Hardcover Live


Adam and Ste discuss their upcoming plans, including attending a music festival and watching Eurovision. They also talk about recent updates to Hardcover, such as the release of letter lists and the focus on server-side rendering. They discuss the company's priorities for the year, including reaching profitability, open sourcing the front end, and expanding Hardcover's mission. They also consider potential supporter features, such as revamping stats and the profile page. The conversation focuses on prioritizing features and improvements for the hardcover app. They discuss potential supporter features, such as modifying profile pages and accessing additional functionality on the dashboard. They also explore ways to increase user engagement and conversion rates, including inviting friends to join hardcover and improving the early user experience. The conversation highlights the importance of refining book data and advanced stats, as well as making it easier to share stats on social media. They also discuss the potential for open sourcing hardcover and allowing users to create their own dashboard widgets.


Adam and Ste are excited about attending a music festival and watching Eurovision.
Hardcover recently released letter lists and implemented server-side rendering for faster performance.
The company's priorities for the year include reaching profitability, open sourcing the front end, and expanding Hardcover's mission.
They discuss potential supporter features, such as revamping stats and the profile page. Consider adding supporter features like modifying profile pages and accessing additional functionality on the dashboard
Focus on improving the early user experience and increasing user engagement and conversion rates
Refine book data and advanced stats to provide a better user experience
Make it easier for users to share stats on social media
Explore the possibility of open sourcing hardcover and allowing users to create their own dashboard widgets


00:00 Music Festivals and Eurovision
04:30 Recent Updates to Hardcover
09:32 Priorities for the Year
29:02 Enhancing the Supporter Experience
33:43 Improving User Engagement and Conversion Rates
41:47 Refining Book Data and Advanced Stats
53:47 Making Stats Sharing Easier
56:25 Open Sourcing Hardcover and Custom Dashboard Widgets

What is Hardcover Live?

Each week Adam & Ste focus on a specific feature, idea or prototype in Hardcover and iterate on it together or with guests.

Adam (00:01.294)
Hey, hey, stay, how's it going?

Ste (00:04.644)
Hey Adam, pretty good. How about you?

Adam (00:08.11)
Pretty good. I'm like mentally preparing myself for going to a music festival this weekend and just being around people for three days straight, but I'm excited about it.

Ste (00:22.372)
Yeah, it's the big one.

Adam (00:24.974)
Yeah, it's called a Kilby court and it's like one day is a death cap for cutie and other days like LCD sound system and vampire weekend. yeah, it's, I think there's like four stages going on at once. we've never been there before, so I'm, I'm cautiously excited, but I also know it's just going to be like a sea of people.

Ste (00:49.124)
Yeah, yeah, it usually is. Is it near Salt Lake City or is it like, you know, other place?

Adam (00:54.154)
Yeah, it's, it's a public transit bus ride away at the fairgrounds.

Ste (01:01.668)
Okay, that sounds cool. Wow, okay, I have never been to a festival in the past maybe three years.

Adam (01:02.222)
So pretty close.

Adam (01:11.406)
Hmm. Have you been to other, any that are like that kind of massive event?

Ste (01:17.316)
yeah, there were some around London, mostly electronic music festival. The last one I went to was like seven but smaller stages. I'm guessing this one, if it's like LCD sound system, that's gonna be the larger ones.

Adam (01:33.998)

Yeah, I'm excited about that. So, but yeah, I am fully prepared to be exhausted.

Ste (01:45.476)
Yeah, well, we are at a certain age where, you know, these things come with a toll, so...

Adam (01:50.638)
I'm out.

Adam (01:55.31)
Yeah, it's been much easier to just like watch Eurovision from my bed. I mean.

Ste (02:00.068)
Yeah, Eurovision is great. I'm wondering what was it this year? Did they have it this year or the one last year?

Adam (02:08.366)
They, yesterday was semi -finals one, tomorrow is semi -finals two. And then, then Saturday's the finale.

Ste (02:14.048)
really? Okay, I have to look into that, okay.

Okay, wow, okay. Yeah, I have to check that out. The finals are usually, okay, it's working now. Okay, perfect. Yeah, we sorted it out. Sorry about that, everyone. It was a glitch in the podcast thing or something. Yeah, that sounds great. Yeah, well, over the weekend, I had some Basque cheesecake. Did you ever have that?

Adam (02:39.854)
No, how's that different from cheesecake that I'm familiar with?

Ste (02:44.484)
Well, I think it's like the same but it's a bit burnt on the outside and it doesn't have like that crunchy base. It's supposedly from the Basque region in Spain and it's pretty good. I mean I've been to this place. I traveled like one hour with my wife and my kid and yeah, it was pretty nice. I'd recommend it. I see it like kind of big if it hits the US. It kind of looks like a kind of...

that would go on Instagram because you can like dip your spoon in it and it's all like, kind of like a flan in the middle. So it's, yeah. Yeah.

Adam (03:20.622)
Okay, interesting. Yeah, if I see it on a menu, I'll have to order it.

Ste (03:27.044)
yeah, definitely. It's pretty good. You won't be disappointed. I mean, if you like cheesecake. Maybe you don't. Okay, that's good.

Adam (03:32.478)
yeah, I love cheesecake.

