No One Cares About Your Stupid Little Startup

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

Text of No One Cares About Your Stupid Little Startup

  • No one cared about my stupid little startup(and they dont care about yours either)
    Matt Brezina
    Co-founder, Xobni
    Matt@xobni.com
    Twitter: @brezina
  • Xobnis Path To 3 Million Downloads(a 3.5 year journey)
    Paid
    Drivers
    Nerd
    Scarcity
    Invite
    Beta
    Public Beta
    Private Beta
    Iteration
    GA
    Stealth
  • Stealth
    • Only 50 users
    • Very boring website: No screenshots, product descriptions
    • Traffic from blogging problems with email & entrepreneurship
    • Personal relationships with press and demo under embargo
    (ask for help before you need it)
    1.5 years
    50
    users
    Paid
    Drivers
    Nerd
    Scarcity
    Invite
    Beta
    Public Beta
    Private Beta
    Iteration
    GA
    Stealth
  • Private Beta
    • Launched at TechCrunch50
    • Too much demand
    • Added 10k users in 1 day everyone else sign-up
    2 months
    10k
    users
    Paid
    Drivers
    Nerd
    Scarcity
    Invite
    Beta
    Public Beta
    Private Beta
    Iteration
    GA
    Stealth
  • Nerd Scarcity
    • Leveraged excited early adopters
    • Badge program
    • Added users from beta list when we needed lab rats
    3 months
    12k
    users
    Paid
    Drivers
    Nerd
    Scarcity
    Invite
    Beta
    Public Beta
    Private Beta
    Iteration
    GA
    Stealth
  • Invite Beta
    • Users could invite 5 friends
    • Maintained forgiveness of beta users
    • Nearly 100% conversion on clicked invites (users were self selecting people whod want xobni)
    3 months
    50k
    users
    Paid
    Drivers
    Nerd
    Scarcity
    Invite
    Beta
    Public Beta
    Private Beta
    Iteration
    GA
    Stealth
  • Iteration
    • Needed product/market fit before exiting exclusivity
    • Wanted to accelerate WOM & virality for upcoming pop
    • 100k user beta list
    • Focused on performance, user ed & virality
    3 months
    60k
    users
    Paid
    Drivers
    Nerd
    Scarcity
    Invite
    Beta
    Public Beta
    Private Beta
    Iteration
    GA
    Stealth
  • Public Beta
    • Hired PR firm 6 weeks before launch
    • Officially launched Xobni open beta in NYT
    • 95k web visitors on day 1
    • 70k visitors on day 2!!
    • Used demand for private beta as proxy for need of a solution to info overload and the value of a people focused inbox
    1 year
    1.5M
    users
    Paid
    Drivers
    Nerd
    Scarcity
    Invite
    Beta
    Public Beta
    Private Beta
    Iteration
    GA
    Stealth
  • Exit Beta
    • Reliable product
    • With product/market fit
    • That encapsulated our vision
    Resulting in:
    • Strong WOM
    • Official adoption in enterprises
    • The ability to start charging
    3
    months
    2M
    users
    Paid
    Drivers
    Nerd
    Scarcity
    Invite
    Beta
    Public Beta
    Private Beta
    Iteration
    GA
    Stealth
  • Paid Drivers
    • PR & virality arent predictably scalable
    • Aint nothing wrong with spending money to make money
    • Need business model to make the sausage machine work
    6
    months
    3M
    users
    Paid
    Drivers
    Nerd
    Scarcity
    Invite
    Beta
    Public Beta
    Private Beta
    Iteration
    GA
    Stealth
  • When we got PR help
    In-house
    &
    PR Firm
    PR Firm
    PR Contractor
    (but mostly me)
    Me
    Paid
    Drivers
    Nerd
    Scarcity
    Invite
    Beta
    Public Beta
    Private Beta
    Iteration
    GA
    Stealth
  • No one cares about your stupid little startup5tips to make them care
  • Tip 1.
    Tie yourself to a bigger trend
    For us it was:
    The web inside your inbox
    Facebook crossing into the business world
    Email is the oldest online social network
    Enterprise software is now going bottoms up
    Email overload is drowning the information worker
  • Case Study: Email Me Instead
    Wehad 10k users and new blog/press relationships from our facebook app, before Xobni was even in public beta
  • Tip 2
    Take every opportunity to meet a journalist in person
    Get product feedback
    Social events
    Make introductions
    Base your company where the media is
  • Case Study: WSJ
  • Tip 3.
    Engage heavily with users positive WOM is even better than press coverage
  • Case Study: Xobni
    Our 5th employee was customer support
    Elite Alpha forum of 500 users
    Phone call (and blog) with one user per week
    Special twitter handle for customer support
    Engineers do tech phone calls with users
    We send out a lot of tshirts
  • Tip 4.
    Journalists are lazy. Help them be lazy
  • Case Study: Xobni.com
  • Tip 5.
    Be a source of data
  • Case Studies: Tivo, Trulia, Facebook
  • Now, 3 million people care about my stupid little startup
    Matt Brezina
    Co-founder, Xobni
    Matt@xobni.com
    Twitter: @brezina