Our year in review
This year has been ✨ unprecedented ✨ to say the least. We've been taking some time to reflect on all the things we accomplished this year as we start thinking about what we want to do next. In the spirit of community, we wanted to share some of our wins and learnings, because after all, we wouldn't be here without you. So without further ado, welcome to another 2020 Recap 👇
What We Launched
We started off the year launching on Product Hunt
in February with our website builder and resume generator. Our users doubled overnight and we got traffic from all over the world 🌎
In March, the pandemic hit and the world shut down. We were thinking about things we could do for our users, and ran a 14 day blog challenge
. We loved learning about you all through your blog posts, and at the end we launched a job board
Then it was April/May, and the job market was still trash. We saw a lot of our friends turn their focus to side projects instead of recruiting, and we had a crazy thought: "What if we did something to help kids build meaningful side projects? How can we mentor them and teach them about product?" And so we launched Urspace Labs
, a 10-week summer fellowship for university students and new grads to get hands-on experience with the full digital product lifecycle.
In June, America woke up to its problems of systemic racism with Black Lives Matter and George Floyd Protests. We launched our premium tier for Urspace, made our first dollar, and donated everything from our first month to Black Girls Code and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
Throughout the summer we ran Urspace Labs and mentored a group of amazing students; and since then, we've been cleaning up Urspace and launching enhancements.
What We Learned
We launched on Product Hunt three times and grew our user base over 700% in a year. While we love PH a lot, it's not a sustainable growth engine—but the smaller things are.
Urspace Jobs and Labs were both timely with what was going on in the world. It was an extension of Urspace that caught its own audience, and brought those people back to Urspace.
Urspace is a product built by and for college students, and we really felt the power of word of mouth at different schools this year. Our Urspace Labs fellows brought us to different friend groups and clubs, and we saw a steady surge of signups from schools across the country. We'll be focusing on this in the New Year!
Viral tweets and internet moments can go a long way. We did a Instagram stories bingo earlier in the pandemic that reached folks at huge tech companies, and Don played with GPT-3 x Urspace and shared this on Twitter. These moments are not only great for user growth and exposure on their own, but they can also get picked up by bigger outlets to help you gain traction.
Running a 10-week remote fellowship program while working full time jobs and other side hustles is hard. But we learned a lot about what it takes to put together a meaningful program in our new remote world.
Check out our takeaways in Emily's thread:
Everything you see on Urspace (including our landing page) is fully custom built. As we've scaled and thought about new features, we realized that custom actually isn't in our best interest. A large portion of our time is spent maintaining all the custom components we have made (and fixing bugs with them :'D). This year, we started using Webflow for Urspace spin offs (Jobs
), and we're exploring Tailwind UI
for our frontend. We'll keep you all updated on how our transition goes!
Our team has also changed a bit this year. We first started Urspace with three co-founders, Emily, Vanessa, and Don.
We've been really lucky to also have the help of some really smart friends along the way to help us build Urspace—Ethan, Chris, Lucas, and Alex.
This summer, Vanessa decided to step away from Urspace to focus on her full time role at Instagram (product design) and also her own ceramics brand Oat & Aurum
. We're so grateful to have gotten the chance to work with her and wish her the best of luck with Oat & Aurum and beyond! Go give her page a follow 🙂
As we keep scaling Urspace, we want to be mindful of how our team grows and how we can help folks on our team (truth is we are all working for free lol), so if you've reached out to us about joining we might not get back to you right away, but know that we're keeping you in mind!
So, what's next?
The goal for Urspace has always been to move into recruiting and help our peers find jobs and internships. In the New Year, we'll be exploring, researching, and building tools to help both candidates and recruiters find top talent. If you're a recruiter yourself or have a wishlist of what would make job hunting easier, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
! We'd love to chat.
Thanks for learning and growing with us, we can't wait to share what we ship next 🚀