From Zero to a Million Users - Dropbox and Xobni lessons learned

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Presented by Adam Smith (@asmith) and Drew Houston (@drewhouston)

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From Zero to a Million Users - Dropbox and Xobni lessons learned

  1. 1. Zero to a Million Users<br />@drewhouston, @asmith<br />
  2. 2.
  3. 3. @drewhouston<br />(dropbox)<br />@asmith<br />(xobni)<br />
  4. 4. Summer 2006: Humble beginnings<br />
  5. 5. Xobni, Dropbox – VC-backed startups in SF<br />Both reached 2 million users in 2 years<br />2 ,000,000<br />0<br />
  6. 6.
  7. 7. Biggest risk: making something nobody wants<br />
  8. 8. Weak product-market fit cannot be <br />fixed by good marketing<br />Good marketing will not fix a bad product<br />
  9. 9. But good product will be wind at your back<br />
  10. 10. Xobni Analytics: Solved problem no one had<br />
  11. 11. Goal: product-market fit ASAP<br />
  12. 12. learn early, learn often<br />
  13. 13. Cost of change at each stage<br />Idea<br />Prototype<br />Launch<br />
  14. 14. Learning on a $0 budget: Talk to people!<br />
  15. 15. Learn without launching<br />AdWords tests<br /> Hacks: Fake landing pages, screenshots, etc.<br />
  16. 16. Dropbox’s minimum viable product:<br /> 3 min screencast on Hacker News (Apr 07)<br />
  17. 17. Simple landing page: capture interest/email address<br />
  18. 18. starting from zero<br />
  19. 19. Go where your early adopters hang out<br />
  20. 20. Private beta launch video  12,000 diggs; beta waiting list jumps from 5,000 to 75,000 in one day (Mar 2008)<br />
  21. 21. Avoid ghost towns: bootstrapping to critical mass<br />
  22. 22. Niche first, world later<br />
  23. 23. Fake it till you make it: Aardvark & simulating features that weren’t ready<br />
  24. 24. marketing: building buzz<br />
  25. 25. Tie yourself to a bigger trend<br />
  26. 26. Adam<br />Meet journalists in person. All the time.<br />
  27. 27. Journalists are really busy – come up with the angle for them.<br />
  28. 28. Media resources page on web site<br />
  29. 29. Word of mouth rule #1: have a great product<br />
  30. 30. Generate word of mouth with scarcity<br />
  31. 31. Help users generate tell their friends<br />
  32. 32. Invite screen<br /><ul><li>Facebook pictures
  33. 33. Auto-ranked
  34. 34. Outlook detection via looking at mail headers</li></ul> = FUN!<br />
  35. 35. Sex it up! Have fun!<br />
  36. 36. Inbound marketing / “social media”<br />
  37. 37. how do you get people to use your product?<br />
  38. 38. Focus: do a few things really well instead of a lot of things poorly<br />
  39. 39. Every 10% easier  50% larger audience<br />
  40. 40. Don’t make me think: No decisions  nothing to screw up<br />
  41. 41. Don’t make me read, either:Designing landing pages & signup flows<br />early beta<br /><ul><li>concise beats comprehensive
  42. 42. call out the next step
  43. 43. simple converts better</li></ul>late beta<br />
  44. 44. Hook the user first, educate over time(tours, tip emails, etc.)<br />
  45. 45. You do not see the same product your users do! (craigslist, usertesting.com)<br />
  46. 46. Make feedback painless – then iterate!<br />
  47. 47. how do you make a product that spreads itself?<br />
  48. 48. The best products turn users into evangelists<br />
  49. 49. Encouraging word-of-mouth: Referral program increased signups by 60%<br />
  50. 50. Tricks of the trade: FB & Twitter feed, emails, contact list importers <br />Trailing 30 days: 3 million invites sent<br />
  51. 51. metrics: know thy funnel<br />
  52. 52. Users<br />$$$<br />Basic funnel<br />
  53. 53. Startup Metrics for Pirates. Live it.<br />
  54. 54. Output I: know where to invest marketing $$<br />
  55. 55. Xobni finding: AdWords users don’t convert to paid BUT they refer others who do!<br />
  56. 56. Output II: allocate engineering resources between usability, engagement, & virality<br />
  57. 57. Example: user education around people search<br />
  58. 58. scaling without virality:“dollar in, dollar out” marketing<br />
  59. 59. Some markets don’t elicit virality or buzz<br />
  60. 60.
  61. 61. Netflix example<br />(numbers not exact)<br />($16 rev - $10 svc cost) per month  $6/mo <br />x 22 mo lifetime= $132<br />$40 advertising, affiliates, etc.<br />$92 lifetime gross margin/user<br />
  62. 62. a quick taste…<br />
  63. 63. example user acquisition costs<br />
  64. 64. example monthly rev per user<br />
  65. 65. example monthly churns<br />
  66. 66. example freemium conv. rates<br />
  67. 67. Thank you!<br />Questions?<br />Feel free to reach out!<br />@drewhouston - drew@dropbox.com<br />@asmith - adam.smith@xobni.com<br />

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