27 Learnings From Leading A Marketplace Business

Here are 27+ learnings I took from leading a peer to peer crowdfunding marketplace business.

£220million transacted from seven million people in four years.

Some top level insights & learnings: 

People First
> Put your people first, empowered people go out of their way to help your users and that really sticks out to the users.

> People want to help people, they even want to help strangers, they need to know about the story or situation to help.

> Consumers and Customer experience over competitors.

> People make a deliberate decision on whether to be private, semi private or public online. This will have a last impact on your product, if private people only share to a small number of people then it will not expand out of small circles.

> Always have one communication standard, have one communication tool and communicate as a team, no silos, all metrics must roll up to your Focus Metric.

> Top team and top talent is priceless, one good or bad move and it can really hinder performance.

Product
> You internal staff really make and break product and product cycles, especially at growth stage. Growth stage is the best for staff as they can see what they are working on and its impact.
When you are maturing phase if you have good usage you can still have good wins, requires more leadership and confidence.

> Show users how to use your product, show them the next action and be clear of where their home and hub is.

> Products have to be easy to learn (first, can’t learn won’t use the product), products then have to be easy to use and then easy to share (if no sharing, no success or recommendations).

> Social networks and emails are filtered more than any user knows – that annoying phrase you hear, you might have seen on facebook or did you see my email applies to your marketplace and business.

> Update your product early and often, product decay rate kills you slowly.

> Understand your audience and how close they are to having to take the action, if they are just testing the product out or just seeing if they get traction, it will impact your numbers and distract you and the team.

> Watch your market daily, understand what are ripples and what are waves, catch waves early and ride them on the way up and on the way down.

> Build an environment of sharing data, insights and analysis.
Build a culture of internal coaching, teaching and collaboration.
Build a business to identify and develop talent & trusting your people and strategy.

Strategy
> Think 5 years ahead, plan 3 years ahead, action the next 12 months.

> Plan for the best and the worst

> Know your cadence, daily, weekly, monthly, work out what can be and has to be looked at daily, what success is weekly and growth actions to take to ramp up success or build more virality or customer feedback into your product

> Feel your aha moment, if you have had it – hold on it and build, build, build and optimise, optimise, optimise!

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