This is Week 02 of 09 of Astra’s Y Combinator Startup School Journal.
This week the content and focus for Startup School shift to product and growth. The weekly Tuesday lecture included a talk by YC CEO Michael Seibel on Building Product and a second on How to Find Product Market Fit by David Rusenko of Weebly. Both presenters shared some insightful experiences and reinforced the importance of perseverance. Both talks were chock full of tactical advice which was super valuable for us at our current stage. The most difficult challenge came from this pair of prompts by Michael:
Here’s how we captured the problem construct for Michael’s example with Twitch and our take for Astra. Bold indicates the narrowing of the first statement, which for both Twitch and Astra adds more detail to the customer who can be addressed now.
Clearly: It’s hard for people to broadcast live video.
Narrowly: It’s hard for people with a laptop, internet connection, and a webcam to broadcast live video (and Twitch makes it easier).
Clearly: It’s hard for people to save money.
Narrowly: It’s hard for people who rely on mobile banking and who have multiple bank accounts to save money (and Astra makes it easier).
In addition to attending the above lectures, after working out some organizational kinks for our Group of ~20 companies this week we were able to meet twice via video conference for our weekly Office Hours. It was pretty cool to hear such a broad set of one-liners from such a diverse crowd of founders. We have representatives from Seattle, the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Brazil in our group and our advisor is from France – all connected through SUS via technology! Most of the conversation surrounded our goals for the program and what our weekly progress metric was going to be.
Tip: Start simple (see last week’s entry on MAV’s vs MAU*s) and when in doubt refer to:
Outside of Office Hours we:
Our user stats and our user interviews told us both quantitatively (11% conversion) and qualitatively (🤦♂️) that we needed to improve our onboarding flow. Primarily this surrounded our assumption that a guided path from sign up to profile verification was best. That was plainly wrong. We had the UX specs so this week our product focus was all about cranking out the changes to our new app version and testing the heck out of it. Our goal was to get it done and ready for release this week:
Our growth efforts this week were really all about brute force communication. I would spend days coordinating our various channels to founders, users, and potential users, leaving nights for our development push. That’s probably not sustainable every week but the time put in this week resulted in us almost hitting our weekly growth target for MAU*s as well as a decent queue of users who are almost verified or ready to try the app when we release our next version next week.
Per our refined dashboard, this week’s user stats:
Our target was 6 Verified Users to keep pace at a 36% weekly growth rate. Close but we will need to make it up in the coming week. Time to get our new app version released! 🚀
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