Sketch to MVP in 5 days — MacroHub.co

How it started:

Sketch in Miro of MacroHub prototype
Monday | MacroHub mockup sketch in Miro

How it’s going:

Friday | MacroHub.co in open beta — no sign up required

The Problem

99.99% of financial and economic metrics are not relevant to traders and portfolio managers.

The .01% you do need is still distributed across an array of data sources, which time and effort to routinely collect, organize and assess.

The Solution

A single dashboard as a single point of access for all the quantitative and qualitative data a trader and portfolio manager needs.

Minimalist, as opposed to the maximalism of e.g. Bloomberg Terminal

Uncluttered and relevant, as opposed to financial media.

The core premise is an antidote to the barrage of information and opinion, to shut all that out and remain focused on building and maintaining a fundamental view of the economy, where it is headed, and the relative performance of its participants.

Typically, financial charts for people who trade markets focus predominantly on the price of individual instruments as well as various coincident and lagging indicators.

These are the tools of Technical Analysis, which has its place, but there is nothing predictive about Technical Analysis but its very nature.

TradingView | The typical view of what a trader ought to be viewing

To this end, MacroHub will be a source of only predictive economic data and to organize thoughts and information accordingly. An intuitive, unobtrusive interface that focuses only on what is important and nothing that is not.

tl;dr itpm.com/data/ as-a-dashboard

The Process

As little as possible, but as much as is needed.

Initial MacroHub sketch in Miro | Deliberately simple.

I envisioned another tab for qualitative industry statements, categorized by report/date/sector/sentiment, sortable and filterable.

I am bootstrapping, so my stack has to be as lightweight as possible and comprised of resources I either already have or can obtain easily.

At this point in my mind I am thinking:

  • Site / page builder
  • A charting library to draw charts
  • Some sort of database
  • Billing, Authentication etc.

I am also thinking JAMstack or JAMstack-like as the project lends itself to lightweight, dynamic yet statically served pages.

For the time being, I just need to figure out how to draw a chart on a webpage. After researching various options I landed on ChartJS — an open-source charting library for Javascript.

I thought about using Webflow, but in the spirit of keeping things as simple as possible (including tools), I found Outseta is compatible with my go-to page builder: Carrd.

I would also need a way to present the qualitative statements from the PMIs, for which I chose Airtable — not as a backend database, but as an embed. This will of course be updated/abstracted later, but the path of least resistance for the moment is to co-opt the ample Airtable design/functionality and simply embed it on a page.

Aside: Outseta has a 25 contact limit, meaning you can run a 25 customer subscription business with no-overhead if you nurture leads outside of it.

After implementing a functional paywall via Outseta, I’ve lifted this in favour of an open beta with no signup. I was thinking about a closed beta, but I just need somebody to try it at this point so need as little friction as possible at this stage.

It is possible to sign up for a monthly, annual or lifetime plan — just this confers enhanced customer support as opposed to any feature access, until the product is placed back behind the paywall of course.

Moving Forward

I have broadly two focuses right now:

  • Improving the product;
  • Procuring initial users who are not me.

In more detail:

More data points

The minimum viable indicators are included so far are hard-coded into the chart code. I need to abstract these to some sort of CMS/API so they can be easily updated and eventually automated.

Knowledge Hub

Increased, and eventually total, systemization will allow me to focus on the Knowledge Hub. A robust knowledge hub will be instrumental in adoption by both endemic financial market traders and portfolio managers, and non-endemic retail traders.

Improve UX

A CMS/API-enabled dynamic written summary and forecast should be the primary initial focus of the MacroHub UX/UI after login — with some highly abstracted indicator — with the organised data (chart, database) in secondary views.

This statement — or series of statements — will be more immediately understandable to more people than a chart. This would naturally be true of anyone: professionals, private and retail traders.

If you can read and understand the statement, you understand the product. It’s a realization first, then exploration/discovery afterwards. Ideally there will be contextual help, earmarked for after the knowledge hub content is sufficiently off the ground.

Marketing

Two broad avenues here:

  • Content Marketing for retail traders — TikTok, Reddit, YouTube etc.
  • Direct outreach and content on LinkedIn for professional/private traders. Potentially some engagement on 3rd party content.

Undecided on what else — given how many hours there are in a day.

Quora perhaps? Oh yea, and SEO.

🏗 Building: MacroHub.co 📈 Visit bryandigital.io 🚀

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