In our startup (Little Brown Box Works) we've always thought that the hardest part of running everything was us actually building a product. Now, don’t get me wrong, it had its challenges and we didn't come short of ours (speaking with our developers, layouts and storyboarding). All very time consuming things but much needed. We thought the hardest part was over when we finally had finished our story boarding process. Not…the…slightest. We came to understand what the harder part of running a startup was truly, and that was us getting our name out to the masses.

Now, you can believe from day till dawn that you’re running the hottest startup in the world and be it you are you have to get others thinking this as well. And that ladies and gents, is where the challenge starts. We being an early stage startup truly had to learn how to do this in such a way that it works for us. Because there really is no magic formula to this. It’s different and unique for every company. Startup or not. We looked into some methods in our research on just how others did grow from their startup stage to where they are now. And one key thing we’ve found was that they are started in a central location. Be it a college campus or a general community or event.

We noticed this was the case for almost every company we’ve looked into Twitter, Snapchat, Tinder, etc. And what it was became clear to us, in two little words. Critical Mass. Now, you might be asking yourself, what exactly is Critical Mass? From what we’ve learned critical mass is the central location of which something awesome starts or happens. A core area from which something is focused to flourish out of.

Getting critical mass for your startup is very important because everyone needs to start somewhere, and where you start should be dominated by you. Getting people to use your product or service in a focused area, rather than branching out across the U.S. For us, it’s our college campus and our service is our new app TWAGD (Today Was A Good Day). We had to find a way to truly engage the college campus in such a way that they loved our product and wanted to continue using it. So we did a few things to gain a critical mass here on campus. We hosted our first pizza giveaway here on campus. The deal was, you showed us you downloaded TWAGD we gave you a free slice. Awesome right? And that it was! That day alone, we gained over 100 new users and that continued to grow today!

We noticed something that day. People had begun to tweet about the event and post it on all their other social networks. It was truly an eye opener for us. We then learned what gaining a critical mass meant. Paid advertisement is one way to go about it but it’ll never beat a friend telling you about a mobile app or any type of service. Today we still are grinding it out with more events and bringing to the campus more brand awareness. People love TWAGD and what it stands for and we know if we can nail this critical mass here it’ll spread like wildfire. Remember to just keep it custom. Do things your way and see what works best for your business.

-Everette

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