Question: What is the most important thing a tech entrepreneur can do to acquire their first ~1,000 users faster?
Price Smart and Market Aggressively
"Startups fail quickly when they price extremely competitively (or try to undercut competitors). With narrow margins, it is hard to budget for meaningful marketing campaigns that will allow you to drive traffic and conversions. Therefore, the best advice is actually making sure you can afford to invest in marketing that will allow you to fill your sales funnel."
Leverage Your Peers
"If you can’t get friends and family to use your service, it might not be viable. Most startups should pass this test first. Post on your social media and get your friends to share your invite code or sign-up link. There are also communities or forums for sharing new ideas where you can easily find early and forgiving adopters eager to get aboard the latest trend."
Focus on Quality Over Quantity
"At first, you should work toward providing the best user experience possible for the current fans by observing behavioral patterns and constantly optimizing. Running a budding product that has 10 diehard fans will be more valuable to the team and more interesting to investors than having 1,000 mildly interested users. Tailor it to their needs and they will be inclined to spread the word."
Build "Growth Hacking" Into Your Product
"Growth hacking revolves around the various tactics you can use to acquire growth. Start by building viral components into the design of your product, such as encouraging or allowing people to share something from your product on Facebook, which likely reaches hundreds to thousands of their friends. You don't need to force people, but you should design the option to be available when they need it."
Invest in Press
"One of the most important things an entrepreneur can do to acquire users in the early stages is getting relevant press. An informative article in a magazine or online newspaper will draw potential users' attention to your company, while also reinforcing its legitimacy as a new technology. PR that targets your industry or niche is a great way to let a lot of people know about your startup."
"Focus entirely on customer acquisition. Iterate fast, double down on what's working and kill what's not working."
Treat Each One Like Your Only Customer
"Our first batch of beta customers received our product for free. Nonetheless, we treated each of them like they were our only customer. We wrote individualized emails and called them for feedback. On their birthdays, we sent them cards. The beta users then turned into paid users, and they became one of our best sources of new business referrals."
Build for Existing Communities
"The first version of your product should solve a real problem for a real segment of people. The fastest way to connect with these potential users is to engage with existing communities during the product development process. Use tools like Dribbble and Behance to share early mockups and wireframes. Make these early adopters part of your product team."