Yesterday, I hosted our first weekly live stream for ArcBlock. During the stream, an audience member asked what our upcoming marketing strategy is.
This is currently the most important task for us: we have already made great products, and the next task, which is even more important and challenging, is how to showcase the fact that "our products are excellent" and promote them on a large scale and with high efficiency.
My response in the live broadcast is that our strategy is to start with those non-scalable small things - such as:
- I started live streaming, interviewing, and demonstrating;
- Our engineering team and I started doing demonstration videos, training courses, and demonstration applications together;
- Streaming of "live code session" to show everyone how I actually develop applications using our platform;
- Establish our own support community, where our engineers directly answer and solve everyone's questions;
- Incubate our own application team and developed complete applications using our platform;
All of these things are difficult to scale as "small things", and they are somewhat inconsistent with the popular "narratives" in the cryptocurrency industry, endorsements from well-known opinion leaders, and extensive marketing team promotions, etc. Some people may worry that ArcBlock needs scalable growth, but is it feasible to start with these non-scalable small things?
Do things that don't scale
Actually, "Do things that don't scale" is the most effective secret for a high-growth company. This is not my own invention, but a summary from Paul Graham, the founder of Y Combinator. However, as a serial entrepreneur who has been lucky every time, I deeply believe that this is the most important "secret" to achieving success.
Paul Graham's original essay can be found here, and it may be the most important one in his series of entrepreneurial methodologies. It is worth reading carefully and occasionally revisiting (which is what I do myself).
As a successor to Paul Graham, Sam Altman gave a speech a few days ago on how a service can acquire its first 100 users, which is essentially a practical application of the methodology of "starting with those unscalable small things."
Why can "small things that cannot be scaled up" actually form a large scale?
The success of the ArcBlock platform needs to be built upon the success of applications. Only when the applications built on our platform are successful can we prove the value of our platform, and that is our success. In the early stages, what we need most is not a large number of applications, but even a few applications that can achieve great success. Once there are successful applications, they will attract more developers to join, and quantity will no longer be a problem. Does a successful application bring more user growth and revenue increase than 100 not so successful applications? In fact, the user growth and revenue increase brought by a successful application can far exceed that of 100 unsuccessful applications, even surpassing 1000 or even 10,000! This is the charm of a "hit" app. Why can starting from those non-scalable small things actually lead to scalability? One important secret is: these non-scalable small things themselves are indeed difficult to scale, but the results they produce can be replicated and scaled in batches!
Our marketing efforts are not aimed at making the most developers and users aware of ArcBlock, but rather at allowing the developers who need ArcBlock the most and can discover its value to find ArcBlock and utilize our advantages to achieve success for their applications. Therefore, I and our engineering team personally serve developers to better understand the pros and cons of our product and understand the pain points of developers. These seemingly non-scalable small tasks can actually be replicated on a large scale. Our videos and tutorials can be continuously replicated, and our developers can continuously attract more developers and users through the success of their applications. The foundation of all this lies in being able to start from scratch in a solid manner, rather than empty "narratives" and "celebrity" endorsements that do not understand developers. I believe that if we only do this, success is almost a guaranteed path. After all, there are so many success stories. My own past startups, the well-known companies that graduated from YC, Stripe, AirBNB, ... all went through this process. Why can't we do it again?!