I’ve got a chance to ask Immad Akhund, CEO of Mercury, how to build a 🏆 #community-driven product.
Here is his advice based on building several successful tech companies and being a Partner in Y Combinator in between.
For context, Mercury builds a banking stack for #startups and is probably one of the most intuitive and simplest ways for startups to open a US business bank account.
The company has built great #partnerships and recognition in the startup ecosystem and is very good at championing the founder community around itself.
🙌 Your customers must talk to each other.
This is a crux of every community driven product. Ecosystem comes to life when its members start to interact and create value for each other. Mercury is big on encouraging startups in their community to help each other.
💜 You need to have moments of magic in your product (or community).
Mercury spent a lot of effort creating a simple and intuitive onboarding flow and users can open a banking account blazingly fast. Your first and most important interaction with their product is this amazing onboarding UX.
🚀 Influencers help
Mercury had 50+ investors in their seed round. Investors are influences in the startup ecosystem who help to spread the word and build community.
Mercury also runs Mercury Raise, where they select promising startups and match them with vetted investors. So there is a flywheel effect too.
🤝 As a rule of thumb you need to be authentically helpful and proactively think about ways to help your customers, even beyond your immediate product.
This translates into a team culture, where everyone is trying to be genuinely helpful. Being a customer of Mercury myself, I can say that this is definitely the case.
💡 The prerequisite for creating a community-driven product is that your product itself should have a broad enough target customer base. It’s very challenging to pull this off if you’re targeting a narrow niche.
💯Thanks to Sam Kirschner and the On Deck team for bringing amazing speakers to ODF/X and being genuinely helpful at all times!