If your product isn't loved, you might get early users, but growth will get hard later on.
Startups are defined by growth, but growth isn't step one in building a great company. If you focus on trying to grow before you make a product people love, you are unlikely to succeed.
many founders hurt their companies by focusing on growth too soon.
But focusing too heavily on growth before you've built something people love leads to the leaky bucket problem. You can get users to come in the door, but they don't stay, and likely won't return.
Your chances of building a giant company are much higher when you have a product that spreads by word of mouth.
If you first make sure your product is loved, it will be much easier to grow.
Airbnb slogged for 1000 days before discovering how to make their product loved. Once they had that, it grew exponentially by word of mouth, and that still continues today.
You'll have to rely on inorganic means like ads, marketing, or PR to maintain your growth, and this gets very hard to sustain. And the larger you grow, the harder it becomes to course correct.
So, if you're already growing a company around a mediocre product, fix it now. Don't try to avoid the problem by raising capital for growth– the problems will still be there, with higher expectations.
And if you're just starting out, take the time to build a product your users love, no matter how long it takes. When they actively recommend your product to friends, you're in the right place.
1 Net Promoter Score can be a good way to measure user love too. ↩
Net Promoter Score can be a good way to measure user love too.
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