User Review( votes)
This is a quote attributed to Brian Chesky, Airbnb CEO/co-founder. In reality according to Brian Chesky, it is an advice given to him by Paul Graham, the cofounder of the famous Y Combinator.
When Airbnb was going through Paul Graham’s Y Combinator program, Graham told Chesky:
“Build something 100 people love, not something 1 million people kind of like.”
People who really love a product will make it go viral, Graham told him.
Chesky later explained this quote, that “If you want to create a great product, just focus on one person … Make that one person have the most amazing experience ever.”
Build something 100 people love, not something 1 million people kind of like– Paul Graham
Who am i to contradict the famous Paul Graham, however i have some remarks on the quote.
From an inspirational point of view, i can not disagree on the general meaning of the quote. Indeed it is better to focus on a smaller market or smaller number of customers and try to offer the best product/service you can offer. Quality is sometimes more important than quantity.
Once the numbers grow however, it might not be easy to maintain this best product/service you can offer mentality.
Build something 100 people love VS. 1 million people kind of like
From a purely logical and realistic point of view, this quote makes no sense. There is no way X is better than 10000 X. Even if the 100 people have 1000 friend that they would force to use your service, you will still need few levels to reach the 1 million.
On average, a person have around 10 friends, and maybe 100 less strong friendships. These days people no longer recommend products and services, and when they do, it is limited. Realistically even if you grow 10x, starting from 100> 1000>10 000 > 100 000 > 1 000 000 you will require 4 cycles. Whereas starting with a million user for a product that is solving a problem, you are more likely to be able to have a successful business .
Here’s how i would prefer the quote to be, to be more realistic.
Build something 100 people love, not something 1000 people kind of like