As we approach the launch of our public crowd equity funding campaign on Seedrs, we’re excited to outline our approach to expanding our social features with the funding we raise. Our crowd equity funding campaign will give our community an opportunity to own a stake in the business we’re building, our first move towards making Endlesss a platform which is owned by its community.
Product vs Stakes
In our Kickstarter campaign, we raised funds to build specific products and features so our backers could get a clear idea of what they would get with their money. This made sense for a paid-for Endlesss Studio product, the desktop version of Endlesss aimed more at professional users.
Our next step is to build social features around the Endlesss ecosystem. Since these features will be free to the whole Endlesss community, it makes sense for us to raise money to do this by selling stakes in Endlesss-the-company, rather than through pre-sales of a paid-for product.
In the coming weeks we’ll share more on why we believe community ownership is a moral imperative for companies like Endlesss who provide platforms for people to create cultural value. For now, we’d like to walk through how we’ll take an agile approach to developing our social features guided by key metrics, rather than deciding on and committing to a specific set of features to build and ship.
Product, Platform, Community
As anyone who has come into contact with the Endlesss ecosystem knows, Endlesss is much more than just a product. It’s also a deeply engaged community, a network of friends and creators who have met using Endlesss and gone on to find a new sense of creative purpose, forming deep bonds with one another in the process.
Between the Endlesss creative product and the community is a nascent platform where these interactions take place. While a few basic social interactions happen on Endlesss, most of them happen on Discord servers such as Endlesss, Jamsss and Track Club. Discord is a fantastic platform for building communities, but it’s disconnected from the Endlesss product. Most people who discover Endlesss for the first time have no idea of the incredible rabbit warren of jams, projects, talent and relationships evolving deep in the Endlesss community. So our next step is to build out our platform to help connect the Endlesss community with the product.
What we have done so far
Our mission is to connect the world through musical creativity by transforming music creation itself into a social interaction. In the last couple of years we’ve focussed on the first part of this mission by building a versatile creative tool for free-flowing improvisation and collaboration.
Implicit in the design of the creative tool is the opportunity to build social features which connect deeply and seamlessly to the Endlesss music creation experience. These features will empower the community to build relationships, purpose and momentum around their musical interactions and the music that comes out of them.
Work on the Endlesss creative tool is by no means finished. Indulge us for a second while we state that this work is indeed endless. That said, we’re very near to hitting a big milestone by shipping the Windows version. After two solid years focussing on our creation tool, we’re now preparing to shift our focus to building out the Endlesss platform by adding features which help the community come together.
Opportunities to better serve the Endlesss community and grow the business
In an ideal world, the community and the business would be one perfectly aligned entity where community members are stakeholders and vice-versa, sharing exactly the same goals. We’re excited to be taking our first step in this direction by inviting the community to invest in and share ownership of Endlesss the company. Technology and regulation which makes this ideal easier to achieve is progressing fast. We’re keeping a close eye on this rapidly-evolving landscape and will share more about our views on it in an upcoming article about community ownership.
For now, on our journey towards the ideal of community ownership, we want to establish win/win goals which empower the Endlesss community while also growing the business.
The Next Chapter for Endlesss
Growing the Platform
The most active Endlesss users are also the most involved members of the community. They show up in public jams, collaborate with others in private jams and are active in our Discord server.
From our data, we know that people new to Endlesss are twice as likely to still be around a month later if they start chatting with others in the app.
As we’ve learned from some of the Endlesss sub-communities like Track Club and our livestream projects such as Unfolding, having the opportunity to showcase creativity to others is hugely motivating. In fact, we’ll go one step further: we believe that the most important thing to anyone who makes music is getting heard.
We’ve also seen that showcasing the incredible music and talent emerging on Endlesss to those discovering it for the first time makes it much more likely that those people will stick around, building a meaningful relationship with the creative tool and becoming active members in the community.