There is a place, where I grew up in Florida that did key lime cheesecake, like, cause killing pie was a big thing in Florida. So combining those two is like this South, soury, like rich cheesecake. So good.

Ste (03:46.788)

Ste (03:52.068)
Yeah, instinctively, I mean, it sounds kind of nice. Over here, they're crazy about key lime pie as well. It's... Yeah, yeah, I don't know why. Yeah, it's kind of like... Maybe it is the, like, biggest, like, dessert pie. Yeah. So I think I tried it once. Not my favorite. I like cheesecake way more. But key lime cheesecake. Yeah, that sounds like a concept.

Adam (03:58.03)

Ste (04:20.548)
Yeah, that's great. And other than that, what have you been working on? We've released the leather lists last week.

Adam (04:30.542)
Yeah, that was, that was the big one. So yeah, between, when I got back from Korea and, like now or last, last Wednesday, we released the first round of letter lists. And I consider that like kind of the base step for being able to do more like bulk work on a server. That sounds like not very interesting from a user facing standpoint, but it allows for like so many cool features down the line.

But for now, it's mostly like when you see your library or a list, you're able to sort by lots of different things. You're able to view it in some other ways. And I guess most notably is that all of that's rendering on the server and passing it down to the client instead of happening in the browser. So it seems a lot faster too. And...

So I'm excited about moving more in that direction of like rendering more on the server and doing less in the browser.

Ste (05:37.508)
Yeah, it is like noticeably faster, especially when you view the table view on this. So people have huge lists of books. I've been noticing it on the list we have featured. They load way faster. I was actually doing a video and I was surprised that it was almost instant. So yeah, that's working well. And this is like a change that's been like in the works for some times. And...

I guess is that it's also like big on the technical side as like you explained but it's also like from the usability perspective I mean some changes have been going on to lists I guess everybody noticed hopefully if not go to your lists and like check it out

Adam (06:28.814)
Yeah, I think like all of the other things that this enables us to do down the line are like being able to filter a list. And when I say a list, I mean like any collection of books, like that could be books by an author, it could be books in your library, books on a goal, a prompt, a list, someone else's library, being able to filter those by basically any criteria you want, like by genre, by release date, by match percentage.

All of that is part of like filtering. but there's also things like, bulk edit mode, which becomes a possibility with that kind of setup and other like user phaching features like, advanced goals. So imagine making a goal and basically setting a filter on what books can constitute that goal. Like, you know, you could say, read a hundred comics or read.

you know, 25 books by, BIPOC authors, both of those could be an advanced goal and it's going to automatically like only pick those books that match that condition and put them in your goal.

Ste (07:41.476)
Yeah, that sounds great. And it's kind of crazy because you know, you wouldn't think it's like so complicated to do this with an app. I'm guessing that's why. I mean, I think from my experience, most book apps, which are not hardcover, usually...

after a degree of complexity, they kind of like break down. So I think that's been our main thing, assuring those features for people who have a lot of books in their lists and who want to do that more complex stuff, not just track them in a spreadsheet. I think that's where it really makes a difference. So it's exciting.

because of, you know, what you can see now is the tip of the iceberg, but I guess there's like much more underneath. We'll just have to dig into it.

Adam (08:39.798)
Yeah. And I'm excited to chat about that today. Like earlier this week, I, I tried to like put a, create a, a Figma doc with like all the things that we are, we have talked about in some way and kind of how they relate, which ones depend on each other. But that's like, it's like years of work. So yeah.

Ste (09:05.476)
Yeah, which is good, I mean.

Adam (09:09.742)
So I think, I think some prioritization is, is important for figuring out like, which of these things do we really want to get done this year? Like, you know, if we, if we said, you know, and even, even come kind of as important, which things do we intentionally not work on at all so we can focus on the other things.

Ste (09:31.844)
Mm -hmm.

Yeah, people might remember that we have like, even in the live we've built stuff which is like still built and is still like on the billboard of, you know, we have to get there. But it's crazy because sometimes you identify like steps in between like we did with, I'm thinking about the reading journal and how you update it and how that will lead up to discussions and how.

how so much better it will make discussions and how that's a necessary stepping stone. So yeah, I guess this is what we're going to talk about today. And everyone, I was thinking we could share the screen and go through all the priorities. And if anyone sees something they're really passionate about or they want to comment on,

All the things we talk about, I mean, feel free to do that. Maybe we can watch that chart and go through it, show everyone also a glimpse of how we're working and how we're deciding what to build next.

Adam (10:52.014)
Yeah. And I was thinking one thing before, before that, that could be like a really quick discussion is a kind of figuring out like, what our priority as a company is this year. Like, I was thinking like, we have, we have a bunch of different priorities and oftentimes we're like spinning plates. We're like, we're going to work a little bit on this. We're going to work a little bit on that. Like, like for instance, one of our priorities is like, reach.

Ste (11:13.348)
yeah. Love dates.

Adam (11:21.614)
like profitability as a company, you know, that's, that's both useful in that it means that no one has to continue providing revenue for the company to stay afloat, but it also gives our readers more kind of a, it's, it's a good sign to our readers that we're going to be sticking around.

