Building Freetrade - roadmap reboot + video

Kicking off a new thread here to discuss the new Building Freetrade page and revamped roadmap.

You can also catch the presentation by @Duncan here:

Let us know what you’re most looking forward to!

I should start by saying I commend Freetrades relationship and engagement with the general user community, you’re doing a great job and what I’m going on to say isn’t a criticism but a request.

I’d like to see more transparency and communications with regards to the infamous roadmap. I feel like its become a bit of a static go-to for most people just to see what the intended line up of new features and tools were (at some point in time).

It could be far more dynamic. It would be good to get roadmap updates, perhaps monthly (?), with some commentary around current progress, changes in priority, new additions or removals and so on. I just think you’re missing a trick. The tool seems like a effective and simple way of communicating the evolution of Freetrade but from what I can see, most items haven’t changed since they were added in August 2019.

Hopefully there’s something in the pipeline to improve things…?

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Looks like a few people have liked what I had to say. Thanks folks!
Just for fun, and out of curiosity, let’s have a poll!

  • Yes! We want better use of the roadmap
  • No! Leave the roadmap as it is
  • Meh. Doesn’t matter to me

0 voters

Hi Mani, you may have missed it: as we shared in various meetups in the past few weeks, we’ll entirely revamp the current roadmap once fractionals have rolled out!

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Hi @Viktor, I’ve only managed to join one of the recent meetings in the past few weeks so I’ve definitely missed any comments related to this from the team.

That’s brilliant news! Thanks for letting me know. I’m looking forward to a new and improved roadmap soon!

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On one hand I’d love a super up to date roadmap. On the other hand, we’ve already seen the transparency lead to competitors taking planned ideas and launching them first. Seems like an impossible balance.

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Maybe three roadmaps with different levels of details:

  1. Corporate roadmap for management and employees only (I’m sure it’s in place; I would be extremely surprised if it wasn’t)

  2. Private roadmap for shareholders only with less detail (nonexistent at the time of posting); subject to change and/or rescheduling of delivery

  3. Public roadmap, with very short-term only features (up to 3 to 6 months), provided delivery on schedule is certain: posted only when there’s a high probability of delivery on time but previous or simultaneously to public official announcement; features in beta testing or shipping; features recently shipped

The above is a work in progress. Subject to change

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As a user, I’d love to see a more detailed roadmap. It really excites me and I look forward to many of the new features.

From a FT point of view I completely understand if there is going to be less transparency going forward. Like @zaccharles pointed out, other companies with much more funding due to dubious lines of business (I’m not a fan of CFDs :)) and more resources have taken those ideas in the past and were able to launch them quicker.

Personally I’m not worried about Freetrade. They have a vision, are innovative and are truly trying to build an amazing platform. Others will always try to copy - often because they don’t have original ideas themselves and that’s just business. But let’s not give other companies an unnecessary head start.

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Whilst as a shareholder I would be extremely happy to see a detailed roadmap, I don’t think that providing that detail to shareholders only would prevent any sensitive info from coming out.

Keep in mind it is very easy to become a shareholder in Freetrade and receive that info - £10 will get you there. If I were a sly competitor I would probably spend that without a second thought!

Could a higher level of detail potentially be shared on a video only conference, where shareholders who have invested above a certain threshold are invited? Hopefully these guys will have a bit more to lose if important info is leaked, whilst this would enable Freetrade to monitor the audience of the info a bit more closely

Personally not keen on treating shareholders differently according to their investment levels - it doesn’t feel morally right, or in-line with Ft values. (Through I understand the intention behind your suggestion)

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Yeah I know, not keen on it either but not sure of any other alternatives :roll_eyes:

The secret sauce of FreeTrade is not in individual features but in its marketing, UI/UX, corporate culture, communication, business model, fee structure, user engagement and acquisition.

Indeed, no single functionality/feature that FreeTrade has released from launch or will release for the next 3-4 years has been or will be groundbreaking / USP / competitive advantage. In the words of Adam himself, the origin of FreeTrade is copying and hopefully improving on RobinHood. Hence, except for fractionals, that are not a FreeTrade exclusivity/invention anyway, all other fearures have already existed for 1-2 decades with the incumbents. Considering the pace of releases, it will probably take 3-4 years for FreeTrade just to catch up with all basic features (access to a few more equity exchanges, SIPP transfers, listed calls/puts, browser/web version, multi-currency accounts, increased stock universe, VCTs, in-app corporate actions, level2 order book, DMA, proper charts, stock/ETFs selector based on fundamental/technical data, automated customer support via chatbot, ETF RoboAdvice, social trading, etc.).

Thus, showing/not showing makes no difference to competitors whatsoever but will make a big difference both for users and shareholders, saving lots of repetitive and circular discussions about the same topics/features. Sharing and regularly updating the journey/path as we all look in the same direction ahead will boost engagement even further.

Selecting some happy few investors would not fulfill the need for engaging the many users/investors who are the ones who can make a difference by referring and using FT more. What would giving “privileged access” to some happy few achieve for FreeTrade? Would this bring in the next 100k users? It would be both commercially sterile (no commercial benefit) and destructive of current corporare culture (transparent communication).

Currently, the “reloaded” roadmap is in limbo so I just look forward to at least its next update and, I hope, more regular maintenance so we could more closely share the adventure with employees.

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I disagree that Freetrade will only be reinventing the wheel in millenial pink for years to come. I don’t believe that’s their only goal. And in my mind, if Freetrade have a groundbreaking idea that was a USP or gave a competitive advantage, I would prefer they keep it to themselves until it’s ready if the alternative is a competitor taking the idea and releasing something similar sooner (for whatever reason that may be possible; more engineers, cutting corners, etc).

Having said that, I agree with what you’re saying in general. There are plenty of basic features, as you called them, that would be great to see on a frequently updated roadmap, for the reasons you gave. If there happened to be a surprise feature every now and then, great.

I’m not against privileged access to information. I don’t think I agree that investment amount (or even having invested) is necessarily the right way to go about it. Which means I don’t really agree with the latest investor reward (though Viktor has already said people other than those in this band will be in this group).

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And to be fair, we don’t know what this will look like yet. It may just be a Zoom event where questions can be asked and stuff, followed by a community post with the same content straight after. :man_shrugging:

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The only reasons FT are starting to introduce a selection process/barrier to entry to the events is not to create priviledged/clubby feeling but because:

  • there are now just too many FT shareholders and users so even Zoom events would become unmanageable and expensive
  • to keep some access for the meaningful investors who really care about FT and would have valuable questions to ask at community events (e.g. not asking questions already answered on forums or previous events)
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Hey @Viktor, @sampoullain it sounds like new stocks and Freetrade Plus are the focus now, but any idea when you will reload other items on the roadmap?

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We’re actively working on it.

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You’re really working on that “we’re monitoring the use of “soon” in our responses” arent you :wink:.

Said in jest.

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I think we are going to need a roadmap with ETAs for the Roadmap revamp itself… :wink:

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Quick update: we’ve created a new home for the roadmap:

It’s far from exhaustive. Our focus is on communicating about the most important iterations and features that are coming and those that we are lining up to work on next.

Let us know any questions, and if you’d like to hear more about what we’re currently building and also, about what the vision is, come to the AMA session of Freetrade’s VP of Product, Duncan Leslie:

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I think the new roadmap looks good. Much more focused. Excited to see what you guys are planning to do with the ‘insight’ tab. Hopefully something intuitive and insightful that is unique to each individual investor. Also great that a better top up method is being looked at. definitely a important step in creating a great overall user experience. One reservation is the infinite links, i see them already being spam on every freetrade twitter post.

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