SlideShare a Scribd company logo
1 of 39
Download to read offline
Launching a Rocketship Off
Someone Else’s Back
How to Build on Other Platforms
Josh Elman
Everybody warns you not to build on top
of other company’s platforms.
We see headlines like this
Which have gone on for a while..
And platforms spin it like this
“More control for our community” “To help further our
company’s vision”
Is it worth the risk to build on
a platform?
The Short Answer:
Yes.
(It’s the only way to get big.)
Everyone starts from zero.
And everyone starts by hustling
Snapchat CEO
Evan Spiegel
originally marketed
his app by email
blasting his network
and posting in
online forums.
Hustle: Building on top of Craigslist
In the early days, the
Airbnb founders built an
integration with Craigslist
for their ads to reach a
larger audience. (They
also sold politically themed
cereal to get out of debt.)
Hustle: Google Friends Newsletter
Google co-founder
Larry Page sent out a
monthly newsletter to
inform fans about
company news.
(The company looked a
lot different back then)
Virality is the goal
... but you don’t have any users.
You need
help.
The Longer Answer:
You need to get in front of users to grow.
All companies start with zero users.
You need to go where the users already are.
Big platforms have lots of users.
&
We live in an era of HUGE platforms
3.5B searches per day
1.5B users
1B+ active users
1B active users
700M active users
400M active users
300M active users
300M users
Growing very fast
These companies want to grow too..
Better results for a query
Friends sharing more content
Users sharing and watching more videos
Friends and family talking more
Sharing and viewing more pictures
Sharing and viewing more content
Professionals sharing more content
More content
Friends and family talking more
Partnerships used to require massive
BD Deals.
The little startup Google
partnered with Yahoo to
power their search
function until 2004. Today,
partnerships between big
and small companies are
harder to come by than
ever.
Platforms are partnerships.
Stop asking and start building.
The New Partnership:
Let’s try and understand why
companies open a platform.
But first..
Every company has a massive product wish list with
thousands of features.
But even the biggest companies have resource constraints.
“The Top 20”
If they are lucky,
companies can
build out their top
top 10 features,
maybe 20.
Their roadmap is
huge and they
must prioritize top
features.
Why would a company want a platform?
Platforms offer a
powerful network
effect.
The fastest way to
more features is to
get others to build
them.
1 2 3
If we build it (a platform), they
(developers) will come.
True or False?
False.
Developers will only come when there are
clear incentives and opportunities to build a big
business on top of a platform.
True or False?
Every successful platform needs:
Clear incentives for developers to get value.
“Show me the users or money!”
Clear value for users.
More to do on the product = more time & more fun
Trust from users.
Users have to trust that the platform protects them.
1
2
3
1
2
But here’s what they are afraid of:
“Pee in the pool”
Platforms fear developers will spam their users.
“Robbers”
Platforms fear losing data and monetization
opportunities. If you are building a core feature, they
may compete with you or even just block you.
The win-win platform model
Startup
Massive userbase
Useful features
More
engagement,
More $$$
Quickly gain
users
Platforms are not there to help you
build your company. Their goal is to
grow their own business.
But, remember:
In short..
Knowing that, here are things to keep in
mind when building on platforms.
Do not fill gaps.
Don’t build a product that solves a temporary
deficiency in the platform.
Do not expect platforms to be constant.
Prepare for inevitable platform shifts.
1
2
Why do platforms shift?
Users of the main product want new experiences.
If any consumer product stops getting better, it will die.
The platform’s business model will keep evolving.
Opportunities to make money can radically shift the platform
strategy.
Users stop trusting or using apps.
The platform has to address bad behaviors and increase
user trust.
1
2
3
Build your product to be
independent.
Only use the platform for
acceleration.
Examples of hitting the platform risk
Slide built on top of Facebook, but failed to generate “front door” direct traffic
and lost users when Facebook shifted their platform.
SocialCam used the Facebook graph and created an auto-share loop. Facebook
found the loop to not match user’s expectations, and changed its algorithms.
Meerkat used the Twitter social graph to accelerate growth, but Twitter shut
them down to promote Periscope, the live streaming app they had bought.
Examples of success
Instagram grew quickly by making it easy to post photos on Facebook and
Twitter, but also successfully became a destination that users visited everyday.
YouTube made it simple to embed videos on Myspace, and then drew the
Myspace user base to their site to watch more content.
Dubsmash integrated with WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger for easy
distribution, creating a viral share loop.
Platforms can work for you.
Remember the value exchange.
In exchange for giving the platform users better content or
features, the platform provides users and usage.
They are an accelerant. Never get comfortable.
Platforms can change. Take advantage of the moment at hand.
Only core users who come through your front door matter.
Don’t ever get confused with big numbers of visitors who pass
through.
1
2
3
Again..
Build your product to be
independent.
Only use the platform for
acceleration.
New platforms to start thinking about
Slack Pinterest FB Messenger
(Maybe Snapchat?)
Thank you.
Launching a Rocketship Off Someone Else's Back