Ste (11:42.34)
Yes. Yes, exactly. Yeah, great idea. This is like, I think it's also an important moment because I think we're seeing like the wave of apps that kind of appeared post the story graph, maybe in 2020, 2021, kind of like when we appeared, I have a bunch of names, but I'm not going to mention them. They're like the other apps. Some of them, you know, they're either,

seem like they hit a dead end because of reasons or maybe because of what we're also facing this huge task and this kind of project that keeps on giving the more you look into it. So yeah, I mean, on that topic, I think staying afloat and reaching that ramen profitability will be like a...

assurance to everyone involved that this isn't going anywhere. I mean, I think that and the open sourcing plans we have, those are two big reasons that are, you know, directed towards the goal of telling people we will, I mean, no matter what happens, hardcover is going to be here and we're not.

in danger of...

not working on it anymore. I mean, given that you don't trust us, I mean, we can tell you lots of companies, you know, never, nobody ever tells you like, at some point in the future when our runway ends and we're out of funding, we're just going to call it quits and you're going to have to move your library elsewhere. But that happens. Not that that's like anybody's fault, but, yeah, I guess it's part of how things go.

Adam (13:17.166)

Adam (13:36.686)

Adam (13:40.27)
Yeah, it's part of, yeah. Yeah.

Ste (13:44.42)
And I guess decisions, yeah, the decisions we're taking right now impact the future of your library. So yeah, that's pretty important.

Adam (13:57.614)
Yeah. So yeah, generating revenue is a big one. Are there any, what are some other like high level goals? If you have any that come to mind.

Ste (14:09.124)
Well, the next one would be open sourcing the front end at least so that it's also a way of people to contribute to what they want to see on hardcover. It also provides the transparency that companies need. I always appreciate Ognopro source company because they're saying, OK.

you can take a look at what we're doing with everything on the app. So that's a pretty big one. And the next one, I guess, would be not so specific in the sense that...

Ste (15:03.396)
would tie into our mission. Are we a book tracker? Are we a place where people come to find new books? Are we a place which allows authors to push books to their readers? Are we a social network? Are we a place where you can discuss about books? Are we a place where you can host book clubs? I guess that mission is becoming more and more.

complex and comprehensive.

Adam (15:36.942)
Mm -hmm.

Ste (15:38.084)
What do you think about that? What would you say are your feelings in that regard?

Adam (15:45.486)

Yeah, I think like as we're, as we're growing to support multiple personas, like right now our, our persona is readers. It's people who want to connect with other readers, track their library, find new books. And I feel like that's still kind of our core thing. And so if we want to move on to something else, I feel like this is the first step is getting that, like getting that.

polished to the point where if we move on to something else for like a year, it can, can, it can kind of, maintain its own momentum.

Ste (16:30.18)
Yeah, I'd be on the same page.

Adam (16:31.438)
And so it's like, but how we define like it getting to that point is the hard part.

Ste (16:38.916)
Yeah, I'd see HireCover as a place which is all of those things because for instance now looking at the industry we've began as a context talking to authors and seeing what their problems.

are and how we can intervene and where to intervene so that we make the most impact. And it's very, you know, end to end thing. I mean, authors start from an idea, they publish a book, they try to get out there. That right now is very, very hard. And there's no one working on a solution to that. We're just like relying on Amazon.

which is like the best place to do that fast, to publish a book fast and to get distribution. Other than that, not even the big platforms that we know and some of which are our competitors don't really like tackle that problem. Maybe because it's so like hard that, you know, it's un -tackleable or, you know, it's like...

hard to crack it, but maybe there's like things that we can do in that process because finding new books also means finding books that wouldn't exist otherwise. So.

I guess now it's like finding already existing books, but in the future, finding and facilitating, you know, the birth of books that wouldn't be here if it weren't for us, for Hardcover. I think that's like one of the goals in my mind to reach.

Adam (18:27.854)
Yeah, I could see that.

Ste (18:31.428)
Yeah, long -term, but you know, that's, I mean, right now Amazon is facilitating that. And there aren't like any other good places to be honest that facilitate that. There are other sites, of course, but none with that.

Ste (18:53.988)
Yeah, ability to actually like help at that scale.

Adam (18:54.606)

Adam (19:01.134)
Do we wanna jump into the priorities doc and see where that goes? Okay, I'll share my screen here.

Ste (19:04.004)
Yeah, let's jump in the priority stack. Yeah.

Adam (19:17.07)
Let's see, able to see my screen.

Ste (19:19.3)
yeah, all good.

Adam (19:20.846)
Cool. So yeah, these are broken up into kind of these four categories. Research, which is kind of like, we know we want to do this, but we're gonna have to do a lot more research before I implement it. User facing changes, these are kind of like product changes to hardcover. System facing or more backend changes. And this was kind of an optimistic look at what I thought we could do in 2024, but.

This kind of doesn't take into account that priority that we just talked about. So to be determined.

Adam (20:01.326)
So let's see, what would be a good place to start here and just.

Ste (20:05.156)
Well, we can start with what is already live. I mean, we have in the upper left corner letter books. So right from that, we can do bulk edit and list filtering, which I guess are things that are coming up next. And they're pretty exciting.

