Community-led growth strategies: How Notion built a $10B SaaS startup
It would be fair to say that Notion is one of the most loved products of our generation. Who would’ve thought that 20 million people would ditch the Goliath Google Docs, for the David Notion 🤯?
However, that is exactly what happened as users realized that Notion with its customizable blocks and templates made them extremely productive and efficient.
So how did Notion achieve such tremendous growth in just a few years?
Let’s dive in 👇
Build “with” your users, not “for” them
Notion launched 1.0 on Product Hunt way back in 2016. They had a good product back then, but it was not perfect. However, early adopters on PH loved it and the Notion team kept reaching out for them for feedback.
tl;dr - Find your early adopters and build with them
Personalization and templates
Notion, right from the early days, made it a point to have an onboarding quiz so they could understand their users better.
The onboarding quiz made it possible to understand the persona of early adopters - sales, engineering, product management, design, etc. which helped them understand what templates to create for their early adopters.
Here’s a spec for designers 🎨
tl;dr - Look into personalization opportunities early
Once Notion created templates based on the personas, the next step was to empower their early adopters to create their own templates. Thus, Notion went from being a product to a platform!
Moreover, these early adopters shared their templates on social channels like Twitter, Reddit, and Facebook which led to a beautiful product flywheel
Templates created by early adopters → share templates → templates attract new users → new users become creators → flywheel ⚙️
tl;dr - Identify flywheel opportunities for your startup
Reddit Community of 150K+ members
Notion built a subreddit community (r/Notion) and scaled it to 157K members. Members regularly give product feedback, ask questions and contribute actively in the community.
Moreover, Notion also assigned roles and badges to members which later became a part of their Ambassador initiative.
tl;dr - build community for engagement and feedback
As Felix says, the new KYC is “Know-Your-Community” 😇
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