Although I felt that the article was more a collection of quotes from news articles published about the companies, on how they acquired their first 1000 users/customers, this post is about finding users for your startup or company.
I think one of the hardest questions one can solve is the chicken and the egg problem.
The chicken and the egg problem is a problem people face when acquiring users for your company or startup, especially true if you are building a community.
For example, if you are building a social network or a service, like Airbnb or Uber, that connects two parties (customers and service providers), then you are faced with creating both parties at the same time.
In a ride-hailing app, users won’t use the app if there are no drivers, and drivers won’t use the app if there are no riders, one party won’t exist without the other.
Trying to solve the chicken and egg problem can be fascinating, but sadly, it is something that I am not good at, maybe it’s because we like building things than building a community.
We start building something enthusiastically, launch the product on HackerNews, Product hunt, and Reddit, only to give up after several days, when we see no people signing up for our service.
But, I have tried and failed several times. Maybe I am yet to find the magic ingredient on how to solve the problem.
But does that mean we give up trying to solve the problem? No, just like any good problem, the chicken and end problem has this magic that draws so many developers, entrepreneurs all the time to solve the problem.
People who approach to solve this problem in different ways, but most of them will eventually fail, but to the ones who do solve the problem, congrats you have achieved something that most of us failed.
Thefacebook.com went up on Wednesday, February 4, 2004. “It was a
normal night in the dorm,” Moskovitz recalled. “When Mark finished the
site, we told a couple of friends. And then one of them suggested
putting it on the Kirkland House online mailing list, which was,
like, three hundred people. And, once they did that, several dozen
people joined, and then they were telling people at the other houses.
By the end of the night, we were, like, actively watching the
registration process. Within twenty-four hours, we had somewhere
between twelve hundred and fifteen hundred registrants.”
I guess this is how you feel when you realize that you have successfully solved the problem.