Reality Check: User Acquisition Doesn’t Just Magically Happen

In the wake of Facebook’s $1 billion acquisition of Instagram there’s been no shortage of articles propagating the myth that if you simply build the right product, users will come.

“Don’t be fooled,” writes Brian Balfour, co-founder and CMO of Boundless. “These stories are the exception, not the rule…. Finding scalable acquisition channels is a time consuming and strategic effort.” In a guest post for Dharmesh Shah’s OnStartups blog, Balfour outlines five mistakes to avoid in finding your initial customer acquisition channels. Along the way he debunks the “throw stuff against the wall and see what sticks” strategy, argues why paying for users has gotten a bad rap, and skewers the “fairy tale stories” of A/B testing, for good measure.

For an invigorating dose of reality and for more tips on how you can actually speed up your user acquisition, read Balfour’s full post here.

Related Content from OpenView:

Expansion stage companies are sometimes faced with a decision of whether to focus on user acquisition and engagement or take the time to sort out their economic model. For insight into the pros and cons of waiting, read this post from the OpenView Blog. Another question that may come up is how customer development actually relates to user acquisition. To find out, read this OpenView Labs post.

photo by: Kara Allyson

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