How will I get the first 10,000 users for IOU One?

Recently I am reading the Traction Book. The book gives me well-rounded views on most channels available for a startup founder. To apply what I have learnt, I decide to make a marketing plan here to write down how I will grab my first 10,000 users from 0 for IOU One. For the current stage the most important task on hand will be validating the idea from users. Really pinpoint the problem that’s faced by the users rather than imagining it myself.

My target audience:
Youngsters and working class.

The problem statement:
Settle small debts between friends

The solution:
My solution will be setting up an IOU on phone. If your friends owe you money, you can ask them to pay back later either by real money or do you a favor. Alternatively you can ask a friend to do you a favor and you’ll pay back later.

The planning:

  1. From 1 – 100: I will find friends to try it one by one. The key to success is to find the suitable early adopters here. It will be crucial to define (1) who will be the product lovers, (2) what will be the best adoptable scenario (1 – 3). My estimated scenarios will be lunch or coffee with another friend (1 to 1 relationship). Travelling with a group of friends (1 to n relationship) will be another painpoint, but I will just try to solve 1 to 1 creditor:debtor at the moment.iOS working prototype is ready at this stage.

  2. From 101 – 1000: After phase 1 revision, marketing positioning and the corresponding marketing materials (website & facebook page) should be revised. I will go further to work on Android version. At the mean time beta users should be collected during waiting. When Android version is ready, organic onboarding (posting to forums, blogs) should be tried to test market acceptance again.

  3. From 101 – 3000: User churn and retention should be checked again. Direct emails should be sent to users requesting for interview.  Small scale marketing (Facebook ad, Google ad, society sponsorship) can be tried to fill in little amount of users. After reviewing work effectiveness, it’s time to try pitching in startup competitions and events.

  4. From 3000 – 10000: PR campaign should be prepared for mass user adoption. Keep product refinement, measure user churn, engagement and retention, viral factors.

  5. Fund raising should be prepared.

Let’s see if my planning will work.

p.s. @ 23/5/2016 just have a new idea for engineering as marketing. A small tool can be built to check the credit of a person. By entering the person’s facebook, you can check his background, whether there is any negative post about borrowing stuffs and not returning.


Also published on Medium.

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