How to Fake Users? Own Lean Startup case

Hi Startupper, in our previous, article we wrote about Splitting Stakeholders` Shares. This time we would like to share a trick sample that led to 10k+ user registrations. Here you would be able to find a tactic how to fake users in your product to attract more real.

September 2019

Mark & Mike already had their own Product – The Living Urn when they reached us. They are selling Bio Urns for burial. So, in terms of promotion they tried to reach some social services to partner with. Here are some of them:

 [1] legacy.com

[2] forevermissed.com

[3] gatheringus.com

[4] mykeeper.com

[5] tributes.com

[6] memories.net

Some of them were rejected, and some of them requested too high a commission. So they decided to build one.

In terms of the development partner search, they used clutch.co and sorted out a list of companies. Once they are selected to work with You are launched. We dig into the requirements.

Competitors` Analysis & Fake Users` Idea

how to launch app and fake users

 1. A major part of all competitors don’t have mobile apps. So, the owners insisted on having all the platforms to be launched.

2. They can’t put an exact place of Memorial on the map.

3. There are no options on how to gather friends and relatives. So, we can add Related events.

4. We can cut off half of them with a design. As they were launched a quite long time ago, we would date design as [1] 2017, [2] 2005, [3] 2018, [4] 2003, [5] 1998, [6] 2018

With all these, you can work on it. Now, we know what are the main features and where we need to push to pull users.

Lean Startup Launch Strategy

Lean Startup Launch Strategy - how to fake users

So, what the plan can be after the launch? What users will think in case they check the main feature – a map with memorials? They will see nothing.

We need to take somewhere all this info. So, what the options can be?

 – Use parser/grabber? It is illegal and has too many headaches. – no.

 – Use massive ads? – Costly and still first users will see nothing.

 – Provide users with some extra value (i.e. discount for EcoUrn for placing the Memorial). That’s could help but still will have no users at the very beginning. Could be step #2 to promote our service.

 – What if we would put ~100 Memorials of famous people as fake users? Let’s say we would add: Luke Perry, Robin Williams, Carrie Fisher, George H.W. Bush, and more? Well-known people are associated with trust, honor, and respect. That’s exactly the feeling we want to be in association with. – Yes, that’s what we need. And with adding a list of memorials, we can have a feeling that the platform is live, but in reality, that’s just faking users.

Such a move will fulfill the service and it won’t be empty. Another plus is the association with famous people, this will give us a plus to our startup karma.

Once we have a “killer feature” list, we can sort out the best MVP work scope to develop.

Initial Requirements

It looks classical already when the Startup owner asks for a lot of features and platforms. Here is what we had:

– Social logins;

 – Creating and managing Memorial pages;

 – Memorial should be with: Resting Places, Events;

 – Media content like photos & videos;

 – Map with all Memorials;

 – Services with the integration of payment methods;

 – Favorite Memorials;

 – Private/Public Memorials;

 – Invitations to Events & Memorials;

 – Support all main platforms, like iOS, Android, & Web.

Based on the Lean approach, we proposed to cut off:

 – Social login;

 – Services logic. It is better to replace with links to 3d party services or the main website of TheLivingUrn;

 and sure,

 – it is better to keep 1 platform for the very first launch.

The owner is a boss here. That’s why we could cut everything except different platforms. So, we dig into the UI/UX design stage:

Web UI/UX Design

Mobile UI/UX Design

  • memorial app 10
  • memorial app 2 - faking users
  • memorial app - Kurt Cobain
  • memorial app 3 - faking users
  • memorial app - list of fake users
  • memorial app - create fake user
  • memorial app 6
  • memorial app 7
  • memorial app 8
  • memorial app 9
  • memorial app 5
  • memorial app 5

Once we sorted out the design concept and a couple of main screens, we could start on development.

So, we started on development on October 1, 2019. It was our first commercial project where we started to use the Swift UI Framework on the iOS side. It was quite raw. A lot of small stuff wasn’t ready yet. Based on these, we needed to rewrite some basic stuff in comparison with UI Kit. Even so, Swift UI is cool in complex UI element creation. And now, you can check a list of cool animations we’ve made with Swift UI:
Tab Bar Jumping;
Multiple elements sliding;
Screen changing;
Geometric elements changing;
Smooth drop downs and search appearing.

So getting back to “How to fake users?”. We are sure, that it is better to check by oneself rather than read a long story. So, check any of the launched platforms:

apple version. iOS version
android version
web version

Once the app was launched, we already started to work on some new features. As we signed NDA, we can say that there will be a list of updates. In the first one, you will see a lot of usability updates. As for others, there will be massive updates with a lot of cool features added. So, stay tuned more updates are coming.

Conclusion

The first app version was launched in late Spring 2020. The system got 1100 new users and 5k of new resting places in 3 months later. We were not sure that the majority of users (almost 90%) will be after Private Memorials. So, the point that we kept famous people’s memorials, supports a lot by showing that the platform is live.

You need to do Market Research and competitor research before any platform development. That’s the lesson everyone needs to get from TheLivingUrn and their brand-new product. And sure remember “fake it till you make it”.

We would be pleased to hear your thoughts about such a fake user launch, please drop a line.

Need a guide? Get 1 hour of free consultancy from the founder of You are launched with a Promo Code: EcorialStory .

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