Adding Social Features
With this in mind, we’re looking to develop features such as :
User Profiles & Following : This will provide an opportunity for people to grow an audience and have a place to showcase their creativity, as well as find out when friends are online
Personalised Feed : Allow the community to further showcase their work and engage with peers and audiences, as well as find ways to highlight the talents of the community outside of the app
Live Jam Stage Improvements : Support for listener, jammer and moderator roles so jams can become both places for live peer-to-peer collaboration and places to perform and have an audience
For our Kickstarter campaign, we promised concrete features which we’re delivering as part of a paid-for product, but for our next step we’re raising funding with the goal of increasing the number of people who stick around on Endlesss and how long they stick around for.
This demands a more agile, experimental approach which can start with very simple features and be expanded over time as user testing and usage data quickly reveals which changes or new features improve how people engage with a product.
So over the next six months, we will take an agile approach to developing social features, taking the hypotheses mentioned above as a starting point to rapidly build, test and learn. We will develop new features for our iOS app first. This will allow us to quickly evaluate and respond to what’s working without needing to spend time porting untested features to the Windows and MacOS products.
As a hint for what we’re thinking about, here are some designs which we’ve created as we imagine what these features might look like. We hope they get you as excited as they do us!
Grow the business
Social features will help the community deepen their relationships and get heard while also providing a huge opportunity for the business to grow. As mentioned, people are much more likely to stick around on Endlesss once they start interacting with others. With new community members sticking around for longer, we can grow the number of active users on the platform which will in turn result in increased revenue for the business.
Right now we make revenue from an in-app subscription within our mobile app and via a perpetual purchase of our desktop software.
Since we’re focussing development on the mobile app with its in-app subscription, we will look to increase subscription revenue by optimising the typical journey from someone discovering Endlesss for the first time to activating a paid subscription, which is illustrated below.
Each of these steps are part of our key metrics we track across the platform which include:
Onboarding / first time use drop off rate
Trial Period Activations
1 Month Retention Rate
Conversion rate to paying subscriber
Subscription Retention Rate / Churn Rate
Alongside working on social features, we’ll also improve other areas which will help boost these same metrics. These include:
Notifications : Help onboard first-time users, re-engage lapsed community members and help our most engaged members know when there’s unmissable action happening
Onboarding : Help those discovering Endlesss for the first time learn to create music with Endlesss in the most fun, fast and fascinating way.
Towards the Tipping Point
Excitingly, the impact of making it easier for new users to make progress and build relationships on Endlesss isn’t just linear, it’s exponential. The more people engage with Endlesss and the community, the more people will tell their friends about it via word of mouth. This is often called the ‘viral loop’.
Our data suggests that currently, on average, 10 users signing up one day will refer another 5 over the next two weeks. If we can boost that figure from 5 to 10 we get to the point where Endlesss starts to grow rapidly, completely organically.
Our approach to the next chapter for Endlesss is a long-term strategy, not a short-term execution plan.
Immediately, we’re busy meeting our promise of providing a cross-platform experience on desktop by offering Windows support. We brought forward some important refactoring work before porting to Windows, which has caused a delay in shipping but will vastly improve quality and stability once we do ship it in the coming months. It also puts us in a much better position to move quickly as we start to build social features once our Seedrs campaign closes and we’re fully funded.
We couldn’t be more excited about what the next few months have in store. From the inside perspective, we’re incredibly lucky to know where to find all the amazing energy and musical output that’s happening within the community. We know that surfacing and showcasing this energy to the world and creating touchpoints for people to engage with it will unleash the power of Endlesss - the product, the platform and the community.
We’re incredibly excited to know how many of you will be joining us even more closely for the next chapter. With huge appreciation for every one of you who has made Endlesss such a great place to be.
Don’t forget to head to our Seedrs pre-registration page. Our private campaign launches on August 4th and our targeted allocation will be made available to those who have pre-registered on a first-come first-served basis.