Touca Advisors Update - Issue #5

Hello, I hope you are doing well! Here are this month’s brief updates.

Company News

  • Two engineering teams have started trying a self-hosted version of the product at their companies, for free. Their average weekly use is 4 hours per team. I expect that it stabilizes at one hour per week. Our goal, after all, is to save their time, not waste it.
  • We have rebranded to “Touca”. Touca means “toucan” in Farsi and “knit wool cap” in Portuguese. The truth is: I just wanted to choose a short name with no registered trademark. Our website, including our cloud-hosted product, is at touca.io now. Future issues of this newsletter will be renamed accordingly.
  • We have incorporated. Touca, Inc. is now a thing.

There is one more item but we are asked not to share it until a public announcement goes out next week. You can follow me or the product on Twitter to be among the firsts to know.

The Big News

Touca will launch Wednesday next week, May 26th, on ProductHunt and HackerNews.

The decision to launch on the two platforms has been very difficult to make. There are many good arguments against it:

  • Executing this launch may be a distraction to my primary goal of finding paying customers.
  • Touca is far from product-market fit and has only a handful of really happy users.
  • Offering a single client library in C++ (of all languages) reduces the likelihood of converting visitors to early adopters.
  • We are so early that we don’t have a bank account yet.

My primary reason to launch is to sustain momentum and overcome a mental stalemate that hinders my productivity. Whether it is the weight of the existing business risks or the fear of facing the hard truths, as long as I am in this state of mind, the long hours into the night working on Touca wouldn’t be fun.

Waiting for the perfect moment doesn’t make sense when there is always one more thing to do. While there are some downsides to a bad launch, the cost of waiting in preparation for it appears higher.

I left my full-time job with a commitment to always face the truth and fail fast, if it comes to it, instead of wasting time chasing an illusion. In some ways, this is a chance to reaffirm that commitment.

I have also had some help making up my mind, for which I am grateful.

Product Updates

  • Touca Client Library for Python is development complete. It uses our 2nd generation binary FlatBuffers schema so it is not quite ready for production use. We plan to release it as open-source in late June. In the meantime, if you are willing to try it, I’d be happy to arrange that.
  • A new “Platform Settings” page helps Touca Server admins monitor various server health metrics and facilitate user onboarding in environments without SMTP access.
  • Touca self-hosted instances can now report aggregate and anonymized usage statistics back to api.touca.io. Touca cloud-hosted instance now tracks and collects important user events.
  • Most server components now use HTTP/2 and WebSockets for improved performance.

Last Note

I like to thank you for your continued support. If you have any thoughts or advice, I would love for us to speak again, even if for a short 10-minute phone call.