Seeding a Community…JumpPost’s Playbook

Posted on March 2, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Seeding a community or marketplace is a challenge that many consumer internet companies face at the onset of a launch.  You build a product, design an experience, but without a bit of liquidity in the platform, early users don’t get the utility they deserve.  As such, this may seem like a very simple concept, but founders need to rely on their close friends and friends of friends to be the earliest users and evangelists of any product.

Even though we expect our friends to be our earliest advocates, you can’t just rely on them to “spread the word.”  It’s not that they don’t want to help, but more that people are busy, and they don’t realize how important and valuable their early participation is to your success.  Further, without a bit of structure, or a clear ask and guide to help them promulgate your product, your friends won’t know exactly what they’re supposed to be doing.

Late last night, we “pre-launched” my new company, JumpPost.  I say “pre-launch” because we are only collecting inventory, and not exposing the “demand/browse” side of our platform for a couple weeks.  I sent the following note to a small handful of people who I know would do just about anything I asked of them.  In less than 12 hours, it’s amazing to see the level of response and activity that they have engaged in on JumpPost’s behalf.  I will report back with more data on the success of this “seed strategy,” but feel free to take this playbook and implement it should you be building an early stage consumer internet product.

Email to close friends reproduced below:

Subject: the time has come…

Imagine spending 6 months preparing to open a restaurant, building out the space, hiring the people, designing the menu, and on the day you open your doors, you have no food to offer your customers. has built out the space, hired the people, designed the menu, and now I need your help to make sure we have enough food when it comes time to properly open our doors.

Today, if you visit, you will see we have revealed a portion of our site (yes, plenty of bugs…be patient w us).  The purpose of this early site is to empower you, our closest friends, to create our first listings. I have one simple ask: if you are a renter moving out in the next six months, create a listing right this second.

I will now share with you the reasons why you should create a listing

1) I am calling in a favor.  Create a listing on JumpPost for no other reason than because I am asking you to.  It means everything to me and will take you 2 minutes.

2) If you demand a second reason, fine.  Doing so will likely earn you $500 for almost zero effort.

3) If you demand a third reason, fine.  When we open up our full site, your listing will be featured ahead of everyone else’s.

My second (i know i said “one simple ask”…i lied), and more important ask is that you become a voice for our product.  I challenge and beg that each one of you personally recruit 10 of your friends to create a listing.  You are not asking them to spend a dime, simply giving them the gift of a $500 payday.

The time has come for me to rely on my closest friends.  As you all know, JumpPost is building a business to empower consumers and kill brokers.  Please, become our early users and evangelists.  Join us.  Let’s [explicative removed] do this.

Oh, and as a special thank you for your efforts, anyone who can send me a list of 8 or more people they signed up to the site is welcome to join us at our “Peter Luger’s Launch Dinner.”  Date and time TBD, but we’d love your help in celebrating once we open up JumpPost to the world.

Note to blog readers: The Peter Luger’s dinner is a simple calculation which estimates the value of an early listing based on assumptions around conversion of listings into revenue.  Basically, I’m saying I am willing to spend ~$100/8 to acquire a supply side listing pre-launch.

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4 Responses to “Seeding a Community…JumpPost’s Playbook”

RSS Feed for Jordan Cooper's Blog: startups, venture capital, etc… Comments RSS Feed

Congrats on the soft-launch coop!

Fantastic, this will be very useful for my upcoming launch.

i had so much fun

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    I’m a NYC based investor and entrepreneur. I've started a few companies and a venture capital firm. You can email me at (p.s. i don’t use spell check…deal with it)


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