April 8, 2024

What We Learned From You: Reflecting on the Stashpad Docs Launch

Cara Marin

Cara Marin

Four weeks after the Stashpad Docs launch, we're talking about what we learned from you and how we’re moving forward.

What We Learned From You: Reflecting on the Stashpad Docs Launch

Last month we launched Stashpad Docs - a minimal Google Docs alternative with markdown support and no account required.

We were blown away by the response we received. And it's clear to us that there's a renewed interest in minimal software that does one thing and does that one thing well. We were featured in the Product Hunt newsletter, TechCrunch and received thoughtful feedback that will go a long way towards helping us make Stashpad Docs the best minimal tool it can be.

Actual usage of Stashpad Docs so far has been exciting too, with over 24,000 docs created, 15,000 searches performed, and 3,500 docs shared. Wow.

In this spirit of developing out in the open and continuous improvement, we'll be discussing some of the direct feedback we received–both positive and constructive– and how we plan to use this feedback to improve.

What we learned

Bringing Stashpad Docs to the world was our first chance to get raw, unfiltered feedback at scale. We were so excited to see how the community would respond. Here, we'll discuss the most common themes in the feedback.

Simplicity has now become so rare that people crave it

Minimal software has become a way of the past in recent years, so it was really exciting to bring this type of offering to the market to see what happens. While we wholeheartedly believe in our software and mission to embrace The Unix Philosophy to Do one Thing and Do it well, we were still humbly surprised and encouraged by how much the minimalist approach resonated.

It's clear a more simple approach to software is a breath of fresh air compared to the overly feature-rich, bogged-down software that is so common today.

At the core of almost all the feedback we received is how powerful simplicity is. It's clear being able to easily get started collaborating without a learning curve is super powerful.

Here are some snapshots of the feedback we received about Stashpad Docs' simplicity.

It’s not just developers who value the ease of Markdown

When we first began our journey to developing a notes app with markdown support, we (wrongly) assumed that it would only appeal to developers. But we’ve been so pleasantly surprised by how well-received markdown editing is by non technical folks. They’ve been more than willing to pick it up and learn. With such a small learning curve, we really believe anyone can get up to speed quickly and experience the benefits of keeping your fingers on the keyboard when taking notes, writing and formatting. Especially for people who spend a lot of their day writing.

Aaron O'Leary, Content Writer at Product Hunt, even said, "As a writer, I learned markdown because it’s easier than using my toolbar. It's 10x'd my writing speed, every writer that learns it never goes back."

Here's what you thought about Stashpad Docs’ markdown support.

The line between minimalism and being feature-rich is thin

Throughout this process of building Stashpad Docs, we've stayed committed to simplicity. It’s important we don't compromise on that, so as we evaluate adding new features we're considering if the benefits of this feature outweigh the risk of making Stashpad less simple.

We received feedback that for some users, Stashpad Docs doesn’t yet have enough functionality. And while we are in the early days of building Stashpad Docs and will strategically add enhancements, we want to do this in a way that keeps the product simple.

We've received a bunch of feature requests, including the ability to clean up docs you’re done with, spell check, organize with folders, and more. As we evaluate these requests, our goal is to keep a really high bar when it comes to adding features. We certainly see the value and simplicity in being able to clean up the docs you’re done with, so we’ve already delivered the archive.

One area where we feel we can add value without bogging down the experience is through integrations with your other favorite apps.

The first type of integration we'll be adding is around making it even easier to create docs. People love being able to type in their browser and want more easy ways to create a stash, like from Raycast, Script Kit, Slack, and from personal markdown editors like Bear and Obsidian. Another integration we'll likely add is making it easy to push todos to tools that specialize in action items like Todoist and Linear.

Stashpad Docs sizzle reel

We received such great feedback during the launch, that we want to share a few other quotes that stood out to us. We also wrote a blog on how to use Stashpad Docs to collaborate with external stakeholders. Read here.

Darrian loves how easy it is to share a Stashpad Doc.

We're not setting out to be Google Docs. We're setting out to change the entire experience of using collaborative docs. Fast. Lightweight. Easy to share.

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