Lenny Rachitsky

Lenny Rachitsky


477 Quotes

"activation rate = [users who hit your activation milestone] / [users who completed your signup flow]."
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"Highly predictive: It should be predictive of long-term value delivery to the user, which often manifests itself in long-term retention, monetization, or both. Users who hit your activation milestone should retain at a rate at least 2x better than those who do not complete the activation step."
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"Highly actionable: The metric needs to be something growth teams can directly impact."
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"Activation is meant to be a leading indicator of a new user sticking around and becoming a customer—not the act of becoming a long-term customer."
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"For just SaaS products (removing marketplaces, e-commerce, and DTC), the average activation rate is 36%, and the median is 30%."
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"Often companies define activation as simply completing the sign-up flow, which alone is unlikely to show a user the value of your product, and thus is unlikely to be predictive of long-term retention."
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"Our advice is to not overthink it—pick a milestone that’s relatively early in a new user’s lifecycle that strongly correlates with long-term retention."
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"Pattern 1: Obsession with efficiency"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to win in consumer subscription
"The most common thread across every company was an obsession with efficiency—staying small, keeping costs down, and getting profitable. They all stayed lean until they found strong product-market fit and, in many cases, far beyond that."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to win in consumer subscription
"They kept the team size under 10, worked long hours in a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco, and sharply questioned every outgoing dollar."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to win in consumer subscription
"Staying small forced us to develop hacking skills. I [a PM] was a top contributor to the growth repo. One growth marketer was responsible for all our spend, and always ruthlessly prioritizing. The experience helped define growth culture at Noom."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to win in consumer subscription
"When we started Future, we felt that the broader world (consumers, investors, our friends, the press) may not fully grasp why connected coaching is a game changer until we showed it to them at scale. With this in mind, we aimed to keep our team size and cost structure small so that we could fund years of patient development and growth."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to win in consumer subscription
"It’s probably not a coincidence that the founders of all five of the biggest B2C subscription companies are immigrants: Noom and Grammarly’s founders were from Ukraine, Duolingo’s founder is from Guatemala, Calm’s from the U.K., and Spotify’s from Sweden."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to win in consumer subscription
"Takeaway: Stay as lean as possible, and focus on revenue over growth—at least until you’ve found PMF."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to win in consumer subscription
"We find that too many teams start cold and conduct focused interview groups. User interviews can be helpful, but small samples are noisy, and even one misguided answer can lead to misdirection at the critical early stages."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to use behavioral science to boost your conversion rates
"When we feel like something is ours (the “endowment effect”), we may be likely to value it more."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to use behavioral science to boost your conversion rates
"A study by J. Michael McGinnis of the National Academy of Medicine found that 40% of premature deaths are the result of our own choices. Our decisions around food, exercise, drinking, and driving are literally killing us (and sometimes others)."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to use behavioral science to boost your conversion rates
"We’re bad at making decisions that are good for us."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to use behavioral science to boost your conversion rates
"1. Increase the immediate benefit to taking any action: forced choice and present bias"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to use behavioral science to boost your conversion rates
"People (you, your users, your customers) all want to complete things. By making people feel closer to completing something, we delivered a bigger immediate benefit."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to use behavioral science to boost your conversion rates
"By focusing a user’s attention on “completing” setup, we boosted conversion from the base of 7.1% to 15.9%."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to use behavioral science to boost your conversion rates
"Experiment with designing products that allow the user to more quickly feel psychological ownership (a form of endowment). Your product is already theirs, and by not taking action, they may lose the opportunity to benefit from it."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to use behavioral science to boost your conversion rates
"Day 1 is the day your users have the most momentum they will ever have. Catching them at this moment with the right features and mental model will drive higher opt-in rates and engagement than at any other time in the user’s lifecycle."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to use behavioral science to boost your conversion rates
"When designing for behavior change, the most important thing is—quite literally—to pick the behavior you want to change."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to use behavioral science to boost your conversion rates
"Most teams we work with focus on engagement and retention but fail to make a clear and unified hypothesis about the most important action to drive this."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to use behavioral science to boost your conversion rates
"To drive a key behavior, we need to reduce the barriers and increase the (immediate) benefits. Translation: Humans tend to follow the path of least resistance and respond to immediate incentives"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to use behavioral science to boost your conversion rates
"companies like Airbnb, Miro, Netflix, Tinder, and Spotify purposely avoid concentrating on revenue"
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"It’s a way of identifying the driver behind a given purchase or usage and optimizing for that in a way that your competitors can’t or won’t."
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"Paid-growth driven businesses Most common North Star Metric: Growth efficiency"
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"The 1 question to start with: Which metric, if it were to increase today, would most accelerate my business’ flywheel?"
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"By maintaining a laser focus on a single metric for too long, teams risk short-term thinking, missing new opportunities, and sacrificing the user experience."
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"Broadly, there are six categories of North Star Metrics"
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"Marketplaces and platforms Most common North Star Metric: Consumption growth"
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"Freemium team-based B2B products Most common North Star Metric: Engagement and/or customer growth"
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"UGC subscription-based products Most common North Star Metric: Consumption"
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"Though consumption and engagement are similar metrics, the former is much more active — creating a video, for example, rather than merely visiting the site. Consumption is more likely to result in users sharing the content, thus driving the growth flywheel."
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"Ad-driven businesses Most common North Star Metric: Engagement"
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"Facebook and Snap target DAU because, for better or worse, social media is a daily habit for most. Meanwhile, Pinterest looks at WAU, since it doesn’t expect its users to need the product daily."
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"Consumer subscription products Most common North Star Metric: Engagement or customer growth"
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"Products that differentiate on experience Most common North Star Metric: User experience"
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"An alternative approach to choosing your North Star Metric is to ask yourself: What jobs are our users hiring our product to do?"
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"Focusing on revenue goals too early can lead to suboptimal decisions, such as spending too much time optimizing pricing — or being afraid to lower pricing"
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"There’s typically only one North Star Metric"
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"Having that single focal point often leads to a more cohesive planning and decision-making strategy, company-wide."
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"Once you have your North Star Metric (an output), your next step is to break this metric down into its component parts and decide which metrics (the inputs) to invest in."
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"Whenever you have a candidate for your North Star Metric(s), determine what levers move this metric, and then focus your ideation around those input metrics."
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"In the earliest stages of a company, however, before you’ve found the fabled product-market-fit, your singular aim should be answering one question: “Am I building something people want?”"
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"I recommend you start by focusing on “cohort retention” — are enough people sticking after using your product? If you can’t get people to stick around, nothing else will matter in the end."
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"When the relationships go awry, a good place to start is to consider what is going on for you personally."
Lenny Rachitsky
Healing your co-founder relationship
"we are all equipped with two personal antennae. One looks outward and picks up signals of what is going on for the other person. The other one looks inward and registers what is going on for you."
Lenny Rachitsky
Healing your co-founder relationship
"a Vocabulary of Feelings, which turns out to be a tool that students use for decades after graduation."
Lenny Rachitsky
Healing your co-founder relationship
"Understanding what you are feeling more fully expands your choices and lessens the chances of being thoughtlessly reactive."
Lenny Rachitsky
Healing your co-founder relationship
"Interpersonal issues can arise from multiple sources. For example, one of you might perceive a significant power differential has come to exist that now complicates decision-making processes."
Lenny Rachitsky
Healing your co-founder relationship
"The dilemma is then how to raise them without causing more animosity and disrupting the company. And of course, if you don’t raise them, you can’t move toward resolving them."
Lenny Rachitsky
Healing your co-founder relationship
"you have only your perspective, and they are probably experiencing some version of what you are too."
Lenny Rachitsky
Healing your co-founder relationship
"The more curious we can each be about the other’s feelings, the more productive and generative our conversations are likely to be."
