Growing your App from 0 to 10,000 Users

How to grow your app from 0 to 10000 users in 2 months

Over the last three months, a portion of the Kiwi team has been running an experiment to create an intelligent application. Our app, Pepper, uses our users' happiness levels to:

Three product buckets were used to encourage growth:

To do this we first determined the method of interaction; a new medium of communication are chatbots; they allow for a low cost interaction touch point for new users, since they are using an app that already exists on their phone (in our case, Facebook messenger).

What we landed on was the use of Facebook Messenger's message api to allow for user specific messaging based on time and context. We also discovered that relative images and classification is possible.

Think of chatbots as the dynamic app or apps 2.0 similar to how dynamic interactive websites were web 2.0.

So, how did we grow our user base at such a rapid rate? We focused on one thing: delivering value for the user in-terms of reflection and logging (digital intelligent diary). At the core, we needed to ensure two things: privacy and transparency.

To show our users we cared about these two things, we were upfront with privacy at the onset of use and provided daily reports of entered information, like the one below:

Pepper daily happiness report

To attract users, we focused on two areas of attraction:

1) Content specific blogs:

2) Ambassador's for target users at universities:

Pepper university ambassadors

With these two methods in mind we were able to grow to 10,000 users in 60 days.

Pepper growth month over month

Another interesting data point is post push to attract initial users we found that word of mouth was the strongest method for growth:

Pepper user acquisition channels

Hope this brings some insight to build a focused small user-base.

Here is link to the intelligent app if you want to give it a go (for some fun send a selfie to it - you can match yourself to a celebrity!): Pepper, find the little things that make you happy.

John David Chibuk

Toronto, Canada |

Entrepreneur in machine learning and sensor based software development (>10 years). Background in engineering, tech with professional experience in North America and Europe.