Ryan Fujiu , Head at Growth at About.Me took the stage on the first day of SPark.me conference in order to talk more about web startups in general. Prior to his position at About.Me, he founded two startups which eventually failed, however he learned quite a few things which helped him later on in his career.
Fujiu asked the question – what it more startups succeeded? Well, this world would be a better place, he continues, however this is quite hard because they are mostly focused on building the final product. This takes way too much time and money and in the end, startups tend to come up with products users don’t really want to use and this represents a major problem.
Lean Startup – it just works
By now, you should be familiar with the term Lean Startup. In essence, this business model is focused on testing the hypophysis of product placement prior to it’s actual development. Fujiu mentioned selfie.com as a perfect example of this method.
At this moment their product is consisted merely out of simple landing page, however there is a good reason for that. By actually signing up users and asking them what they would like to see from their product, they can test different scenarios before even launching the product, thus making sure to cut down on costs as much as possible.
Before you launch, validate the hypophysis!
Ryan also noted that through customer development, About.Me figured out that their users would like to know who is viewing their profile so they decided to implement this feature. Although it was controversial for some, it was the most successful thing About.Me ever did and it gained them 100% growth rate that month.
Fujiu finished his lecture by saying that after you get all the data from your users, you should start working on your Minimum Viable Product – something minimal, which will bring traffic (just like a landing page). If you’re not acquiring users, there is something wrong with your theory, however you haven’t spent a huge amount of money testing it and you can always pivot and come up with something new, based on the data your users provide you with.