Lenny Rachitsky
Healing your co-founder relationship
"It may be useful to think about the process of generating a solution as answering three questions simultaneously: “What do I need?”, “What do you/others need?” and “What is best for the organization?” Curiosity—real curiosity—lowers defensiveness and builds relationships."
Lenny Rachitsky
Healing your co-founder relationship
"the interpersonal, or so-called soft skills, are often the greatest determinants of professional success, and they are also often the hardest."
Lenny Rachitsky
Healing your co-founder relationship
"people do business with people, as much as if not more than they do with ideas, products, strategies, plans, or even money. Being an entrepreneur and a co-founder is challenging enough without having developed the interpersonal skills and competencies needed to navigate the journey!"
Lenny Rachitsky
Healing your co-founder relationship
"Consumer Social: ~25% is GOOD, ~45% is GREAT"
Lenny Rachitsky
What is good retention - Issue 29 - Lenny's Newsletter
"Consumer SaaS: ~40% is GOOD, ~70% is GREAT"
Lenny Rachitsky
What is good retention - Issue 29 - Lenny's Newsletter
"Most frequently valued: Communication, execution, product sense Least frequently valued: Design/UX, empathy, raw intelligence"
Lenny Rachitsky
A comprehensive survey of Product Management
"From this perspective, we find that PMs have more influence than other functions at only 70% of companies (vs. 80% above)."
Lenny Rachitsky
A comprehensive survey of Product Management
"The spectrum varies widely: from Zynga where PMs run the show, to Apple where PMs have the least influence"
Lenny Rachitsky
A comprehensive survey of Product Management
"every company did have a clear moment where they recognized they had PMF, and many did experience a sudden hard-to-miss pull from the market, BUT many companies did not see it immediately."
Lenny Rachitsky
What it feels like when you've found product-market fit – Issue 45 - Lenny's Newsletter
"About half of these companies found PMF immediately after launch, but half spent months or years iterating to get there:"
Lenny Rachitsky
What it feels like when you've found product-market fit – Issue 45 - Lenny's Newsletter
"There are three things you have to get right to find True Product-Market Fit:"
Lenny Rachitsky
What it feels like when you've found product-market fit – Issue 45 - Lenny's Newsletter
"The original idea didn’t work. But hundreds of failed experiments later, and and after many a sleepless night of worrying, we finally tested the unlikely combination of No Due Dates, No Late Fees, and Subscription that ultimately was the thing that ended up working. And boy did it work. Within days of testing it we knew we had a winner."
Lenny Rachitsky
What it feels like when you've found product-market fit – Issue 45 - Lenny's Newsletter
"To our surprise, users started writing to us asking ‘Can we pay for this??’ They liked it so much they wanted to pay for it. That was the first sign this was going to work."
Lenny Rachitsky
What it feels like when you've found product-market fit – Issue 45 - Lenny's Newsletter
"“When my mom booked her first Airbnb, I said to myself, I think we got something here!”"
Lenny Rachitsky
What it feels like when you've found product-market fit – Issue 45 - Lenny's Newsletter
"Type 1: Supply driving demand This loop can work for marketplace businesses (i.e. which connect supply with demand) and for platform businesses (i.e. which enable supply to serve demand). The key is that your supply has a clear motivation to bring you demand."
Lenny Rachitsky
Magical growth loops – Issue 52 - Lenny's Newsletter
"Type 2: Demand driving supply This loop only works for marketplaces. And again, the key is that your demand has clear motivation to invite supply"
Lenny Rachitsky
Magical growth loops – Issue 52 - Lenny's Newsletter
"(1) Actively: Demand invites more demand for free (aka virality):"
Lenny Rachitsky
Magical growth loops – Issue 52 - Lenny's Newsletter
"(2) Actively: Demand invites more demand for an incentive (aka referral program)"
Lenny Rachitsky
Magical growth loops – Issue 52 - Lenny's Newsletter
"Type 3: Demand driving demand"
Lenny Rachitsky
Magical growth loops – Issue 52 - Lenny's Newsletter
"Most startups found their early users from just a single strategy. A few like Product Hunt and Pinterest found success using a handful. No one found success from more than three."
Lenny Rachitsky
How the biggest consumer apps got their first 1,000 users - Issue 25 - Lenny's Newsletter
"The most popular strategies involve going to your user directly — online, offline, and through friends."
Lenny Rachitsky
How the biggest consumer apps got their first 1,000 users - Issue 25 - Lenny's Newsletter
"it’s important to first narrowly define your target user."
Lenny Rachitsky
How the biggest consumer apps got their first 1,000 users - Issue 25 - Lenny's Newsletter
"The tactics that you use to get your first 1,000 users are very different from your next 10,000."
Lenny Rachitsky
How the biggest consumer apps got their first 1,000 users - Issue 25 - Lenny's Newsletter
"I’d go in and change all the computers to say Pinterest. Then just kind of stand in the back and be like, “Wow, this Pinterest thing, it’s really blowing up.”"
Lenny Rachitsky
How the biggest consumer apps got their first 1,000 users - Issue 25 - Lenny's Newsletter
"The takeaway is not to underestimate the power of one's personal referral network and to think deeply about the incentive and mechanics."
Lenny Rachitsky
How the biggest consumer apps got their first 1,000 users - Issue 25 - Lenny's Newsletter
"Pinterest started as an invite-only community. The first users were design bloggers Silbermann recruited. He advised these invitees to only extend admission to people they knew with unique ideas and creative minds. The exclusive community grew slowly until 2012 when the site removed the invitation requirement."
Lenny Rachitsky
How the biggest consumer apps got their first 1,000 users - Issue 25 - Lenny's Newsletter
"The founders picked their first users carefully, courting people who would be good photographers—especially designers who had high Twitter follower counts. Those first users would help set the right artistic tone, creating good content for everyone else to look at"
Lenny Rachitsky
How the biggest consumer apps got their first 1,000 users - Issue 25 - Lenny's Newsletter
"The big lesson here: Don't underestimate the power of traditional media when you launch."
Lenny Rachitsky
How the biggest consumer apps got their first 1,000 users - Issue 25 - Lenny's Newsletter
"I won’t sugarcoat it: making the math work with product-led growth is hard. It requires attracting a vast pool of potential users who are interested in your product, all while spending very little to attract that audience (i.e. near $0 customer acquisition cost, or CAC)."
Lenny Rachitsky
Product-led marketing
"When you add all that up, you can expect to make $1 to $2 in first-year spend for every unique visitor."
Lenny Rachitsky
Product-led marketing
"Your CAC needs to stay below $1 per unique visitor so you can cover these costs and facilitate efficient ongoing growth."
Lenny Rachitsky
Product-led marketing
"Product-led marketing means making it easy for end users to discover your product when they need it, through two primary strategies:"
Lenny Rachitsky
Product-led marketing
"Organic search/SEO Product virality"
Lenny Rachitsky
Product-led marketing
"Standout PLG products like Airtable, Miro, Snyk, Webflow, and Zapier disproportionately attract users through two channels: organic search and SEO (40% of new users), and product virality (16% of new users)."
Lenny Rachitsky
Product-led marketing
"The best PLG products treat search-oriented content as a natural extension of their product experience and as something that offers real value to users."
Lenny Rachitsky
Product-led marketing
"i. Free sidecar products built with marketing intent"
Lenny Rachitsky
Product-led marketing
"Snyk’s tool gets regularly updated as new vulnerabilities are found, giving users a reason to come back, and incorporates user-generated content by asking visitors to disclose a new vulnerability."
Lenny Rachitsky
Product-led marketing
"My favorite part: Snyk has a clear call to action to try their core product. Instead of checking vulnerabilities manually, why not let Snyk test all of your apps and help you automatically fix vulnerabilities in your code?"
Lenny Rachitsky
Product-led marketing
"What’s better is that templates don’t just attract new users; they help users get activated quickly and make them feel like your product was purposely built for them."