Adam (20:27.79)
Yeah. And then yeah, this filtering enables advanced schools and smart lists. If. Which are kind of just ways of filtering, filtering a list.

Ste (20:39.812)
Yeah, what was the idea with smart lists? I know we talked about it, but yeah, maybe we can explain to everyone what...

Adam (20:51.47)
I see it mostly as like, imagine on your library page where it's like all currently reading red. I imagine like you create some filter and then when you are done creating that filter, you save it. And then maybe the all link turns into a dropdown. And under that all link, there are the kind of your saved searches. So they're kind of like, I often save for.

Ste (20:52.004)
That's how I mean, yeah.

Adam (21:19.95)
things on my want to read list with a genre of fantasy. So I have a quick access to that and that's kind of a smart list. So it's a safe search.

Ste (21:27.652)
Nice. Kind of like, yeah. -huh. Yeah. You create your own filters, right? Nice.

Adam (21:34.094)

Ste (21:38.102)
Okay. Then we have save user journal events. This is for the reading journal. I think the reading journal is going to be pretty big. I was like hoping we could work on that, like nail the design next. Notes are going to be the precursor to discussions. So making them in a way that's, you know, fun to use.

I think we'll open up many other doors.

Adam (22:11.406)
Yeah, getting, getting like this advanced editor, right. Which we can use in journals, comments, discussions. That one's going to be a decent sized project with no payoff until we implement it somewhere. But we'll probably implement it on reviews first and then everywhere else next.

Ste (22:28.1)

Ste (22:35.108)
Yeah, but that's going to be very nice. I mean, maybe we can work on designing it first. And by designing it, maybe we can split it in parts, figure out what to build first and what to build next.

Adam (22:37.262)
Thank you.

Adam (22:52.942)
Yeah, I think also if we're going for profitability this year, I even think some of these things, it's gonna be really hard to almost prioritize something like this over something that, unless we make it a supporter feature or a not supporter feature.

So I'm wondering, are there things we want to start thinking about as being supporter features?

Ste (23:29.764)
yeah, definitely. I mean, we can try, especially with the advanced things. For the supporter, I think right now we're at the point where it's worth redefining what it represents and what you get for being a supporter. And we have some ideas in that area.

I'm wondering all of these, which ones would you think would be the most impactful for, for that? I mean, what could we, make into a support feature that would, make it like an instantaneous click for, for people like, okay, it's worth it. So, I mean, it's worth it right now, if you ask me, but what would be out of these, like the most,

Adam (24:30.67)

Ste (24:31.204)
impulsively attractive thing we could build that would convince people to become supporters.

Adam (24:41.806)
I think a lot of these kinds of features are ones that wouldn't bring a new user and turn them into a supporter. They would bring kind of a, an existing user who already loves the site and maybe turn them into a supporter. So I feel like we probably need some things that are like targeted more towards new users and some things that are targeted more towards power users. Cause I could see like bulk edit mode or something like that.

Ste (24:55.46)
Mm -hmm.

Adam (25:11.534)
being kind of a potential like, you know, thing for power users, but for, unless you're a power user on hardcover, you're probably never even gonna use it.

Ste (25:26.404)

Adam (25:28.654)
But yeah, what a, like the things that I was imagining for like people that first join are more like stats focused things. Like, you know, you've imported your library, you go to your stats right away and you see some really cool stuff. And you can do that today. And we do have separate stats that are pro or supporter and general, but that's something we haven't really revisited since.

Ste (25:47.652)
Mm -hmm.

Adam (25:58.574)
like 2022.

Ste (26:00.664)
Yeah, stats is not on this list, is it? I mean, I didn't see it anywhere. Maybe it's worth putting it there because it's our main supporter feature. I mean, you get stats and I was gonna make it more visually appealing, let's say.

Adam (26:05.422)
It's not right now.

Ste (26:25.732)
Because now, for instance, on mobile or the way you share stats, I think sharing stats would be like a neat way to advance because I really want to make it so that you're proud of sharing a stat on hardcover because it looks so good. And we've been doing like a lot of things, for instance, for the year in books that are looking really good. And I guess we could take.

Adam (26:25.774)

Ste (26:55.044)
some of those things and put it into the stats.

Adam (26:59.758)
Yeah, that'd be really cool. Like even, even making it that kind of like a paginated page makes it so much more interesting to browse. Like it's, it's like you're, you're browsing a presentation made just for you about your data rather than just looking at a dashboard of data.

Ste (27:16.516)

Ste (27:19.94)
Yeah, that's a very good observation. A presentation put together just for you is how it should feel like. It should feel like a present. That's how, I guess, Spotify does the wrapped. That's how it's positioned. So I guess, yeah, we should definitely do the same thing. So let's add, how should we name it? Stats, revamping stats, making stats, more fetching, making stats.

advanced stats. Okay, yeah, that works.

Adam (27:55.054)
Yeah, I'll put that.

Ste (27:58.98)
Hmm. It also might be like a

question of how we present it, I guess. Okay, yeah, all the way there.

Adam (28:11.246)
Just keep it in the same area here. Yeah. And it's.

