Starting From Zero: How to Build Momentum for Your Marketplace Startup
Marketplace startups are like a two-man bobsled. You, the founder, are the brakeman: Your job is to push and push a 400-pound steel bob to the head of the racetrack as fast as you can. Then, just as your muscles start to fatigue, you jump in, keep your head down, and hope for the best.
In a bobsled race, that battle against inertia is called the push-off. In the startup world, we call it recruiting your first users—and if you’re launching a marketplace, you’ll face twice the resistance:
- Your marketplace won’t be valuable to suppliers if there’s no demand
- Your marketplace won’t be valuable to potential customers if there’s no supply
On the bright side, marketplaces become more valuable as they grow (think Facebook or, well, the Internet), so they tend to keep on growing. I saw this happen firsthand while building Roomi, a platform for shared housing: It took me nearly a year to get my first few thousand users—and just another 18 months to reach half a million. CONTINUE.....