Lenny Rachitsky
Product-led marketing
"Templates can also be a way to kickstart a community strategy where you source templates from your power users (for example, Miro’s Miroverse) or even let users monetize the templates they’ve created, as Notion does."
Lenny Rachitsky
Product-led marketing
"Similarweb attracts nearly 10 million website visitors each month, according to the company’s own traffic analysis tool, and programmatic landing pages are an important part of their strategy."
Lenny Rachitsky
Product-led marketing
"Similarweb’s marketing provides immediate value to the visitor—in the form of a quick answer to their question—and then nudges those visitors to sign up for a free account in order to get even more actionable insights."
Lenny Rachitsky
Product-led marketing
"This documentation tends to be hard to find, poorly indexed in search, sitting on a separate web domain, or lacking in quality calls to action back to your product."
Lenny Rachitsky
Product-led marketing
"Hotjar, the website analytics company, does this to great effect with hubs around features like heatmaps and session recordings."
Lenny Rachitsky
Product-led marketing
"After all, it’s far easier (and cheaper) to generate growth from your existing product users than it is to acquire totally new ones."
Lenny Rachitsky
Product-led marketing
"External virality is the classic form of virality through multiplayer use and product exposure, which we’ve come to associate with collaboration products like Zoom, Loom, or Typeform."
Lenny Rachitsky
Product-led marketing
"Internal virality, on the other hand, applies to nearly every bottom-up PLG product as it gets adopted across an organization."
Lenny Rachitsky
Product-led marketing
"Your first task is to figure out how viral your product is today: how many additional users does one existing user bring?"
Lenny Rachitsky
Product-led marketing
"A proxy measurement is your direct traffic via Google Analytics—the share of people who come directly to your website without doing a Google search or clicking on an ad."
Lenny Rachitsky
Product-led marketing
"Calendly, the appointment scheduling software (disclosure: an OpenView portfolio company), is well known for its external viral loop where users invite people outside of their company to schedule a meeting."
Lenny Rachitsky
Product-led marketing
"ii. Remove friction from being social"
Lenny Rachitsky
Product-led marketing
"Loom, the async video software, may be an inherently viral product, but even Loom had friction that slowed its virality."
Lenny Rachitsky
Product-led marketing
"In the early days, Loom had only two types of users: paid creators (who could record Looms) and free viewers (who could not)."
Lenny Rachitsky
Product-led marketing
"I much prefer the Figma approach, where new editors can be invited for free at any time."
Lenny Rachitsky
Product-led marketing
"Consider the milestones that your users achieve during their product experience and might want to share with their colleagues."
Lenny Rachitsky
Product-led marketing
"B2B companies can also look at adding a watermark to their product, especially for free or self-service customers (bonus points if that watermark is URL-enabled!)."
Lenny Rachitsky
Product-led marketing
"Their insight was that Webflow’s audience would be freelancers who work by themselves and would be hungry for a place to hang out, provide support for each other, and show off how to do cool stuff in Webflow."
Lenny Rachitsky
Product-led marketing
"PLG companies have a wider funnel, since they can target users rather than executive buyers."
Lenny Rachitsky
Product-led marketing
"PLG companies can reach users earlier in their buying journey."
Lenny Rachitsky
Product-led marketing
"Organic search and product virality represent 56% of new users for the average PLG company."
Lenny Rachitsky
Product-led marketing
"A good activation metric should be two things:"
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"Highly predictive: It should be predictive of long-term value delivery to the user, which often manifests itself in long-term retention, monetization, or both."
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"Users who hit your activation milestone should retain at a rate at least 2x better than those who do not complete the activation step."
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"First design published and shared"
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"by far the most common mistake is to set the activation point too early or too late."
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"It’s meant to be something your team can do to increase retention, and defining activation as either sign-up or multiple purchases defies the purpose behind an activation metric."
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"Based on our survey results, broadly, the average activation rate is 34%, and the median activation rate is 25%."
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"We consider being in the 60th percentile a GOOD activation rate, and being in the 80th percentile a GREAT activation rate"
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"For example, marketplaces and e-commerce companies have the lowest activation rates because they generally define their activation milestone as the first transaction (i.e. spending money)."
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"B2C freemium products have the highest activation rate because their typical activation milestone is low-friction (e.g. starting a meditation session, logging a meal, listening to a music track)."
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"Emails and follow-up comms"
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"Simpler onboarding UI/UX"
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"Showing value earlier"
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"“Removing distracting CTAs between sign-up event and activation event”"
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"“Reducing number of steps”"
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"“Order of how tasks are presented made the biggest difference”"
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"“Don’t allow the user to do anything before the group is created”"
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"“Adding search suggestions in onboarding flow”"
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"“Less words to reduce friction to just start”"
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"“Reducing friction of the connection/setup process and building more if/then steps into the connection flow to specially handle common errors like incorrect physical installation, Wi-Fi setup problems, etc.”"
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"“Removing obstacles in onboarding—improving time to value”"
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"“Sending follow-up emails”"
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"“Sending more push notifications off the back of writing shorter content”"
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"v. Smarter top-of-funnel targeting"
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"“Improving the quality of leads at the top of funnel, shifting away from Facebook to Indeed for finding applicants”"
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"“Better product education during sign-up on who we are not for”"
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"“Doing things that don’t scale. One-on-one Zoom onboarding with clients”"
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"“We called everyone who did not complete the onboarding process to complete it”"
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"“Onboarding that more directly enabled the most popular JTBD”"
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"“Making our best-known feature not require configuration to try”"
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"“Adding guided onboarding to the product with a checklist and limiting the number of actions for users at the beginning of their journey”"
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"“Building features to collaborate with colleagues that led to more users from the same company being engaged”"
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"“Changing the length of the free trial”"
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"Based on our results, about 6% of respondents had time-bound activation, with a median of 10 days and a mode of 7 days. We believe, however, that this is far undercounting the reality, as we didn’t specifically ask about it."
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"Initially, your selected activation event will be hypothesis-driven and hence only correlative to longer-term retention and/or monetization. That’s OK. Take your best shot. It is only through structured experimentation that you will be able to tell if there is a causal relationship between your activation metric and longer-term value extraction."
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"Specifically, you would run a series of experiments geared at improving your activation metric. As you accumulate winners, you will monitor your later-stage metric to see if they uptick as well."
Lenny Rachitsky
What is a good activation rate
"Building community starts with creating a sense of belonging. That’s the baseline. But exponential growth happens when members start taking an active role."
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"Aligning community to business objectives"
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"There are six objectives that a community can drive. To help businesses wrap their heads around the options, use the SPACES model:"
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"Support: Create spaces for customers to answer questions and solve problems for each other."
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"Product: Create spaces for customers to share product feedback and ideas with each other and with your team."
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"Acquisition: Build programs that help you grow your pipeline and customer base."
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"Contribution: Enable members to contribute content, services, or something else of value to a platform you create."
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"Engagement: Connect customers to each other around their common interests in order to increase customer retention."
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"Success: Enable customers to teach each other how to better use your product and be more successful in their careers."
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"Pre-product-market-fit stage"
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"At this stage, your goal is likely going to be around Product—collecting feedback and insights that will help you solve a clear problem for your customers."
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"Your product is working, and your goal is to start growing your customer base. At this stage, companies’ community objective is usually Acquisition and Engagement."
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"You’ve already grown your customer base to the point where there’s an ongoing need to support them and help them better use your product. At this point, companies usually focus on Support and Success."
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"Aligning community to your members’ goals"
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"Who should own community?"
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"For startups, it’s really common for one of the founders to own community at the start. It makes sense—the founder wants to be as hands-on as possible to stay close to customers."
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"The number one thing I recommend looking for in your first community hire is a genuine curiosity for the topic that your community is built around."
