Photo by Daniel McCullough on Unsplash

It’s been a few months since I published a post about Storyly’s first launch on Product Hunt, in fact, it was not just about the launch but a brand new product adventure for our team in App Samurai. Since then, we’ve been exploring the in-app engagement universe, trying to get in the shoes of marketing professionals, getting to know the in-app lifecycle of a user as a whole, and trying to claim our seat in this giant ecosystem. In this post, I will share our techniques and discussions to interpret the interviews we conducted so far through our journey to find the Product Market Fit for Storyly.

What is Storyly?

First things first, just a quick summary: Storyly is a small-sized mobile SDK that applications use to bring the well-known story format to apps of all categories. Storyly stories enable the brands to use this endless space to showcase their content or even monetize using deals with their business partners. Thus far, as the name implies, we focused on the bite-sized story format; but actually, we are constantly endeavoring to find disruptive, advanced yet simple ways to make app marketers’ lives easier in the very compelling mobile engagement world (You can find the story of why we position Storyly as an in-app engagement tool in my previous post.).

As the first version of Storyly was essentially about the power of stories inside an app (any app), we launched Storyly 2.0 in which interactivity and its effects on deepening the relationship with end-users were under the spotlight.

Allow me to place this guiding statement from Marc Andreesen’s post on Product Market Fit before I begin talking about our efforts to find it:

“In a great market — a market with lots of real potential customers — the market pulls product out of the startup.”

The “pull” in this sentence made us think, a lot. It sure sounds easy to comprehend, but what is it really? To me, the answer lies within the Jobs-to-be-Done framework. I will get back to this shortly.

The Interviews — including the Sales Calls


Although no framework can cover everything in exploring the needs of your target audience and not a single one is a one-size-fits-all solution, using some JTBD practices has been extremely helpful during the way. When you search for the framework it is highly likely you encounter examples from B2C products or services. Storyly is built for app marketers (including social media and content managers), product people, app owners, and indie developers. Our primary persona is a marketing professional, trying to engage more users in the app and lead to more conversions if that suits the business model of the app.

Therefore we cannot undoubtedly fit the common JTBD examples to our interviews, because we build Storyly for making businesses better at beautifying their mobile apps, and reaching their goals; not for end-users directly. Even though Storyly users are advocates of the businesses they are working on, they are human-beings too. They have motivations. They have needs and they want things. They want to be promoted, they have different ways of defining and measuring success in their jobs, they have anxieties (for instance, most marketers hate having to communicate with the development team for their needs.). When we deep dive into their motivations, we figured that the aforementioned small list is a subset of why they can be our customers and how we can apply JTBD on them.

Coming to the pull force in Marc Andreesen’s quote, I will use Alan Klement’s notion on the Forces of Progress from his book When Coffee and Kale Compete to summarize this concept:

The Forces of Progress according to WKAKC

The Forces of Progress is a set of factors that affect the purchase decision of customers. Push and pull forces generate demand, while inertia and anxiety reduce it. I am not going into the details of these forces, but for the sake of clarifying what we had in mind as practicing JTBD in our interviews and also its strong connection with the market-product-customer relationship, here is a recap in a nutshell: