The first successful product I built was CashBoss. Here are the things which went right:

  1. Right timing; Entire app industry was optimising for downloads; far more demand from companies than supply of users/installs.

  2. Plugged gaps in existing competitors,the market was hot; Instead of innovating on features, we reimagined how an incent application should work, we just shipped an MVP with features we had identified as gaps in our competitors. Accomplished by reading 1000s of play store reviews and interviewing users who used these applications.

  3. Growth levers; Since we were just acquired by Times Internet, I could leverage our relationship and get all the TIL apps to promote on our platform and promise revenue from day 1.

  4. Super fast GTM; Built and shipped the product in 3 months. Moving fast was key. Dozens of competitors entered soon. Most were too late.

  5. Willingness to shift product direction/vision when market shifted; Within 6 months of launch we realised that the entire industry was moving towards retention than downloads. Without wasting time we changed the the offers/incentives to reflect that and managed to consolidate our position in the incent apps category.

  6. Super cheap CAC; when you distribute money, incentive users to do tasks, it is easier to acquire customers for cheap. We were running facebook campaigns which cost us Rs. 7 CPI, which we recovered in a couple of days. We knew the industry was such that cheap acquisition trumped retention. Once users were done with the tasks which fetched them money, and earned X amount, they would churn. So instead of banging our heads on retention, we built models on how to acquire users cheap.

A lot of things have to go right for your startup to scale. We were lucky to find a hot market. The rest we managed with hard work.

More in this post: How We Scaled CashBoss To 500K downloads in 5 months