I have been building in public since I started working on Goblin (I started my company in May 2022 and I started tweeting at the end of May).
I was able to get 49 paid $5 registrations for my gamified to do list app when I only had a landing page up and was working on my MVP.
A lot of my supporters believe in me as a founder and also like the type of product I'm making--a productivity that provides emotional support, good vibes, and whimsy.
Most productivity apps want you to do more tasks per hour and optimize every minute. They send you emails saying you have 50 tasks overdue or tell you your streak is going to end unless you do five minutes of Spanish NOW. They make you feel guilty if you're not accounting for every last minute of your day and completing all the tasks that you set out to do as a starry-eyed person who had just woken up this morning.
Goblin App knows you're not a robot with no emotions. We want you to be happier, more resilient, and feel supported in your journey of managing and improving your life. We focus on positive reinforcement and being kind to yourself when you're not as productive as you'd hoped.
The Problem: how do you scale your personality as your startup gains users?
I make stuff like this for Goblin App. It's a hero's journey tale about the user that's dynamically generated like a mad lib.
These take a lot of time to write! I've also made a ton of image assets for Treasures (prizes you get as you complete more sidequests and level up).
When you have 50 users, it's fine to do things like this that don't scale. It's actually better to do them in an unscalable way first just in case no one likes or uses the feature--that way you didn't waste a bunch of time on it.
I've been worried for the last few months about how to scale this. I'm definitely going to hire a designer at some point that will take these responsibilities, but it seems like a waste of their time to be constantly making game assets. It's also a problem because I would have to find someone with a similar vibe as myself so that the brand doesn't suddenly change.
The Current Solution: OpenAI API
If you're on Twitter, you've seen all the ChatGPT madness going on. It's really fun to play with. They actually have a bunch of different features (image creation, chat, text generation, etc).
Overnight, the problem of scaling my vibes was solved in an extremely cost-effective way with AI.
I started playing with OpenAI's API and immediately loved it.
In Goblin, your hype goblin (think of an old lady goblin clippy-type character) greets you with a different message every time you log in or refresh the page. I was previously writing these and there were maybe ~20 of them total that you might see.
With OpenAI's API, I generated 400+ one sentence greetings in a couple hours. I also used their Dalle app to create and enhance some images.
I'm planning to change our mad libs stories to be generated by their API and also use it to create accompanying images for the users. They'll be customized and different every time. I'm also using it to create incredibly dope merch for Goblin that's on brand.
Is this always perfect? No. Is it an incredible way to create fresh content with a consistent voice that sounds like me? Yes!
I spent ~$1.10 to create the 400 greetings. My mind is blown and my problem is solved for now.
I couldn't have made an app with such ever-changing creative content a few years ago. It's an incredible development.
Thank you so much for reading and supporting Goblin! I appreciate you.
Best, Molly (Vision & Decision Goblin)