Monday 1 July 2013

Growth and Distribution

One of the many joys of working in technology company is seeing your product used by actual people. Right from the beginning when the initial beta users start signing-up there is a sense that all the hard work (thinking+coding+coffee) might come to something. Then suddenly as user concentration increases the first few sparks of social interaction between users begins. Finally, when traction sets in, entire communities of people start engaging around an idea and then the next idea and on and on it goes.

I got my first real exposure to rapid scale and the interaction between a swarm of users when I built a scavenger hunt game called SRCH for Starbucks. The game was coded, tested and ready to go when Starbucks released their first clue. Within minutes tens of thousands of people descended on our application trying frantically to win one of the coveted prizes. They frequently turned to Twitter to communicate with each other where they'd trade strategies, vent their frustration for losing or gloat when they won.

Since starting at RESAAS back in 2011 as employee #1, we've all worked really hard to build an enterprise social platform that works well within the dynamics of the real estate industry. From just a handful of beta users in the early days to a thriving community of real estate professionals today, RESAAS has grown by leaps and bounds. 

Great products need great technology but even more than that they need great distribution. Simply finding low cost channels that put your intended audience in front of your product is not enough. The competitive advantage exists for those companies who are able to optimize around the conversion and retention of newly acquired audiences. It requires deep analytical insight about actual user behaviour along with a rigorous process for testing, iterating and optimizing at a rapid pace. This is why we setup a Growth Team at RESAAS. It's purpose was and still is to accelerate user growth across the platform. To illustrate how far we've come from just a handful of beta users, the following real-time data shows RESAAS user activity across the US:

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