Gogobot is a social discovery engine for travellers. Launched in 2010 and with $19M in funding, the company is going from strength to strength. I spoke to Travis Katz, CEO of Gogobot and former Myspace exec, at the Dublin Web Summit about building an engaged user base.
Gogobot have had over 18 million pieces of content shared from their site and app. They developed their initial user base by reaching out to groups of travel writers. These people are passionate about travel and wanted to share their experiences. Their initial user base wanted to use the product, but could also see ahead to what the product could be. Gogobot actively nurtured the community, iterating their development over feedback and suggestions.
For the first six months after launch “nothing was happening”, but then the user base hit a tipping point, gaining users and a favourable critical reception.
What advice does Travis have for new startup founders?
Focus on key metrics. Look for both growth and engagement. You need early users need to commit to the product. Growth without engagement isn’t good enough to build a sustainable product.
Gogobot segments their users giving them a custom experience based on what they are looking for. Some users want game mechanics and interaction, other just want a simple browsing experience. Find out what your users want, and tailor their experience.
For building a startup community Travis recommends identifying who has money and who is excited about investing in the local area. For tech companies they don’t need to be tech savvy, but they do need to understand and be excited about the product.
You can download Gogobot from the iOS App Store, or check it out at www.gogobot.com