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Your First Million Users startup .pdf



Original filename: Your First Million Users-startup.pdf
Title: Your First million users
Author: Michael Geer

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Methods, strategies and lessons
learned by building and tinkering












Graduated from Georgia Tech – with a focus on
aerospace engineering, psychology and Russia
Moved to Moscow, Russia
Worked at Y&R Moscow– advertising agency
Met and started to work for a partner at Mamba
Started Badoo with a great team and grew to over 70
million users
Opened up London office after first 15 million users
Got obsessed with destroying the donation model
Moved to NYC





1.

2.
3.

Use past experience to make best guess on initial
MVP and setting a/b tests
Measure all stats on user behavior using Google
Analytics and Mixpanel (Kiss is said to be good
too)
Three stages going at all times:
Past stage metrics being analyzed to create Future
stage product dev plan
Current stage being developed with limited
interference from me
Future stage dev plan a/b tests and metrics to
measure being completely dictated by Past stage
metrics







Buy a database (pay for what you want)
Plugging the site on blogs/forums
Add features requested by initial visitors
Offline advertising
Make coolest homepage ever







Partnerships: What does the partner value,
how can you give it to them, and what makes a
valuable partner?
Private beta: Sign up and"Private Invites" given
to highly connected users, but leave private
beta quickly
Newsletters: Strike discount deals with popular
newsletters in your space



Inherent – example: Dropbox, Draw Something
Trade – example: Badoo



Sharing – example: most medium size sites











API questions: what info can we request therefore
display, how can full users communicate with API
imported third party users
Foursquare api gives access to Facebook & Twitter
user ids and emails/phone numbers
Public data from services like 4sq and Twitter can
be used to bridge the ghosttown problem,
especially in LBS
Check out http://temboo.com for a good service
and base list of major APIs










Import webmail addressbooks – openinvite
and APIs for big 4 (Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail,
AOL)
API connections – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn,
Foursquare, Google/+…
Phone contacts (mobile app access)
Facebook apps
Contact files (customer email lists, csv, etc.)






Access to information
(about self is ultimate)
Connection/access to other
users
More attention to self or self
generated content
Ability to get a special
deal/give special deal to
friends









Opt-in vs Opt-out
Proper clear messaging
User initiated vs System initiated
Worthy notification concept (ie.
Like/Comment)
Know and prepare for your local market law








A startup is a business
Find out your ARPU (Average Revenue Per
User) as soon as possible
Track your paid offsite advertising from ad to
user acquisition to paying user (valid to track
viral power of acquired user as well)
Once all set, all paid online
marketing/advertising options can be
statistically judged and adjusted








MYTH: A good product attracts users
TRUTH: A good product retains users, but
does not attract them
MYTH: PR, events and articles will attract
users
TRUTH: PR, events and articles will attract
investors and business partners, but only
hundreds/thousands of users. If you want
anything more than 100,000, you need virality






Free Viral marketing is possible in all B2C businesses
Set up your base viral methods and analyze your
product for its triggers
Don’t confuse PR with being a user acquisition method
Professor Michael Geer
Founder, Advisor, Consultant
Skype: geeria
Twitter: @geeria

Nymos – Focusing the world’s positive energy


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