appsignal

Stroopwafels as a Service

Wes Oudshoorn

Wes Oudshoorn on

The Dutch are known to be a bit crazy. Our liberal culture, our constant battle against the water, and don't forget: we're freakishly tall. At AppSignal, we're no different. But we're also crazy about stroopwafels.

A stroopwafel?

A stroopwafel (pronounced as stroop-waffle) consists of two thin layers of baked dough with a caramel-like syrup in the middle. It was first made in the Dutch city of Gouda, where leftover bread-crumbs were sweetened with syrup. Although widely available in the Netherlands, they are hard to come by in other parts of the world. Until now.

Yummy stroopwafels

We send them everywhere

We don't particularly like sales, but we love developing new relationships and having fun interactions. We decided that instead of giving away helicopters, subscriptions to learning platforms or other fancy stuff, we would send out stroopwafels. Since we started AppSignal, we have shipped well over 10,000 stroopwafels all over the globe. Conference sponsorships, softening up or partners or bribing our clients: we use them for everything (related: you can't beat the time in which we fill out horrendous FDA or customs forms).

To greg

Photo by @vgdub

Stroopwafels ... as a Service?

We had been playing around with the idea of selling stroopwafels for quite a while. Our clients love them, but sooner or later we stop sending them. Some people found that very cruel, and we fully agreed, as any good dealer would. So on April 1st, we launched a new SaaS: Stroopwafel.Me

Yummy stroopwafels

Launching a new product on April Fools' Day isn't the smartest thing in the world. It sure got a lot of attention, but we spent the entire day explaining people that the service was real.

The numbers

We're very happy about how launch day went. It's been crazy to see all these hundreds of tweets, thousands of visitors and a few subscriptions come in. Here are some numbers:

  • 6 subscriptions for a monthly dose of stroopwafels
  • 258 mentions of the Stroopwafel.Me url on Twitter
  • About 8 hours of development time to launch the website
  • Our 1st time using Stripe Checkout
  • 4,146 unique visitors to the website
  • 521 clicks to AppSignal.com

Lessons learned

Be crazy, build and launch something. It's fun to do. And oh yeah, if this stroopwafel business grows larger than AppSignal, it might be the weirdest pivot in tech history.

PS: Got wafels?

Start your free AppSignal trial today, push data, love the product and maybe, just maybe...

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Wes Oudshoorn

Wes Oudshoorn

Once a rogue designer, now co-founder and manager of colors at AppSignal. If our app looks great, it's to his credit. If something is wrong, he points at developers. Loves skiing.

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AppSignal provides insights for Ruby, Rails, Elixir, Phoenix, Node.js, Express and many other frameworks and libraries. We are located in beautiful Amsterdam. We love stroopwafels. If you do too, let us know. We might send you some!

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