High Level Concept:
The ultimate text-to-speech app
Job To Be Done:
Listen to text
Reality: Reddit + content marketing
Analysis: We were able to get a few hundred downloads from making interesting blog posts about different books that were available in the public domain, then posting the blog to Reddit and then advertising Sponge on the blog.
This was a difficult channel to sustain due to the effort it took to create the blog and the relatively small amount of traffic it drove, particularly when we did not have any way to monetize our users.
It was quite a bit of work, but it was nothing that was particularly challenging.
We had a pretty clear plan on what we wanted to do with Sponge and were executing on our product roadmap well. However, two things started to become clear. The first was that even though we were solving a problem for many people, it was not a huge problem for a large portion of people. This meant that for the people who it was not a huge problem for they did not care to download a new app to solve it and for the people who this was a big problem for they already had a solution (even if it maybe be slightly inferior or more expensive) and our solution was not compelling enough for them to switch.
Here is an interesting twitter thread about TTS apps.
This is why we decided to stop executing on our product roadmap, pivot and launch a product (in a similar space) that we hope will be so compelling that people will want to download it regardless of any other similar products they might be using.