Ste (28:13.604)
Yeah, no, that's perfect. I was also thinking of an easy win about the profile page because we haven't revamped that in a while. And I think there are things we can do. We've made the new book page. We made the new list page. I think just adapting the profile page and adding a couple of things to it to kind of feel the same way we described stats earlier, like a place where you're like,

proud to share and you want people to see. I think now it's like borderline at that limit, but we can make it so that you really like love your hardcover profile and this like really, you know, place, really cool place that showcases your reading. Yeah.

Adam (28:56.334)


Adam (29:02.336)
And maybe that's like, maybe there's like a, you know, a special, like special things that only that you see only if you're a supporter, like, or that you can do to modify your profile page. If you're a supporter.

Ste (29:19.332)
Yeah, I think small stuff like even changing your cover, which we set by default based on your favorite genre, even changing that would be like something like an example of a thing which would count for, I guess, many, many people. And we can do other things. I'm thinking about the dashboard that we're working on. The dashboard itself can be like a reason to.

become a supporter because you'll get more useful things in the dashboard if you're a supporter.

Adam (29:56.398)
Yeah, edit here. And one of the potential things that, yeah, it's not on here are supporter widgets, which are kind of just, like you said, they're additional functionality on something we're already doing. So it's like, everyone will get access to the dashboard, but we might have a couple of specific things that are specific to supporters on there.

Ste (30:25.38)
Yeah, this sounds great. I mean, maybe we could put it, I mean, this only doesn't like cover marketing priorities, right? Thinking about the support plan and how we can make it better and more of a thing you'd go for without like thinking twice. I guess that could.

be a good next step apart from all the features we've got planned because we have a lot of features.

Adam (31:01.262)
Yeah, and even like this idea of book vibes is a big supporter feature, which I think we'll talk more about in a future session, because that's its own big concept.

Ste (31:13.636)
yeah, we can do, yeah, maybe we can do next week about book vibes and maybe we can even sketch some stuff. I began, you know, the sub -genre sketch. We can take that and yeah, see how it translates to the book vibes. But yeah, all of these, I mean,

I guess, for instance, the journals could be another place that...

Ste (31:45.636)
could be important, but I don't know how really, now that I think about it. You could do things, but there's a limit. I mean, the support features are really power reader tools that you usually can't find on any other book network. That's how we're trying to...

Adam (31:56.782)
Yeah, I think.

Ste (32:13.828)
to build them so they really like, they don't have like a match anywhere else in their complexity.

Adam (32:23.982)
Yeah. But we don't want them to be for features that like 99 % of people want to use or like 90%. So yeah, they're, they're very specific. So yeah. Yeah. Doing something like book journals, it wouldn't be like, that's a supporter feature. It's more like if there was something that made sense to be only supporters then potentially, but.

Ste (32:24.74)

Ste (32:33.252)
Exactly. Yes.

Ste (32:50.66)
Yeah, I was thinking about what we could do inside the book journal for supporters, but I guess we'd have to, you know, do another session about book journals or continue our work that we did, I think, a couple of lives ago for that editor to see.

Adam (33:06.414)
Yeah. I mean, that could be something like, you know, these sinks or something, but honestly, I wouldn't even want those to be supporters because those are just getting us more data from users and.

Ste (33:19.972)
Yeah, yeah, exactly. I'm wondering, you know, we've talked about finding your friends that read and inviting them on hardcover, seeing if they are already on hardcover. Maybe that's like a good, I mean, part of the...

Adam (33:35.726)
Mm -mm.

Ste (33:43.684)
convincing people to become supporters. It's also related to how many people sign up for Hardcover because, you know, naturally, I mean, there's going to be a conversion rate. So out of 100 readers, maybe three, four, five will sign up as supporters. If it's five, I mean, that's great. If it's like four, that's great as well. If it's like zero, that's, I don't know, we got to do something about it, but, you know.

you got to have those 100 users as well. I think now we're around that 2, 3 % conversion rate. So 2, 3 % of the people who sign up and use Hardcover are supporters. Not like the overall, I'm not counting the users who just signed up and gave the go and didn't come back, like the active users. I think we're around there, maybe even more, which is good.

But I was thinking, if you were to invite your friends on hardcover, how would that look like? And I realize that many people right now, including some of you who might be watching, are using hardcover as a private thing. And they don't want to have friends. And I totally respect that. And we're building it so that's how you can use it. But one of our.

necessities to basically be able to offer your hardcover is to get as many readers on the app as possible. So if there was like a mechanism to invite some of your reader friends who might go like, look, my friend, whatever is reading this and they read this and I found this book in their library. If we kind of like pass that barrier, which.

encourages people to share it with their friends, I think that's gonna be huge. But I'm not sure how we could actually do it. I mean, there are very few apps that actually like crack this. What are your thoughts on them?

Adam (35:50.414)

Yeah, to me, like the farther along time goes kind of the more useful this feature is, like the more users we have and the more, the more we have like an easy way for people to get a huge instant impact when they join. So it's like, I could see this being like more useful after we have things like, you know, these new profile pages.

or like, you know, something, something really exciting for them to see right when they join, as well as being able to connect their own, Facebook and X or whatever, and see their other people on hardcover. So that way they find their, find their friends. Cause right now, as a mudkip in the chat pointed out, right now, what we have is a referral code where you can.