More Related Content

What's hot

What's hot (20)

A Playbook for Achieving Product-Market Fit by Dan Olsen at Lean Startup Conf...
A Playbook for Achieving Product-Market Fit by Dan Olsen at Lean Startup Conf...A Playbook for Achieving Product-Market Fit by Dan Olsen at Lean Startup Conf...
A Playbook for Achieving Product-Market Fit by Dan Olsen at Lean Startup Conf...
 
Stripe Pitch Deck designed by Zlides
Stripe Pitch Deck designed by ZlidesStripe Pitch Deck designed by Zlides
Stripe Pitch Deck designed by Zlides
 
Agile Product Discovery
Agile Product DiscoveryAgile Product Discovery
Agile Product Discovery
 
The Search for Meaning in B2B Marketing
The Search for Meaning in B2B MarketingThe Search for Meaning in B2B Marketing
The Search for Meaning in B2B Marketing
 
Visual Design with Data
Visual Design with DataVisual Design with Data
Visual Design with Data
 
The Other C Word: What makes great content marketing great
The Other C Word: What makes great content marketing greatThe Other C Word: What makes great content marketing great
The Other C Word: What makes great content marketing great
 
Linkedin Series B Pitch Deck
Linkedin Series B Pitch DeckLinkedin Series B Pitch Deck
Linkedin Series B Pitch Deck
 
Facilitating Liberating Structures with Remote teams
Facilitating Liberating Structures with Remote teamsFacilitating Liberating Structures with Remote teams
Facilitating Liberating Structures with Remote teams
 
Pixar's 22 Rules to Phenomenal Storytelling
Pixar's 22 Rules to Phenomenal StorytellingPixar's 22 Rules to Phenomenal Storytelling
Pixar's 22 Rules to Phenomenal Storytelling
 
The Outcome Economy
The Outcome EconomyThe Outcome Economy
The Outcome Economy
 
Blueprint for Executive Hiring
Blueprint for Executive HiringBlueprint for Executive Hiring
Blueprint for Executive Hiring
 
Culture (Original 2009 version)
Culture (Original 2009 version)Culture (Original 2009 version)
Culture (Original 2009 version)
 
What Is Product Management?
What Is Product Management?What Is Product Management?
What Is Product Management?
 
SlideShare Experts - 7 Experts Reveal Their Presentation Design Secrets
SlideShare Experts - 7 Experts Reveal Their Presentation Design SecretsSlideShare Experts - 7 Experts Reveal Their Presentation Design Secrets
SlideShare Experts - 7 Experts Reveal Their Presentation Design Secrets
 
Thoughts on Growth
Thoughts on GrowthThoughts on Growth
Thoughts on Growth
 
SXSW 2016 takeaways
SXSW 2016 takeawaysSXSW 2016 takeaways
SXSW 2016 takeaways
 
10 Insightful Quotes On Designing A Better Customer Experience
10 Insightful Quotes On Designing A Better Customer Experience10 Insightful Quotes On Designing A Better Customer Experience
10 Insightful Quotes On Designing A Better Customer Experience
 
