App 9: Astar Tutors 2.0

App 9: Astar Tutors 2.0

TLDR
Astar Tutors Free Forever
Date
Oct 24, 2021
Idea
ProductHunt
GitHub
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Story

I have been running Astar Tutors for a while now.
How it works?
  • Tuition agents post tuition job on the platform
  • Tutors apply for the job and pay the tuition agent first 3 hours fees or whatever was agreed upon
How did it started?
I started Astar Tutors on July 2017 while I was doing NS.
A chance encounter with a group of friends who were also teaching tuition led us to build a WhatsApp group.
We used the WhatsApp group to sell tuition job opportunities we can't take up to each other.
When did it grow?
The idea caught on and by word-of-mouth, Astar Tutors expanded.
The growth of Astar Tutors co-incided with my decision to start learning programming.
Together with another group of friends, we built the Astar Tutors web app from ground up.
That was the first time I made use of my new-found programming skill.
4 months and a few thousands lines of spaghetti code later, the Astar Tutors web app was launched on 28 Oct 2018.
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New valleys
In 2019, we spent a ton of effort in building a new app to connect tutors directly with parents.
Despite the efforts, the app didn't have good feedback. It crashed and burned.
The team disassembled.
Astar Tutors became a solo endeavour to maintain basic quality of service.
Monetization
On January 2020, I monetized the app by adding the need to pay coins to apply or post a job.
As expected the response wasn't the most ideal.
2019 (pre-monetization) vs 2020 (Monetization year)
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2019 (pre-monetization) vs 2021 (1 year after monetization)
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But, how did monetization feel like?
I felt on top of the world!
I had never monetized an app before. It was definitely a new life experience.
After the initial ego boost, the excitement died down.
I was earning around $30/day from selling virtual coins. It was good money considering I don't have much variable cost.
Covid happened
Covid happened in Apr 2020. It was a break from the hustle.
A long period of alone time to reflect.
On 1 July 2020, I decided to channel all the revenue from selling virtual coins on Astar Tutors to charity.
Why you may ask?
Partly to cultivate a habit of helping others and partly to detach myself from "my creation".
Here's the amount of money we have donated up till now.
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The new chapter

As you may have observed in the charts above, not all users are willing to pay for the simple service Astar Tutors offer.
Over time, as more users leave, the benefits from the network effect of using Astar Tutors fall.
The natural path is to make Astar Tutors a free service again.

And here it is, Astar Tutors 2.0

💵
The only new feature? It's free! Freeeeee foreveerrr!!!
 
Shoutout to the Alex, Pin Xuan, Shermaine, the OG code contributors, Joseph & Jeslyn!
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What about the giving mission?
Yes, that will be there forever! I am adding a giving.sg link to remind everyone to give if they have the ability to 🙂
Share the love!
Share the love!

Appendix

For friends following the 30 app in 30 days journey: Yes, today is a cheat day.
For tutors chancing upon this page, thank you for your support! This opportunity building and maintaining Astar Tutors helped me built up my software engineering, maker and people skills. It also led me to unlocking internships, new skills, friendships and life experiences.

Marketing pitch

Day 9 of 30 Apps in 30 Days

Astar Tutors 2.0: Singapore's best home tuition platform is now free forever!

Upvote on ProductHunt:
https://www.producthunt.com/posts/astar-tutors-2-0

Read backstory:
https://30apps.me/app-9-astar-tutors-20

To Do

Remove payment code
2 year old code. My React.js skills are getting rusty 🤢
2 year old code. My React.js skills are getting rusty 🤢
It is kinda crazy how much time we spent on coding isn't it?
It is kinda crazy how much time we spent on coding isn't it?
ProductHunt
Announcement
**Announcement**

Astar Tutors is now free forever!

All jobs are now free to apply and free to post 🎉

Refunds will be issued to everyone who purchase Astar Coins in October! You should be seeing your purchases in October refunded back to you! Else pls contact me.

Why free you may ask? Read the backstory here:
https://30apps.me/app-9-astar-tutors-20

Share this TikTok announcement with your tutor friends!
https://vt.tiktok.com/ZSeYXDQAh/

 
Refund users from last month (October)
TikTok
Linkedin