The Road from 0 to 1,000,000 Users on Untappd
On Wednesday of this week, Untappd reached a pretty amazing milestone. We reached 1,000,000 registered users on the service. When Tim and I first started Untappd back in October of 2010 - I specific remember telling him:
"I’m not sure anyone is going to use this thing. [Who wants to check-in in their beers anyways]".
Well 1 million of you have just proved me completely wrong.
It’s an insanely humbling experience to be part of something that is run by only 2 people, working part-time to get to this point of the application lifecycle. Through Untappd - I have the opportunity to met some amazing users of Untappd and they have helped it grow to where it is. I have such an incredible passion for Untappd - and to see how many of you share the passion the same way is an amazing feeling. Untappd is the where it is because of you - and I’m forever grateful.
it’s been a long journey, and we have hit many, many potholes, road blocks, and accidents. However through this process, I have learned so much and how. I wanted to share a few things I’ve learned with you and our experience on getting through the mud to see the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow:
Users are #1 Doesn’t matter what your building, your users drive growth. Always listen to your users, and while that seem like an easy one, it’s really important actively listen. Just having a user be able to contact you and have a normal conversation can help sign up their friends. I spend around 30% of time each month, talking with users, answering help desk and fixing problems. To this day, my email is on the App Support page for all our native apps, and I always take the time to respond. It’s the little things like this that keep your users happy knowing that there is voice behind the curtain.
Trolls are everywhere There are always going to be trolls, but don’t ever feed them. When we first started Untappd, it was really hard for me not to protect or defend a decision we made on Untappd - but the more feed them the more they grow. Don’t fall in that trap. Listen, learn and move on.
It’s hard work, but love to do it Behind the scenes, Untappd is pretty complex. We have over 350k beers in the database, and new ones created daily. We have team of 40-50 super users that processed over 65,000 beer/brewery merges with over 157,000 edits. While it’s a complex system and it involves sending tons of my spare time to keep things running and moving, I love every minute of it. I’ve been known to bring my laptop to bars on the weekend to make sure things work smoothly. It’s lame - but someone has to do it - and that someone is me.
Never settle, always move forward One of the things that is tough about Untappd, is that it’s not my full-time job. I’m like Dexter, but I just don’t kill people - I program at night. While it’s easy to sit back and say you have 1,000,000 users - it really isn’t our style. We are always pushing the boundaries, improving forward. I always turn to those users who have subscribed to our Supporter program and think about what they would love to see in the service that they are paying money to see grow. It’s these people and the users of Untappd that keep me going to building the best product.
It’s been amazing ride from 0 - 1,000,000. We’ve migrated to new hardware 3 times, had users check in over 60 million times, in every major country in the world. We’ve seen users from NYC to Australia share in the love of beer through Untappd and I couldn’t been more happy be part of it.
Thanks for your support and here is to the next million!