Practical Product Management for new Product Managers
Practical Product Management for new Product ManagersPractical Product Management for new Product Managers
Practical Product Management for new Product Managers
 
Platform Strategy & Ecosystems
Platform Strategy & EcosystemsPlatform Strategy & Ecosystems
Platform Strategy & Ecosystems
 
Good Audience Fundraising Deck - Angel Round
Good Audience Fundraising Deck - Angel RoundGood Audience Fundraising Deck - Angel Round
Good Audience Fundraising Deck - Angel Round
 

Viewers also liked

Viewers also liked (20)

Introduction to Go programming
Introduction to Go programmingIntroduction to Go programming
Introduction to Go programming
 
Montreal Girl Geeks: Building the Modern Web
Montreal Girl Geeks: Building the Modern WebMontreal Girl Geeks: Building the Modern Web
Montreal Girl Geeks: Building the Modern Web
 
Node.js and The Internet of Things
Node.js and The Internet of ThingsNode.js and The Internet of Things
Node.js and The Internet of Things
 
Mobile Is Eating the World (2016)
Mobile Is Eating the World (2016)Mobile Is Eating the World (2016)
Mobile Is Eating the World (2016)
 
Testing at Spotify
Testing at SpotifyTesting at Spotify
Testing at Spotify
 
CSS Grid Layout for Topconf, Linz
CSS Grid Layout for Topconf, LinzCSS Grid Layout for Topconf, Linz
CSS Grid Layout for Topconf, Linz
 
Creating HTML Pages
Creating HTML PagesCreating HTML Pages
Creating HTML Pages
 
Test Automation - Principles and Practices
Test Automation - Principles and PracticesTest Automation - Principles and Practices
Test Automation - Principles and Practices
 
New Amazing Things about AngularJS 2.0
New Amazing Things about AngularJS 2.0New Amazing Things about AngularJS 2.0
New Amazing Things about AngularJS 2.0
 
Data made out of functions
Data made out of functionsData made out of functions
Data made out of functions
 
Introduction to Information Architecture
Introduction to Information ArchitectureIntroduction to Information Architecture
Introduction to Information Architecture
 
Top Insights from SaaStr by Leading Enterprise Software Experts
Top Insights from SaaStr by Leading Enterprise Software ExpertsTop Insights from SaaStr by Leading Enterprise Software Experts
Top Insights from SaaStr by Leading Enterprise Software Experts
 
iOS Scroll Performance
iOS Scroll PerformanceiOS Scroll Performance
iOS Scroll Performance
 
The Future of Real-Time in Spark
The Future of Real-Time in SparkThe Future of Real-Time in Spark
The Future of Real-Time in Spark
 
Introduction to Development for the Internet
Introduction to Development for the InternetIntroduction to Development for the Internet
Introduction to Development for the Internet
 
SXSW 2016: The Need To Knows
SXSW 2016: The Need To KnowsSXSW 2016: The Need To Knows
SXSW 2016: The Need To Knows
 
Mobile-First SEO - The Marketers Edition #3XEDigital
Mobile-First SEO - The Marketers Edition #3XEDigitalMobile-First SEO - The Marketers Edition #3XEDigital
Mobile-First SEO - The Marketers Edition #3XEDigital
 
Creative Traction Methodology - For Early Stage Startups
Creative Traction Methodology - For Early Stage StartupsCreative Traction Methodology - For Early Stage Startups
Creative Traction Methodology - For Early Stage Startups
 
The Physical Interface
The Physical InterfaceThe Physical Interface
The Physical Interface
 
Network Effects
Network EffectsNetwork Effects
Network Effects
 

Similar to Launching a Rocketship Off Someone Else's Back

Writing Sample—on Instagram
Writing Sample—on InstagramWriting Sample—on Instagram
Writing Sample—on Instagram
Nina Ogor
 
