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No One Cares About Your Stupid Little Startup

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Xobni's path to 3 Million downloads and the PR strategies involved

Published in: Business, Technology

No One Cares About Your Stupid Little Startup

  1. No one cared about my stupid little startup(and they don’t care about yours either)<br />Matt Brezina<br />Co-founder, Xobni<br />Matt@xobni.com<br />Twitter: @brezina<br />
  2. Xobni’s Path To 3 Million Downloads(a 3.5 year journey)<br />Paid<br />Drivers<br />Nerd<br />Scarcity<br />Invite<br />Beta<br />Public Beta<br />Private Beta<br />Iteration<br />GA<br />Stealth<br />
  3. Stealth<br /><ul><li> Only 50 users
  4. Very boring website: No screenshots, product descriptions
  5. Traffic from blogging – problems with email & entrepreneurship
  6. Personal relationships with press and demo under embargo</li></ul>(ask for help before you need it)<br />1.5 years<br />50<br />users<br />Paid<br />Drivers<br />Nerd<br />Scarcity<br />Invite<br />Beta<br />Public Beta<br />Private Beta<br />Iteration<br />GA<br />Stealth<br />
  7. Private Beta<br /><ul><li> Launched at TechCrunch50
  8. “Too much demand”
  9. Added 10k users in 1 day – everyone else sign-up</li></ul>2 months<br />10k<br />users<br />Paid<br />Drivers<br />Nerd<br />Scarcity<br />Invite<br />Beta<br />Public Beta<br />Private Beta<br />Iteration<br />GA<br />Stealth<br />
  10. Nerd Scarcity<br /><ul><li> Leveraged excited early adopters
  11. Badge program
  12. Added users from beta list when we needed lab rats</li></ul>3 months<br />12k<br />users<br />Paid<br />Drivers<br />Nerd<br />Scarcity<br />Invite<br />Beta<br />Public Beta<br />Private Beta<br />Iteration<br />GA<br />Stealth<br />
  13. Invite Beta<br /><ul><li> Users could invite 5 friends
  14. Maintained forgiveness of beta users
  15. Nearly 100% conversion on clicked invites (users were self selecting people who’d want xobni)</li></ul>3 months<br />50k<br />users<br />Paid<br />Drivers<br />Nerd<br />Scarcity<br />Invite<br />Beta<br />Public Beta<br />Private Beta<br />Iteration<br />GA<br />Stealth<br />
  16. Iteration<br /><ul><li> Needed product/market fit before exiting exclusivity
  17. Wanted to accelerate WOM & virality for upcoming pop
  18. 100k user beta list
  19. Focused on performance, user ed & virality</li></ul>3 months<br />60k<br />users<br />Paid<br />Drivers<br />Nerd<br />Scarcity<br />Invite<br />Beta<br />Public Beta<br />Private Beta<br />Iteration<br />GA<br />Stealth<br />
  20. Public Beta<br /><ul><li> Hired PR firm 6 weeks before launch
  21. Officially launched Xobni open beta in NYT
  22. 95k web visitors on day 1
  23. 70k visitors on day 2!!
  24. Used demand for private beta as proxy for need of a solution to info overload and the value of a people focused inbox</li></ul>1 year<br />1.5M<br />users<br />Paid<br />Drivers<br />Nerd<br />Scarcity<br />Invite<br />Beta<br />Public Beta<br />Private Beta<br />Iteration<br />GA<br />Stealth<br />
  25. Exit Beta<br /><ul><li> Reliable product
  26. With product/market fit
  27. That encapsulated our vision</li></ul>Resulting in:<br /><ul><li>Strong WOM
  28. Official adoption in enterprises
  29. The ability to start charging </li></ul>3 <br />months<br />2M<br />users<br />Paid<br />Drivers<br />Nerd<br />Scarcity<br />Invite<br />Beta<br />Public Beta<br />Private Beta<br />Iteration<br />GA<br />Stealth<br />
  30. Paid Drivers<br /><ul><li>PR & virality aren’t predictably scalable
  31. Ain’t nothing wrong with spending money to make money
  32. Need business model to make the sausage machine work</li></ul>6<br />months<br />3M<br />users<br />Paid<br />Drivers<br />Nerd<br />Scarcity<br />Invite<br />Beta<br />Public Beta<br />Private Beta<br />Iteration<br />GA<br />Stealth<br />
  33. When we got PR help<br />In-house<br />&<br />PR Firm<br />PR Firm<br />PR Contractor<br />(but mostly me)<br />Me <br />Paid<br />Drivers<br />Nerd<br />Scarcity<br />Invite<br />Beta<br />Public Beta<br />Private Beta<br />Iteration<br />GA<br />Stealth<br />
  34. No one cares about your stupid little startup5tips to make them care<br />
  35. Tip 1.<br />Tie yourself to a bigger trend<br />For us it was:<br />The web inside your inbox<br />Facebook crossing into the business world<br />Email is the oldest online social network<br />Enterprise software is now going bottoms up<br />Email overload is drowning the information worker<br />
  36. Case Study: Email Me Instead<br />Wehad 10k users and new blog/press relationships from our facebook app, before Xobni was even in public beta<br />
  37. Tip 2<br />Take every opportunity to meet a journalist in person<br />Get product feedback<br />Social events<br />Make introductions<br />Base your company where the media is<br />
  38. Case Study: WSJ <br />
  39. Tip 3.<br />Engage heavily with users – positive WOM is even better than press coverage<br />
  40. Case Study: Xobni<br />Our 5th employee was customer support<br />Elite Alpha forum of 500 users <br />Phone call (and blog) with one user per week<br />Special twitter handle for customer support<br />Engineers do tech phone calls with users<br />We send out a lot of tshirts<br />
  41. Tip 4.<br />Journalists are lazy. Help them be lazy<br />
  42. Case Study: Xobni.com<br />
  43. Tip 5.<br />Be a source of data<br />
  44. Case Studies: Tivo, Trulia, Facebook<br />
  45. Now, 3 million people care about my stupid little startup<br />Matt Brezina<br />Co-founder, Xobni<br />Matt@xobni.com<br />Twitter: @brezina<br />

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