Chicken and egg problem with launching a platform

Aleksandra Sztemberg
36 replies
We've recently launched our analytics platform. We are trying to figure out whether we should first focus on gaining customers who would use our Templates to get one-click analytics solutions or focus on the community who can build those solutions on the platform. The more Templates we have, the more attractive the product is for the paying customers. But until we have more paying customers, it is not that attractive for the community of builders. In the future, we would like to make it possible for the builders to make money per Template. A model is similar to Salesforce, but for Analytics. Currently, we address our UVP to the paying customer's side, but we also added information that it is possible to build your own Templates. So the pitch for paying customers is: Turn your data into Insights with a single click Pick your Template to get actionable insights instantly, with the use of AI. No code, no data team required. The pitch for builders is: Use Stormly’s AI-based building blocks to create custom no- code analytics solutions, or reuse the existing ones in the form of Templates. Do you have any thoughts on this? Or maybe a similar experience and you would like to share your learnings? Which side should we start with?

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GTM @ Chili Piper
I'm running Orapa.co - a pay-per-meeting marketplace where sales reps book sales calls, and startups pay only for good sales calls. So quite familiar with the problem. I first get customers than figured out how to get the supply side which will deliver work. Of course, I asked a couple of sales if this would be interesting for them, but my focus was on the begging to get customers! Andrew Chen has a great post on solving the chicken-and-egg problem. https://andrewchen.co/marketplac...
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Co- Founder @ Stormly
@stan_rymkiewicz Cool, thanks for the article!
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Building Clapup.me
Is there option to build templates by yourself initially to pitch in early adopters?
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Co- Founder @ Stormly
@sreekanth850 Sure, that is what we did. We have a few very powerful templates in place and thanks to them, we managed to get the first clients on board.
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Arc Co-Founder and CEO
We had a really rough go at this with my first startup (it was a news aggregator so there were other problems). From someone who did the wrong things, so hopefully this can be helpful, but I prioritized the customer facing side of our platform but did not take the time to understand that whichever side I would cater too, their needs would grow. I thought I could fundraise my way out of this issue but that didn't happen. What we're doing with my current startup (to some modest success) is to focus on the side of the platform that has (1) the highest operational sustainability, (2) immediate (and ideally long-term) economic sustainability, and (3) simplest path to customer love. For whatever it's worth it sounds to me that building the builder's side is the core competency of the business and the ultimate proposition (so that seems from my limited pov, to be the place to focus)? Again, hope this is helpful!
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Co- Founder @ Stormly
@jeff_han1 Thanks for your tip Jeff! We have built infrastructure for builders https://www.stormly.com/developer, right now deciding if we invest our efforts into that side. Currently UVP of the product speaks mostly to customers using ready Templates, but we might also A/B test what will work best. All the best to your current startup!
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Co-Founder @ Stormly
@jeff_han1 Interesting angle, I like your three consideration points. Based on that I think you're right, and the builder's side should be the focal point. Once we have the community on-board, the rest should be a lot easier.
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Arc Co-Founder and CEO
@aleksandraszte2 Sounds like a great plan! My mentor always reminds me with A/B testing: "be disciplined and be sure to give enough time to learn." Hope that is helpful for you as it has been for me.
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Arc Co-Founder and CEO
@teetee 💪🏻
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Founder of Keep Fit Eat Fit Wellbeing
Alex, build and manage your own templates and keep adding to the list, this is the great failing of Amplitude, they have 4. We have a data scientist with us now, She just codes scenarios from RAW data.
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Co- Founder @ Stormly
@mark_nicoll Thanks Mark! We are focusing now on that. Working on A/B testing, Forecasting and Webshop related Templates. In case she is interested in building on Stormly, our documentation is available here: https://www.stormly.com/developer
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I'd say focus on customers. Perform some surveys and figure out whether they problems actually comes from the problem you see (lack of templates) or maybe from something entirely else. As @anastasia_shch told me several times: "you are not your customer". You may think you know their needs, but you're no tin their head. It is possible their find other aspects of your product more problematic.
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Co- Founder @ Stormly
@anastasia_shch @doomhammer Well said, Piotr! Lack of Templates was our challenge a few months ago, that is why we invested our resources in building Developer documentation. Right now, we came back to the point when we are building new, powerful Templates to attract more paying customers, so that then the community can join while the product grows.
