Product & Startup Builder

An audience of 53,651

Added on by Chris Saad.
This post has been going around for the last few days and I think it's a fascinating discussion.

Basically the premise is as follows:

As more and more entrepreneurs start building what Fred Wilson referred to as second derivative companies, I think they run a big risk of designing a product/service that is targeted at too small of an audience. Too many companies are targeting an audience of 53,651. That’s how many people subscribe to Michael Arrington’s TechCrunch blog feed. I’m a big fan of Techcrunch – and read it every day. However, the Techcrunch audience is NOT a mainstream America audience.

I think that's true.

As Brad says in Feld Thoughts getting the first 25,000 users does not mean you've made it. They are the users who are trying everything out as soon as it comes out (thanks to TechCrunch).

The question is, can your product or service grow its user base over time (by actually adding ongoing value to people's lives in a way that keeps people coming back and encourages additional adoption from a broader audience).

A comment in that post even refers to the first 25,000 users as possibly having a negative affect on product development because their feedback may potentially 'geekify' things too much - makeing it inaccessible to the mainstream.

While I will say it would be great to have 25,000 users (or even 53,651) - I tend to agree. In the next few months it will be a key concern for us to...

a) Get 25,000 users that turn into 50,000 users
b) Make sure we resist the urge to geekify Touchstone for the early adopters

I think, at least in theory, that Touchstone might have 'mass market' potential because it is aimed at people who aren’t necessarily information junkies (although it helps them out too). It's aimed at those that don't necessarily want a 'news reader' but rather want a way to stay in touch with things (News, Torrents, CRM, CMS etc) with a heads-up-display while they work.

Touchstone also helps to 'Get Rid of RSS'.