Ste (36:29.444)

Adam (36:50.062)
link someone to hardcover and when they join, we'll track that they referred you to hardcover. And then if you refer to people, you get a free month of being a supporter. But right now, that's still kind of on the individual users, kind of hardcover readers to do that on their own rather than this is more self discovery.

Ste (37:17.06)
Yeah, exactly. We should talk about referral codes more though. For us, I mean, we're doing like a lot of stuff which is like not native to us for marketing. And we've learned a lot and it's fun because, you know, we get to spend time.

to interact with such like, okay, yeah, we should, yeah, we should make it more visible. Yeah, maybe that will solve a lot of things. If you copy like your link, I think it's in the footer now, we placed it in the footer and you can copy your referral link and in your profile settings, you can find who you referred.

And you also get an incentive, you get a free month of support when you invite two people to sign up.

Adam (38:05.582)
Yeah, it's, it's a, yeah, you can do that here. So like, if you go to your account settings, you can go to refer a friend and then copy this URL and it has like your referral link in the URL and it'll show you all the people you've referred.

Ste (38:26.166)
Yeah, and it's in the footer everywhere. So if you click on copy before overlaying, that's the same thing.

Adam (38:31.022)
Exactly. So you can do that to generate a URL to any page on hardcover and on mobile, it's in the sidebar.

Ste (38:42.308)
Yeah, you can just click copy link and it's your referral link.

Adam (38:43.15)

Adam (38:48.462)

Ste (38:50.756)
Yeah, we should talk about that more. I mean, again, another thing, you know, which would skip all of this would be some kind of book influencer on TikTok before it gets banned to talk about hardcover. And we all know we had like an event that happened, I think, last week or two weeks ago where we got like a surge in users because... Let me get their name right. Where was it? In watch channel.

Hailey Hughes, yeah, they shared a video and that's like another way to do it. It would be nice to have more people featuring hardcover. Not sure how to do it. We've been trying it for like the past two, three years and we still haven't have found a reliable way in terms of marketing. And I think right now we're at the point where, you know,

There are lots of people with ideas on what we can do, but I think we mostly tried all of them. So I'm only down to the theory that, you know, we just need a person with more marketing. What's it called? That thing, talent. Yeah, I guess talent is the word. To just like sense it. I mean,

Adam (40:07.342)

Ste (40:18.5)
We've done stuff, but it always feels like we're slogging along. And sometimes it's good. Sometimes it's throwing stuff out there. So yeah, nothing about referral codes. We could do that more.

Adam (40:29.582)

Yeah. I think one thing that might be helpful with this list that I might try to do after this call is to kind of put some of these like in a spreadsheet with like different categories. Like, you know, is this a supporter feature? Is this, does this help users when they first join?

because right now we're losing a lot of users who join hardcover and then kind of don't stick around. And we're doing some investigation into that. And then other things are like, this is a feature that goes deep instead, or this is a, like for instance, advanced goals or something like that. That's like a power user feature. And how we balance those with something like book journals, which is something that potentially,

everyone could use or use custom cover for book. Those are things that almost everyone could use, but they also are more work. So how we prioritize those is gonna be tricky.

Ste (41:47.044)
Yeah, that's a great idea. And yeah, we should have this. So I'm seeing like two things right now. So there's stuff we can do for people who haven't heard about hardcover and their like early hardcover experience. Like when you get to the site, I think there's like lots of things that we can do. Just like.

refining the experience. And we haven't had time to that because we have a ton of, as you can see, a ton of other stuff, which is exciting, unfortunately, to build. And there's the updates that we have to keep a pace on for the people who are already signed up to hardcover. So I guess those are the two things. And I guess we should do them both.

at this point, so maybe we should be like the next thing to build for people who are already on hardcover, like which is the most important thing that is impacting their hardcover experience right now. And the other part, for someone who hasn't heard about hardcover and like their early experience on hardcover, how do we improve that? Does that sound right?

Adam (43:06.222)
Yeah. Yeah. One, one thing that I could see one way that I could see us doing all that is maybe like between now and the end of June, for example, we try to kind of just like wrap up work in process, fix a bunch of bugs, get to a good place where on like July 1st, we can set a new, like high level goal. And then everything we do for the next three months is around that high level goal.

Ste (43:32.708)
Mm -hmm.

Adam (43:36.814)
And that high level goal could be like, like, you know, make it to profitability or something like that, or, you know, just, or like improve the number of people that join and, leave the platform or something, something high level like that. And then all of the tasks we choose for the next quarter end up being around that.

And that'll help inform like which ones of these we really prioritize during that time. Cause it might, we might really want to work on book journals, but that might not align with our, our goal for that quarter, which is going to be going to be rough because there are things on here I, I so want to do.

Ste (44:23.556)
Yeah, exactly. I know it would be great if we were like us multiplied by at least five to be able to like tackle this because they're like more important like authors are important. We know what to do in that area. Reading journal, that's important discussions. They're like really important. I mean, we have some like so much data on them telling us that they're important, but also, you know, all the others like.

