How I Built a Solution To
Find The Best Netflix Shows
Hi! Who are you and what business did you start?
Hi, I’m Ali Noorani, founder of Couchers – the new way for you and your friends to find the perfect movie/TV-show to watch on Netflix.
What is your personal story and how did you come up with the idea?
I have been a mobile application developer for about five years now. Like everyone, I was stuck at home during the pandemic and so was my girlfriend. Since we had nothing better to do we were consuming Netflix content at an alarming rate! Eventually, we ran out of content that we both agreed on. We used to scroll Netflix for 30-40 mins and still were not able to pick something to watch.
I searched online for a solution but nothing existed. I then saw an app that used a Tinder like swiping mechanism for couples to pick baby names… That was my lightbulb moment!
I got working on a prototype. My girlfriend and I actually ended up using it often and I decided to make it into a real app that I could distribute to the public …and Couchers was born.
What challenges did you face when creating your product/service?
The biggest challenge I faced is actually building the product. Often people overlook the amount of work it takes actually getting the tech stack up and running.
When you build an app you need to make sure it works on IOS and Android, as well as on most devices. Along with the front end you also need a solid backend to manage login, processing results, payments, send welcome emails, push notifications etc.
The next biggest challenge is marketing and letting people know you exist! The application market is extremely saturated. Almost every app idea you think of exists in some form or the other. It takes a lot of conviction for someone to download your app and then not delete it five mins later.
Who is your target market?
The app’s target market is anyone with a Netflix account. For now, the app is only available in a few countries namely: United States, Canada, Germany, and United Kingdom.
How do you market your business and which approaches have been the most successful?
Initially, I posted on relevant groups on social media websites such as Reddit. I continued commenting and engaging with customers. Additionally, I used Product Hunt, word of mouth, and attending online meetups.
Since you launched, what has worked in not only attracting but retaining customers?
Regular updates on the app with new features and fixing bugs and performance issues. Attracting new customers is always a challenge, what has been successful for Couchers is the referral program in which a user has to invite four friends to unlock premium content. That has helped me a lot to acquire new users. Over half the registered users on the app are from referrals. A user can now pay a small fee to unlock the same now.
What software, services or tools do you use within your business?
What are the most important lessons have you learned on your business journey?
The most important lesson I have learned is and I’m sure this is nothing new – just do it! If you think you have an idea or concept, work on it and put it out there. There is no right moment, there is no right time.
One mistake I made was not planning a solid release plan, I should have planned to release more updates in a timely manner. I added some new features a bit too late and I saw a number of users leave the app as they were bored.
What is your favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
It’s waking up everyday and working on your own product.
What is your LEAST favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Almost everyone you meet thinks you are wrong and they have a better idea or a way to improve your product.
What books, podcasts or other resources have inspired and influenced your business journey?
Business Wars onSpotify is one of my favorite podcasts, listening to them on a daily basis gave me the inspiration to start a business. It contains stories about how hard entrepreneurs worked to build the business and the only way to know if you are going to fail or succeed is to start your business and find out.
Where do you see your business 2-3 years from now?
It’s too soon to know exactly what is going to come out of the business right now, but ideally I hope to have over one hundred thousand users using my app, and build a better brand around it with better technical infrastructure for the app.
I hope to maintain a small team to keep overheads low. Right now the app is not making any revenue, so I hope that in the next two years I can get some amount of revenue to grow and sustain the business.