Below, you’ll find first-hand accounts of how essentially every major consumer app acquired their earliest users, including lessons from Tinder, Uber, Superhuman, TikTok, Product Hunt, Netflix, and many more.
My biggest takeaways from this research:
- Just seven strategies account for every consumer apps’ early growth.
- Most startups found their early users from just a single strategy. A few like Product Hunt and Pinterest found success using a handful. No one found success from more than three.
- The most popular strategies involve going to your user directly — online, offline, and through friends. Doing things that don’t scale.
- To execute on any of these strategies, it’s important to first narrowly define your target user. Andy Johns recently shared some great advice about this.
- The tactics that you use to get your first 1,000 users are very different from your next 10,000. A topic for a different post.