Adam (44:33.742)

Ste (44:52.612)
couple of things. So yeah, that sounds like a good plan. I guess just fixing everything and then letting it settle. Maybe, I mean, usually it surfaces on its own. I guess the conclusion for everyone wondering how things get prioritized for a startup like ours.

they surface on their own. I think we've been in this position at least twice or maybe even more times, these past three years. And it always, the thing presented itself without us, we're just doing the work, putting it here. So, yeah.

Adam (45:44.078)
Yeah, like a dashboard is currently in process. Fetch more data about newly added books. That one is currently in process. As part of some library and fixes that I'm doing, I'm also working on that one. So I think this will also help with, actually, I could probably put something from here all the way over to,

Ste (45:49.092)

Adam (46:15.854)
advanced stats, because I see, I see it as well off to clean that up. But yeah, I see that as like, you know, the better book data we have, the better your advanced stats are going to be.

Ste (46:17.892)
Yeah, here we go, yeah.

Ste (46:30.372)

Adam (46:35.854)
I'm going to move this up.

Ste (46:36.452)
Yeah, it's, this is good. I mean, we're halfway there. I mean, come to think of it. And I think the first like iterations, right now, if you go on hardcover and create an account and you're either has like been tracking there within someplace else, you're going to find features that might be worth for you going for the spoiler plan.

Which wasn't the case like two years ago or I mean three years ago we didn't have anything or maybe even one year ago. I was just I saw someone commenting on reddit on a post I did more than one year ago where we were saying yeah and we're planning for cool things like having stats on your profile and yeah someone commented that they signed up then and they were glad that they stuck with us.

If you're watching, thanks for that comment. It was really nice to see that. But yeah, we didn't even have stats. So now we do have stats and I think, yeah, just like refining them so they look and behave better, just like we did with lists, is gonna come a long way.

Adam (47:53.898)
Yeah. Yeah, someone in the chat was mentioning how we have some descriptions in the app that are either missing or sometimes they don't have new lines in them. And that's one of the ones that I think as part of this data fetching thing, I want to take a look at. Because I think some of that's how we import the descriptions from other platforms. And some of it's how we display it, not adding like,

break lines for new lines. Yeah, I think that'll be an easy win as part of this update.

Ste (48:30.82)
Yeah, book date does such a mess everywhere. I'm discovering, I mean, I'm, yeah. Jesus, I mean.

Adam (48:37.07)
I'm really excited about the refactor that I'm working on for that right now. Actually, like one thing I've found as I've been working on it is that 25 % of our external book mappings to other platforms haven't been loaded with data for one reason or another. So if we can fix that reason on why those aren't getting loaded, that increases our book data by 25 % right there. And so it's...

It's things like that, plus some usability fixes, like when you create a new book on the platform or when we import a new book from a library, we're not going out and finding more information about that book. If we didn't have the information to do that immediately. Like for instance, if you import a book from Goodreads, we'll, and we don't have any of that information in our database.

We'll kind of just like create that book and we'll, we'll set that the there's a, we'll set the ID from that Goodreads book in our database so that the next person also associates with that same book. So that way two people are pointing out the same book, but we're not going out to Goodreads and fetching data about the book. So it's little things like that.

Ste (49:52.9)
Yeah, that usually... Yeah, exactly. That's going to be huge. It usually happens when you edit the book, right? Because whenever I'm editing a book, it just solves itself, mostly for the description for the cover even. I'm mostly replacing covers with higher res ones. And whenever I find a book that has all the book data, Jesus, yeah, some people have been sharing...

books in the Discord and you can see like some librarian has been at work on that book. Whenever I see that, it's such like a breath of fresh air and it feels so good to like see a book with all the book info. Yeah. This is also an advantage.

Adam (50:27.342)

Adam (50:32.622)
Yeah, yeah, that's, that's one of those things where, yeah, I've, I've tried to like run scripts to fetch those in the background, but there are so many like issues with our book data loader that we end up getting just a bunch of them fail. And then I get like a hundred, bug automatic emails that happen when code has an issue. So my hope from this fix.

is to fix that process so that we can like reliably get that data. And so that when you go to edit a book, it doesn't have that big wait time where it's loading the data, have it already be loaded for every book.

Ste (51:16.836)
Yeah, that's gonna be nice. Yeah. I mean, we're making like such good, huge advances and I'm glad that this combined with what librarians are doing. I mean, hopefully we're gonna get for most like, let's say the most popular books, really good book data because this is a problem like everywhere.

Adam (51:41.549)

Ste (51:41.796)
I mean, if you go on Goodreads, if you go on OpenLibrary, if you go on, it just is such a mess. And yeah.

Adam (51:49.134)

And I just remembered that one of the things that we're planning for the dashboard is potentially being able to add the stats widgets from the stats page to your dashboard. So maybe that's kind of a reason to bring up this advanced stats as kind of a higher priority thing for more immediate work.

Ste (52:09.892)
yeah. Mm -hmm. Yeah. Yeah, let's do some brainstorming because paths are something you can share as well. So let's brainstorm with the...

Discord community and see what everyone thinks and maybe we'll get some ideas and definitely, I mean, getting about the like actual stat widgets. I think we have like a good base. I'm wondering if there's anything that people would like to see. I haven't seen like much in other places, but I think just like making them more streamlined and looking better and.

you know, actually making it so that they're easier to share. I think that's going to be a good thing.