More than Just Your Website or Social Media: You Need a Digital Strategy
More than Just Your Website or Social Media: You Need a Digital StrategyMore than Just Your Website or Social Media: You Need a Digital Strategy
More than Just Your Website or Social Media: You Need a Digital Strategy
Ramsey Mohsen
 
Facebook Applications: Real Money For Developer by Andy Santoso
Facebook Applications: Real Money For Developer by Andy SantosoFacebook Applications: Real Money For Developer by Andy Santoso
Facebook Applications: Real Money For Developer by Andy Santoso
Ramya Prajna Sahisnu
 

Similar to Launching a Rocketship Off Someone Else's Back (20)

The 2016 mobile growth handbook
The 2016 mobile growth handbookThe 2016 mobile growth handbook
The 2016 mobile growth handbook
 
The 2016 Mobile Growth Handbook: Best Practices, Tips, and Growth Hacks
The 2016 Mobile Growth Handbook: Best Practices, Tips, and Growth HacksThe 2016 Mobile Growth Handbook: Best Practices, Tips, and Growth Hacks
The 2016 Mobile Growth Handbook: Best Practices, Tips, and Growth Hacks
 
Writing Sample—on Instagram
Writing Sample—on InstagramWriting Sample—on Instagram
Writing Sample—on Instagram
 
Why do you need a winning social media strategy?
Why do you need a winning social media strategy?Why do you need a winning social media strategy?
Why do you need a winning social media strategy?
 
How not to fail while making an app like instagram
How not to fail while making an app like instagramHow not to fail while making an app like instagram
How not to fail while making an app like instagram
 
Hello mobile application developers! do you know how to promote an app ?
Hello mobile application developers! do you know how to promote an app ?Hello mobile application developers! do you know how to promote an app ?
Hello mobile application developers! do you know how to promote an app ?
 
Snapchat Marketing Excellence.pdf
Snapchat Marketing Excellence.pdfSnapchat Marketing Excellence.pdf
Snapchat Marketing Excellence.pdf
 
Slide share
Slide shareSlide share
Slide share
 
Why the Medium is the Message: Identifying the Right Channels
Why the Medium is the Message: Identifying the Right ChannelsWhy the Medium is the Message: Identifying the Right Channels
Why the Medium is the Message: Identifying the Right Channels
 
Mobile Growth: Best Strategies, Tools and Tactics
Mobile Growth: Best Strategies, Tools and TacticsMobile Growth: Best Strategies, Tools and Tactics
Mobile Growth: Best Strategies, Tools and Tactics
 
Are Subscription-Based & Open-Source Apps, The Future of Social Media.pdf
Are Subscription-Based & Open-Source Apps, The Future of Social Media.pdfAre Subscription-Based & Open-Source Apps, The Future of Social Media.pdf
Are Subscription-Based & Open-Source Apps, The Future of Social Media.pdf
 
How to Create a Social Media App Guide on Feature Cost Benefits.pdf
How to Create a Social Media App Guide on Feature Cost  Benefits.pdfHow to Create a Social Media App Guide on Feature Cost  Benefits.pdf
How to Create a Social Media App Guide on Feature Cost Benefits.pdf
 
More than Just Your Website or Social Media: You Need a Digital Strategy
More than Just Your Website or Social Media: You Need a Digital StrategyMore than Just Your Website or Social Media: You Need a Digital Strategy
More than Just Your Website or Social Media: You Need a Digital Strategy
 
Five Tools to Know About When Developing Software for Social Networks
Five Tools to Know About When Developing Software for Social NetworksFive Tools to Know About When Developing Software for Social Networks
Five Tools to Know About When Developing Software for Social Networks
 
Facebook Applications Real Money For Developer
Facebook Applications Real Money For DeveloperFacebook Applications Real Money For Developer
Facebook Applications Real Money For Developer
 
Facebook Applications: Real Money For Developer by Andy Santoso
Facebook Applications: Real Money For Developer by Andy SantosoFacebook Applications: Real Money For Developer by Andy Santoso
Facebook Applications: Real Money For Developer by Andy Santoso
 
Space Invaders. The Revolution in a Nutshell.
Space Invaders. The Revolution in a Nutshell.Space Invaders. The Revolution in a Nutshell.
Space Invaders. The Revolution in a Nutshell.
 
