Ask me anything!

(Andrew Chen) #51

(Andrew Chen) #52

(Nina Luu) #53

Hi Andrew,

We are an early stage startup looking to raise seed round but have trouble determining our valuation and to completely back up the number of web traffic we forecast. Do you have any suggestion on how a company pre-revenue can forecast valuation? Is there a way to forecast web traffic on a pre-launch product?

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions!

How to determine startup valuation?
(Holly Cardew) #54

Hi Andrew,

I would like to hear (read):

  1. Your thoughts about 500 startups for companies that have traction and revenue.
  2. Any tips you have for a startup going into 500, so they can make the most out of the time in the program.

Thank you!

Feedback re 500 startups and any incubators, for that matter
(Michele Cipriani) #55

Hello Andrew,
we are actually based in Italy.

Our product is good, we refused early seeds in order to bootstrap, collect tractions and then try to raise a good seed.
In Italy investments ranges are all scaled down…almost useless.

What do you think is the best method to attract US investors for a European startup?

How to raise US investor money for a startup based in Europe
(Joel) #56

How do you research established businesses’/websites’/apps’ early growth models?

I haven’t found so much written on this subject that seems reliable. There’s so much PR mythology that gets spun about companies and even an investigative book like Hacking Twitter just sort of fast-forwards over how they actually got users. The Internet Archive is fascinating but there’s a limit to what it can tell you.

How to research early growth models for successful products?
(Maitrik) #57

Andrew, we just launched a deals site for startup tools ( . Would love to know your thoughts on how to get first 100 repeat users. Or any other thoughts you may have on this.


How to get the first 100 repeat users

Is is possible to know the date of your blog? I didn’t see any of it.

(Catarina Almeida) #59

Hi Andrew,

Thank you for this opportunity.

I am looking for a platform/service that combines: acquisition, analytics and engagement for a 500K users mobile app.

Nowadays I’m using Adjust to know acquisition channels and Mixpanel for analytics and engagement. Adjust fits my needs but Mixpanel does not, especially on the engagement/notifications part. I don’t feel it is practical, user friendly and most of all it doesn’t match info from analytics with the notifications area…

Would you recommend a different platform? I’ve heard about Appboy but I know its not very strong in analysis.

Thank you in advance,

Best Regards,


Hi Andrew, I saw your post recently about investing in dating companies. You have summarized several surface-level issues accurately. Thanks for sharing. However, there is a big piece of the puzzle missing from your analysis. (And it’s not the free versus paid although that was also not mentioned much.) Actually, very few people know what is going on behind the scenes at the major dating sites (which includes standard dating and “adult” dating). The FTC is about 10 years behind the times and hasn’t figured it out either. Amazingly, even though the BBC and other investigators have exposed what I’m referring to, nevertheless the media largely ignores it, as if “if it is still in business, it must be legitimate”. So my question is: do you know exactly what I’m talking about (and didn’t mention it) or have you deliberately skipped this in your article?

(Andrew Chen) #62

This might be one of the most useless comments I’ve read on the internet. Yes, there are many other illegitimate issues on dating subjects, but in the main, for bay area dating startups, they are not participating with that. That’s my core audience so my essay is about that.


Dude, I’m trying to help you privately so you can learn about something you claim to know about. But have it your way, wiseass.

(Stephen Willis) #64


I cannot speak for Andrew or the moderators, but you just bought yourself a one-way ticket out of this forum being that disrespectful to a highly renowned professional.


Hello Andrew!

I am brazilian, i work for a Cosmetic Brazilian company - Natura Cosméticos -. I have been doing an MBA on Innovation Management and i read something about your theory - Minimum Desirable Product. Do you have any material - article, paper or something to share with me, so i can learn more about it?

I would like to understand which is the best context to apply this instead of MVP. And how to apply, when we have a kind of “smart object” (or smart device for babies and moms) as a product.

thank you so much.



(Sid) #66

Hey Andrew, in your essay “New data shows losing 80% of mobile users is normal, and why the best apps do better”,

you say this:
“Another way to say it is that users find the top apps immediately useful, use it repeatedly in the first week, and the drop off happens at about the same speed as the average apps.”

Somehow it doesnt make sense to me. Dropping off from ~70% to ~50% is not the same as dropping from ~29% to ~4%. In the former case, assuming we start off with 1000 users, we go from

700 to 500 over 90 days, which is 200/700 = 28% dropoff…
vs 290 to 40 over 90 days, which is 250/290 = 86% dropoff

What are your thoughts?


Churn rate for mobile apps, do you use a % or absolute numbers?
(Osvaldo Ostermann) #67

Hi Andrew, I read your article about the Next Feature Fallacy and I think you are right.

Which software do you recommend to convert viewers into customers? We are a software company which wants to increase our hit rate for those that visit our web site (

thanks for your advice, regards


(Kevin Nguyen) #68

Hey Andrew!

In one of your posts, you talked about creating a new marketing channel as the only way to see a 10x lift in CTRs. Do you think Playable ads have that potential? Being able to let users instantly demo a game before installing.

What about playable ads as an ad unit to drive 10x CTRs
(Pete Saueracker) #69

I need help. I’ve developed a patented personal grooming product, not a tech product. I’ve taken the product to initial manufacture and have a professional web site. I now need a couple of million in funding and some excellent marketing advice. How do I do this, where do I go for series A? My product is… truly… revolutionary, unlike anything ever seen before, and works beyond excellent. Need advice from somebody who’s got real cred. Thank you. Pete

I need millions of dollars for a patented personal grooming product
(Mike Hoogland) #70

Dear Andrew,

I am literary agent in New York with Dystel & Goderich Literary Management ( I’m fascinated by the Silicon Valley scene and exponential advances in tech, and I’ve been looking for an author to write on this topic for quite some time. Have you ever considered doing a book? If so, have you had any specific ideas?

I’d love to speak with you about working together and fill you in on the publishing process if you are not already represented. You can find my contact info on our website. Please let me know at your earliest convenience.

Mike H

Writing a book? Not for now
(Yomi) #71

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for all the great insights that you share in your blog.

Do you still have the spreadsheet that you reference in

Also do you happen to have the images that you originally have in

Either way, thank you,