You need a strong Product Marketing, BizDev and Sales org to drive demand. You need to have them coordinate and be lead (via influence) by Product (not the other way around).
Filtering by Category: Business Development
In the early days of a b2c startup, doing bizdev activity for b2b2c distribution can feel so fun and gratifying.
It can feel like high-momentum, effective work that allows you to lock down glossy brands and partnerships who might get you big batches of users through the door. It also feels great to announce them to friends, family, media etc.
Often times, though, the reality is much, much different. Why? Because...
They often move very, very slowly.
They demand new features and behaviors that are tangential or orthogonal to your core product and business strategy.
They change their mind mid-stream
If you eventually get to ship the partnership/co-marketing program the results/conversion are often much, much smaller than you expect
If the results are marginal (which they almost always are at the beginning), your partner will often give up quickly and not put in the effort to optimise
For all these reasons, and many more, bizdev partnerships for a b2c app is really something to push off for later as a long-term bet and moat.
Instead, there's an axiom that says "Sell your own product'
Often times this feels like a harder, more data driven grind. However if you crack it (and you need to crack it!), it's high-scale, repeatable and has a huge, huge upside. It also forces you to really polish your product so that the user acquisition and retention really works.
My friend just asked me how Uber scaled so fast. My off-the-cuff answer:
Huge ambition/vision/appetite - this animates and motivates everyone and everything
First principles thinking - this leads to ignoring legacy constraints and encourages new innovative thinking/solutions
Fearless execution with ownership/accountability at the edge - which allows everyone to move fast without waiting for permission
I’d also add...
Bias towards action - move fast. Have the meeting this week, not next week
Hire strong operators that, in-turn, hire strong operators.
Of course, these are some of the same things that got it in trouble too.