Image Source: tech.co
Now, that we all have an Idea, Product, Team, Execution strategy and the confidence to startup; How do we establish a user base for our product? In this week’s how to start a startup, Adora Cheung, founder of HomeJoy shares directions on things you should NOT do while growing your user base (with examples from Homejoy), so that you can eliminate those from your growth strategy and come up with good strategy for yourself. The noob approach typically involves building a product in secret and then market your product in an exclusive product launch.
This is the beginning stage of a vicious cycle and it does not end up good!
What your product lacks then would be the feed backs from the users, which is a basic criteria for other users to check it out. After days of waiting, we eventually end up buying users (if you have good bank balance) and then finally giving up on the product.
Think about the idea, before you build a product and then you can save a lot of headache down the road from doing something you don’t wanna do.
There have been contradicting views on startup founders coming from a different industry give a better solution to the problem, but there are also a few drawbacks to it. Better solutions are associated to better ideas about the problem in hand, and this idea comes only when the founders have some experience in the industry that they are going to cater to, this will help you understand the minds of your customers and create better experiences for them.
It is essential to build a minimum viable product for your launch, too many features in the beginning, would make your product look complicated for first time user and impacts your user base. Typically, the first few users of a product would be you, and people associated with you, beyond that you can approach online communities, local communities, mailing lists, etc. She recalls her experiences of growing the user base of HomeJoy, where they had to visit local communities and guilt trip users to try out their service (and that worked for them!).
A good lead indicator is usually collecting the rating and feed back of your product/service.
Once you grab your first few customers, you need to get their feedbacks (online and offline), which are essential in growing the quality of your product/service and the quantity of your user base. Customer retention number is good metrices of honestly determining the performance, as you build new features the numbers must go up, else you need to figure out new marketing strategies; but it takes a lot of time to collect that data. The honesty curve differs for free and paid services and feedbacks from our friends always have their position in that.
If you try to automate things too fast, then you might not be able to focus on optimisation. Hence it is better to stick to manual approach during the initial stages. Beware of Frankenstein approach, and don’t try to include every feature right in the beginning.
These experiments should be able to get your first set of users and retain them. Now, are you ready for a lot of users? Check out the video for yourself!
How do you face competition from other startups? Keep competing until next week!