[Independent Development Frontline] Obtain the first 1,000 users using "clumsy methods"


Using "stupid methods" to win users' hearts, wisdom and persistence in entrepreneurial stories

On the road to entrepreneurship, sometimes the simplest and most "stupid" methods can bring unexpected results. When faced with the problem of project promotion, you might as well draw inspiration from the stories of big guys. Today, let’s review a few cases of successfully acquiring early seed users using “clumsy methods” and see how they emerged from their predicament.

The bottleneck that NBNB encountered in 2009 is a problem faced by many start-up companies: how to attract users' attention? With revenue of only $200 a week, they found the listing photos on the website to be similar and unattractive. To solve this problem, they decided to use a seemingly clumsy but very effective method - to take high-quality photos of the landlord in person. This not only increased the attractiveness of the listings, but also doubled the website’s revenue in just one week, reaching $400 per week. This is the beauty of the "stupid approach": solving users' problems through real actions, thereby winning users' trust and support.

Also facing the cold start problem are early Q&A websites. How to break this deadlock without users and content? The founders and their team have adopted a self-asking and answering approach, filling the site with high-quality questions and answers. This seemingly clumsy method not only accumulates valuable initial content for the website, but also attracts more and more users to stay and interact. This tells us that sometimes the "dumb way" is the best way because it can directly and effectively solve the problem.

Renren’s early promotion strategy was also a typical case of “stupid approach”. In order to improve the authenticity and completeness of user registration information, they used school activities to conduct draws and required users to complete their information before they could participate. Although this method required a certain amount of cost and time, they eventually succeeded in acquiring 800 real users. What’s more worth mentioning is that they further expanded their user base by initiating free buses to take students to the train station. This "stupid approach" that goes deep into users' lives and solves actual needs allowed Renren to stand out in the early competition.

These entrepreneurial stories tell us that no matter how the times change, "stupid methods" still have strong vitality. It may not be the fastest and most efficient method, but it is the most direct and sincere method. Today, in the pursuit of rapid growth and short-term profits, we should return to our true nature, pay attention to user needs, and use "stupid methods" to win user recognition and support.

Finally, if you are interested in independent development and want to know more information and strategies about independent development, welcome to join our independent development community. Here, you will get to know more like-minded developers, product managers, designers and other colleagues, and discuss every aspect of independent development together. Let's use the "stupid method" to create our own wonderful world!

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