A small highly-motivated user base that loves your product is better than a massive uninterested one

He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks
-Sun Tzu (The Art of War)

I would rather command a company of Marines than a brigade of volunteers.
– Capt. John R.F. Tattnal

I’ve spent the last 7 months actively nurturing a community of greeting card artists into existence. Despite my “go big” entrepreneur mentality, it is clear to me now that going slower and developing a small highly-motivated core group of users was vital. Swinging for the fences right away and having a massive but uninterested user base shouldn’t be considered a success. The slow growth has allowed us to work with them personally and has endeared them to our cause. They tell their friends to buy from us, they actively recruit their favorite artists for us and they help each other through issues instead of requesting support.

The word of mouth that these users generate is incredible. A full 25% of all our traffic is new direct visits (people typing CardGnome.com into their browser after they are told about us) and 95% of our new artist acceptance has come from word-of-mouth referrals. They are starting to cost us less to support because they take the time to know the system better, and because they ask each other for support on our forums instead of emailing us.

They spend more, they cost us less to support, they recruit artists and they find us new customers. I don’t just view this in terms of economics, but they lower our cost of customer acquisition and increase our average lifetime value. If you are just starting, focus on making a few users extremely happy instead of spending money to acquire uninterested ones.

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A small highly-motivated user base that loves your product is better than a massive uninterested one

6 thoughts on “A small highly-motivated user base that loves your product is better than a massive uninterested one

  1. Adam W says:

    I agree
    It has always been my opinion the” bigger is not better” and that ” dedication is delight”.
    This is especially true for any company that has limited sources and need to be careful of their use of time, manpower and funds.
    In the movie “what about Bob” the main character tells his patient to start with “Baby Steps”.
    Many companies could benefit and avoid the growing pain by using “Baby Steps” when appropriated. Go Cardgnome!

  2. LjM says:

    You have my continuous support and efforts, proudly as well as many others here. It’s a unique and special business. I will surely watch it grow and prosper as will it’s community of followers and users. It’s gonna just keep on getting better and better~ Good work Gnomes!

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