The danger of early hype in a startup

Building a startup is like building the plane after it’s taken off. For consumer networks it's vital the plane is working before the hype, because cracks can be fatal: for example Meerkat & Houseparty over-reliance on notification led to their downfall once millions joined.

Avoid hype as much as you can until you feel like you’ve got a product and flywheel that is really working. When your product is ready, your flywheel can spin faster as new users sign-up, and you can retain those users.



The Danger of Early Hype in Consumer Social

A startup can be mortally wounded by early hype:

  1. Hype-market fit: When you have a hoard of users all with different use-case you end up optimising for the wrong things.
  2. Hitting the hype air pocket: Because of an unpolished product the perceived experience drops below the actual experience. It becomes uncool, people become skeptical and leave. It’s easier to teach users something new, than to overwrite something they already think.
  3. Catalysing competition: When your company is being hyped up the incumbents start paying attention. And they may execute faster and better than you. 



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