Our Discord community has grown a lot in the past year. What started as a 40-person server now has over 1500 members that share their growing journeys with one another.
Each week, there are more than 1,000 messages that get sent through our various channels. Users share their growing recommendations, help each other troubleshoot, and offer our team suggestions to improve the Hey abby experience.
(Statistics are shown for the period between Dec. 7 to Feb 26. Each channel has a specialized conversation topic.)
Grower-Centric Product Development
While our team of Hey abby engineers created the initial device, our growers are the ones who guide our product development. When our first round of harvesters emerged, our team was quick to learn from their grow journeys.
We called them one by one to discuss what went well and what needed to be further improved. User feedback inspired our development of a "start-from-seed" mode in the app, as well as an interactive calendar so users could visualize their upcoming tasks.
Our team also listened carefully to what instructions were still unclear and added more notifications to better guide growers through their journeys.
(The Hey abby in-app calendar and 'start-from-seed' option were introduced in October 2022.)
In the first six months, we ran into multiple app bugs and firmware errors. Our Android users also had to wait until September 2022 for the release of the Hey abby Android app. We were fortunate to have such patient growers who were willing to offer constructive feedback to help us improve. Over those six months, we released 10 app updates, made 20+ changes to the hardware, and completely upgraded the feeding process.
(We ran new ideas by growers first and took their feedback into consideration when coming up with the final version.)
Engaging with growers on a daily basis and learning from their experience has been the most effective way of developing our product. We thank each and every person who has supported us along the way to enhance the Hey abby growing experience.
(Users submit pictures/videos of their Hey abby set up to participate in online contests.)
Over the past few months, our community has hosted various Discord events. In October, 15 growers participated in our Hey abby Halloween Costume Contest.
We were blown away by everyone's creativity; we saw cousins from the Addams Family, Baymax, the IT clown, and Freddy Kreuger! Most recently, we held another contest for the best Super Bowl setup and were certainly not disappointed.
Growers have also been able to take part in educational live events to learn about best practices for getting seeds/clones started in their devices.
Grower Protection Plan
(One of our users added their Hey abby to their already bustling hydroponics grow room)
As a startup company, we were aware of one common concern among our growers: if the company went out of business, would users still be able to grow?
This was a completely valid concern and one we took very seriously.
Fortunately, through our subscription business model, Hey abby is able to continue growing as a company, but we needed to be prepared just in case.
Hey abby's internal grow environment is optimized using sensors and intelligent algorithms. So what would happen to these features if the company were no more?
To address this concern, we developed the Grower Protection Plan. Since Hey abby utilizes Amazon Web Services to power our system, we decided to start depositing 3% of the subscription income (up to $1000) as a reserve to AWS on a monthly basis.
We have been executing this plan since Jan 1, 2023. This will ensure that, if something happens to us, our growers will still be able to continue growing without any interruption.
At the end of the day, we want our growers to grow with total peace of mind and genuinely enjoy the Hey abby journey.
(Our team updates our community on Discord when we make payments to the protection plan)