Discord Engagement

On the recurring strategies feature:

🔮What's next?

Our primary focus in the next month:

  • Product / Design : getting additional feedback from existing customers on their experience with the first iteration product so far via feedback calls. Look for other constraints and barriers that is standing in the way of activation and retention.
  • Product / Design: getting validation to see if recurring strategies / stop losses / short puts address some of the issues we observed so far, fine tune the feature if feedback is positive.
  • Engineering: adding the necessary infrastructure for stop losses, market maker bot hedging functionality, app UI improvements, more tests, and additional tools for backtesting strategies.
  • Content: Rolling out Part 3 of our 3 part educational series as well as a thought leadership piece.

Best,

Tony

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