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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 (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.
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).
Photo by @vgdub
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
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.
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:
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.
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