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"What to look for in a community hire"
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"Keep in mind that community isn’t all about being a people person and driving engagement. A lot of community professionals function in more of an operational capacity."
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"Creating community-level goals"
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"Building on your business-level goals, the second level of your community strategy focuses on your community goals, and the programs you’ll run to achieve those goals."
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"Programs are anything that you create to connect your members to each other. It can be an asynchronous space like a forum, Slack, Discord, or message board."
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"But if your team is aligned on the belief that what’s good for your community is good for your business, and you’re measuring what you can measure, then you’re set up for success."
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"Activity: Are your members participating regularly?"
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"Value: Are your members getting the benefits that they came for?"
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"Belonging: Do your members feel connected, safe, and included?"
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"All community programs have some of the same fundamental elements, what we call the 7Ps of community:"
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"People: Who the program is focused on"
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"Purpose: Why they need this program"
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"Place: Where members will gather"
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"Participation: What members will do"
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"Policy: Guidelines and rules that will shape the experience"
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"Promotion: How members will learn about the program"
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"Performance: What success looks like"
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"Launching a community is a lot like hosting a party. You don’t want to invite everyone to your house and then get everything ready. You want to make sure everything is set up before people arrive, and host a pre-party so that when people arrive, the vibes are already flowing."
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"Your community’s pre-party is extremely important, because when anyone joins the community, they’ll observe how people are interacting with each other and they’ll replicate it."
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"Once your community is big, it will be much harder to change directions. So start small."
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"The biggest mistake I see companies make when launching a community is going too big too fast. Not only do you miss out on the opportunity to shape the cultural mold, it’s also a worse experience for your community members. They’ll be one of many, instead of feeling like they’re part of a curated group of select members. They’ll be lost in the noise and overwhelmed by the rush of people and content."
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"How small should you start? I’d recommend starting with 10 to 50 members."
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"Your ask of these community members is simple: seed quality content and conversations in the space, so that when you start to open it up to more people, the “vibes are already flowing.” New members will see the types of questions being asked, the quality of the answers, and the kinds of people who are participating, and they’ll replicate that example."
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"Ask your founding members to post thoughtful questions in the community. Then message other founding members and ask them to jump in and answer those questions. Aim to get at least three quality answers per post."
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"Tip: When you launch a new forum or message board, keep the number of channels or topics to a minimum. You may even want to start with just one “general” channel."
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"The beauty of these programs is that once you nail the model, the sky’s the limit for how big you can scale it. Google has over 1,000 Google Developer Groups around the world, for example."
Lenny Rachitsky
A founder’s guide to community
"The Atomic Network. In it, Andrew teaches us precisely how to solve the cold start problem for products that need a critical mass of users before they’re useful—marketplaces, communities, social networks, dating apps, collaboration tools, etc."
Lenny Rachitsky
The Atomic Network
"Essentially, he argues that if you can create a small, stable, engaged network that can self-sustain—an atomic network—then likely you can build a second network adjacent to the first one."
Lenny Rachitsky
The Atomic Network
"Copy and paste many times, and you can build a huge interconnected network that spans the entire market."
Lenny Rachitsky
The Atomic Network
"Whether for credit cards, multiplayer games, or business collaboration software, the “atomic network” is the smallest network needed that can stand on its own. It needs to have enough density and stability to break through early anti-network effects, and ultimately grow on its own."
Lenny Rachitsky
The Atomic Network
"To build an atomic network requires a hodgepodge of different tools. Common themes emerge when you look at Slack’s strong network launch as well as the successes across marketplaces, social networks, developer platforms, and dozens of other categories."
Lenny Rachitsky
The Atomic Network
"Many of them are counterintuitive: The networked product should be launched in its simplest possible form—not fully featured—so that it has a dead simple value proposition."
Lenny Rachitsky
The Atomic Network
"The target should be on building a tiny, atomic network—the smallest that could possibly make sense—and focus on building density, ignoring the objection of “market size.”"
Lenny Rachitsky
The Atomic Network
"And finally, the attitude in executing the launch should be “do whatever it takes”—even if it’s unscalable or unprofitable—to get momentum, without worrying about how to scale."
Lenny Rachitsky
The Atomic Network
"Once a single atomic network can be built, it becomes straightforward to build many others by repeating the same playbook. For Slack, an early-adopter team might start using the product regularly, until it starts to grow organically inside the company."
Lenny Rachitsky
The Atomic Network
"These small networks often grow in niches, slowly growing to take over the entire market."
Lenny Rachitsky
The Atomic Network
"Disruptive technologies are dismissed as toys because when they are first launched they “undershoot” user needs."
Lenny Rachitsky
The Atomic Network
"Not only will the product initially look like a toy, but as a corollary to Disruption Theory, there is a huge benefit to picking a smaller and more targeted starting point."
Lenny Rachitsky
The Atomic Network
"The next big thing will start out looking like it’s for a niche network."
Lenny Rachitsky
The Atomic Network
"It’s not that product changes are needed—it’s that the network needs to fill out to the point where the people and content are relevant."
Lenny Rachitsky
The Atomic Network
"My advice: Your product’s first atomic network is probably smaller and more specific than you think."
Lenny Rachitsky
The Atomic Network
"Not a massive segment of users, or a particular customer segment, or a city, but instead something tiny, maybe on the order of hundreds of people, at a specific moment in time."
Lenny Rachitsky
The Atomic Network
"It was similar for Uber, whose networks we tend to talk about as “San Francisco” or “New York,” but in the earliest days, the focus was on narrow, ephemeral moments—more like “5pm at the Caltrain station at 5th and King St.”"
Lenny Rachitsky
The Atomic Network
"The general managers and Driver Operations had an internal tool, called Starcraft—referring to the real-time strategy game popular at the time—that allowed them to click on a group of cars, text them “Go to the train, lots of riders!” and direct them in real time."
Lenny Rachitsky
The Atomic Network
"Whereas our typical business verbiage revolves around aggregations of millions of people—that’s usually what we mean when we talk about “markets,” “segments,” and “demographics”—the language of launching new networks should be focused on groupings of a handful of people, with the right intent, in the right situation, at the right time."
Lenny Rachitsky
The Atomic Network
"If you need hundreds of users on the same platform at once, company-wide coordination is needed. In this situation, a top-down enterprise sale that gets a company to mandate usage for everyone might work better."
Lenny Rachitsky
The Atomic Network
"At some point, if enough pieces fall in place and the flywheel starts to whirl, you’ll begin to realize that maybe, just maybe, you’ve got a real working marketplace on your hands."
Lenny Rachitsky
How To Know If You're Supply or Demand Constrained 🤹‍♂️ - Phase 2 of Kickstarting and Scaling a Marketplace Business
"Around this time, you will also begin to find that your early tactics and assumptions become increasingly less effective."
Lenny Rachitsky
How To Know If You're Supply or Demand Constrained 🤹‍♂️ - Phase 2 of Kickstarting and Scaling a Marketplace Business
"Before we dive in — how do you know when it’s time to “scale”? It’s rarely a binary decision, but few signals to look for:"
Lenny Rachitsky
How To Know If You're Supply or Demand Constrained 🤹‍♂️ - Phase 2 of Kickstarting and Scaling a Marketplace Business
"A simple heuristic is that retention and growth are healthy in your early geo/category."
Lenny Rachitsky
How To Know If You're Supply or Demand Constrained 🤹‍♂️ - Phase 2 of Kickstarting and Scaling a Marketplace Business
"You have a strong hypothesis for how to launch a new market or category."
Lenny Rachitsky
How To Know If You're Supply or Demand Constrained 🤹‍♂️ - Phase 2 of Kickstarting and Scaling a Marketplace Business
"What does being supply-constrained or demand-constrained even mean? It simply means that your biggest constraint to driving additional transactions is a lack of supply (e.g. Airbnb Homes, Uber drivers) or a lack of demand (e.g. Rover dog owners, TaskRabbit customers)."
