We’re following the lean startup approach. Its premise is that you don’t know what your customers want at the beginning, so give test users a minimal solution and learn from them. In the past few weeks we have pushed out a minimum viable product with just one simple feature, emailing a text greeting to a friend. Now we’re listening to our initial users and adding requested features like attaching photos, videos, music and being able to edit the font type of the greetings. Our few users are awesome but we didn’t get them by accident, we identified who we wanted and tried to recruit the right ones. Here is what we looked for and why:
1 – Willingness to give honest and frequent feedback: This was a non-negotiable and we were clear upfront that we wanted them to help us improve and shape the final product.
2 – Mix of users from our target and non-target markets: We’re trying to test if we properly identified our target market.
3 – Capacity to find additional users – As the alpha period progresses we will need to steadily add new test users to keep the suggestions fresh.
4 – Be part of the entertainment/creative community – Our biggest long term hurdle will be attracting talented vendors because we believe that acquiring customers will be natural and less expensive if we have intriguing items. Recruiting creative talent seems to require finesse and experience, so we’re reaching out to talent now in order to hone our skills. So far this has been going really well for us and we’re looking forward to making some of these relationships public soon.
Finding users isn’t difficult but finding and convincing the right users to be committed test users is. Right now we’re still looking for talented writers, poets and artists. If you know any let us know and as we add new features, like music nudges, we’ll begin reaching out to all of you for recommendations on great people to recruit.