“I Don’t Have Enough Users, Thus My Product Is Not Ready” — How To Solve The Catch-22

You know the usual catch-22 of some products — not all of them though.

“This social network of mine would work 100%! It’d be the best product ever — IF I get this critical mass of users…”

Because there aren’t enough users -> product not yet valuable. And so on.

Finding yourself in a situation like this can either mean you come up with a solution, or you give up. Here’s one of the multiple solutions available:

Add something to your product (that can go as far as a new product in itself, mind you) that allows you to garner the critical mass of users you need.

Think about it like a party. You’re the host — you need to make sure everyone’s right.

If you do enough to attract the critical mass of the people on one side (say riders, in Uber’s example), then the other side will come (in this example, the drivers).

It’s your party, so everyone has to feel good. No one will feel good if there’s only 3 drivers and 2 riders. But a party with enough riders is just fine.

And when I say party don’t take it as a 100% compatible metaphor. The answer, out of the metaphor, is as follows.

Think about LinkedIn in the early days. Remember their case.

LinkedIn found itself in this situation. Build a massive CRM of professionals and let them interact. But why would they even join in the beginning, if the interaction thing cannot be happening?

The answer, for LinkedIn, was this: the online CV solution.

Put all your qualifications, skills and put your employment timeline — and now your CV is online, a few clicks away.

That got enough people into the party when the music wasn’t even rolling. And the next thing that happened? The music started playing.

If your product is in this situation, what could be that thing that allows your people to enjoy the party by themselves?


About Ch Daniel

I run Chagency_, an experiences design agency — we help SaaS CEOs reduce user churn. I write daily on this topic and in similar areas. Here are my best pieces.

If I’ve helped you, follow me here and reach out: LinkedIn | Twitter | Email | Quora | YouTube 

I’ve also founded an app that went 0-200K users in its 1st year — The Legit Check App. See everything I do here: Chdaniel.com

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