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Focus on growth when you know that what you are building is what people want
Growth & Product Expert, Airbnb, Community
Sometimes you need growth to make a product better.
Prove that your product is great in small scale and will be even better with more.
Did you build something that people actually care about?
Lesson: Product Growth with Gustaf Alströmer
Step #8 Timing: Focus on growth when you know that what you are building is what people want
I think a startup needs to focus on growth once you have with some certainly you know that what you build is what people want. There’s some, either through customer development or through metrics you can prove that what you’ve built is something that people like to use and something that makes their lives better. Sometimes you need growth to make that product better.
If you built Voxer and you have only one user, it’s not a good product because you have no one to talk to, so sometimes you definitely need to . . . the product gets better with more growth, but that really depends. You can probably prove in isolation, again, in some test groups, that this social product is really great and it’s going to work even better with more people, so you can probably do that in small scale.
I think customer development is around figuring out if you’ve built something people actually care about. There are, I wouldn't say shortcuts, but there are some fast ways that you can actually find out if you’ve built something people want. First of all, you should go and talk to people and show them what you’ve built. There are some other ways to do that as well.
I think a lot of product development right now is trying to prove a hypothesis with as little effort as possible and as little investment as possible. Those things are true of both for customer development and growth.
An extreme example would be I come up with something that I think people want. I buy ads towards that, and people click on those ads, and go through one landing page screen, and then there's nothing else. That would be an extreme example of that where it turns out people want what I told them I had, but I didn't have it. So that would be an extreme example of trying out a hypothesis around growth and customer development, I think.