Lenny Rachitsky
How To Know If You're Supply or Demand Constrained 🤹‍♂️ - Phase 2 of Kickstarting and Scaling a Marketplace Business
"About 40% of the companies I talked to started off supply-constrained and then continued to be supply-constrained throughout all of their history."
Lenny Rachitsky
How To Know If You're Supply or Demand Constrained 🤹‍♂️ - Phase 2 of Kickstarting and Scaling a Marketplace Business
"initially we used occupancy rate — if it was above a certain % we were supply constrained. Then, we moved to a model where we looked at occupancy rate vs. bookings rate, and when there was a downward inflection point we knew what occupancy rate that market was supply constrained at."
Lenny Rachitsky
How To Know If You're Supply or Demand Constrained 🤹‍♂️ - Phase 2 of Kickstarting and Scaling a Marketplace Business
"💥 Turbo Boosts: One-off events that accelerate growth temporarily but don’t last (e.g. PR, events, Super Bowl ads)"
Lenny Rachitsky
60 ideas to boost your growth
"⚙️ The (Growth) Engine: Self-sustaining growth loops that drive most of your growth (e.g. virality, performance marketing, content, sales)"
Lenny Rachitsky
60 ideas to boost your growth
"💧 Lubricants: Optimizations that make the growth engine run more efficiently"
Lenny Rachitsky
60 ideas to boost your growth
"⛽ Fuel: The input that your engine requires to run"
Lenny Rachitsky
60 ideas to boost your growth
"Broadly speaking, there are seven common types of Turbo Boosts—seven strategies to get a burst of attention for your product:"
Lenny Rachitsky
60 ideas to boost your growth
"1. Create a viral video"
Lenny Rachitsky
60 ideas to boost your growth
"2. Launch a mini-product, or “drop”"
Lenny Rachitsky
60 ideas to boost your growth
"Why it worked: Highlighted a problem that resonated with its target audience."
Lenny Rachitsky
60 ideas to boost your growth
"3. Run an enticing limited-time offer"
Lenny Rachitsky
60 ideas to boost your growth
"4. Coordinate an influencer-led promotion"
Lenny Rachitsky
60 ideas to boost your growth
"Reddit got its first 1,000 users when Paul Graham mentioned the platform on his blog."
Lenny Rachitsky
60 ideas to boost your growth
"Why it worked: People in tech trust Paul Graham."
Lenny Rachitsky
60 ideas to boost your growth
"5. Co-marketing"
Lenny Rachitsky
60 ideas to boost your growth
"Collaborate with another company to promote your products."
Lenny Rachitsky
60 ideas to boost your growth
"6. Organize an exciting offline experience"
Lenny Rachitsky
60 ideas to boost your growth
"Organize an in-person experience that gets people fired up about your product."
Lenny Rachitsky
60 ideas to boost your growth
"Snapchat dropped off strange vending machines at random locations around the U.S. with a limited number of Spectacles."
Lenny Rachitsky
60 ideas to boost your growth
"7. Pick a fight"
Lenny Rachitsky
60 ideas to boost your growth
"Why it worked: Created a controversy that many agreed with."
Lenny Rachitsky
60 ideas to boost your growth
"WePay’s sign-ups increased by 300% when it dropped a block of ice with the message “PayPal freezes your accounts” during the PayPal annual developer conference."
Lenny Rachitsky
60 ideas to boost your growth
"although Turbo Boosts can be a powerful tool to stimulate growth, do not fall into the trap of over-relying on them"
Lenny Rachitsky
60 ideas to boost your growth
"They are an unreliable source of growth."
Lenny Rachitsky
60 ideas to boost your growth
"They are neither scalable nor repeatable."
Lenny Rachitsky
60 ideas to boost your growth
"Getting a Turbo Boost to work doesn’t mean you have product-market fit, and it won’t really help you find it."
Lenny Rachitsky
60 ideas to boost your growth
"At the same time, if you look at the history of successful companies, nearly 100% of them invested in Turbo Boosts, and continue to do so."
Lenny Rachitsky
60 ideas to boost your growth
"the first time someone gave us permission to do things that don't scale, and it was in that moment, and I'll never forget it because it changed the trajectory of the business”"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 4: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Demand (plus a Bonus!)
"At some point, you will need to invest in driving demand. How soon you need to invest here depends significantly on the strength of Product/Market Fit (PMF), where growth is coming from, and how easily you are acquiring supply."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 4: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Demand (plus a Bonus!)
"Supply growth is coming easily — people are signing up without much convincing."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 4: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Demand (plus a Bonus!)
"Your supply is heavily underutilized — they have a ton of availability and few bookings."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 4: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Demand (plus a Bonus!)
"You have yet to prove that you are solving a problem for people — have you seen that potential customers actually find value in your “supply”?"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 4: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Demand (plus a Bonus!)
"you’re on your way to PMF. If not, consider spending more time validating that you are solving a real problem for people."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 4: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Demand (plus a Bonus!)
"one of the most fascinating learnings from this phase of the research was how impactful word-of-mouth was for early growth of most of today’s biggest marketplace businesses — it was the most important growth channel for over half of the companies."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 4: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Demand (plus a Bonus!)
"The second most common growth lever (effective for over 40% of marketplaces, and also a big surprise to me) was the marketplaces’ supply directly driving its demand."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 4: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Demand (plus a Bonus!)
"This is the primary reason these companies focus almost exclusively on supply growth — the supply created the demand."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 4: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Demand (plus a Bonus!)
"SEO, unlike on the supply side where it was only impactful for one company, was a vital early demand growth driver for over 40% of marketplaces."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 4: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Demand (plus a Bonus!)
"The next most common early demand growth lever, instrumental for about a third of marketplaces, was performance marketing — Google, Facebook, and Twitter ads."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 4: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Demand (plus a Bonus!)
"We relied on something Twitter didn’t expect people with Twitter ads to do. Most people who ran Twitter ads wanted follows or RT’s — instead we designed it to onboard people onto Breather."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 4: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Demand (plus a Bonus!)
"They DM’d me and I manually ended up onboarding thousands of people, walking them through a seven-step funnel over email. It was very labor intensive, but this hockey-sticked growth for the company.”"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 4: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Demand (plus a Bonus!)
"“We bought AdWords for restaurants once we had 4+ restaurants for a specific cuisine type. SEO was our 1 lever, and SEM was 2.”"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 4: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Demand (plus a Bonus!)
"We created a controversial product (putting values on homes and showing aerial images) and shared a lot of housing data and stats."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 4: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Demand (plus a Bonus!)
"“An early growth driver was a loop that was created by sellers who were making handmade items buying the supplies to make those handmade items from other sellers. This self-sustaining ecosystem created nice network effects and powered buyer growth early on, before more organic buyer growth happened over time.“"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 4: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Demand (plus a Bonus!)
"“The way to think  about referrals is sort of an engineered word of mouth. So, if people are already  talking about your product, referrals through which you can engineer more people talking about your  product. One way could be just making it easier. Another way could be by using financial incentives.”"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 4: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Demand (plus a Bonus!)
"Essentially the same companies that found success with events on the supply side (Airbnb and Lyft) also found success on the demand side (plus Uber)."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 4: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Demand (plus a Bonus!)
"“One of the big ideas for kickstarting growth in a market was a concept of a “rider zero.” We wanted the very first rider on the platform in a new market to be a local celebrity, like the Mayor of Topeka. This is also how we ended up doing things like Uber Kittens and Uber Ice Cream”"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 4: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Demand (plus a Bonus!)
"though less of a lever these days, moving to mobile early-on was an important growth lever for Zillow and Thumbtack."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 4: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Demand (plus a Bonus!)
"Now, having looked the twelve most common demand-side growth levers, as you zoom out and look at the bigger picture, a couple of additional meta-learnings emerge:"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 4: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Demand (plus a Bonus!)
