User Experience Design · Lean startup

How to solve chicken and egg problem and launch your product successfully?

Ali Loghmani Use AI to increase productivity

April 2nd, 2014

I have been working on an idea for a while now and I know that there is a chicken and egg problem in its business model. A few people advised me that first I need to grow a user base but for that you need a product for developing which you would need capital, that's obvious. So, it is easy to say that you should forget the idea. But I kept working on it and after a while a I learned about the lean trend; only develop things that matter with angel money and launch. Well, that sounded reasonable. I tried the lean methodology and the first attempt failed. Well, being the stubborn that I am I refused to quit. The first attempt failed because of many reasons. One of the main reasons that stands out is moderate UX/UI. This time around I am investing a lot in UX and UI. I believe that the only solution to chicken and egg problem is not huge capital, there should be other ways too. Please share your experience here if you think perfecting UX and UI and nailing the features for the same would help. BTW, I am actively looking for UX/UI cofounders, advisors, business developer, and marketing. 

Ray Hernandez Product and Marketing Leader-Mobile Technology and Software

April 2nd, 2014

this is a very good question, without knowing details of your product (consumer product, B2B product), the UI and UX have a huge role in the products success.  Something to also consider is that UI is part of UX, but not all of UX.  things like support, FAQs, and other small things play a role in the broader User Experience.

I would start by listing out the core features you want to perfect using UX/UI, identifying the top 3-5.  Launch those 3-5 and watch for feedback.  Then proceed to the rest of the list, knowing when you get feedback that could either be a new feature or one to move up the priority list.

Bottom line, UI is critical these days where users are spoiled by the amazing UI of mobile apps.

John Sechrest

April 2nd, 2014

There are many ways to drive a user base before you have a product. For example, my favorite rant on this topic is based on a content strategy. How to do filter your audience to know who cares about the problems that you care about? With a combination of blogs, websites, twitter, G+, linkedin, you should be able to gather thousands of people. If you can not gather thousands of people who care about the problem you are solving...... Then why are you building the product?

Ben Sweat Director, Product at Idealab

April 2nd, 2014

Here's a recent post that might help: http://andrewchen.co/2014/03/27/how-to-solve-the-cold-start-problem-for-social-products/

Monica Borrell CEO and Founder at Cardsmith

April 2nd, 2014

personally, I think lean is useful in clarifying the problem. I think if you are innovating it isn't always so useful in defining the solution. I agree with others here that finding people who are interested in solving the problem and bringing some of those into your fold as customer evangelists is the way to show growth potential, perhaps even before you have a working product.  

Thanks for this post because this reminds me that I need to fire a couple of my customer evangelists who don't fully share the passion for solving the (same) problem I'm working to solve. 

Michael Brill Technology startup exec focused on AI-driven products

April 2nd, 2014

Thanks Ali.

Maybe you should separate the issues of (1) building a two-sided marketplace from (2) providing a great user experience. I'd put all my energy into (1) until you can convince yourself and everyone who matters why you're going to nail it. The most awesome user experience doesn't matter if there's no one in your marketplace.

I'd definitely read the link @Ben posted and gobble up as much info as you can on building two-sided marketplaces (there are several threads on FD and a ton of great Googleable material).

imho, it comes down to Single User Utility. We all know that after you build your network, you'll be phenomenally successful but on day one how/why does someone get material value from the service? If they don't then you've got to figure out how they do. This is not an exercise left to the reader... if you can't figure it out, then you really don't have a business.

Usually, but not always, the answer is building out one side of the network first and it's typically the supply side as those are the folks that want to be found and getting their data tends to be much easier.

...Michael

Duane Nickull Chief Marketing Officer, Co-Founder at Cheddar Labs

April 2nd, 2014

The person you need is one with a title of "evangelist", a spreader of the good word of your business and an ambassador.  A good evangelist will create a rapid paced viral adoption of your platform.  I used to do this position at Adobe and even with such large companies, evangelists were essential to move goalposts.

Khalil Laghari Project Research Position

April 2nd, 2014

I agree with you, product gets more user acceptance if it follows proper UX design, testing, analytic and digital marketing process. Sometimes, product is not a salable or marketable  commodity or idea, but using UX research, one can learn pain-points and can transform a failing product into a successful one. 

PS: I would like to discuss with you on the possibility of join project. I have been doing UX R&D for last six years. Let's catch up and discuss more on this.

John Anderson

April 2nd, 2014

I'm working on a product to help with this exact situation.  It's designed to help you get a UI prototype up and running very quickly and inexpensively.  It allows you to experiment with UI's and see exactly how it will look on a native device.  This allows you the benefit of a 100% native UI "visualization" that's so real to life and with so much interaction that anyone viewing it will think it's the finished app.

Check it out at www.ti-browser.com.


Michael Brill Technology startup exec focused on AI-driven products

April 2nd, 2014

Ali, probably half the people in this group have failed creating a marketplace... and the other half just haven't failed yet. So you're ahead of the game! ;-)


Ali Loghmani Use AI to increase productivity

April 2nd, 2014

Well said Ray. I believe we are on the same wavelength. That is pretty much what I am doing. BTW, our product is a consumer product. We are trying to assemble a few services that already exist and create a bundle for consumers. This may defy the concept of lean on a level. But, knowing that surrogate business models are already making money validates rationality of the idea.