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About the Episode
Today’s guest talks about his mistake of focusing on technology rather than traction early on in his company and also reveals the exact tactics he used to get his first 5,000 users. Also, listen to how a funding deal fell apart and how he was able to stay positive and get the deal back together.
Reach Out to Branch Out
For Trace, David’s team needed skiers and snowboarders and the first thing he did was to go to Google and typed in ‘ski club’. He found 1500 or so ski clubs located in the US and emailed each individuallyasking them to download the app, give feedback, to talk about it in their clubs or to link Trace in their websites. He wrote 200-300 emails everyday for about a week and a half. About 150 clubs responded and the app was shared through word of mouth and they ended up getting their first 5,000 users.
Believe in Your Product
Right before Christmas, December 22nd, a deal was supposed to be closed between Trace and their investors. They have made prior commitments basing on this deal but up until January, nothing had come to pass. It was daunting and they had to think back on what they had to do, budget through to keep the company afloat, and called folks to help them follow up with investors until they closed the deal off after a month. All through these times, David just kept believing in what they were building and focused on the vision that this is a project that he will be working on long term and not just a passing fad.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to build a mobile app?
Focus on traction.