"Supply vs. demand levers: Though eight out of twelve levers apply to both supply and demand, the impact those levers have on supply vs. demand is very different."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 4: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Demand (plus a Bonus!)
"The number of impactful levers: The median (and average) number of levers that any individual company bet on for supply was roughly two, but for demand, it was three."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 4: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Demand (plus a Bonus!)
"“The real answer in how you onboard supply or demand in a cold-start marketplace is you do whatever it takes."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 4: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Demand (plus a Bonus!)
"I designed a funnel where I got leads through Twitter, and manually walked hundreds of people of through the seven-step process."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 4: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Demand (plus a Bonus!)
"I emailed them to go download the app. Then pinged them — have you downloaded yet? Yes? Now create an account! … Have you created an account yet? I did this over email with hundreds of people.”"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 4: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Demand (plus a Bonus!)
"Then they went to local craft fairs and showed it to people, one by one.”"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 4: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Demand (plus a Bonus!)
"they did a job for a craft-related forum and noticed that there was a group of eBay sellers there that were nonplussed with eBay. So they built a prototype of an early version of Etsy, and got some of those people interested."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 4: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Demand (plus a Bonus!)
"“There are two dimensions for how to think about a marketplace, (1) Frequency of job, (2) Size of job."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 4: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Demand (plus a Bonus!)
"We had to brute forcing it with a mediocre product, which bought us the time to survive and one day focus on building a great product (which we’ve now been able to do)."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 4: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Demand (plus a Bonus!)
"“the best consumer marketplaces end up supply-constrained because they tap into an incredible amount of demand. The product/market fit is so strong that this demand puts pressure on supply.”"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 3: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Supply
"“Supply growth was all sales - door to door, walking into restaurants during their downtime, talking to owners."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 3: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Supply
"What we did was take every excuse they had for not using GrubHub, and removed it as an obstacle."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 3: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Supply
"We got to a place where there was zero downside to sign up and to give it a try.”"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 3: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Supply
"ne fascinating meta-learning that emerged from this research is how few levers individual companies found success in early-on."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 3: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Supply
"The median number of levers that the biggest marketplace companies relied on to kickstart supply growth was just TWO (and the average was 2.5)."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 3: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Supply
"One of the most significant learnings (and surprises) for me in doing this research was how important one-on-one direct sales was to most early marketplaces. Sales ended up being a crucial lever for about 60% of the companies I talked to — twice as common as the next biggest lever (piggy-backing and referrals)."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 3: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Supply
"“Direct sales was critical to get the first listings on the platform, especially in immature markets without critical mass. It enabled us to pick and choose different supply types and build the right mix of homes."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 3: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Supply
"“To grow initial supply, we asked a bunch of investors we knew to fill in a web form with their name, location, markets they like, investments per year, typical investment amount, etc.”"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 3: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Supply
"“On the supply side, referrals was about 1/3 of the first trips — and they were also the best drivers. The other 1/3 was WOM, and 1/3 was paid.”"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 3: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Supply
"Though not really a growth lever, organic word of mouth was a significant factor in the growth of early supply for about a fourth of today’s biggest marketplaces."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 3: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Supply
"“We used money to solve the problem. We’d guarantee you $40/hour to drive. All you had to do was maintain an acceptance rate of 70% and keep your app running. You could decline riders up to a point, but you don’t get paid for doing nothing.”"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 3: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Supply
"“You have to choose which side to subsidize. For Breather, that was the supply side. We subsidized it with things like furniture and locks, to increase the quality."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 3: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Supply
"“We have a policy where everyone in the company dashes once a month. In the early days, there was always a shortage of dashers, so Tony and the team dashed constantly, close to every day."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 3: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Supply
"I was surprised to learn that the tactic of bootstrapping one side of a marketplace by offering that side a tool they find useful on its own (aka “single-player mode”) wasn’t more common. But when it worked (for OpenTable, Eventbrite, Patreon), it was the most important tactic for these marketplaces to get off the ground."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 3: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Supply
"A couple of companies (Eventbrite and Airbnb) found a powerful supply-oriented loop (also known as a flywheel, or virality), which drove early supply"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 3: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Supply
"And a few companies (Airbnb and Lyft) successfully organized events/meetups to help build early supply."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 3: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Supply
"I was very surprised by how rarely SEO was impactful in driving early supply growth — only being a key lever for Eventbrite."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 3: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Growing Initial Supply
"There were two things in common: (1) They had all the supply, and (2) they had ugly products and brand. The lesson we took away from this was that all that matters is supply"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 2: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Supply vs. Demand
"We postponed building brand and delightful product until we had liquidity."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 2: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Supply vs. Demand
"Step 2: Decide which side of the marketplace to concentrate on 🧐"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 2: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Supply vs. Demand
"My second major learning from this research is that the vast majority of successful marketplaces focused almost all of their resources on growing supply early-on (80% of the companies I interviewed, 14 out of 17)"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 2: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Supply vs. Demand
"In all of these cases, the companies found that their supply was either driving its own demand, or word-of-mouth was strong enough to take care of demand."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 2: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Supply vs. Demand
"And finally, an important lesson from Patreon that sometimes you’re better off admitting you aren’t a marketplace after all"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 2: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Supply vs. Demand
"“A lot of people wrongly think of Patreon as a marketplace."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 2: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Supply vs. Demand
"Fortunately, we corrected our vision and our metrics in time to match the reality of our product market fit. Realizing we weren't a marketplace was the best thing that happened to us."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 2: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Supply vs. Demand
"It allowed us to take ‘Discovery’ (find a creator to pledge) off our roadmap, because we realized this would misalign us with creators as those creators got big. Similar to Etsy's ‘graduation problem.’ It allowed us to focus on building an apps and developer platform (analogous to Wordpress/Salesforce/Shopify/Segment etc.) instead. Something that YouTube and Facebook, with their competing products, could not do.”"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Part 2: Cracking the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣 - Supply vs. Demand
"on’t try to create something else. Don’t try to launch a new city yet. Don’t change anything. What is the exact same thing I can duplicate or extend? What else can this customer go do after? How can I double the size of the transaction. A lesson of marketplace companies --  if you are in a place with a decent market size, then just double down on what’s working. You don’t need to do anything new."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Phase 1: Crack the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣
"A marketplace business is one that (1) connects demand (i.e. people who want a thing) with (2) supply (i.e. people who have that thing), and (3) leads to a financial transaction."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Phase 1: Crack the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣
"Network effects: The more users you get, the more useful/cheap your product becomes, the more users you get (e.g. Lyft/Uber vs. taxis)"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Phase 1: Crack the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣
"Barrier to entry: Once they have a strong network effect, it becomes increasingly difficult to enter or replicate the marketplace (e.g. Airbnb vs. hotels)"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Phase 1: Crack the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣
"Efficiency: No inventory means cheaper to operate (e.g. Airbnb vs. hotels)"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Phase 1: Crack the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣
"Scalability: No inventory means easier to scale (e.g. Rover vs. dog hotels)"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Phase 1: Crack the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣
"Flexibility:  No inventory means easier to pivot (e.g. Uber Black -> Uber X)"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Phase 1: Crack the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣
"Phase 1: Crack the chicken-and-egg problem 🐣"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Phase 1: Crack the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣
"it’s challenging to get the flywheel going. You must convince one side of the marketplace to commit before the other side."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Phase 1: Crack the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣
"The first major learning that emerged from this research is that, with the exception of one company, every single marketplace that I interviewed constrained their initial marketplace to more quickly get to critical mass."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Phase 1: Crack the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣
"the best way to get big is by first going small."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Phase 1: Crack the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣
"The research points to two ways to constrain a marketplace: (1) by geography, and (2) by category."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Phase 1: Crack the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣
"“Similar to how the founders first focused on New York early on, when Airbnb expanded internationally in 2011, we focused on creating critical mass in just a few markets in which we were quickly able to unlock supply and demand.”"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Phase 1: Crack the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣
"“We created a playbook for opening up a new market, which got set by the Launcher team (led by Austin Geidt). The first thing they would do when they launched market is to figure out supply. The goal was to get over 30 drivers, shooting for ETA of less than 15 minutes.”"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Phase 1: Crack the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣
"“We ultimately discovered if we had enough restaurants in a market, we’d have enough value for the diner to use OpenTable. Dining is local, so concentration was key."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Phase 1: Crack the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣
"We followed this in a super dense and a very precise way. This cafe, at this location, at this time, is working. Duplicate this exactly."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Phase 1: Crack the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣
"“Find your core use-case, and gain traction there. For Eventbrite, this was tech mixers and conferences. As you got invites from events, you started to see the name Eventbrite over and over and it became a thing. We focused on this, based on seeing where most early traction was.”"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to Kickstart and Scale a Marketplace Business – Phase 1: Crack the Chicken-and-Egg Problem 🐣
"Broadly, there are six categories of North Star Metrics:"
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"Revenue (e.g. ARR, GMV): The amount of money being generated — the focus of ~50% of companies."
