Moe and Justin discuss how the founders of several of the biggest companies and organizations in the world have built and grown their startups.
Nineteen Channels to Gain Marketplace Traction
When the app Snapchat raised its most recent round of $20 million from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the valuation of an app that’s yet to generate any revenue vaulted to $10 billion; leaving young founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy paper billionaires. Say what you will about their personalities and business savvy, still its reported 100 million monthly active users positions it for a promising future and a highly contagious product. A lot has been written about its popularity, but it was a New York Times article that I read in early 2013, that put in context for me Margaret Mead’s anthem that we should ‘never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
It wasn’t until mid-September, 2011 after Spiegel and Murphy had shared the latest version of the app with 20 friends, that they started to see a noticeable spike in users. Ironically, the traffic peaked between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., with the majority traced to an Orange County, CA high school where Spiegel’s cousin is a student. It’s speculated that Spiegel’s mother had shared the app with his cousin, when shortly thereafter, it went viral amongst high school students in the Los Angeles area creating a 10x increase in active daily users from 3,000 to 30,000. At that time, Snapchat was a one of a kind sharing network with “quantitative evidence of customer demand” as AngelList’s Naval Ravikant likes to say.
In their book, Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers, entrepreneurs Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares draw on their interviews with forty highly accomplished founders to share nineteen traction channels that will reignite how mange your growth. It starts with this shift in mindset …