Product Launch

Reading Time: 3 minutes

E310: From Side Hustle to Tech Stardom: The PickFu Story

Dive into the journey of John Li, PickFu’s co-founder, as he switches from tech giant to startup maven, revealing how keen insights and customer feedback fuel software success. Discover how PickFu’s savvy use of AI revolutionizes consumer research, making it a game-changer for all seeking market savviness.

Here are a few of the topics we’ll discuss on this episode of Product Launch:

  • Insights on finding product market fit.
  • AI integration and the future of PickFu.
  • Co-founders quit Big Tech jobs.
  • PickFu’s evolution from side to main.
  • Importance of the qualitative feedback.


Connect with John Li:

Connect with our host, Sean Boyce:


  • 1:33 – We realized, we quickly realized that doing display advertising is not a fun game. It’s not a fun industry to be in. And so we’ve built a number of products along the way. One of those things along the way that we built was PickFu. So initially Justin and I were trying to figure out ways to get unbiased feedback and also being just two co-founders trying to figure out a tiebreaker. And so being the engineers that we were, we didn’t really want to talk to strangers at a coffee shop. So instead we built a tool to help us get unbiased feedback from a whole bunch of strangers on the internet.
  • 4:13 – I wish I had a really good answer for you, but I think it was really more about, well, trying to see it as many industries as possible and seeing which ones, which ones got the most value, like which customer segments got the most value from our product. We’ve always built PickFu, it’s a, you know, consumer research platform to make it as simple as possible for anyone to access a pool of consumers to get unbiased feedback for their creatives. So we try to make it industry-agnostic. It still is industry agnostic, but just sort of trying different customer segments like, hey, how do authors like it?
  • 8:11 – For other places there might be more dots to connect, in which case it’s much harder to make that value prop. Like for example, if you’re a game developer, game developers use PickFu, like a kind of like a digital focus group to market test different character designs or different game concepts before launching. Now I think we provide a lot of value in that situation, but it’s much harder to make a economic argument at that point. 
  • 15:06 – I think we, we try to tell our customers, you know, you want to test before you invest, right? Like, and previously you don’t have that capability, but PickFu does give you that opportunity to test the hypotheticals to test in a sandbox. I mean, we have software companies who are using PickFu to test their landing pages, their billboards, their, you know, their Google ads, all of this stuff. Because why wouldn’t you wanna know how your market’s gonna react before putting, you know, either launching it or putting a whole bunch of paid spend behind it.
  •  21:53 – We hear that a lot from our users is that there’s a nice magic moment of when they’re actually seeing they, we try to make it easy to set up a poll so it takes like a minute or two, right? And then once you launch it, it goes out, it goes out to the panelists. The crazy thing is that those panelists start responding immediately. So it’s almost a game of watching, hey, you know, there’s another person coming right now and they’re, what are they gonna say about, you know, what are they gonna say about my website or my, you know, or my creatives or so on. And it’s, yeah, it’s pretty addictive.