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"Customer growth (e.g. paid users, marketshare): The number of users who are paying — the focus of ~35% of companies."
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"Consumption growth (e.g. messages sent, nights booked): The intensity of usage of your product, beyond simply visiting your site — the focus of ~30% of companies."
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"Engagement growth (e.g. MAU, DAU) The number of users who are simply active in your product — the focus of ~30% of companies."
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"Growth efficiency (e.g. LTV/CAC, margins) The efficiency at which you spend vs. make money — the focus of ~10% of companies."
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"User experience (e.g. NPS) The measure of how enjoyable and easy to use customers find the product experience, overall — the focus of ~10% of companies."
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"Type of company: Marketplaces and platforms Most common North Star Metric: Consumption growth"
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"Airbnb, Uber, Lyft, and Cameo, focus their NSM on the volume of transactions (nights booked, rides taken, and orders placed, respectively)."
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"Platforms that instead charge a flat fee per usage, like the cloud communications platform Twilio and the fintech giant Plaid, spotlight activity: in this case, messages sent and bank accounts linked."
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"Type of company: Paid-growth driven businesses Most common North Star Metric: Growth efficiency"
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"Type of company: Freemium team-based B2B products Most common North Star Metric: Engagement and/or customer growth"
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"Type of company: UGC subscription-based products Most common North Star Metric: Consumption"
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"Type of company: Ad-driven businesses Most common North Star Metric: Engagement"
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"Type of company: Consumer subscription products Most common North Star Metric: Engagement or customer growth"
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"Type of company: Products that differentiate on experience Most common North Star Metric: User experience"
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"While Robinhood and Superhuman rely on net promoter scores (NPS) — which reveal how likely a user is to recommend a product — Duolingo looks at a metric it calls “learning competency” using the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), which is the international standard for measuring language ability."
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"Shopify, for example, focuses on growing customers (i.e. “active merchants”) rather than on consumption (the number of transactions)."
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"Miro, the visual collaboration software, uses “number of collaborative boards” as its North Star Metric, which indicates that the core of its growth strategy is inter-organization virality."
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"Similarly, Amplitude, a B2B subscription product, focuses on “Weekly Learning Users” — users who consume and share more than three charts per week."
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"Using “jobs to be done” to determine your North Star Metric"
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"To nail your output metrics, calibrate the input metrics"
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"Rarely can you or your team directly or solely impact a North Star Metric, such as increasing active users or increasing revenue."
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"Instead, these metrics are the output of the team’s day-to-day efforts, such as increasing the conversion of a flow, or driving more traffic to the site by running more Google ads."
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"That’s why these are called output metrics and input metrics. Once you have your North Star Metric (an output), your next step is to break this metric down into its component parts and decide which metrics (the inputs) to invest in."
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"With such granular and actionable input metrics, you can actually come up with concrete ideas and align teams around them as goals"
Lenny Rachitsky
Choosing Your North Star Metric - Future
"What to look for Pre-Product"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to know if you've got product-market fit
"Visible excitement"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to know if you've got product-market fit
"2. People are willing to pay for it now"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to know if you've got product-market fit
"What to look for Post-Product"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to know if you've got product-market fit
"1. Retention: Users stick around"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to know if you've got product-market fit
"If that percentage is over 40%, you have PMF.”"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to know if you've got product-market fit
"3. Exponential organic growth"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to know if you've got product-market fit
"4. Cost-efficient growth"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to know if you've got product-market fit
"5. CAC < LTV"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to know if you've got product-market fit
"you can repeatably acquire customers for a lower cost than what they are worth to you.”"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to know if you've got product-market fit
"6. Customers clamor for your product"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to know if you've got product-market fit
"If it flattens, that means there is a group of customers that are finding value in your product, which means you have PMF, at least for those customers."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to know if you've got product-market fit
"The ability to acquire users at less than the amount of money you make from that curve represents your true product/market fit."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to know if you've got product-market fit
"Different types of products have different points of product market fit, so it’s important to find the retention rate of some comparable products that have been able to significantly grow to find the right benchmark for you.”"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to know if you've got product-market fit
"2. Surveys: Users say they’d be very disappointed if your product went away"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to know if you've got product-market fit
"“For enterprise businesses, at the end of your free trial, you should pull the trial. If the customer doesn’t scream, you don’t have PMF. Because if they aren’t going to buy it at the end of the 30 days, they aren’t desperate. And if they aren’t desperate, you don’t have PMF.”"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to know if you've got product-market fit
"‘do any users love our product so much they spontaneously tell other people to use it?’"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to know if you've got product-market fit
"7. People are using it even when it’s broken"
Lenny Rachitsky
How to know if you've got product-market fit
"The customers are buying the product just as fast as you can make it -- or usage is growing just as fast as you can add more servers."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to know if you've got product-market fit
"it appears that the market is pulling product out of the startup, whereas in the latter case, the startup is pushing its product onto the market. VCs will make inferences about product-market fit accordingly."
Lenny Rachitsky
How to know if you've got product-market fit
"Early on I had product-market fit anxiety. Do we have it? How will we know? There isn't really a moment I can point to where that changed. We've just been growing fairly consistently, and gradually the how-do-we-keep-up anxiety got bigger and bigger until there wasn't time left in the day to worry about whether we had product-market fit."
Lenny Rachitsky
What it feels like when you've found product-market fit
"Market “pull” comes in many forms:"
Lenny Rachitsky
What it feels like when you've found product-market fit
"The intensity of the pull is a factor of the fit (how good your product is at solving the user’s problem) AND initial market size (is it niche or broad)."
Lenny Rachitsky
What it feels like when you've found product-market fit
"how do you know when you’ve built something people want?"
Lenny Rachitsky
What it feels like when you've found product-market fit
"Sign 1: 🔥 Sudden and significant pull from the market"
Lenny Rachitsky
What it feels like when you've found product-market fit
"Within days of testing it we knew we had a winner. Where before we were struggling to get traffic, all of sudden we couldn’t keep up. Our previously prodigious amounts of inventory were suddenly not enough. Engagement soared, churn went dramatically down. Everything started working!"
Lenny Rachitsky
What it feels like when you've found product-market fit
"zero marketing budget and we were growing like a weed. Word of mouth was uncontrollable"
Lenny Rachitsky
What it feels like when you've found product-market fit
"Sign 2: 🎢 Steady and compounding pull from the market"
Lenny Rachitsky
What it feels like when you've found product-market fit
"Initial signs of product-market fit feel a bit like a calm breeze, while true product-market fit feels like a powerful wind at your back, accelerating you forward and compounding over time.”"