Startup ideas worth Exloring in 2010
Startup ideas worth Exloring in 2010Startup ideas worth Exloring in 2010
Startup ideas worth Exloring in 2010
 
10 Of The Smartest Big Brands In Social Media
10 Of The Smartest Big Brands In Social Media10 Of The Smartest Big Brands In Social Media
10 Of The Smartest Big Brands In Social Media
 
Treys Facebook Presentation
Treys Facebook PresentationTreys Facebook Presentation
Treys Facebook Presentation
 

Recently uploaded

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
aljazherman
 
"NEON LIGHT CITY" AR PC game from M.A.D tronics Studios
"NEON LIGHT CITY" AR PC game from M.A.D tronics Studios"NEON LIGHT CITY" AR PC game from M.A.D tronics Studios
"NEON LIGHT CITY" AR PC game from M.A.D tronics Studios
tess51
 
Tech Framework Integrated Workspace Management System
Tech Framework Integrated Workspace Management SystemTech Framework Integrated Workspace Management System
Tech Framework Integrated Workspace Management System
Sushant Joshi
 

Recently uploaded (8)

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
 
Dropbox DBX Q1 2020 Investor Presentation.pdf
Dropbox DBX Q1 2020 Investor Presentation.pdfDropbox DBX Q1 2020 Investor Presentation.pdf
Dropbox DBX Q1 2020 Investor Presentation.pdf
 
Facebook_Meta_Q4-2018-Earnings-Presentation.pdf
Facebook_Meta_Q4-2018-Earnings-Presentation.pdfFacebook_Meta_Q4-2018-Earnings-Presentation.pdf
Facebook_Meta_Q4-2018-Earnings-Presentation.pdf
 
AI Revolution Industries-Transformed.pdf
AI Revolution Industries-Transformed.pdfAI Revolution Industries-Transformed.pdf
AI Revolution Industries-Transformed.pdf
 
Financial management icar entrepreneurship development
Financial management icar entrepreneurship developmentFinancial management icar entrepreneurship development
Financial management icar entrepreneurship development
 
"NEON LIGHT CITY" AR PC game from M.A.D tronics Studios
"NEON LIGHT CITY" AR PC game from M.A.D tronics Studios"NEON LIGHT CITY" AR PC game from M.A.D tronics Studios
"NEON LIGHT CITY" AR PC game from M.A.D tronics Studios
 
Tech Framework Integrated Workspace Management System
Tech Framework Integrated Workspace Management SystemTech Framework Integrated Workspace Management System
Tech Framework Integrated Workspace Management System
 
AI Data Engineering for SMEs - some tricks and tools
AI Data Engineering for SMEs - some tricks and toolsAI Data Engineering for SMEs - some tricks and tools
AI Data Engineering for SMEs - some tricks and tools
 