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@aleksandraszte2 you have such a beautiful website! And well-done on the product. I think finding the right balance is difficult at this stage, but you can focus on a smaller segment of your customers that would need these specific templates. And @doomhammer has the point - talking to your users will be helpful. But be careful with asking them directly for suggestions - you might endup with a neverending list of demands and invest all your time in it. In my opinion, you have plenty of templates to attract customers.
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Co- Founder @ Stormly
@doomhammer @anastasia_shch Thank you! :) Makes sense, talking to the customers is always a good idea, point is- many of them don't know what they want exactly and they expect a ready solutions. But any suggestions and feedback is always worth a lot!
@aleksandraszte2 typical customers, never know what they want :) maybe try digging into their work process, their business operations and goals? This can give you an additional idea how and what insights they use to inform their decisions and help create new templates. Maybe try looking into other stakeholders involved.
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Co- Founder @ Stormly
@anastasia_shch Haha indeed! Good idea, thanks for your tips!
Awesome! I'm looking to read singular experiences in the comment section. http://www.dailybinaryhub.com/
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UX & Business Consultant
Perhaps do some keyword research for recurring analytics-related questions on Google (neilpatel.com, keyword planner, ahrefs.com, etc etc) and have some guys & girls from Fiverr create your templates + write a blogs on them? Content like that should spread like wildfire on certain LinkedIn groups..
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UX & Business Consultant
Oh, and if you end up creating templates for Google Analytics / Google Ads / Facebook Ads etc you may want to include the Google Tag Manager "recipe" for collecting the data too!
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Co-Founder @ Stormly
@olivierjanssen Agree that focusing on content should work best for us. There's a lot of niches we can solve common analytics questions for, e.g. mobile gaming, where we can build content around.
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Product Manager
Thing with templates is that everyone has their own little wishlist. Two advices: 1. Offer and advertise customization 2. Incase prospects do not have templates, offer a discount in return of building with them
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Co- Founder @ Stormly
@arun8raj Good tip! It happens that when we offer that we will build custom templates for the new clients, even without charging them for it, they get "scared", as they think it means committing before even starting to use the product. Therefore, we plan to add this as a separate service, with a transparent pricing "per custom template".
Co-Founder @ Stormly
@arun8raj Thanks for the tip! Looks look a good alternative, basically like an agency model, but faster/cheaper for the end-client.
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Product Manager
I can understand it very well, as I faced this situation two years back. I feel you can put in a pricing strategy that allows you to get paid yet offer value. So say based on the current templates you have a value of x% could be offered , you can offer that, promising later with more enriched data/templates a value could be increased and even the pricing if they wish for... If you can convince the users that they would see "% growth" it woudl be a win-win for both of the parties.. Hope it makes sense :-) Best of luck :-)
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Co-Founder @ Stormly
@samikshaa Great advice! Currently we have the standard plans, but we're thinking to provide one custom built template for each customer, so this should align with your idea too.
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Product Manager
@teetee nice to know... let me know if you need help in that . Would be happy to help
Founder & CEO - Insidermediacorp.com.
How about making the initial company built templates free so that people can use it ... For later, additions and templates by third party developers can be put under a pricing plan... Not exactly similar but how Gsuite legacy had free unlimited emails for the set of customers who used it first, but subsequent Gsuite plans are not
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Co- Founder @ Stormly
@gauravbora Sounds like a good idea, but in this case- a data analytics product- we would get ourselves in quite a high cost for keeping those free users, simply because we would have to pay to store their data. Also, from our experience, giving everything away for free will not bring many paying customers in the long run.
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Marketing, Behavioural economics, Nocode
I always suggest to look for potential partnerships. They work well not only with marketplaces but with every new product launch. Like, just recently I advised a friend of mine to partner with Earthhustice and their air pollution fight program. This partnership added a new attractive angle to the key message of my friend's company, on one hand. And on the other hand, guaranteed his startup an access to audience that otherwise he wouldn't get. I would think of a partner your platform could collaborate with to solve your chicken and egg problem.
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Co- Founder @ Stormly
@anab Good one! We recently partnered with Segment to solve the data onboarding challenge, now looking into more integrations, for example working on a Template for Shopify users, to offer them an easy way to forecast their webshop data and build a recommender model with a single click. It is a great idea, as both parties can benefit from it!
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I am the great Mongolian conqueror
That's an interesting problem. I recall seeing something similar on https://www.techsmoothy.com/wapt... Also on https://www.scholarshipful.com Maybe it might be of interest.
I am the great Mongolian conqueror
Or maybe it was https:www.starteasycrypto.com ? Regardless, thanks for the great post.
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