90,000 Neighborhoods and Counting: How Nextdoor Hacked Growth with the USPS
This article first appeared on Startup Grind
Nirav Tolia, Founder and CEO of Nextdoor, joined the Startup Grind Global Conference — and as reported on Nextdoor, led to the closure of a few Redwood City streets. The social network for people in your town, Nextdoor has exploded to 90,000 neighborhoods in the US — with a tactic you might want to try for your next marketing money-sink.
The trick is this: on signup, Nextdoor allows users to select neighbor houses on a map. Once selected, these marked houses trip Nextdoor’s USPS-powered growth hack: Nirav’s company will mail a physical invitation letter through USPS to every single invited house — in the process spending millions of dollars.
Scaling Like Mad
According to Nirav, Nextdoor is a different type of network — and so much scale differently. On Facebook, you’re connected to your friends; on LinkedIn you’re connected to your business contacts; on Twitter you follow the people you aspire to know.
On Nextdoor you’re connected to people in your physical neighborhood and proximity.
The way the Nextdoor team looks at it, every neighborhood is its own startup. They’re not connected to other neighborhoods nor even connected internally.
But why is that important?
30% of Americans can’t name a single neighbor, let alone have their neighbor’s email address — usually needed to refer users to new applications and platforms. Viral growth is impossible. Thus, enter the USPS.
Avoiding Schlep Blindness
Nextdoor is the quintessential example of doing things that don’t scale: they spent the first year calling every house they were onboarding, and a lot of time in peoples’ living rooms trying to grow and refine the product-market fit. The results were inspiring: 175 neighborhoods on board.
Fast forward through years of the grind, Nextdoor’s is aiming to serve the total 150,000 to 175,000 neighborhoods in the US now in the works, and is already more than halfway there.
You might not know your neighbors name, you might not have their number or email, but you surely know which building is their house. Now that’s how a location=based network with 30% of people not even knowing a single neighbor’s name was able to scale and think about their growth outside the box.