Launching a Rocketship Off Someone Else's Back

  • 1. Launching a Rocketship Off Someone Else’s Back How to Build on Other Platforms Josh Elman
  • 2. Everybody warns you not to build on top of other company’s platforms.
  • 3. We see headlines like this
  • 4. Which have gone on for a while..
  • 5. And platforms spin it like this “More control for our community” “To help further our company’s vision”
  • 6. Is it worth the risk to build on a platform?
  • 7. The Short Answer: Yes. (It’s the only way to get big.)
  • 9. And everyone starts by hustling Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel originally marketed his app by email blasting his network and posting in online forums.
  • 10. Hustle: Building on top of Craigslist In the early days, the Airbnb founders built an integration with Craigslist for their ads to reach a larger audience. (They also sold politically themed cereal to get out of debt.)
  • 11. Hustle: Google Friends Newsletter Google co-founder Larry Page sent out a monthly newsletter to inform fans about company news. (The company looked a lot different back then)
  • 12. Virality is the goal ... but you don’t have any users.
  • 14. The Longer Answer: You need to get in front of users to grow. All companies start with zero users. You need to go where the users already are. Big platforms have lots of users. &
  • 15. We live in an era of HUGE platforms 3.5B searches per day 1.5B users 1B+ active users 1B active users 700M active users 400M active users 300M active users 300M users Growing very fast
  • 16. These companies want to grow too.. Better results for a query Friends sharing more content Users sharing and watching more videos Friends and family talking more Sharing and viewing more pictures Sharing and viewing more content Professionals sharing more content More content Friends and family talking more
  • 17. Partnerships used to require massive BD Deals. The little startup Google partnered with Yahoo to power their search function until 2004. Today, partnerships between big and small companies are harder to come by than ever.
  • 18. Platforms are partnerships. Stop asking and start building. The New Partnership:
  • 19. Let’s try and understand why companies open a platform. But first..
  • 20. Every company has a massive product wish list with thousands of features.
  • 21. But even the biggest companies have resource constraints. “The Top 20” If they are lucky, companies can build out their top top 10 features, maybe 20.
  • 22. Their roadmap is huge and they must prioritize top features. Why would a company want a platform? Platforms offer a powerful network effect. The fastest way to more features is to get others to build them. 1 2 3
  • 23. If we build it (a platform), they (developers) will come. True or False?
  • 24. False. Developers will only come when there are clear incentives and opportunities to build a big business on top of a platform. True or False?
  • 25. Every successful platform needs: Clear incentives for developers to get value. “Show me the users or money!” Clear value for users. More to do on the product = more time & more fun Trust from users. Users have to trust that the platform protects them. 1 2 3
  • 26. 1 2 But here’s what they are afraid of: “Pee in the pool” Platforms fear developers will spam their users. “Robbers” Platforms fear losing data and monetization opportunities. If you are building a core feature, they may compete with you or even just block you.
  • 27. The win-win platform model Startup Massive userbase Useful features More engagement, More $$$ Quickly gain users
  • 28. Platforms are not there to help you build your company. Their goal is to grow their own business. But, remember:
  • 30. Knowing that, here are things to keep in mind when building on platforms. Do not fill gaps. Don’t build a product that solves a temporary deficiency in the platform. Do not expect platforms to be constant. Prepare for inevitable platform shifts. 1 2
  • 31. Why do platforms shift? Users of the main product want new experiences. If any consumer product stops getting better, it will die. The platform’s business model will keep evolving. Opportunities to make money can radically shift the platform strategy. Users stop trusting or using apps. The platform has to address bad behaviors and increase user trust. 1 2 3
  • 32. Build your product to be independent. Only use the platform for acceleration.
  • 33. Examples of hitting the platform risk Slide built on top of Facebook, but failed to generate “front door” direct traffic and lost users when Facebook shifted their platform. SocialCam used the Facebook graph and created an auto-share loop. Facebook found the loop to not match user’s expectations, and changed its algorithms. Meerkat used the Twitter social graph to accelerate growth, but Twitter shut them down to promote Periscope, the live streaming app they had bought.
  • 34. Examples of success Instagram grew quickly by making it easy to post photos on Facebook and Twitter, but also successfully became a destination that users visited everyday. YouTube made it simple to embed videos on Myspace, and then drew the Myspace user base to their site to watch more content. Dubsmash integrated with WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger for easy distribution, creating a viral share loop.
  • 35. Platforms can work for you. Remember the value exchange. In exchange for giving the platform users better content or features, the platform provides users and usage. They are an accelerant. Never get comfortable. Platforms can change. Take advantage of the moment at hand. Only core users who come through your front door matter. Don’t ever get confused with big numbers of visitors who pass through. 1 2 3
  • 36. Again.. Build your product to be independent. Only use the platform for acceleration.
  • 37. New platforms to start thinking about Slack Pinterest FB Messenger (Maybe Snapchat?)