I am a fan of Matt Mullenwig. Not just because http://automattic.com/ is great. I was blogging with wordpress before I knew much about who was behind the the service. Then I heard this. Matt was explaining to the Bay CHI group how the "first 100K users are always the hardest" and how he did it. These 12 rules (below) are simple, obvious and powerful.
I've been thinking of this a ton recently. We're standing up E10 in the enterprise. Today we have about 4 users. Tommorrow our goal is 1000. Our madate is to execute campaigns while building a supporting service center. Matt's rules give me guidance and confidence.
- Be your first user.
- Get off the computer — get stuck in your tools – limit your thinking. you’re in the mode of the tool you use. The act of writing things on paper frees the creative juices.
- Obsess about the details – try every email client, browser – make sure you know how other people are going to experience it.
- Do your own support, make it as easy as possible for people to contact you - need feedback to make the site better.
- Blog every step of the way
- Have a tagline — one for the site, also have contextual taglines aimed at your audience
- Say what you do for the user “We make it easy for you to podcast.”
- Get out 1.0 as fast as humanly possible – what people end up doing and being successful at is not what they start out doing. Ask people to try it out and get feedback, especially from people who don’t end up using it. Push the limits of what you’re doing.
- Measure your success – you have to have metrics. if I get to x, I will succeed
- Know what to do if you are successful — dog chasing a car doesn’t know what to do if he catches it.
- Start strong and end strong. Lead with the most compelling point why people should use your product or service. end strong. people don’t remember the middle.
- Be a painkiller, not a vitamin. Painkillers make way more money (Tylenol vs vitamins). address a problem that people are having.