Lenny Rachitsky
What it feels like when you've found product-market fit
"If your users are urgently calling and demanding access to your product, you have clearly built something of real value. That’s product-market fit.”"
Lenny Rachitsky
What it feels like when you've found product-market fit
"Sign 3: 🥳 Hitting a meaningful milestone that proves the idea is working"
Lenny Rachitsky
What it feels like when you've found product-market fit
"I distinctly remember walking into Philz one day overhearing a small group of friends talking about Product Hunt and their upcoming launch. I teared up."
Lenny Rachitsky
What it feels like when you've found product-market fit
"We did have retention curves that looked pretty good from early on, especially for paying readers, and writers with paying readers."
Lenny Rachitsky
What it feels like when you've found product-market fit
"7. Build a community pre-launch"
Lenny Rachitsky
How the biggest consumer apps got their first 1,000 users - Issue 25
"Just seven strategies account for every consumer apps’ early growth."
Lenny Rachitsky
How the biggest consumer apps got their first 1,000 users - Issue 25
"To execute on any of these strategies, it’s important to first narrowly define your target user."
Lenny Rachitsky
How the biggest consumer apps got their first 1,000 users - Issue 25
"There was a very significant use of street teams early on at Uber. They went to places like the Caltrain station and handed out referral codes."
Lenny Rachitsky
How the biggest consumer apps got their first 1,000 users - Issue 25
"Evan started showing it to people one on one, giving tutorials, explaining why it was fun, even downloading the app for them."
Lenny Rachitsky
How the biggest consumer apps got their first 1,000 users - Issue 25
"Evan was willing to try anything to get users. When he was home in Pacific Palisades, he would go to the shopping mall and hand out flyers advertising Snapchat. “I would walk up to people and say, ‘Hey would you like to send a disappearing picture?’ and they would say, ‘No,’” Evan later recalled."
Lenny Rachitsky
How the biggest consumer apps got their first 1,000 users - Issue 25
"Key question: Who are your early target users, and where they currently congregating online?"
Lenny Rachitsky
How the biggest consumer apps got their first 1,000 users - Issue 25
"Key question: Do your friends fit into the target user group? If so, have you invited them yet?"
Lenny Rachitsky
How the biggest consumer apps got their first 1,000 users - Issue 25
"Reid intentionally seeded the product with successful friends and connections recognizing that cultivating an aspirational brand was crucial to drive mainstream adoption."
Lenny Rachitsky
How the biggest consumer apps got their first 1,000 users - Issue 25
"Key questions: Does your product rely on UGC? Consider curating the early community. Is your value-prop incredibly strong? Consider throwing up a waitlist. Is your product innately social? Consider relying on existing users to invite new users."
Lenny Rachitsky
How the biggest consumer apps got their first 1,000 users - Issue 25
"1. Go where your target users are, offline"
Lenny Rachitsky
How the biggest consumer apps got their first 1,000 users - Issue 25
"2. Go where your target users are, online"
Lenny Rachitsky
How the biggest consumer apps got their first 1,000 users - Issue 25
"4. Create FOMO in order to drive word-of-mouth"
Lenny Rachitsky
How the biggest consumer apps got their first 1,000 users - Issue 25
"Accelerate Your Product Management Career"
Lenny Rachitsky
Accelerate Your Product Management Career
"Q: Which startups are best at content-driven growth, and what can I learn from them?"
Lenny Rachitsky
Content-driven growth
"In my experience, of these three milestones, it takes the longest to progress through the first milestone, going from an entry-level PM to a senior PM"
Lenny Rachitsky
Becoming a senior Product Manager
"I’d guess that the median amount of time is 3 years, followed by 1-2 years to become a manager of PMs, and another 2-3 to become a Director."
Lenny Rachitsky
Becoming a senior Product Manager
"Strategy Autonomy Nuance"
Lenny Rachitsky
Becoming a senior Product Manager
"Newer PMs tend to prioritize work based on how much incremental value it adds to the product, while senior PMs prioritize work based on how much it moves the product towards the long term vision."
Lenny Rachitsky
Becoming a senior Product Manager
"The first step down this path is to make space for strategic work."
Lenny Rachitsky
Becoming a senior Product Manager
"There are three parts to a strategy: (1) vision, (2) strategic framework, and (3) roadmap."
Lenny Rachitsky
Becoming a senior Product Manager
"To get started with a vision, sketch out a storyboard of your future customers using your future product and highlight how much better their lives are compared to the status quo."
Lenny Rachitsky
Becoming a senior Product Manager
"spending a while to explain just how painful things are today."
Lenny Rachitsky
Becoming a senior Product Manager
"To get started with the roadmap, write down a rough plan for the next few year’s worth of work, ideally grouped into strategic themes."
Lenny Rachitsky
Becoming a senior Product Manager
"Block off the time to create a strategy now!"
Lenny Rachitsky
Becoming a senior Product Manager
"Strategy"
Lenny Rachitsky
Becoming a senior Product Manager
"Autonomy"
Lenny Rachitsky
Becoming a senior Product Manager
"Luckily, there’s a template that helps avoid all these problems:"
Lenny Rachitsky
Becoming a senior Product Manager
"Nuance"
Lenny Rachitsky
Becoming a senior Product Manager
"The more senior you get, the more you’ll be faced with decisions where the right answer is “it depends.”"
Lenny Rachitsky
Becoming a senior Product Manager
"ask questions until you understand why she cares."
Lenny Rachitsky
Becoming a senior Product Manager
"To practice this skill, when you make a decision, find nuances where a different decision would be better."
Lenny Rachitsky
Becoming a senior Product Manager
"My top five tips for leading effective PM team meetings:"
Lenny Rachitsky
Leading a PM team meeting - Issue 19
"Do you even need a PM team meeting?"
Lenny Rachitsky
Leading a PM team meeting - Issue 19
"Be crystal clear on the goal"
Lenny Rachitsky
Leading a PM team meeting - Issue 19
"Meet often enough, but not too often"
Lenny Rachitsky
Leading a PM team meeting - Issue 19
"I’d suggest one to two times a month."
Lenny Rachitsky
Leading a PM team meeting - Issue 19
"Make it easy to find, and to add to, the meeting agenda"
Lenny Rachitsky
Leading a PM team meeting - Issue 19
"Make it fun"
Lenny Rachitsky
Leading a PM team meeting - Issue 19
"Q: Do you have any advice on running a recurring PM team meeting? My startup has recently grown to four PMs and I feel us getting slowly out of sync since so much more is going on now."
Lenny Rachitsky
Leading a PM team meeting - Issue 19
"Great retention is THE scalable way to grow a product. It's the best indicator of product-market fit, it is the most important factor in a user’s lifetime value, and high retention drives all of the best acquisition strategies. It's growth's equivalent of the triple-word-score"
Lenny Rachitsky
What is good retention - Issue 29 - Lenny's Newsletter
"Although retention is widely considered to be the most important metric to get right when building (and investing in) a business, it’s also one of the least understood."
Lenny Rachitsky
What is good retention - Issue 29 - Lenny's Newsletter
"GOOD and GREAT User Retention"
Lenny Rachitsky
What is good retention - Issue 29 - Lenny's Newsletter
"This is because the bar to build a massively successful business is high. Frankly, it’s why most startups fail."
Lenny Rachitsky
What is good retention - Issue 29 - Lenny's Newsletter
"There are cases where a lower retention rate is OK:"
Lenny Rachitsky
What is good retention - Issue 29 - Lenny's Newsletter
"You’re just starting out:"
Lenny Rachitsky
What is good retention - Issue 29 - Lenny's Newsletter
"You have low CAC and marginal costs:"
Lenny Rachitsky
What is good retention - Issue 29 - Lenny's Newsletter
"You’re not building a venture-scale business:"
Lenny Rachitsky
What is good retention - Issue 29 - Lenny's Newsletter