Lecture 4 – Building Product, Talking to Users, and Growing (Adora Cheung)

How to go from zero users to many users?

– What is it?
– How does it relate to you?
– Verify that others have that same problem.

Where to start?
– Learn a lot. Become an expert.
– Identify customer segments.
– Storyboard ideal user experience.

What is v1?
– Minimum Viable Product
– Simple product positioning
– This is not the hard part

First few users
– you
– your family, friends, co-workers
– online communities like reddit, HN, etc.
– local communities like mailing list
– niche influencers like mommy bloggers
– cold call + emails
– press


Customer Feedback
– support email alias
– surveys and interviews
– Quantitative: retention, rating, NPS (Net Promoter Score)
– Qualitative: ask why why why
– Beware of honesty curve


V1 feature Creep
– Build fast, but optimize for now
– Manual before automation
– Temporary Brokenness > Permanent Paralysis
– Beware of Frankenstein


S is for stealth, and stupid
Someone will steal your idea
– There is a first mover advantage…just launch it already


Ready for a lot of users?
– Learn one channel at a time
– Iterate working channels
– Revisit failed channels
Key is creativity


Types of growth
1. Sticky Growth
2. Viral Growth
3. Paid Growth
Key is sustainability

Sticky Growth
– Good experience wins
– CLV + retention cohort analysis important
– Repeat users buy more and more

Viral Growth
– WOW experience + good referral programs
— customer touch points
— program mechanics
— referral conversion flow

Paid Growth
– Display Ads
– Facebook Ads
– Groupon / Daily Deals
– Street Marketing
– B2B Sales
– Direct Mailers


The art of pivoting
1. Bad Growth
2. Bad Retention
3. Bad Economics