My first product lesson: frequency is everything

I was on a call with a couple of startup founders the other day.  They are just starting and looking for some feedback.  They had a polished pitch.  The idea of special private events seemed exciting, but something about it didn’t sit well with me.  I couldn’t pinpoint it right away, but eventually it came to me.

“How often will people use your product?”, I asked them.

The answer was clear to all of us, not very often.

It brought back memories of when Gojee first started.  We built a website that helped people make better decisions whenever they grocery shopped.  Our idea made logical sense, give people a report card telling them how healthy their shopping trip was, and overtime our users will purchase healthier products and be happier.

There was just one problem with that idea and the special events idea pitched by the founders — we all overlooked the frequency factor.  A truly engaging product, almost always has high frequency of use.  Only then can it take on an addictive element and become a habit for a user.

Facebook, twitter, foursquare, any media sites thrives on frequency.  It was one of the first product lessons we learned when we started Gojee and it is one we repeatedly ask ourselves.

Are we building something that will make a user come back in a short period of time?

The only exception to this question is if infrequent use is just part of the existing norm.  For example, vacation rentals, airline bookings are infrequent but nature.  But maybe the next disruptive player in these industries are startups that figures out how to increase the frequency of use for travel and rentals.

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  1. Couldn’t have said it better.

    This is a code that I’m trying to crack for Cultation.

    As an art based website, I would think that the response will be to produce better art.

    But is it that simple? That producing better product will that give you frequent users?


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