Adam (53:00.75)
Yeah. Yeah. We've talked about like being able to generate an image for them or things like that. So that you could like share a specific stat or, or maybe that's like each stat has its own shareable URL page or something like that. Or.

Ste (53:07.972)
Mm -hmm.

Ste (53:18.148)
That'd be nice, that'd be really nice. And we can just put them on the stats page, but then you can go to stats slash, your username slash stats slash that widget and just get that. I'm guessing we could do that, right? It would just be the component. That'd be nice. That'd be nice for embedding as well, because we've talked about embedding, being able to grab a bunch of things and just putting it on your book blog.

Adam (53:32.878)

Adam (53:36.494)

Adam (53:47.694)
I know one thing that someone brought up, which I haven't looked into how people do it, because I don't use this feature of Instagram, but it's making it really easy to post something to a story. Because right now, I guess the way to do it would be go to your stats page, take a screenshot, and then they have to crop that screenshot down to the part that they want to show and insert that into a story. But we could potentially make it one click where it's like,

Ste (53:48.068)
That would be nice.

Ste (54:01.572)

Ste (54:13.988)
Mm -hmm.

Adam (54:17.07)
for each stat, click share on my story and it just does all that for you.

Ste (54:22.052)
Yeah, I've actually, I know how to do that because I ran into like this exact same issue. And you can do it from the web, but you can do it on iOS. And I think there's a capacitor thing that we can use to like share natively on Instagram. We'd need to make like a Facebook app and have them approve it and, you know, go through all the like user permissions, but that would be, I mean, the next thing would be just to screenshot it. The easiest thing. This...

Adam (54:34.926)

Ste (54:51.748)
would be like screenshotting, like the simple thing. And this would be like registering an app for Facebook and allowing them like the user privileges because that's the only way, you know, it can actually post the thing natively. And you can do it from web as far as I've researched it. And yeah, I did like, it was for.

something that needed that. And the only way you could do it is build an iOS app to share it on iOS and build an Android app to share it on Android.

Adam (55:25.422)
Mm -hmm.

Well, this seems like a good kind of section of the app to really focus on to me. Like, it's for one, it's kind of our trickle down to authors. It looks at dashboard and book calendar, which were like two of the top things that people requested on our last survey. It kind of makes way for some like,

Ste (55:43.044)

Adam (55:57.934)
data specific things like a missing data queue and a librarian queue, which are things we've talked about with our librarians to make it easier to find what books are in most need of updates. And it's also on the track to open sourcing hardcover because we want, one of the things that I see as like a selling point for when someone.

Ste (56:05.22)

Adam (56:25.998)
once we open source hardcover, a selling point for what someone could benefit from is create another dashboard widget. And like we could open that up to have anyone create new dashboard widgets and then we would probably need to approve them and all that. But then they would get added to the app for anyone to use. So I see this as kind of an easy way for people to make contributions to hardcover without needing to.

create some whole new section of the site.

Ste (56:58.596)
Yeah, that sounds great. Maybe put like a big circle in the background, like a really dim, so we know it's like the point of focus. Just, yeah, just, yeah. Just.

Adam (57:08.398)
for like this area. Let's see.

Adam (57:15.726)

Ste (57:16.996)
And I think with that, here we go. Yeah.

Adam (57:21.838)
Let's see.

Ste (57:23.108)
Maybe send it to the back.

Adam (57:27.022)
range. Let's see.

Ste (57:33.302)
So we'll have the focus area. See, one hour figuring out, here we go. Figuring out our next area to focus on. Yeah, this is it. I mean, this is what we're focusing on next. The dashboard is gonna be like, well, let's see what we can put in live, but that's gonna be like really nice to see. And...

Adam (57:47.502)

Ste (58:00.292)
These are all things which are going to make a difference on what you see on hardcover. Because I think we have a period at the beginning of the year where it was just infrastructure stuff. And now with leather lists, I'm really glad there's a big change. It feels fresh. The new navigation also feels fresh. That's like...

really really good. If we do the profile that's gonna also feel fresh. If we do the stats that's gonna be so yeah. This is sounding good. This is looking good.

Adam (58:31.79)

Adam (58:36.078)
Yeah. Cool. I think it's a good amount of stuff focused on today. I think that also, yeah, that really helps me understand how the things we're working on are related to each other. And it makes it seem less daunting when we can take a group of features that are all somewhat tangentially related and work on them. Yeah.

Ste (58:37.668)

Ste (58:44.9)

Ste (59:03.412)
Yeah. Yeah. It really is useful to have that area of focus, but see, this is how much work it takes. Well, it's one hour, but you know, lots of after work in the background. Yeah.

Adam (59:12.75)

Adam (59:17.07)
Yeah. Yeah. Cool. Well.

Ste (59:20.612)
Yeah, that sounds great. Yeah, thanks everyone for watching. And if you have any comments on what you saw and what we're building next, definitely drop on Discord. See you next week, I guess.

Adam (59:34.99)
Yeah, yeah, sounds good. Talk to you next week. Bye.

Ste (59:39.364)
Talk to you next week. See ya. Bye.